The cost of a pre-wedding photographer in Bali
You want to be smart about how much money you need to spend for good pre-wedding photos in Bali?
You want to avoid being ripped off or have nasty unexpected fees pop up?
Or you want a honeymoon-, pre-nup -, engagement – photoshoot?
Then this article is for you.
Too good to be true…
Before we dive into it lets see what happened to a young couple who wanted to be smart. But turned out pretty dumb in the end.
Tiffany & Kelvin did not have high salaries. And they were still saving money for their upcoming wedding.
So they had a rather limited budget for their pre-wedding shoot in Bali.
The couple heard that Bali was the ideal location for their pre-wedding photographs because it was cheap to fly there, had plenty of inexpensive accommodation options. And many other couples have gone to Bali before to have their engagement photos taken there.
Tiffany & Kelvin love beach photos, rice fields and other nature views that Bali is so famous for.
They did some research online. And quickly found a Bali pre wedding photographer’s website with many beautiful photographs.
When they saw the price for the packages available, they were delighted. So cheap.
And also, the package promised that the photos will be ready in only 2 days after the shoot.
It all sounded perfect. Almost too good to be true… How could that be ?
I will share with you the rest of this story at end of this article.
What is actually included in a typical Bali pre-wedding photography package?
Most couples book their flight to Bali and their accommodation in Bali separately from the pre-wedding photo package. Therefore, this article does not look into cost for flight & accommodation.
To understand the true cost of a pre-wedding photographer in Bali we need to look at all the things that you will need for a pre-wedding photoshoot. Usually, this consists of:
- A Photographer
- Transport (to and from the photo locations)
- Dresses & costumes (Either from the photographer or bring your own)
- Makeup & Hair (very few brides do the makeup & hair themselves)
- Entrance fees to photo locations (many popular photo locations in Bali charge money)
BE CAREFUL ! Some pre-wedding photographers in Bali work with tricks & hidden fees
Some pre-wedding photographers in Bali offer packages where all of the above is already included.
But due to fierce competition, there are many photographers in Bali who work with backdoor fees and surprise fees.
The packages look very inexpensive at first to lure you into their service. But once you signed up additional fees or surprise fees can pop up.
And in the end, you may pay significantly more than you thought you would.
Now let's look at the various cost aspects one-by-one:
T R A N S P O R T
Usually, this cost is already included in your Bali pre-wedding photography package.
A car picks you up at your hotel and brings you back after the shoot. The same car and driver will also bring you to all the photo locations which you will go during your photoshoot.
In Bali, transport services abound and prices do not vary much among different providers/drivers. For a car and a driver for a full day expect to pay around 50 – 70 US$ per day. Or 35 – 50 US$ for a half day.
That usually includes petrol as well.
M A K E U P & H A I R
You ladies will certainly agree that for good pre-wedding photographs makeup & hair styling is essential.
Many pre-wedding photography packages in Bali already include this also.
Usually, the makeup artist & hair stylist will stay until the end of the shoot. That way she can make sure that you always look best and patch up your makeup & hair during the shoot.
Many pre-wedding packages allow you to have style changes for makeup & hair during the shoot.
That way you can ensure that your styling always matches the dresses you are wearing.
Ask your pre-wedding photographer if your stylist stays until the end of the shoot. Or if there are extra fees for her if she stays until the end.
If you hire a makeup artist & hair stylist by yourself expect to pay between 80 – 140 US$ for half-a-day or 100 – 200 US$ for a full-day.
Some of the more well-known makeup artists/hair stylists in Bali can cost you significantly more.
But some of the good pre-wedding photographers in BALI work also with really good makeup artists / hair-stylists.
D R E S S E S & C O S T U M E S:
Most couples who do a pre-wedding or honeymoon photo shoot in Bali will want to use some nice dresses and costumes.
Some photographers in Bali have dresses & costumes for rent.
If your photographer offers dress rental then ask if it is included in your package. Also please note most couples change their dresses several times during the photoshoot. So ask your photographer also how many dresses & costumes are included in your package.
You have to look into the details of your package.
Does it only include one dress? Or can you use more dresses during the shoot?
Does your package include also clothing for the man ?
Careful some photographers may include only one wedding dress and charge you extra if you want to use more than one dress. Or they charge you extra for the men’s suit.
I highly recommend you only consider pre-wedding photographers who have a dress collection.
Because otherwise, you may need to spend more money and also much more time to get your dresses from somewhere else.
There are some dress rental companies in Bali, but their services are quite expensive. You can expect to pay between 30 – 80 US$ per dress.
If you and your fiancé would use several outfits from a dress rental company you can easily end up paying a few hundred dollars.
Therefore you better choose a Bali pre-wedding photographer who already has dress rental included in your package.
E N T R A N C E F E E S for P H O T O L O C A T I O N S
With so much pre-wedding photography in Bali, many of the popular photo locations charge entrance fees. Those fees vary greatly.
Starting at 15 US$ but can be as high as 100 US$ per location.
So if you go to several locations you can easily spend 200 US$ - 300 US$ or even more on entrance fees alone.
Some photographers have the fees for locations already included in their packages. That is how it should be.
Other Bali pre-wedding photographers let you pay the entrance fees at each location you go. Not a very good idea, because there is a very good chance you will need to pay more because you are a foreigner...
So let’s summarize for a moment.
If you would organize transport and makeup & hair and entrance fees for photo locations yourself you can easily end up paying between 250 US$ and 500 US$.
