Average Wedding Cost for Engagement Session

  • $390 is the average wedding cost for Photography & Video Engagement Session in United States
  • Roughly 46% - 56% of couples purchase this

Note: Average Cost is based on the spending of couples recently married not wedding vendor prices. This includes all types of weddings, event locations, purchases of both new and pre-owned items and purchases of services from professionals, someone that simply provides the service, or a hired family member or friend. Spending and prices can vary widely.

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What's Typically Included in Photography & Video > Engagement Session

  • Professional photographer's time for X hours, as specified in the engagement session package
  • Photographer's lighting, camera and filter equipment
  • X number of print photos included in the package

Additional Cost Items to Look Out For

  • Photographer's travel costs to and from your chosen location
  • Site fee or permit for shooting at your chosen location
  • Thank-you card and gift for loved one who lets you shoot on their property, with their vehicle or boat, etc.
  • Professional makeup artistry conducted before shoot
  • Makeup artist on-site
  • Mani/pedi for shoot
  • Wardrobe and accessories for shoot, often several different outfits
  • Props for shoot, including oversized photo frames, oversized balloons, rented furniture to set in a field, fresh flowers, etc.
  • Photographer's assistants
  • Overtime
  • Multiple locations' travel time and fees
  • Special filters you request for your shoot that are outside the photographer's usual filters
  • Editing of engagement session photos
  • Prints above the included number of prints
  • Enlargements of photos for own use, for wedding d'cor and as gifts for others
  • Additional items you'll customize with your engagement photos: mugs, totes, iPhone case, etc.

Why Does It Cost This Much?

The trends in engagement portraits have veered into artistic magazine layout styling, with couples' engagement photos looking like they came right out of a movie. They're romantic, breathtakingly detailed, expressive, set in gorgeous locations (not a photographer's studio with a 2D forest background screen.) Time, effort and the work of multiple professionals, notably including the hours of the shoot, making best use of ideal light, capturing spontaneous occurrences like rainbows and fawn that wander into the shot, turn the dial up on this photo session ' sometimes quite a bit up, when the photographer is known, in-demand, and experienced with an aesthetic that creates magic in an engagement shoot.

Whenever important, emotional, once-in-a-lifetime photos are to be taken, the value of this moment in time captured forever begets the very understandable prices for this type of photo session.

And like many of the big-ticket categories in weddings, there are costs on the front end and on the back end. In this case, the shoot is on the front end, and all the prints you'd like to order are on the back end. Considering that engagement photos play such an important role in the wedding season on social media, and in wedding d'cor, as well as in future home d'cor, this is a task best entrusted to a professional photographer ' no matter how good your volunteer's personal camera may be. Experts have a trained eye for light and timing that adds up to a stellar, celebrity-style series of photos to put into play any number of ways.