What Will Wedding Photography Cost
How much can you expect to pay for a wedding photographer? From our research into wedding photography costs, I have broken down the typical and average price for a wedding photographer along with what to expect from your wedding photography.
A Wedding photographer is one aspect of your wedding day that is worth investing in. You’ll look back on these special photo memories for years to come, it’s important that you set aside enough money in your budget for good professional photography. Typically this is calculated around 10 to 15% of your total wedding budget will get you in the right price range for a decent wedding photographer that matches your budgets, this of course, is down to your own personal choice as some clients may consider different things at a higher or lower value to the.
Selecting the right Wedding photographer is such an important decision you'll have to make – but with so many different Wedding photographers out there, it certainly can be difficult to work out what a wedding photographer should cost you. I hope this gives you some baseline to work from but remember there is no set rule when it comes to cost as each photographer will have different overheads they need to cover.
How Much Does A Wedding Photographer Cost?
I would expect the costs for reasonable quality wedding photographers to start from around £600 for a full day & over £1000 for great quality photographers. However there are super high quality photographers that typically start from £2000 to £20,000, Remember its not what the cost is but more what you get for that cost that is important.
“Anything less and I would be worried that maybe the photographer isn’t insured or doesn’t have the correct experience/training to cover your day, this is worth asking the right questions to put your mind at ease if they are on the cheaper side. For example; “£1,250-£3,000+ would make sure you're getting a fantastic service and peace of mind that your day will be captured in every detail you'd expect. “For a full day’s coverage, I would expect you to get 300-600 fully edited images, watermark-free on USB or downloadable,”
What Can Affect Your Wedding Photography Price?
You will pay more in central London than the outskirts of Cardiff. In Nottingham where I am based I start my Ceremony packages from £595 and full day from £1045, I will then charge extra for weddings over 50 miles away. Lots of photographers including myself will cover weddings nationally and you’ll be expected to cover their travel and some times accommodation costs. It might help you save to look for a local photographer if your budget is tight but some times the best photographers are not always local.
Your Wedding Date
If you are getting married mid-week or in off seasons such as the winter periods, many photographers have less work on during those times and may be happy to discuss a reduced rate, check their websites to see if this is something they offer. I have found it is less likely to have this for the cheaper photographers as they are already low budgets but some of the more expensive photographers may have a bigger profit margin and can afford the reduce rate when they have lack of work on, that being said I feel this is when you see special officers from photographers to fill those gaps.
If budgets are low but you still want professional photos it maybe worth asking bridesmaids and groomsmen to photo the getting ready part of the day and hiring the professional photography to capture just the ceremony or maybe the ceremony, group photos and then speeches to cutting of the cake at least. However if you can afford the full day, then there are still some options as most photographers full day is 8 hours, some time you may want a photographer for 10 or even 12 hour coverage depending on if you have a lot happening. So ask your photographer for their full day costs and what the extra cost would be to have them there long. Is this possible to pay for this extra time on the day just in case its not needed etc.
I am asked on occasions to have us stay a little longer if for example i have been booked for 8 hours and the time ends before sunset, some clients may ask me to stay an extra hour or 2 so they can get those sunset shots, I do this at £145 per additional hour. This will keep me and my 2nd photographer with the wedding couple that little bit longer and make sure everything is covered, I wont charge the extra if its just an extra 30 mins.
Digital Only Options
So many couples like to have every option under the sun in their package with bespoke printed albums that tell your unique story of your wedding day, or you can go for the digital rights to your photos and print them off yourself. As a minimum, you should expect to receive a digital copy of your images in high resolution with no watermarks; this is usually on a USB or in a password-protected online gallery. With the digital option you can build your own album else where, this may not be as high grade quality but its an option for smaller budget weddings. I personal offer digital only options as my baseline service and allow customers to add albums, prints, video and other services to the baseline packages so my couples stay in control of their own spending. Not all photographers will give the option to Digitals so its worth asking your short listed wedding photographers about the options they can have,
Almost all professional wedding photographers will have been contacted by a couple who’d thought they’d found a bargain with another photographer and ended up with bad photographs or spiralling hidden costs as it has not been laid out in plain sight.
I have had a couple who paid another photographer roughly £500 for the day and thought they had a a great photographer at a low price, however, after the wedding, the wedding photographer supplied them with the images lined with watermarks.
