You’re engaged! Firstly congratulations, you are about to embark on a great journey towards becoming married, and I bet I know where you are right now – PLANNING. One of the best things you can do in this early stage is to research how much a wedding costs. Which is why I’ve written this blog post! I want you to fully understand how much wedding photography costs, so you can get fully prepared to seek out the best wedding photographer for you and your budget.
I’m going to start with some bad news – but don’t worry – good news follows! The real answer is – there’s no answer to how much should your wedding photography cost. It’s all about what you want from your wedding photos. So how do you figure this out?
How to budget for wedding photography
When budgeting for your wedding photography the first thing to think about is what you need from your photographer. Below is a list of the minimum things you should look for when researching:
- A portfolio of consistent work that you really, really love
- Insurance for public liability and professional indemnity (at least)
- Professional standard equipment, with spares in case of failure
- A clear process to understand your wedding and what you want from your wedding photos
- Clear and understandable pricing that shows you exactly what you get for your money and if there are any extras to pay. You should instantly understand the number of hours the photographer will be at your wedding and what you get in terms of high resolution jpg pictures from the wedding.
- Also think about the after-wedding goodies. You will need to know if you can download the digital files (preferably as high resolution jpgs), if you get a memory stick or disc with the images on, and if there are any prints or albums included in the price.
What is the average cost of wedding photography in the UK?
A wedding photographer is generally around for 8 hours of your wedding day. Looking at this number the average cost for wedding photography in the UK is around £1300 – £1600*. This price bracket usually included all the edited high-resolution files – which is perfect as it means you can download and print the photos for friends and family too.
Wedding photography prices vary by region
Location is an important factor to consider when looking at potential wedding photographers because where they are based can make a big difference in costs. A London wedding photographer will cost more than a photographer based in Newcastle – simply because it costs a lot more to live and work in London! Also, if you happen to LOVE a photographer living in one place but you’re based somewhere else, take into account they may charge for travel/accommodation if needed. Your photographer doesn’t have to live close by your wedding venue – if they don’t ask them if their quote price includes any travel and accommodation that they might need. I like to keep things very simple, so my wedding photography prices include any travel costs.
What to look for when choosing a wedding photographer
If you find a photographer that is offering a too good to be true deal – always trust your gut instinct. As a wedding photographer I would advise to be very wary of anyone charging less than £750 for a full day of wedding photography and all the edited images. This is where your research becomes vitally important, look at their website, look at their social channels, google for reviews. If you chat to them, ask them how many weddings they have photographed. New photographers can be very inexpensive so that they can build experience, which is perfectly understandable. Just make sure they have enough experience for YOUR specific style of wedding. Click here to read my guide all about how to find a wedding photographer.
Why is wedding photography expensive?
As GCSE maths told us many moons ago, averages are made up from a full range of figures. So if you happen to find a photographer that is charging way over the average, it will most likely be reflected in the quality of their work. As photographers become more experienced, their skill level increases and their time becomes more valuable. They will also have invested in a considerable amount of money in training, equipment and software to turn their business in to a very slick experience. They may also be offering a luxury service, such as providing a team of professionals to capture your day, or offering up a super duper package that contains lots of extra goodies like fine art prints and fine art albums.
How much of your wedding budget to allocate to wedding photography?
Creating an overall wedding budget is one of the best things that you can do in the early stages of planning a wedding. As a general rule of thumb I tend to find that most people will allocate roughly 10-15% of their total wedding budget to the cost of a wedding photographer. If you are having a very big wedding with a big budget to match, then you will want you wedding photos to do justice to your wedding. Conversely, if you are having a small, low cost wedding, there’s no reason why you can’t find a wedding photographer for just a couple of hours. that will fit your budget. Click here to check out some of the small weddings that I have shot.
Professional photography is a little bit like the restaurant trade. You can buy food very cheaply in lots of High street establishments; yet you can also buy very expensive meals in beautiful restaurants where you very much buy an experience. You’re still buying food, but the experience, service and quality is very different and that is what you will pay for.
Choose a wedding photographer that you love
As well as the necessities required from a photographer which affects costs, also think carefully about what you want. What do you want from your wedding photographer?
Do you want someone who is going to sit back and take standard wedding shots or do you want someone who will get in the thick of it and capture the moments you didn’t even know were happening, the grins on friends faces or that little tear secretly being wiped away by Auntie Denise.
It’s so important to choose a photographer who understands your personalities and what you want. The wedding day itself is just one day, but the moments captured make that day last a lifetime.
If you are interested you can check out my wedding photography prices and packages here.