How Much Does An Elopement Photographer Cost?

Whether you’re eloping to have a more intimate way to celebrate or to say “I do” at an adventurous location, a photographer is a must on your vendor list. The average price for elopement photography depends on a few different factors such as how many images and hourly coverage the photographer includes in their packages, how involved they are with planning and permit assistance, their expertise and experience, and how much value they offer.

If you’re looking for an answer to the question, “How much does an elopement photographer cost?” then keep on reading!

When it comes to hiring a photographer for your elopement the number one piece of advice I could give to any couple would be to make sure you’re receiving the best value possible. This means getting the best bang for your buck (of course), but also making sure you truly resonate with the kind of experience you will receive from your photographer. Elopements are a lot more intimate than a traditional wedding, so it is very important to keep in mind that you’ll be working very closely with the vendors you choose for your elopement day.

Here are a few facts about elopements you might not have heard before:

  • You spend the most time on your elopement day with your photographer
  • Certain elopement photographers offer permit assistance, help with planning, location scouting, and more with their packages so the price you see doesn’t always mean you’re paying for just photos
  • Elopements are a lot more personal and intimate, therefore you will be able to communicate and spend more time with your vendors (this is why it’s important to choose vendors you resonate with)

A major thing to take note of is that not every elopement is the same. The average price for elopement photography can vary quite a bit. The cost of a photographer for an adventure elopement that can take all day will be priced much higher compared to a simple backyard elopement that may only take a couple hours. However, in most cases, the amount of behind the scenes work a photographer does (meaning the amount of time and work it takes to plan for your elopement, travel to your location, back up your images, edit your photos, prepare your gallery, and so forth) concludes of the same amount of work no matter how complex or simple an elopement is. So you can expect to still pay a pretty penny if you’re wanting timeless and consistent images even if you’re planning a simple elopement. 

Another important thing to take note of is that you’re not paying for just photos. On average, an elopement photographer can spend up to 65 hours from start to finish on each couple they work with. Keep in mind, this doesn’t count the amount of time spent traveling to your elopement location or time spent on education.

Below is a graph that shows how an elopement photographer spends their time per elopement they capture.

Now to the good stuff!

Each elopement photographer offers different kinds of packages with different features included in their pricing. This is the number one determining factor for your elopement photographer cost. The main factors that will determine an elopement photographer’s pricing will be based on their expertise and skill level, how much value they offer, how helpful they are with permit and planning assistance, and the amount of hourly coverage and image amount included.

Expertise and Skill Level:

Photographer’s who have been in the industry longer or have spent a lot of time perfecting their craft are able to charge more due to a much higher demand for their services. Photographers who can deliver consistency in their edits and guarantee professional and outstanding results in their work have a higher value due to their profound talent and capability. You can expect to receive a positive and promising experience with a photographer who has spent years perfecting their services. This is very important for couples who are wanting their specific vision to come to life exactly how you want it to.

The Value they Offer:

A lot of elopement photographers offer additional services in their packages such as planning assistance, location scouting, permit assistance, and providing a ton of resources to make your elopement experience stress free. Value is VERY IMPORTANT when considering which photographer to hire for your elopement because sometimes you end up paying more money for less of an experience by choosing to take a cheap way out. Photographers who offer more value in their packages will likely have higher prices, but this is simply because they want to make sure you have everything you could need and more when planning your dream elopement.

Hourly coverage and image count:

Depending on what you’re wanting, you can hire a photographer for different amounts of hourly coverage ranging from a couple hours to all day. Majority of elopement photographers offer full day coverage for couples who want to incorporate fun activities into their elopement or to capture some of the same moments that usually take place during traditional weddings, such as getting ready photos, couples portraits, exchanging wedding gifts, and any other traditions you want to include in your elopement. Unless you’re wanting just a couple hours of coverage, you can expect to pay a higher price for the cost of an elopement photographer.

How much assistance you receive:

This goes hand in hand with the amount of value you receive, but if you’re planning a very intimate elopement, chances are that you will be spending the most time with your vendors. This is why it’s super important to hire vendors that yo u trust with assisting you in anything you need. Elopement photographers understand the amount of work it takes to plan an elopement so in most cases they will provide information and assist with planning to guide you during the entire process.

Alright, so exactly how much does an elopement photographer cost? Below are different skill levels of elopement photographers and what kind of experience and pricing you could potentially expect:

Beginner/Novice: $0-500

Someone who just started elopement photography would fall under this category. Normally you get someone who is still trying to find their editing style, therefore it is not a guarantee that your photos will look consistent. A photographer who is charging $500 or less is probably looking to gain experience and to build their portfolio.

Amateur: $600-1,200

A photographer who has some experience under their belt would fall under this pricing category. They might not have had a lot of education when it comes to photographing elopements or have a good grasp for posing, consistent editing or the ability to provide any additional information. You might receive a photographer with a little bit more experience, but it is still rare to find someone who can properly deliver consistent work within this price range.

Intermediate: $1,300-2,500

Someone who has photographed a good bit of elopements would fall under this category. They might have a little bit more knowledge in the elopement industry and be more capable of delivering you quality and consistent images when compared to an amateur. They are still working on fully perfecting their craft, but might lack some extra helpful services and resources that a professional would have.

Professional: $3,000+

A professional elopement photographer is someone who is well equipped for all situations, has years of experience, has invested in their education, is able to deliver consistent edits, is comfortable and professional with their posing, and includes extra services and resources in their packages. They have spent years perfecting their work and building their business so they can adequately serve their clients in a unique and personal way. A professional photographer usually has a much higher demand due to their positive client experiences and because they can guarantee dependable results in both your images and your experience.

More things to consider:

Below are some questions to ask yourself about what exactly it is that you’re wanting for your elopement. Of course every photographer’s prices are different, especially depending on your location and how laid back or adventurous of an elopement you’re planning.

  • Are you wanting to bring loved ones along for your elopement?
  • Are you planning on eloping at an adventurous location? (Such as a national park, hiking up a mountain, boating to an island for sunrise, etc.)
  • How long do you want your elopement to last?
  • Do you want/need any additional help with planning or finding resources?
  • How many vendors do you want to include for your elopement?

To sum everything up, your elopement experience should be nothing short of everything you want and more. If a photographer is on your list of vendors to book then I recommend taking the time to thoroughly research for an elopement photographer that can fully deliver every detail you’re wanting to include on your elopement day. An elopement photographer cost ranges on many different factors, but finding a photographer that you truly connect with, can bring your vision to life, and will provide a personalized and informative experience is 100% worth every penny you will spend. 

Every elopement is unique and personalized in their own way! I believe there is a photographer out there for everyone, and no matter what you’re looking for in a photographer, you will be able to find someone who can deliver exactly what you’re wanting! The beauty of eloping is that it can consist of whatever the heck you want it to! No traditions required. No rules required. No external opinions required. Just you, your lover, and your dream wedding day.

I believe every couple should be supported no matter how non-traditional or unique they want to celebrate their wedding day. Your love is special and should be celebrated the way YOU want it to be!

Are you looking for more information on how to plan your dream elopement and are wanting authentic and candid images captured? I would LOVE to help you! And just to take one more task off your plate, I offer FREE consultation calls for you so we can talk all about what you’re wanting your dream elopement to consist of! Book your FREE consultation call today with Arizona elopement photographer, Kaylie Miller below!

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The article was written by me, Kaylie! I am a wedding & elopement photographer encouraging you to embrace the details that make your love story unique, to make sure you get a personable experience, & to be your helping hand and friend throughout the entire process! Specializing in nostalgic & candid images serving couples in Arizona & beyond!

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