How Much Does Event Photography Cost?
Between social media and modern web design trends, both individuals and businesses increasingly want to capture every event with quality photography. However, getting the perfect shot isn’t easy when you’re hosting or running a large event. While most people are familiar with hiring a photographer for a wedding or portrait session, finding someone to capture other events may be new territory for you.
The first order of business as you plan to hire a photographer is budgeting for one … but how much does event photography cost? The truth is that you should consider a range of factors to determine how close to the local average (ranging from $130 to $250 per hour in Austin) your pricing will be. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before contacting a photographer for a specific quote:
- How long will you need a photographer at your event? Among other factors, time will likely increase your price quickly. If you’re on a tight budget, consider which parts of your event you really need a professional present for.
- How big is your event? One photographer for a convention with 700 attendees won’t be adequate to capture all of the excitement. If you’ll need multiple photographers, you may find a discounted price for additional team members, but you may also pay at least double the average hourly rate.
- Do you want any special photography services at your event? Photo booths can make your event a social media sensation and give guests a great momento, but they will come with an additional cost, which can vary based on the type (e.g. some are backdrops with a photographer, while others are actual photo booths you can rent, like the ones you see at theme parks). Another special service might be a red carpet where additional photographers need to station themselves to capture everyone who arrives.
- How many images do you want the photographer to capture (on a per hour basis)? This number can impact pricing because it may require the photographer to bring in assistance, and more photos will mean more editing after the event is over. Under this umbrella, it’s important to know if you’re paying for each individual edited image license or if you will be entitled to all digital downloads so that you can estimate the total cost.
- How quickly after the event do you expect to receive your images? A faster turnaround time can sometimes increase the price for your package.
- How much editing do you want your images to have? Retouching, lighting adjustments, etc. can all add to editing time. The more time spent editing each image, the higher the price can be.
- How experienced is your photographer? Austin is home to some award-winning event photographers, who are likely to deliver amazing images. However, their expertise and skill definitely come with a price tag.
Now that you have a better idea of your photography needs, let’s get back to that all-important detail: the price. On average, the most basic level of event photography will include a set fee or minimum number of hours, costing an average of $210, with each additional hour averaging $130. More established photographers’ prices will increase from there, with a professional like Lisa Hause, charging a minimum of $1000 for her services. That may sound like a hefty price tag, but capturing the best angles and most crucial moments of a complex event mean that an experienced photographer is a definite advantage.
You may also consider using a service that matches you with an event photographer at standard pricing levels. One option in Austin is Candidly, where most event types start at $100 per hour, and include at least one photographer, 50 photos per hour, and full access to download images. Companies like this one can keep their costs low by using AI-powered technology to reduce the time demands of manually editing photos.
Certainly, your budget will impact which photographer you choose for your event, but it’s also important to review portfolios to get a sense of each photographer’s style. Every professional makes some distinct aesthetic choices about how they shoot pictures, as well as the lighting and filtering of the photos they produce. While they may be open to changing their habits to suit your needs, you’ll likely get the best product by choosing someone who is a match to your preferences in the first place.