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How much does a Wedding Photographer Cost ?

Guest Blogger & Written by Josey Grace Photography Edited by Your Best Day Ever



First & foremost, it’s an absolute honour to have been invited to write this blog post for Poppy at Your Best Day Ever Wedding planning on the topic ‘how much does wedding photography cost?’. This topic is subjective so the information you can find here is based on my own experience through networking & time within the industry. Pricing can fluctuate from year to year and also vary depending on the location of your wedding so please keep this in mind whilst reading through this post!



Average pricing for Full Day Coverage

On average the price of a professional photographer for full day cover in the U.K is roughly £1500. This should include your photographs delivered digitally & at high quality with personal printing rights.


On average the price of a professional destination wedding photographer is more than a daily rate due to time travelling, expenses & preparation needed. Often you will find the photography

package for destinations is the same as their U.K package with expenses added on top.


Most wedding photographers offer a range of packages, for example some photographers offer different hours of cover and some different products. This can be really beneficial if you have a set budget and want a highly skilled photographer who you could book for a shorter period of time and still get the quality & style of photographs you desire. It’s also great to see the various packages you can book and find out what

works best for you as a couple.




My package pricing and what's included explained...


Below you can find my pricing for 2021 & 2022 to give you an idea of what to expect! I have been photographing weddings for just under 10 years, I started assisting and second shooting for other photographers in my area, I set up to shoot weddings professionally & on my own in 2018, so my pricing reflects the experience I have had as a full time professional for just over 2 years.


I offer 3 full day packages that range in pricing but don’t include travel costs. Video is also becoming quite a popular service, if you’re wanting both photography & videography sometimes you can find packages that include both which can bring the pricing down in comparison to booking two separate suppliers. Again, this is super helpful if you don’t have any specific creatives in mind! My last package is often chosen for this reason, my clients like to know their photos & films will have a similar style & can be booked within their budget.




MOONSTONE

Starting at £1400

  • 10 hours cover

  • 400 + Photographs

  • 2 photographers

  • An online gallery

  • High resolution digital downloads & Print Release

  • Welcome Pack with tips on how to get the most from my wedding service.


ROSE QUARTZ

(MOST POPULAR PACKAGE)

Starting at £1750


  • Engagement session & planning assistance.

  • 10 hours cover

  • 400 + Photographs

  • 2 photographers

  • An online gallery

  • High resolution digital downloads & Print Release

  • 10 x fine art 7x5 prints in bespoke packaging

  • Welcome Pack with tips on how to get the most from my wedding service.



STAR SAPPHIRE

PHOTO & FILM (A collaboration with Eduard Perez Co.)

Starting at £2100


  • Engagement session + planning assistance

  • 10 hours cover

  • 400 + Photographs

  • An online gallery

  • High resolution digital downloads with Print Release

  • 1 x ceremony film

  • 1 x speeches film

  • 1 x highlight film

  • 1 x longer film.

  • Films delivered digitally

  • Welcome Pack with tips on how to get the most from my wedding service.




What can you get with your budget?


Here is a guideline that is based on digital photographs in a full day package:



£0 -£500

Photographers charging this price are usually just starting out or students, I remember when I began to set up for myself a few years ago whilst I was still studying, and this was the pricing range I had quoted for my first few weddings.


If you have this budget & you’re happy to have a student photograph your wedding then that’s great, people are often really grateful for the experience as we all have to start from somewhere!


It is important to note this range doesn’t guarantee a photographer with a lot of experience especially at weddings which can be a fast paced & demanding environment to work in. Their skillset will still be limited so they are more likely to miss key moments that experienced photographers would have anticipated. If your priority is high quality photographs that reflect your day well it is a risk to book someone under £500.


Usually, most photographers within this price range use a single camera as they haven’t been able to invest in professional grade equipment that can handle different lighting conditions and especially not backups. They are also less likely to hold proper insurance as the cost of doing business is greater than a £500 mark. These are all things to keep in mind.



£500-£1500


Again, this price range for full day cover is often a photographer who is at the beginning of their career and potentially looking for work to show in their portfolio. It is likely their package will only include 1 photographer.


In this price range you can find some great photographers with experience, but it is best to ask to see a few full wedding examples that show their work in different lighting conditions.


I’d also recommend you make sure you know what package you’re paying for. Some professional photographers charge within this range, but their wedding packages don’t actually include the photographs at high resolution, or they may still have the watermark on the photographs which you don’t want as you’ll likely have to pay more to have their logo taken off.



£1500/£2000+

Photographers in this price range are often really capable of working in all lighting conditions with professional grade equipment, lots of experience in the field and most important backups in place!


Backups are so important and can create a sense of trust & relief for clients. When I am shooting a wedding, I am constantly using two separate cameras, both record the photographs to 2 separate memory cards which brings the chance of technical failure down a lot. The cameras I use are high end and can cope with lots of heavy use in different weather & lighting conditions.


The job doesn’t finish at the end of the wedding day either, it’s important we have backups in place in the post processing part of our work too which most professional photographers should be doing so no photographs get lost.


