Wedding Photography Costs Canada
Photo Credit: Tkshotz Productions

When planning a wedding, the cost of hiring a photographer often becomes a focal point of discussion. Understanding why wedding photography is priced the way it is—and why it's ultimately worth it—requires a deeper look into the profession and its complexities.

Average Wedding Photography Costs in Canada

Here’s the short answer:

  • A Photographer With Little To No Experience: $1500 or less
  • A Photographer Who Has Shot At Least 10 Weddings: $1500-$3000
  • An Experienced Photographer: $3000-$5000
  • An Experienced Photographer Who Intends On Having A Sustainable Career: $5000+

These costs are averages for the major Canadian cities. In more rural areas, where the cost of living is lower, the average wedding photography costs can drop by as much as 30%.

"But Wait, Don’t They Just Press a Button and Do a Little Editing?"

Let's dive into why wedding photography is so expensive and why, once you break it down, it isn’t.

Average Wedding Photography Costs in Canada
Photo Credit: Kiandra Jeffery

Understanding the Costs

Seasonality and Booking Constraints

In Canada, 90% of weddings occur on weekend dates between May and October. This translates to 26 potential weekends per year. Even if a wedding photographer books every available date, this amounts to a maximum of approximately 50 weddings per year, which is unsustainable for most individuals unless they work with associates. The average full-time wedding photographer in Canada books approximately 30 weddings per year.

Business Models

Not every wedding photography business operates the same way. Some photographers are solo-preneurs, some work in teams, and others operate studios with multiple photographers. Each model has its pros and cons. Hiring a specific person limits the number of clients they can take on, while a studio can take on more bookings but may not provide the specific creative you desire.

Average Wedding Photography Costs in Canada
Photo Credit: Rabih Madi

“I Wish I Could Work One Day A Week And Make Thousands Of Dollars”

This is something every photographer has heard at one point in their career. Here’s a breakdown of the work involved in each wedding:

  • Booking and Consultation: 1-2 hours
  • Pre-Planning: 2-4 hours
  • Photography (Wedding Day and Engagement Shoot): 12 hours
  • Post Production: 12-36 hours

This adds up to approximately 40 hours per wedding, which is equivalent to an average work week.

Operating Costs and Earnings

Wedding photographers, like any business, have operating costs, including:

  • Equipment Costs
  • Software & Subscriptions
  • Marketing
  • General Business Expenses
  • Second Shooters’ Wages
  • Taxes

Without breaking down every single cost I can tell you that the average operating expenses of a full-time wedding photographer is typically 50% of their revenue which means that for every dollar a wedding photographer charges they take home 50 cents.

Hourly Wage Breakdown

Let’s break this down into an hourly wage:

  • At $5000, their hourly pay is $62.50 per hour.
  • At $3000, their hourly pay is $37.50 per hour.
Average Wedding Photography Costs in Canada
Photo Credit: Tkshotz Productions

"Hey, That's A Lot More Than Most People Make Per Hour!"

You're right, it is, however as we discussed above, this work is very seasonal and there is virtually no guarantee that a photographer can consistently book 2000+ hours of work per year.

Comparing with Other Wedding Vendors

The entire wedding industry is seasonal, so let's look at some of your other vendors and apply the math as above:

  • Day-of Coordinator: $2500 - $25/hour
  • Wedding Planner: $6500 - $32.50/hour
  • Hair & Make-up (per person): $200 - $50/hour
  • Officiant: $500 - $62.50/hour
  • DJ: $1200 - $75/hour
  • Transportation: $600 - $100/hour

Considering the average wedding in Canada costs $29,000, which, for a 12-hour day, equates to approximately $1200 per hour in wages. Suddenly, $62.50 per hour (or roughly 5%) for your wedding photographer may ease some of that sticker shock.

Average Wedding Photography Costs in Canada
Photo Credit: Jessie Bigler

So, What Exactly Are You Paying For?

When you hire a professional wedding photographer, you're investing in:

  • Artistry: A one-of-a-kind artist with a specific perspective
  • Experience: Years of honing skills and adapting to diverse wedding scenarios
  • Trust: Confidence that precious moments will be captured flawlessly
  • Once-in-a-Lifetime Memories: Knowing there are no retakes for your special day


The cost of wedding photography reflects the skill, effort, and dedication required to capture timeless moments. While the price tag may seem high, it's a worthwhile investment in preserving memories that will last a lifetime. Wedding photographers are not just capturing images—they're providing a service that extends far beyond pressing a button, ensuring that your wedding day is remembered in all its beauty and emotion.

If after reading this you still aren't convinced, check out our article that breaks down the true value of a photographer.

Written by Canadian Wedding Photographers founder Joel Boily