THE COST OF WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY: AN ULTIMATE GUIDE
Want to know the real cost of hiring a wedding photographer?
THE TRUE COST OF HIRING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
What is the average price of hiring a professional wedding photographer in the UK and how much should I pay?
Here’s an open and honest guide to the cost of wedding photography and what to expect.
THE COST OF WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY
The cost of wedding photography is subjective and in many ways, it comes down to priority and preserved value. Weddings are a luxury. Wedding Photography is a luxury! but so are all of the material things that contribute to the modern day ‘dream wedding.’
But as nice as the material things are, once the flowers have died, the dress has been worn and long after the honeymoon tan has faded, the only thing you have left from your wedding day are your rings and your wedding photos.
I believe hiring a wedding photographer should be exciting and one of the most important parts of planning your wedding. Family and friends have invested their time to watch you tie the knot and you will want to relive the excitement of your wedding day through your photos for years to come.
FINDING THE BEST WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS
How to find the best wedding photographer for your day? There is no simple answer, the cost of wedding photography in the UK varies and it really comes down to how much you are willing to pay and what style of photography you are attracted to. With research and some advertising on social media, you could find a student, armature or keen enthusiast who would be willing to photograph your wedding for experience, expenses or just a few hundred pounds in order to build up their portfolio.
On the other end of the scale, you will find the cost of wedding photography from specialists, in demand and celebrity wedding photographers increasing, with many charging up to 10K for a wedding. If you want additional products like an album, an engagement shoot and extra photographers, you could expect the cost to be much higher.
WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY BUDGET
When planning a wedding the budget will always play an important factor. How much you should or will want to pay when hiring a wedding photographer is subjective and I guess priority and value are key.
It’s only human to want to cut corners here and there just as it is to indulge in luxuries. The emotional value you place on your wedding photography is key. Whether it’s a limited budget or an extravagant wedding, the priority is the same. It’s down to perceived value, importance and desire.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I PAY FOR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE UK?
The general rule of thumb is between 10-20% of your overall wedding budget but this depends on how much you value having the absolute best wedding photos from your special day.
I have seen couples spend a lot of money on a designer wedding dress and then book a budget-wedding photographer only to be left disappointed, with the only option of posting on social media overexposed, unflattering images that don’t even show any of the details of what should be a beautiful dress.
“Remember, a budget photographer can make a couture dress look average. A professional photographer can make a budget gown look amazing!”
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER?
Hiring the right wedding photographer and the cost of wedding photography can be confusing and challenging. There are lots of specialist wedding blog sites such as ‘How To Do I Do” and magazines providing endless lists of ‘must haves’ and wedding photographers themselves using technical jargon.
There is also a variety of names used to describe a wedding photographers style, these range from documentary, reportage, natural, creative, fashion, alternative and glamorous to name a few.
The challenge is, finding a photographer whose style you love, someone you trust and you would want/feel comfortable with attending your wedding. A photographer who can document your wedding in a way that suits you and can present you with a collection of images that represent your vision and the day you had… all within your budget.
AVERAGE COST OF WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE UK
According to recent surveys, the average cost of wedding photography in the UK varies depending on the region with the north-east being one of the cheapest and the south-east the most expensive.
£700 – £1000
Is the minimum you should expect to pay for a professional wedding photographer in the UK and you should only expect to get digital copies and limited coverage at the price. The cost of wedding photography at this price point or below doesn’t mean they aren’t any good, it would usually indicate that they are relatively new to the industry, limited experience, or are providing wedding photography at weekends around a full-time job to supplement their income. It could also be due to their location as mentioned above.
£1,500 – £2000
This is seen as the average cost of wedding photography in the UK. Dedicated and knowledgable wedding photographers at this price point will have proven experience and a portfolio of work that showcases different venues, seasons and demonstrates practical knowledge of challenging situations. They should know how to cope under pressure and with any situation such as a sudden downpouring of rain during a summer wedding.
You can expect all of the above and a bespoke wedding album. The photographer will have a more refined style and a greater portfolio of work. Often shooting luxury and destination weddings.
HOW MANY PHOTOGRAPHERS SHOULD I GET?
This will be somewhat of a controversial answer, especially in the wedding photography community. However, honesty and integrity should be transparent. My belief is if a ‘professional wedding photographer’ is offering TWO wedding photographers package for let’s say £1000 you are not getting two £1000 photographers. You are either getting two £500 photographers or ONE £1000 photographer and an assistant.
If they are both professional photographers you can ask for a break down of each individual photographers cost, ideally, one of them should be the main photographer (this is who you are booking and whose style you can expect), the other photographer is commonly known as a 2nd shooter. You can then decide if the cost of the second photographer and the service provided is needed.
WHY IS PROFESSIONAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY SO EXPENSIVE?
In regards to the true cost of wedding photography, the short answer is you are paying for time and quality and there are many factors to take into consideration. For example:
5 KEY POINTS TO CONSIDER WITH THE COST OF WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY
- Experience, you would expect a seasoned pro with XXX years experience to be more knowledgeable, confident and professional than someone just starting out.
- A recognisable style. A professional wedding photographer like myself will have developed a recognisable style. This not only provides consistency but added security in the style of wedding photography you see on the website is the type of photography you will receive.
- Demand! successful wedding photographers can be booked quite far in advance. As one of the most sought after wedding photographers in the North West of England, here at Wes Simpson Weddings I regularly get booked 18 months in advance, sometimes longer depending on the destination and exclusivity of the wedding.
- A professional photographer would be regularly investing in education and researching the latest trends and products which they can offer you.
- Turn around time. A professional wedding photographer should be able to get your photos back to you within a guaranteed time frame. At Wes Simpson Weddings we provide a honeymoon preview and an online gallery so the images can be viewed, shared and printed with ease.
WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER PRICES IN THE UK
The cost of wedding photography and running a successful business in the UK isn’t cheap. It’s not about just turning up on the day for a few hours. The best wedding photographers will be using the latest and most expensive equipment and back up equipment. They will have reliable transport together with a variety of standard equipment needed to run the photography business, all of which contribute to the overall cost of wedding photography, these include things such as:
- A fast and reliable computer.
- A website.
- A phone and access to emails etc.
- Back up hard drives, lots of extra storage.
- The cost of marketing materials, advertising campaigns and investment in new samples and products.
ADVICE AND A PROMISE
Find a photographer who’s shooting and editing style you love.
Make sure they are consistent in their style and approach.
Have a meeting or a video call. At Wes Simpson Weddings I have either an in-person meeting of Face Time with all my clients. This provides an opportunity to ask any question or address any concerns you might have when hiring a wedding photographer. Also, my beautiful storybook wedding albums really need to be seen to be appreciated.
HIRING ME AS YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
When I photograph your wedding I do so wholeheartedly. I photograph everything – the details, the hugs, and the interactions between loved ones, the smiles and tears. I will show you things that happened that you never knew about.
The end result will be a beautiful set of images that will give you a timeless reminder of the best day of your life.