New York Wedding Photographers:
Everything You Need to Know
New York City is an art and fashion mecca, so there is no shortage of talented photographers in the state. That said, the best wedding photographers in New York are also in high demand. So, how do you choose which New York wedding photographer is right for your event? In this guide to New York wedding photographers, you’ll learn about the cost of wedding photo packages, how to plan out your wedding photography shot list, as well as explore picturesque settings that could be ideal backdrops for your pre-wedding photos. (After all, there are so many fantastic wedding locations throughout the state!)
Remember, with so many talented New York wedding photographers, you want to find the one that is suited to you as a couple, and your big day. Exploring our extensive directory of wedding photographers in New York, and viewing their previous is the first step.
How do you find New York wedding photographers?
Our directory of New York wedding photographers will be your go-to resource for finding the best wedding photographers in New York. This way, you can view thousands of real weddings, and see how New York wedding photographers captured each celebration. As a bonus, you might also find inspiration for your shot list, poses or other wedding details in the process.
Another way to find out about New York wedding photographers is through word-of-mouth recommendations. For example, a couple who loved their wedding family photos, got the wedding photos list they requested, and thought their New York wedding photographer was an appropriate cost and value, will likely be thrilled to share a great recommendation. Of course, the opposite is also true: If a couple was unhappy with their wedding photographer in New York, they can share their full review as to what didn’t quite work.
That said, remember that the results really do speak the loudest. Look for a New York wedding photographer who didn’t add to wedding-day stress for the couple, and whose personality and photos fit the style you’re looking for on your wedding day.
How much do New York wedding photographers cost?
Consider the cost of the photographer relative to the overall cost of the wedding. For instance, the average cost of New York weddings in 2020 was just over $27,500. Of course, 2020 was an unusual year due to the pandemic, and New York weddings in other years cost closer to about $32,000. In fact, New York is among the top five most expensive states to get married; in comparison, the national average wedding cost is closer to $20,300.
Therefore, as you might imagine, New York wedding photographers typically charge more than photographers in other states. According to experts, New York photographers can be up to 27% more expensive than those in other areas. The typical cost for hiring a wedding photographer in New York for about two hours is $1,524. However, two hours may not even cover the time leading up to the ceremony. For full wedding photo packages—including getting ready, the ceremony, wedding reception, and family photos—the wedding photographer cost goes up to $3,239 for five hours.
However, if you are traveling for a destination wedding in New York, your New York wedding photographer may require additional time, including travel. This comes with an average cost of about $6,096. It’s also important to note that New York wedding photographers charge different prices in different cities. A Syracuse wedding photographer will cost about $1,530 for two hours, while in Binghamton, a two-hour shoot at your selected New York wedding venues costs closer to $1,094. And, not surprisingly, all vendors based in New York City will be among some of the most expensive in the country.
Other add-ons can also increase your New York wedding photographer prices: Line items such as a per diem, photo albums, image rights, and videography can affect the cost. Additionally, the more sought-after and experienced New York wedding photographers are, the more they will typically charge.
If this cost seems high, remember that New York wedding photographer prices are typically one of the higher expenses in your wedding budget—but also the ones you will get to reap the benefits of the longest! Photographer costs come in just below the venue and catering, engagement ring, and the band for the reception.
Are there New Yorkwedding photo packages?
If the possible expenses associated with hiring a NY wedding photographer are giving you sticker shock, keep in mind that there are some ways to reduce the overall cost. For example, many photographers offer wedding photography packages.
Content and costs vary among New York wedding photographers, but these wedding photography packages allow for tiered prices. There is typically a base price, and the more options you add, the more the price increases. By leaving out certain options from your wedding photography shot list, you lower the wedding photographer cost. It’s a good way to decrease this expense if there are things you don’t need, however, you’ll want to make sure you still get everything you want for your wedding in your final package.
Here are some of the items that are typically included in New York wedding photography packages:
Many couples determine if they can work with their New York wedding photographers by first working with them on their engagement photo shoot. If the couple gets along well with the vendor, and they come up with creative wedding photo ideas, the couple will typically invite them back for the ceremony and reception. On the other hand, if the chemistry is not there, do not be afraid to audition another New York wedding photographer. This is why engagement sessions are typically included in New York wedding photography packages.
If you’ve already had an engagement shoot, you may ask a wedding photographer in New York to shoot the rehearsal dinner instead, or have it be an optional add-on to the package tiers. This event is also a good time to gauge how the photographer interacts with your friends and family members. Ideally, you want New York wedding photographers with impeccable social skills, so they keep you and your guests at ease.