Please note that until now we have not even looked at the photographer’s fee. The fees we have looked at above are only the ‘side-costs’ necessary for pre-wedding photography in Bali.
Therefore, I highly recommend you choose a photographer who gives you a package that has already everything included. It usually turns out less expensive for you.
Pre-wedding photographers in Bali have their ways to get things like makeup & hair or dress rentals cheaper than you would be able to get.
That is because they have contracts and special arrangements with stylists and /or dress rental companies.
For example, a makeup & hairstyling company may charge you 100 - 150 US$ for makeup & hair for a full-day photoshoot.
Whereas a photographer may get the same service for a 50% cheaper because he has a contract with that makeup & hair company.
Same for locations.
If you book a location directly you may need to pay let's say 80 US$, whereas the photographer may only pay 30 US$ because he brings lots of his clients to that location and can, therefore, get huge discounts.
The photographer fees
Now let’s look at the fee for the photographer – for the photography service.
This cost can vary greatly. It is a little bit like asking about the cost of a meal in a restaurant.
Because it all depends on the class of the restaurant and the type of food and the ingredients of the meal.
Same with photographers - some simply make better photographs and do better editing of your pre-wedding photographs.
Some photographers come with 2,3 or even more of the best cameras and lenses. Other Bali pre-wedding photographers come with one consumer-grade camera and one cheap lens.
Some photographers will spend many days after the shoot editing and enhancing your photographs to perfection. Other photographers do very little of this very important post-production.
Some photographers have many years of experience, some are young rookies.
And the list of differences goes on and on.
On the cheap end, you should expect to pay around 150 – 300 US$ for a cheap photographer for a half day and 300 US$ – 400 US$ for a full day.
In the mid-segment expect to pay between 300 – 500 US$ for a half day and 500 US$ – 800 US$ for a full day.
The really good photographers in Bali, whose level of photography will match international standards can cost you between 500 – 1000 US$ for a half day. Or 800 – 2000 US$ for a full day. Some of the top photographers in Bali charge significantly more.
And remember - these are just the fees of the photographer - not the complete package.
Pre Wedding Photographers with hourly rates
Some photographers in Bali also offer hourly rates fees.
Be careful though ! Because hourly rates usually only include the photographer coming to a location of you choose.
This can be ideal for couples who want to do all the photos in their hotel. Some of the very large hotels in Bali have many nice locations including a beautiful beach and you can easily spend several hours in the hotel’s gardens and surroundings for your pre-wedding shoot in Bali.
But please note that a photographer’s hourly rates usually have no makeup & hair, no transport, and no dresses included. Just photography services.
And don’t assume that your hotel will allow you to take photos there, just because you are guest of a particular hotel.
Some hotels charge quite high fees if a guest wants to take professional photos at the hotel.
So what does a complete pre-wedding photo shoot in Bali cost ?
Please note that I have not included the very cheap end of the Bali pre-wedding photography market.
Why ? Because the quality of those photographers can be very questionable.
And we here at the SOCIETY OF BALI WEDDING PROFESSIONALS receive many complaints from couples who choose a very cheap photographer and were very disappointed with the services or the photographs they received.
Therefore, I am only comparing the cost of photographers who provide honest, reliable and good photo services.
Services you will be happy with.
3-star services (***)
In this segment prices for a half-day package that already includes everything you need such as transport & entrance fees, makeup & hair, dresses & costumes start for as little as 400 – 700 US$.
But don’t expect top quality at this price. Because remember the side cost for transport, makeup & hair and location fees is already half of the package price.
Leaving little money for the photographer.
4-star services (****)
In this segment expect to pay between 700 – 900 US$ for a half-day package. And for a full-day package with all the inclusions expect to pay between 1000 and 1400 US$.
5-star services (*****)
For the package of a truly great and popular Bali photographer’s package expect to pay between 800 – 1300 US$ for a half-day package and 1500 – 2000 US$
Some of the absolute top photographers in Bali you can expect to pay significantly more. Only the sky is the limit.
Be careful to shop at the cheap end.
Because especially in the low-price segment competition in Bali is fierce. And a lot of ‘wanna-be’ photographers hoping to make a quick buck will undercut each other.
This has lead to an ‘unhealthy’ situation whereby some pre-wedding photographers have become ‘creative’ about how to make their money. Or how to rip you off.
Which brings me back to our couple whose case we looked at in the beginning of this article. Tiffany & Kelvin choose a very inexpensively looking package.
But in the end, they had to pay all the entrance fees by themselves.
They had to pay additional fees for the makeup artist & hair stylist because the package did not include the stylist to stay until the end of the shoot.
Tiffany & Kelvin learned that the dresses & costumes were not included in their package! Again that had to pay extra!
They ended paying double the cost of the package.
And because they had hired one of the countless wanna-be photographers their photos were only so-so.
Much worse than they had hoped for.
They choose to re-do the photos back home in Sngapore because the ones for Bali were not good enough for them to show at the wedding.
Therefore, you should carefully look at the package the photographer is offering you.
Stay away from super cheap offers.
Because as you just learned 'cheap' can turn out to be much more expensive than you thought.
There you have it. I hope that after exploring this article you will have a clearer picture about the real cost for pre-wedding photography in Bali.
And last but not least let me give you the following final advice:
Better work only with a photographer who has all-inclusive packages and guaranteed no surprise of backdoor fees.
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See also the following articles:
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