charleston wedding photographers

How Much Do Wedding Photographers Cost in Charleston?

January 14, 2024

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Pinpointing the cost of a wedding photographer in Charleston isn’t exactly easy.  There are photographers for every budget and every photographer charges differently.  Wedding photographers’ pricing is impacted by many things, like:

  • their cost of doing business
  • the number of weddings per year they want to shoot
  • whether this is their sole income or not
  • whether this is their full-time job or not
  • what they include in their collections
  • their level of wedding photography experience
  • their overall client experience
  • their overhead
  • their business acumen and salary goals
  • their gear and equipment
  • the amount of money they invest yearly into their education
  • their backup systems
  • whether or not they outsource some of their business activities
  • whether they shoot film or not
  • whether they are properly insured
  • whether they are running a legitimate business and paying taxes
  • whether they hire experienced second shooters and/or assistants
  • whether they pay for proper licensing, etc.

So many things factor into a wedding photographers’ pricing – and it’s important that you realize this because you’re never really comparing apples to apples when it comes to wedding photographers.

charleston wedding photographers

I do my best to keep a pulse on the Charleston wedding industry and the cost of a wedding photographer in this area.  While there will be exceptions in every category, here is what I’m seeing:


New wedding photographers and those with 1-2 years of experience are typically charging between $2000-3000 for 8 hours of coverage, 2 photographers, and an online gallery in Charleston.

Keep in mind that these photographers are just starting out, so they may not have the latest gear or the most elaborate backup process.  They may have a less consistent shooting + editing style and they may hire inexperienced second shooters.  They may shoot 30-40+ weddings per year, have limited knowledge about flash photography, and be doing this part-time.  Their portfolio may be limited and they may offer portfolio building discounts to their couples.  They are typically priced to reflect their inexperience.


Mid-range Charleston wedding photographers are typically charging between $5000-7000 for 8 hours of coverage, 2 photographers, and an online gallery.

This price range encompasses the majority of wedding photographers in Charleston.  These wedding photographers have been in business between 3-10 years and probably have invested, at least a little bit, in their photography education.  They may shoot 25-30 weddings per year and aren’t necessarily relying on wedding photography as their sole source of income.  They typically have a good understanding of flash photography and a good amount of experience under their belt.  They typically have a good client experience and a solid shooting + editing style.


High-end wedding photographers in Charleston are typically starting at $8000-9000 for 8 hours of coverage, 2 photographer, and an online gallery.  They are typically booking weddings with a total photography spend of over $10k.

These wedding photographers have been in business 10+ years and typically have invested a LOT of money into their education and business.  Wedding photography is typically their sole source of income, as well as their livelihood.  They may limit the number of weddings they shoot each year and they typically hire the best of the best to be a part of their team.  They have a ton of wedding day experience, a super solid reputation, a distinct signature shooting + editing style, and provide a top-notch client experience.  They may travel often for destination weddings, specialize in full wedding weekends, and work with the best wedding planners in the area.

cost of a charleston wedding photographer

As I mentioned earlier, there will always be exceptions to these generalizations – so, photographers, please don’t come after me if you don’t “fit” into the generalizations I’ve made.  You’ll find extremely talented photographers at all investment levels, but it’s pretty safe to say that you get what you pay for when it comes to your wedding photographer.  High-end photographers charge more for a reason, just as budget-friendly photographers charge less for a reason.  There really is no “standard” pricing in wedding photography and aside from pricing, be sure you are looking at potential wedding photographers’ reviews, full wedding galleries, and what’s included in their collections.  Pricing is dynamic and ever changing, so just be careful to remember that you cannot compare wedding photographers apples to apples.  If there’s one area in your wedding budget that you shouldn’t skimp on, it’s your wedding photographer.  So if you need to stretch your budget to book your dream wedding photographer, DO IT!!  You won’t be sorry.

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With a well-worn passport in hand, and an affinity for a good cocktail, Dana works with fun-loving and kind-hearted clients around the globe. 

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