How Much Does Elopement Photography Cost?

Elopement Tips & Advice,
5 min read May 28, 2024
How Much Does Elopement Photography Cost

If you’re planning a micro wedding or elopement ceremony, how do you know if you’re overpaying your vendors? How much does elopement photography cost, for instance?

Elopement photography costs can vary based on many factors—location is one of the most important elements of wedding photography pricing in general. How can you assess these factors against your quotes to make sure you’re getting a fair price? That’s where this guide comes in.

We’re here to explain the cost of elopement photographer services in detail. We’ll explore what’s included in a typical package, which factors influence price, how to maximize your budget, and more for your intimate wedding day.

Elopement Photography Cost Overview

So, how do elopement photographers determine their price? If you have found yourself questioning “how much should wedding photos cost, certain factors come into play when setting a budget. An eloping couple can expect photography pricing packages to generally include a few different elements:

  • Deliverables – Is your photographer sending you your full wedding album of raw files (complete with outtakes and unflattering shots) or professionally editing a curated digital collection? Are they creating any high-quality print products for you? End products play a big role in pricing structure.
  • Time – While wedding photographers generally don’t charge by the hour, their time spent photographing your elopement day will be a big consideration when they prepare your quote. One hour of intimate couples photos will cost less than five hours of couples photos, staged group shots, and dancefloor candids.
  • Simplicity – Can your photographer get right out of their car, take a few steps to your event, work the shutter button, and head home to edit? Or will they need to take a plane ride to your destination elopement location, hike to a mountain overlook, or contend with crowds at a busy national monument to capture your special day? Context matters, and any challenges with a destination wedding venue typically come at a price.

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What’s Included in Elopement Photography Packages?

At the end of the day, elopement photography packages include three things:

  • The end product – The digital files you receive (edited or unedited) and any physical print products you order
  • Time spent – The actual amount of time a photographer spends catching shots on your special day
  • Expertise – The experience, skills, efficiency, and professionalism your photographer brings to the table

The first item seems the most important at first—you’ll be looking at these photos for decades to come, after all. Especially if you’ve asked yourself, “How many wedding photos should I get?” Having that perfect number will allow you to see and make the most of that special day. But exceptional, jaw-dropping photos don’t appear out of thin air. Elopement wedding photographers rely on their professional chops, time management skills, and artistic expertise to create compositions you’ll cherish.

How Location Influences Elopement Photography Pricing

Location is one of the most pertinent factors in wedding photography prices —you can explore regional averages in our complete guide to wedding photo pricing.

Couples should remember that:

  • Costs are higher in big cities – Since the cost of living is generally higher in big cities, so are the costs of professional services like photography. If you seek a San Francisco or New York elopement, you may have to take this into consideration when setting your budget. Artists have to eat, too.
  • Travel influences cost – Are you planning to hire a local photographer to capture your destination elopement? You won’t just be paying for airfare and lodging—you’ll have to pay for the time an artist could be spending working other local events immediately before or after yours.

How Much Does Elopement Photography Cost

Comparing Costs: Elopement vs. Traditional Wedding Photography Packages

Overall, the cost of elopement photographers is cheaper than traditional wedding photographers. Why?

  • Workload – Traditional wedding photographers typically capture ceremony photos, staged group photos post-ceremony, and candid reception shots. With no (or very few) guests, elopement photographers can focus on the two people who matter most during the wedding: you and your future spouse.
  • Time – Elopement ceremonies are typically shorter than traditional weddings—ceremonies are short and sweet, there aren’t any toasts or speeches, and the only people partaking in cocktail hour are the happy couple. And time is money; photographers usually spend far less time shooting elopements, so their costs are lower.
  • Stages – Elopements generally have fewer “stages” than a traditional wedding. While a conventional celebration might include a ceremony, cocktail hour, group photo session, toasts, reception, and send-off, elopement packages are much simpler.

Maximizing Your Elopement Photography Budget

All of the above said, elopement photography still isn’t free—so how can you make the most of the money you spend on professional photos (even if your guest list is minimal or non-existent)?

  • Communicate with your photographer – Be clear with your artist about your vision for the end product. Do you want your photos to feel moody or joyful? Do you like warmer or cooler light filters? Do you have a good side? The more your photographer knows about your preferences, the easier it will be for them to meet your expectations.
  • Prepare a shot list – Not sure what to add to your shot list? Want to get creative? Simply Eloped has a full, unbeatable checklist of must-do wedding photos.
  • Refine your timeline – If you’re looking to keep photography costs to a minimum, think about your timeline. Do you need photos of every moment on your elopement day, or does your photographer only need to be there for the ceremony? By fine-tuning your photographer’s time commitment, you can reduce your cost while making the most of your opportunity.

Book Your Elopement Photography with Us

Looking for an elopement photographer that truly gets you—someone who can absorb your vision and produce exceptional photos that feel true to your love story?

Simply Eloped has you covered. We offer elopement photography packages starting at just $900—well below the national price average for wedding photography.1

As the industry leaders in elopement wedding planning for years, Simply Eloped knows what it takes to curate intimate, meaningful moments; our photography partners are no exception.

How Much Does Elopement Photography Cost

Simply Eloped: Say Goodbye to Planning Stress

You’re engaged, you’re ready to spend forever with your spouse, and you want to plan an event that’s authentic to your story—what’s next?

Instead of trying to plan the perfect elopement or intimate wedding yourself, turn to the seasoned pros at Simply Eloped. We’ve been setting the standard for small wedding celebrations for years, and our event planning experts are here to help you pull off the wedding of a lifetime. Plus, we work just about everywhere—destination weddings and local ceremonies alike.

Ready to kick back and enjoy the rest of your engagement? Browse our all-inclusive elopement packages to start planning your wedding with Simply Eloped now.

 

Sources:

  1. Wedding Wire. Wedding Photographer Cost Guide. https://www.weddingwire.com/cost/wedding-photographer
Elopement Tips & Advice
Written by Janessa White

Janessa White is the co-founder of Simply Eloped and has helped thousands of couples plan elopements. As an expert in the field, she has been featured on Martha Stewart, Brides.com, Vox, and HuffPost. Janessa thinks elopements are the ultimate way to tie the knot.