“The couple asked the photographer when they would receive the unwatermarked digital images only to be told it would cost them £7 an image, racking up a bill of over £1800 on top of what they had already paid. “The photographer explained that the £500 was for them to attend the wedding and edit the photos but did not mention the cost of receiving the photos. This rarely happens now a days, but sometimes does.” Always have what you get for the price in writing beforehand exactly what both sides are expecting.
What you should expect from each full day price range
Wedding Photography Price Range £0-500
Wedding photography is a clear example of the phrases "you get what you pay for". Think very carefully before you scrimp on those lasting memories of your special day and find a once-in-a lifetime moment that hasn’t been captured. You might have a close friend or family member who’s an amateur photographer or know a photography student but choosing someone inexperienced and no insurance is a risk not worth taking. I'd recommend you invest in someone with wedding photography experience, plus a portfolio you can see. Every photographer have different styles, so you will want to checkout their past work to see what you like and don't like, this means looking at more than their portfolio on their websites such as example albums or a full wedding gallery.
Does the photographer have a backup camera and lenses plus flashes and memory cards in case something should happen to their main equipment, if this goes wrong you maybe left with no professional photos despite paying for it, If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Wedding Photography Price Range £700-£1,000
£700 is about the minimum you should expect to pay for a good wedding photographer, and you will only get digital copies of photographs for this price.
For less than £1,000, your photographer might be relatively new to the industry or capture wedding photography around a full-time job so establish if this is important to you weather they are full time or part time photographer, It could be because of their location, as we mentioned above.
Paying less than £1,000 doesn’t mean they aren’t good, but it takes experience to get all those special moments in the rush of a wedding day schedule. You should ask how many weddings they’ve shot or how many years experience with wedding photography they have. Make sure their photos are consistently high-quality across their completed albums and galleries.
A full-time wedding photographer’s livelihood will greatly depends on the quality of their work, this means you can trust that they’ll be working their hardest to do their very best for you. Wedding photographers that are In high demand, often won’t offer packages for less than a full day so you can cut down your shortlist immediately if a half-day package is one of your criteria. The key periods to capture on a full day will include: getting ready moments, the ceremony, cocktail hour, speeches, cake cutting, first dance & farther daughter dance plus party photos in the evening,
Wedding Photography Price Range £1,000 – £1,700
Wedding photographer that charge around £1,000 to £1,700, can often get exactly the same package as the higher price point if you’re outside of London and choosing a local photographer. Normally a photographer from your county or nearby will come in a bit cheaper and be more familiar with your venue. Always ask if they’ve shot at the venue before so you can see some examples. It can really pay to look local for the same quality but a better deal. If they have not shot at the venue, this is a great opportunity to have an engagement session with them at the venue, you can always change your mind about your photographer at this point and only lose your deposit. This is better than paying over a £1000 but not happy with the photographers work. check what the photographers stance would be on this.
Always make sure you check what a photographer’s package includes. They might charge £1,200 but this may only cover ceremony to speeches, or could cover preparation photos to first dance, Would this include digital only images or with a printed album. So check what you're paying for.
Wedding Photography Price Range £1,700 – £2,000+
This is the average cost for a wedding photographer. Dedicated and knowledgeable, photographers charging this price point will know how to cope with any situation the day throws at them, like the heavens suddenly open up with a down pour forcing you inside for your photos, and still get the best pictures.
Ahead of your wedding, you should expect a pre-wedding consultation in person, phone or via video chat such as Microsoft Teams or Skype to discuss what you want as a couple, and how the day will run. This is very important for the photographer to know and will help you feel more comfortable with them on the wedding day.
This price gets you the full services of the photographer on your wedding day, which usually amounts to 8-9 hours of work on the day, plus the editing time after the big day including backing up your memories just in case and organising shots to get ride of duplicated shots and test shots before editing can start. This can be anything from 35 to 50 hours of work all in all. Your wedding photography should start from the bridal party preparations through to the newlywed's first dance and a little bit after for evening portraits; you will want them and expect them to those once-in-a-lifetime key moments like your parents’ or the groom tears as you walk down the aisle and the laughter at the best man’s speech.
Once it has all been said and done, after the wedding, you will receive a USB of high-resolution, fully edited images so you can do as you wish with them with no water marks on the images, usually of 400-600 pictures from the day. You should expect the photographer to also grant you the personal use copyright license so you can print off the images as you choose. Often an engagement session is included at this price as well, but check what you get in the engagement session such as how many images etc.