A bride holding her wedding bouquet sits on the edge of a bed, looking off to the distance

Are Wedding Photographers Worth It?

Wondering whether you can justify the expense of a wedding photographer? Learn why they're a much better option than a friend with a camera.
Rachel Sue Boehm, 5 star rated wedding and elopement photographer, holding a camera and posing under a tree.

I’m a wedding photographer with over 10 years experience. Based in Wisconsin, I specialize in elopements across the USA and worldwide.

As a certified drone pilot, I can offer aerial photography for a unique views of your wedding.

I’m also ordained through the Universal Life Church meaning that I can be your officiant and your photographer!

Get in touch with me to discuss your wedding or elopement photography.

Wedding days are magical, one of the only times that you simply bask in each other’s love with nothing else on your mind. From saying your vows to cutting the cake, each moment should be cherished for years to come – but how do you make sure that happens?

Enter: wedding photographers! We are the artists who can help capture all those special memories in all of their glory. But in 2023, many people are questioning whether a wedding photographer is worth it.

It’s an understandable concern: wedding days can be very expensive, and although elopements are often much less expensive, even if you’re eloping you may be wondering whether you should hire a professional photographer or simply try and capture photographs yourself.

Well, I’m going to take a deep-dive into wedding photographers and their pricing to help you answer for yourself: are wedding photographers worth it?

Do I even need a wedding photographer?

With everyone and their dog owning a mobile phone in 2023, and decent digital cameras no longer breaking the bank, it may be tempting to ask your Uncle Derek to photograph your wedding. After all, his camera looks quite fancy and he got some great pictures of the dogs that one time.

However, a survey conducted by jeweler Vashi Dominguez found that 30% of brides had regrets about their wedding photographer. To avoid becoming one of these brides, it’s essential that you choose the correct wedding photographer. When it comes to deciding whether or not to hire a professional wedding photographer for your special day, there are some key factors to consider. Mainly: skill, experience and cost.

When evaluating wedding photographers, look at their portfolio and reviews from previous clients. Also factor in the cost of services and ask yourself “is this within my budget?” Wedding photography costs can vary greatly depending on where you live, so make sure you do your research before committing to any one service. For example, if you’re planning an intimate elopement ceremony, then hiring an affordable local elopement photographer may be the best option for capturing all those special moments without breaking the bank.

A bride and groom kiss outside of the Wisconsin State Capitol

Booking a professional wedding photographer for larger ceremonies can yield stunning results that will forever immortalize your big day in beautiful photos. Not only will they help capture every moment as it happens but also provide guidance throughout the process – from selecting outfits and locations to organizing large groups during family portraits. Furthermore, many offer packages that include additional perks like engagement shoots or photo books as part of their services which can add up quickly.

However it’s important to remember that no matter what route you take when choosing between DIYing vs hiring a pro – both options have pros and cons associated with them; ultimately it comes down to preference, availability and budget. Whichever way you decide to go about creating memories of your special occasion, just know that these pictures will serve as lifelong keepsakes!

Why is wedding photography so important?

A black and white photograph of a bride sitting on the end of a bed, looking out of the window

When it comes to wedding photography, there’s no doubt that it is an important part of the big day.

Firstly, having beautiful photos from your wedding allows you to look back on the event with fondness in years to come. Capturing those moments so you can keep them forever is invaluable – something you simply cannot put a price tag on! It also gives family members who couldn’t be at the ceremony a chance to experience what it would have been like if they’d been able to attend.

People who also aren’t around yet will absolutely LOVE looking at your wedding photographs too. Yes, your future kids will one day want to look back on your wedding photographs and wouldn’t it be a shame if you didn’t have some truly spectacular images of Mom and Dad to show them?

Secondly, when you hire a professional photographer, they are likely to capture some truly magical shots that may seem impossible or difficult for someone inexperienced. They know which angles work best and won’t miss any key details that could potentially make all the difference between an average photo and one that takes your breath away every time you see it. A skilled photographer also knows how to set up group shots quickly and efficiently so everyone looks their best without taking much time out of your busy schedule.

Finally, booking a wedding photographer means you don’t have to worry about taking pictures yourself while getting ready or during the ceremony itself – allowing you to relax and focus fully on the most important aspects of your special day. Furthermore, photographers often provide other services such as retouching images after they’re taken, providing prints/albums/digital copies etc., giving couples extra peace of mind knowing everything has been taken care of before they receive their final products.

What are the advantages of hiring a professional wedding photographer?

For couples getting married, hiring a professional wedding photographer is a no-brainer. They can capture every moment and turn it into something special – ensuring that each memory will last for years to come! But what are the actual advantages of enlisting such an expert rather than relying solely on friends or family? Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits below.