Your photographer will most likely take you to a picturesque setting to get photos on the wedding day. Depending on your wedding venue and the photographer, you may travel to additional locations, or use the amenities of your chosen New York wedding venues. If there is travel involved, it may be an added line item on the bill.
Of course, you want your photographer to capture the wedding itself! Note that some New York wedding venues may restrict what they will allow a wedding photographer in New York to do. You frequently find this in religious settings such as churches, mosques, temples or synagogues. New York wedding photographers should be able to tell you if your location has restrictions. You can also find out about them when you are booking the venue.
Once the party starts, your New York wedding photographer can capture all the candid moments of you and your guests (as well as videography, if that’s included in your package). Most photographers will have an end time in their contract, so if you want them to stay later or for an after-party, they will charge more.
Depending on which New York wedding photographer you work with, you may be able to substitute parts of your photo package, such as the engagement shoot or rehearsal dinner. In addition, if your photographer isn’t local, you’ll be expected to cover their travel and accommodation costs. For example, if you are checking Albany wedding photographers’ prices but plan to get married two hours away, factor in the cost for the vendor’s transportation and accommodations.
How do you plan a wedding day photography shot list?
Even if you’re planning on a one-minute ceremony at City Hall as part of your elopement, you will likely still want to document the special day, and can end up with an extensive wish list of wedding photos. The shot list acts as a checklist that communicates to the wedding photographer in New York what you want them to capture.
With a clear wedding photos list, your New York wedding photographer will capture what they know matters the most to you, especially if you’re envisioning unique wedding photos. For example, your photographer needs to know who the family members being photographed are, and how many different portraits will be done. It helps them plan the timing of the shoot.
Here are some shots to consider for your New York wedding photographer’s shot list:
This may seem obvious, but be sure to include specifically what photos you want your New York wedding photographer to capture. For example, you’ll want a mix of solo shots and photos together, and you can talk to your vendor about coming up with some creative wedding photo ideas as well.
Photos at Local Landmarks:
There are gorgeous state parks that an experienced NY wedding photographer should know. Therefore, it pays to stay local—hire a Hudson Valley wedding photographer for an event in that area, and choose from Long Island wedding photographers if you plan to hold your ceremony there. They will know exactly which landmarks and areas welcome wedding photography, and which may be less thrilled by the disruption.
A “first look" allows your NY wedding photographer to capture some of your most emotional moments from the day on camera. Doing one also lets you capture several of the important wedding shots ahead of the ceremony to save time, which means more time to enjoy the reception! However, by doing a first look, you do sacrifice that moment of surprise seeing your partner at the end of the aisle that New York wedding photographers capture so perfectly. If you’re thinking about doing a first look, or you’re torn on the idea, ask your New York wedding photographer if they have any creative (not cheesy) first look wedding ideas.
You likely spent a lot of time (and money!) planning your decor, so New York wedding photographers can capture some details of the ceremony and reception areas before guests arrive to make all that effort last forever in photos.
New York wedding photographers will also expect to get a shot of each member of the wedding party, separately, with the bride or groom, as well as in groups. These might include the bride and bridesmaids, the groom and groomsmen, and also any flower girls and ring bearers.
For the wedding family photos, be sure to include each family member and combination of family members you want to capture on a detailed list. Do you want to have some shots of your newly combined families? Are you looking for candid or unique wedding photos? New York wedding photographers can only take these pictures if they know you want them—and who the various family members are who are essential to each shot. (It can be helpful to appoint a family member who’s more familiar with each person to help round up the necessary people for each photo.)
Special Guest Groups:
If there are any other guests who aren’t related or in the wedding, but you want photos with them, you can still add them to the shot lost. For example, if you or your partner are members of a Greek fraternity or sorority, the military or any sort of alumni group that would encompass you and several guests, it can be nice to have everyone pose together.
You can also ask your New York wedding photographer what other couples like to include. Ask them what their specialty is. Some New York wedding photographers are amazing at capturing food on film. If you work with a New York wedding photographer who also specializes in fashion shoots, you know that they will get the best shots of your wedding dress.
Your wedding photographer in NY may offer other services as well. We have already touched on the possibility of hiring a studio that also does videography. Another photo trend is drone footage of any particularly scenic New York photo shoot locations. If you are thinking of incorporating these options in your list, ask to see some sample footage, and include them on the final shot list.
What are the best New York photo shoot locations?
While the weather will have some initial bearing on whether you select indoor versus outdoor locations, you can also discuss options with your NY wedding photographer. Some New York wedding photographers have discovered great places that are off the beaten path.
