Bride poses on bench with cream bouquet, photographed by America Henry Photography | The Pink Bride {The Truth Behind the Cost of Pro Wedding Photography – Part 1}Your wedding day will rush by in a blur of happy memories. After everything’s been stored away from the honeymoon, you’ll finally have the chance to get your whirlwind emotions in check and evaluate your new situation.

Your guests are all safely back home, back into the routine of “everyday life.”

The decorations are all down and stored away.

The flowers are all gone.

The venue is already prepping for its next event.

The leftover cake will soon all be eaten.

The long-awaited wedding commotion is, quite officially, over.


Although all of those details you spent so long planning are gone, one aspect of your wedding that you’ll get to keep and cherish for a lifetime is your wedding photography. However, brides are often shocked by prices associated with wedding photos. So much so, in fact, that they sometimes think going with a far less expensive photographer than what is the average for their location is a smart idea.


That’s hardly true. To uncover the truth behind the cost of professional wedding photography, I chatted with premier Chattanooga wedding photographer America of America Henry Photography. She has commentary for five basic reasons why pro wedding photographers charge what they do – and why the cost really isn’t as inflated as you may think it is. Read on for the first three pointers you need to know!


1. Professional wedding photography involves a mass amount of time.

The price of your wedding photography includes all the time it takes to get you your final products: from initial consultation and travel to wedding day, editing time, and shipment. For any one given wedding, your photographer can easily clock 40+ hours of invested time. This is just one part of the price, too!

“Every wedding is different,” America details, adding that she’s more than willing to take the time to travel for out-of-town weddings. She can offer all-day photography packages if needed and can even add a second shooter for larger events. While she prides herself in a quick turn-around time, she notes that the total investment time-wise in each wedding is substantial.

Happily Ever After sign at wedding, photographed by America Henry Photography | The Pink Bride {The Truth Behind the Cost of Pro Wedding Photography – Part 1}

2. Regular upgrades to professional equipment and software are expensive.

You don’t want just any photographer with just any camera equipment and software handling your once-in-a-lifetime memories. Professional photographers regularly upgrade their equipment to make sure they use the latest technology and most dependable tools to give you the very best record of your memories possible. Those upgrades can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Bride and groom embrace, photographed by America Henry Photography | The Pink Bride {The Truth Behind the Cost of Pro Wedding Photography – Part 1}

Does your wedding photographer have a dedicated studio space? This is just one other aspect of added costs. America has recently added a studio to her business so that clients have a wider range of options. Included in the cost of a studio space are rent, utilities, insurance, and even more equipment (among other fees).


To further illustrate costs, America sent me an article by Marianne Drenthe, titled Why Does Custom Photography Cost More? In it, Ms. Drenthe writes:

Regarding equipment costs, a good quality professional camera with a selection of good optical quality lenses and digital storage mediums and computer set up can run from $10,000-$30,000 costs dependent on the photographer.  Even though you can purchase a really good quality digital SLR for about $2100 there are still other costs related to photography.  A good lens for portrait photography can run from $900 to $2500.  A dependable computer system with software loaded for business and creative usage can run $2500 to $8000 dependent on the photographer. Then come lab costs for specialty products.  A good photographer knows their professional lab is an integral part of their success.  These labs often cost more and offer a range of products that allows the custom photographer to continually offer new, innovative products for the discerning client.


3. Continuous education and progressive honing of skill takes time, effort, and money.

A hobbyist (or Uncle Bob) doesn’t feel he or she needs to constantly be honing skills through education and certification programs. However, a pro photographer knows and embraces the fact that he or she could always give you better results by focusing on developing that talent continuously. This is another part of what goes into your price: training and expertise!

America has an associates degree in photography and regularly attends workshops and webinars among other training opportunities to better hone her talents. For instance, since she has a new studio space, she’s currently studying everything she can regarding studio lighting techniques.

Chattanooga wedding inspiration, photographed by America Henry Photography | The Pink Bride {The Truth Behind the Cost of Pro Wedding Photography – Part 1}

In summary – it’s not easy to give you the images you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

It’s not simple or cheap to claim you’re a professional wedding photographer and actually be one. The costs of simply starting and running a photography business are exponential, but that’s not the only reason why your professional wedding photographer charges so much…it’s just a small piece of the puzzle! Click over to Part 2 to find out what else contributes to the costs associated with wedding photography.


America Henry of America Henry Photography | The Pink Bride {The Truth Behind the Cost of Pro Wedding Photography – Part 1}

America Henry is a dedicated wife and mother who proudly serves our country in the United States Navy Reserves. She enjoys singing and playing the cello at her church, but photography has always been her greatest passion. She puts her heart and soul into every session she’s privileged to capture.

As a professional photographer, America loves shooting with natural light and has a photojournalistic style, which gives you a story-like view of your day. She began her photography business on a more full-time basis in 2009 and couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to give you memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime!


To contact America Henry Photography, give America a call at (423) 650-0274, or send her an email at Be sure to also visit her website and Facebook page to learn more. Tell America that The Pink Bride sent you!




Images courtesy of America Henry Photography.