It is still vital you ask to see a full wedding gallery so you can get a good sense of their style, photographers in this range will most likely have a wide portfolio of work they can share with you prior to booking.



This pricing usually indicates a professional business in place that will be fully insured, some venues will require all suppliers to hold public liability insurance at the least.


Within this price bracket you’ll find a wider range of products and services with photographers’ packages! You’re more likely to be able to book a package that works perfectly with you and your wedding. An example is if you are having a larger wedding then you’d maybe be drawn into the idea of having a second photographer, which is more likely to be included within a package that’s priced in this range. You may have your heart set on fine art prints or an album which again you’re more likely to find included within packages in this range.



Top tip to consider: Make sure you are seeing photographs from a real wedding; styled shoots are really great because they give us the opportunity to show you what we can do and create really fun work! But you cannot always get a true representation of a photographers work unless you are seeing real photographs from a real wedding rather than photos with models.





What can affect wedding photography prices?


Here is a list of the most common elements that can change the price of wedding photography:


Package details: This is the main reason for certain prices, albums can be expensive and if your package comes with an album it’s likely the pricing is at the higher end of the photographer’s packages, where if your package is only digitals the cost of products is lower so the base price of the package may reflect this. Every photographer is different so it’s definitely worth comparing and seeing what it is that attracts you & what you feel less interested in having.


Second photographers: Having 2 photographers capture your wedding is great for getting different angles & moments throughout the day especially if you’re having a larger wedding, it means you may have more photographs included within the package too which is always a bonus!

Sometimes photographers hire an assistant whose purpose is to assist with lighting & equipment plus organising guests for group photographs etc, this is different to a second photographer so make sure to double check your package, so you know what’s included!


Location: Some photographers will be happy to travel around the country and abroad, this is definitely something to keep in mind as travel fees can add up especially if accommodation is needed. To keep the cost down you can hire photographers that are more local to you or enquire with destination/ travel photographers to find out an accurate quote that includes travel.


Dates & Season: Sometimes the date of the wedding can alter the price. A weekend wedding in August may cost more than a weekday midwinter wedding and this is due to demand of the date. I don’t personally quote different prices for dates as I believe every wedding is as important and includes the same amount of work on my end! But other photographers may quote higher prices on selected dates. Weekend weddings can also affect the pricing, if you’re wanting a full weekend covered rather than just one day you will most likely be quoted for at least 2 days work.


Hours covered: Of course, depending how many hours you are wanting covered on your day will affect the pricing, my average weddings is between 10-12 hours, I feel like I can capture the atmosphere of each part of the day in this time and not miss any important parts. Sometimes I will stay later if there are other things happening on the evening such as a sparkler exit or games. Lots of photographers will charge for extra hours which can be great if you are wanting longer to cover than their standard package.



I think that if you can, having your full day photographed is super important, you want to be able to look


back on each moment as they’re all so special! I love photographing both preparations of my couple so they can see each other’s mornings and see the emotions they felt before the ceremony. The evening is always fun to photograph as guests really enjoy dancing and socialising.




What goes into the cost of wedding photography & why can it be seen as expensive?


The truth is there is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into this job that isn’t seen at the surface, for lots of photographers the job doesn’t start and end with the wedding day, editing and delivering. It can take years to develop & practice the skills required, many photographer’s shoot in manual to give them full control. It takes a lot of time to understand how to use the camera to its fullest & how to alter settings within a split moment. (it really isn’t just a click of a button- promise!).


I worked out recently that a full wedding overall takes me up to & sometimes over 40 hours to complete from the initial email enquiries to the delivery of the photos and products. Sometimes it can look like a photographer is charging £1500+ for a day’s work but really with all expenses considered they may average at £15 an hour. At one point in the early stages when I was working on my portfolio, I estimated my hourly wage was less than the national minimum!



I’ve named a few other behind the scenes elements of our job below to give a good understanding of how in-depth wedding photography can be!


Professional camera gear & tools are a large investment, so prices often take into account this regular overhead. Other costs of doing business which can be monthly expenses include post processing software’s, online gallery sites, websites, hard drives, management tools, mailing systems, insurances, stationery and advertising.

Then there are other outgoings such as travel & accommodations, phone bills not to mention general living costs & the various job roles a sole trader has to tackle such as administration, marketing, customer service, sometimes accounting and planning.

It’s really all of this that you are booking & investing in when you hire your wedding photographer!




The most important reason to choose a wedding photographer...


Although choosing a photographer within your budget is super important, I honestly can’t emphasise enough the value of choosing someone you connect with!


Your photographer will be present in all the significant moments of your day so it’s vital that you feel comfortable with them & book them not just because of their quote but because they are committed to you & creating work that resonates with you & your loved one.


I asked one of my past brides to write up why she hired me & my partner Eduard who works with me as a videographer for her destination wedding in Santorini. I wanted to see what she focused on so I could share with you Emma’s experience with choosing a wedding photographer!