Bride and groom embrace after wedding, photographed by America Henry Photography | The Pink Bride {The Truth Behind the Cost of Pro Wedding Photography – Part 2}One year after my wedding, I still had vivid memories of the day. By the second year, though, I didn’t think about it as often, so I probably only remembered a portion of what seemed so important the year before. However, by the third year, my wedding day seems like it was a lifetime ago!


My one solace is knowing I have amazing wedding pictures to look back on. Will you be able to say the same in a few years, when the memories are shorter and just a little less vivid?


Wedding photographers sometimes find that brides misunderstand their prices. Many brides assume that there’s simply no reason whatsoever for professional wedding photographers to charge as much as they do. The reality, however, is that the work they provide for you is worth every penny – and more so, in most situations!


As I detailed in Part 1 of The Truth Behind the Cost of Pro Wedding Photography, a mass portion of the amount you’re charged simply gets reinvested into the pro’s business – be that in time, equipment, and/or continuous training. That means a large portion of the amount they charge you never actually ends up paying into their yearly salary! I chatted with America Henry of premier Chattanooga wedding photography company America Henry Photography to get her professional take on the matter. Read on for the next two reasons why professional photographers charge as much as they do!


4. Standard business costs for professional wedding photographers include everything from image hosting, storage, promo materials, and even premium lab costs – among other charges.

Owning your own business sometimes leaves people feeling like they’re “constantly in the hole.” This is because much of every payment you make to a small business owner gets reinvested right back into the business. That’s especially true for photographers – and their upgraded equipment and continuing education costs are just the beginning.


Professional wedding photographers have to have reliable services to both protect your investment as the bride and market their business effectively. This equals massive overhead costs that chip away at their final profit from the payment you give. It’s true that you could always opt for a much cheaper photographer, but it’s also true that you get what you pay for. Is wedding photography really a corner you want to cut – when it’s the one thing you’ll have to remember your day years from now?


Gold and cream colored traditional wedding cake, photographed by America Henry Photography | The Pink Bride {The Truth Behind the Cost of Pro Wedding Photography – Part 2}

America cautions to stay away from Craigslist photographers offering to do your wedding for a few hundred dollars. You get what you pay for, after all, and as America puts it: “You should invest in your heirloom.” I would certainly add that you should be able to trust the person who’s giving that heirloom to you! Can you really trust Craigslist or someone else who’s never dealt with the unique dynamics of photographing a wedding? It’s doubtful.



5. Professional wedding photographers are artists.

After all other costs of simply running the business are chipped away, your professional photographer is (hopefully!) left with a profit. That profit is what they take for themselves to live on, and it’s similar to a commission you’d expect to pay for any other artist’s work.


Walk into a Thomas Kinkaid gallery, and you’ll easily drop $2,000 to $3,000 on a “certified” reprint of his original work. It’s not even the original painting, but it costs thousands of dollars. If you really love his work, do you gripe because you know the frame, the canvas, the computer-reprinted graphic aren’t worth that much? Nope. Because he’s an artist. And you want an artist’s work hanging in your home.


Similarly to how a painter identifies himself as an artist, so too does your photographer.

It takes more than technical know-how and the right equipment to be a professional wedding photographer. It takes passion to be an artist. It requires talent to capture images like they do. Each artist has a unique ability and talent – and that unique talent is what drove you to reach out to them. Expect to pay an artist’s fee!


“I’ve taught photography workshops before, and I know first-hand that while you can understand the concepts and technicalities of professional photography, talent really does matter,” America adds. “Having the right equipment doesn’t make you a pro, either. You need to know how to use the equipment and how to apply the principles, but you have to be talented to really stand out.”

I agree!


With an influx of affordable cameras on the market, brides have no shortage of options for people claiming to be professional wedding photographers. To this point, America adds in her article You Charge HOW Much?! This Is Why:

If you give enough cheap cameras to enough people, eventually one of them might get one good shot by accident, but a professional will give you many excellent and artistic shots on purpose. Even the best quality digital camera will not pose the couple for you, make unique custom artistic effects, compose the photo in a dynamic way or make the viewer of the photo say ‘wow.’ And as for answering the question How hard can it be?, would someone who has no experience creating photographic art know how to make a glowing silhouette of the couple? Or take a striking macro (ultra close-up) photograph of the rings? Or to freeze frame someone dancing with a flash but to let the natural room light motion blur with a low shutter speed to create a photo that gives you a sense of motion? The best professional photographers are artists. They create art, and that’s what the client wants and is paying for.

Bridal party poses after wedding, photographed by America Henry Photography | The Pink Bride {The Truth Behind the Cost of Pro Wedding Photography – Part 2}

In summary, shift your thinking.

Instead of assuming your photographer is taking thousands of your dollars for a small time investment or inflated ego, know that they work tirelessly in all aspects to give you the images you’ll look back on for years down the road. They don’t even see most of what they charge as a profit, either.

Those images will be all that’s left of your wedding day after all the commotion settles down! Even your memories of the day will fade over time, so make sure you have the perfect images to preserve your day for the generations to come. Be prepared to pay a fair price for them, too!


Bride and groom embrace after wedding, photographed by America Henry Photography | The Pink Bride {The Truth Behind the Cost of Pro Wedding Photography – Part 2}

America Henry doesn’t just focus on wedding photography. As a talented wife and mother, dedicated sailor in the Navy Reserves, cellist, singer, and Chattanooga photographer, she loves capturing individuals and families during all walks of life! All of America’s clients become her friends, so you’ll never be just a number to her. She’s more than happy to help you document your entire life through professional and creative sessions both before and after the wedding, too.


“If you already have a wedding photographer that you are happy with, I’m happy for you and wish you all the best,” America states. “I only ask that you keep me in mind in the future because your wedding is just the beginning of your story. Next, you may find yourself with a creative ‘trash the dress’ session after the wedding, or perhaps you’ll want a boudoir session, which could lead to a maternity session, which leads to newborn sessions. As they grow, then comes the family session, and the process repeats itself. With each new angel born, the angels flap their wings and lead to homecoming and prom pictures and then senior photos and one day, way down the road…those seniors get married, and the magic starts all over again. Photography will always be needed, and I’m honored to share in your life journey by capturing those special moments along the way. Let me tell your story…”


To contact America Henry Photography, give America a call at (423) 650-0274, or feel free to 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.