It’s also nice to choose a location that’s meaningful to you as a couple. However, it depends if you are getting married in New York City, in the suburbs, Long Island, or upstate. For example, if you’re getting married in New York City and both love performing arts, you can take photos at Lincoln Center. Or if you had your first date at Central Park, you can return there to take your wedding shots. These locations would make lovely first look wedding ideas as well.
No matter where your event is located, here are some locations to get wedding shots, that are popular with almost all couples:
- Vineyards: New York weddings taking place at vineyards have gorgeous nature scenes all around. These are natural settings to take advantage of for photos, but if you need some ideas, check our library of weddings for inspiration, or discuss options with your New York wedding photographer.
- Estates: Estates both in and outside of New York city are excellent places for couples and family photos, and tend to have several different settings for photos. The architectural details make for excellent wedding portraits.
- Hotels: Hotels have areas both grand and intimate for wedding photography. At many New York hotels, you will find gorgeous staircases and classical architectural beauty that makes for wonderful backgrounds.
- Beaches: For a beach wedding, look for a New York wedding photographer who has experience in this setting, like those local to the Hamptons or other parts of Long Island.
- On a Boat: If you or your New York wedding photographer has connections to a marina or boat owner, take advantage by having some of your pictures taken by the water.
- Botanical Ggardens: Gardens are beautiful photo settings, and can be found in every wedding location in the state. A Rochester wedding photographer might point you toward the Maplewood Rose Garden or Lamberton Conservatory. A Syracuse wedding photographer might steer you toward the Onondaga Lake Park.
- Zoos: There are zoos in NYC, as well as Buffalo and Rochester. Zoos may have specific protocols, so if you’re looking for Buffalo wedding photographers, for example, see if they have experience taking photos in these settings.
- Museums: There are scenic museums state-wide, so anyone from a NYC wedding photographer to Albany wedding photographer should be comfortable taking photos there.
- Mountaintops: There are quite a few mountainous options in New York State, including the Catskill Mountains and the Adirondack Mountains. If there is travel involved for you and your New York wedding photographer, remember that it will increase the overall cost.
- Waterfalls: Most New York wedding photographers know Niagara Falls. However, it may take a Hudson Valley wedding photographer to point you toward Stony Kill Falls, which is the benefit of having a local expert on your team.
- State Parks: There are hundreds of state parks to choose from in New York. You can scope out some of their vistas online ahead of time, which helps you narrow down the places you want to explore further. Your NY wedding photographer can then make suggestions based on your list.
- Bridges: These structures appeal to couples hosting destination weddings. A great location to discuss with your New York wedding photographer is the Brooklyn Bridge. But remember that this can be a very busy location!
Are there great wedding photographers outside of NYC?
Working with local New York wedding photographers is almost always an asset. Not only will they know the landmarks well and be more familiar with places off the beaten path, they can also point you to locations that work well as backdrops for wedding pictures. Plus, you won’t have to pay for their travel. However, in some cases, it is challenging for out-of-town couples to determine who would be the best New York wedding photographer.
- Long Island Wedding Photographers: For weddings anywhere on Long Island—including beach weddings in the Hamptons—you’ll want to look for a local wedding photographer in New York. As in NYC, Long Island wedding photographers prices can be quite high, so be prepared to pay a premium depending on your package and location.
- Buffalo Wedding Photographers: Buffalo wedding photographers are the insiders for your Niagara Falls wedding. They can help you with the best angles against the majestic falls or find you a secluded space for couples photos.
- Rochester Wedding Photographers: Do your plans include nuptials in Ellwanger Garden or in the Seneca Park Zoo? A Rochester wedding photographer would be your go-to vendor. Rochester wedding photographers can also assist with weddings in the Finger Lakes.
- Syracuse Wedding Photographers: A Syracuse wedding photographer can shoot at venues such as Burnet Park, Rosamond Gifford Zoo and Thornden Park.
- Albany Wedding Photographers: Entrust Albany wedding photographers with taking phenomenal photos in places such as Buckingham Lake Park. Besides that, they will undoubtedly point you to local gems such as the amphitheater at the Corning Preserve or the flowerbeds of Washington Park.
- Hudson Valley Wedding Photographers: Depending on where you’re tying the knot, you may need to pay for your Hudson Valley wedding photographer’s travel. However, they can no doubt help capture this particularly scenic area of New York state that’s conveniently located not too far from New York City’s airports.
How do I get in touch with New York wedding photographers?
Our curated directory makes it easy to connect directly with an excellent wedding photographer in New York. We’ve done the work for you and compiled a list of the best New York wedding photographers, so that you can see their work and learn about possible New York wedding photography packages they could put together for you.