To begin with, when you hire a professional wedding photographer, you get access to someone who has experience in capturing weddings. This means they know exactly how to work their way around lighting and composition in order to create beautiful shots. Furthermore, this expertise also ensures that all important moments during the ceremony don’t go unnoticed since photographers have trained eyes which quickly recognize those precious details. With these skills combined, your photos are sure to be stunningly timeless!

Professional wedding photographers also bring their own equipment with them instead of expecting you to provide it yourself. Not only does this save time but it also guarantees quality images no matter where the venue is located as long as there is enough natural light available. Plus, advanced cameras and lenses can help make up for any unexpected weather conditions or lack of space – guaranteeing perfect snaps regardless of circumstances. Simply put, the equipment that a professional full-time photographer carries will blow anything that a DIY uses out of the water.

Furthermore, most experienced photographers offer numerous packages so couples can tailor-make services according to their requirements; whether that’s a single day coverage or multiple days for pre-weddings events leading up to (and after) the big day itself. If you’re eloping or having a destination wedding, some couples like to bring their photographer with them to capture every intimate moment, from the days before and after the wedding.

If you want more ideas on what an elopement over several days can look like, read about Joe and Kristen’s elopement in Mexico which I photographed in December 2022.

No doubt about it: professional wedding photography gives you peace of mind knowing that everything will be captured just right without needing extra stress during such an important day in your life. So why risk leaving memories up chance when you could have amazing pictures forever?!

Are wedding photographers expensive?

When it comes to wedding photography, a professional photographer can make all the difference. But why are they so expensive? It’s important to understand that when you hire a wedding photographer, they are not only charging for their time on that day. There are a whole bunch of costs that they need to ensure are covered.

First off, photographers must use high-end equipment and often invest in additional gear for specific shots or scenarios. For example, I use a drone to capture aerial wedding photographs that bring something a little different to a set of wedding photos. High quality cameras, lenses, lighting equipment and other tools come with a hefty price tag. And it may need to be replaced every few years. Professional photographers must factor this into their pricing structure, otherwise it would be impossible for them to make a living.

Moreover, some venues may require specialized insurance coverage that only certain professionals have access to—all adding up to greater expense.

In addition to the cost of equipment, experienced wedding photographers also charge for their time and expertise. It takes skill and knowledge of both technical aspects such as camera settings and artistic elements like composition and posing in order to achieve stunning results. Professional photographers spend years honing these skills which should be reflected in their rates. They may even have course or college fees to cover in their pricing. Sure, your pal with a camera phone can point and shoot some photographs for much less than a pro, but you simply won’t get the same results.

The bottom line is that hiring an experienced wedding photographer isn’t just about having your special day documented; it’s about capturing memories you’ll cherish forever – something well worth investing in!

An aerial photograph of a bride and groom, taken using a drone

Do I still need a photographer if I elope?

When it comes to eloping, couples may be wondering if they need a photographer or not. After all, elopements can still be beautiful ceremonies, even without one present. The answer ultimately depends on what you want from the experience.

Many couples choose to elope so that they can enjoy a smaller, more private ceremony. That might mean that a lot of guests who would have attended a traditional wedding won’t be there. Having photos taken might be important to you and your partner so that those who weren’t present can still have some experience of the day. If that’s you, then hiring a photographer is likely worth it. They will capture all of the unique details that come with an elopement—from stunning scenery to intimate moments between the two of you. Plus, they’ll help preserve these memories for years to come in high-quality images that you can share with family and friends.

While you may wish to hire a local photographer at your destination, there is a lot to be said for going with a photographer that you can meet beforehand. That way, you can meet up and get to know each other first. This will allow the photographer to get an understanding of who you are, and help them to take photographs that you will truly love. Personally, I like to perform an engagement shoot with the couple well in advance of the wedding day. This gets you used to working with your photographer and more comfortable with them taking your pictures.

As someone who specializes in elopements, I can attest that they are very different to a traditional wedding ceremony. It’s important to realize that outdoor weddings present their own set of challenges, and someone with experience of photographing elopements will know how to set up a great photograph using the scenery around them and will be experienced in researching great locations to take them in.

Whatever route you choose when planning your elopement ceremony, make sure it’s something that reflects your style as a couple and gives you both peace of mind knowing that everything was done exactly how you wanted it to be remembered–with or without professional photographs.

A couple embrace on the beach during their elopement


Hiring a wedding photographer is something that you shouldn’t take lightly. A professional photographer will capture the memories and emotions of your special day in a way that will last forever. We can provide you with high-quality, timeless images that you can look back on and cherish for years to come. Having a pro on hand will ensure that every moment of your wedding, from the getting ready to the last dance, is captured in a way that is both beautiful and true to your personal style.

The investment in the right wedding photographer is one that you will not regret, because we can create imagery that an amateur photographer simply cannot get, from interesting poses, to use of light and scenery, and being able to deal with the unexpected thanks to our years of experience, a wedding photographer will pay you back in memories that last a lifetime.

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