How much does wedding photography cost?
When planning your day most couples will set a budget for all the suppliers they'd like to book. The average wedding now costs between £18,000 - £32,000 in the UK. It's suggested you should spend 10% of your budget on your photographer, this would be between £1,800 - £3,200. A photographer is one of the first suppliers you should book once you have secured your date and venue. I currently take bookings up to 2 years in advance some photographers may evening book past 2 years.
Photographers can vary in costs due to their location, their experience, equipment, the packages they offer or if they're part time or full time. A whole range of behind the scenes costs are involved in running a photography business and it will vary for the individuals circumstances.
What photography style are you drawn to? When looking for your photographer you should look at their style to see if it suits your vision. Some photographers are light and airy so if you've booked a dark venue like a barn it might not achieve the same look you're after. If you're more into the dark and moody edits, booking a big bright white room won't have the desired affect either. Some wedding photographers like myself who's style is to shoot true to colour with a clean and vibrant edit could work in either venue its all personal preference. Once you've found the style that appeals to you, its time to contact those that fit your desired look.
What do most wedding photography packages include? Wedding photographer costs can vary depending on the package you book. My full day packages are what the majority of my clients book as this gives you the most coverage (a minimum of 7 hours). Bridal prep through to the first dance will leave you with a complete story of what happened on your big day. My packages all include the images in high resolution, this is something you should check with your photographer is included in the price. Some photographers upsell their images by only supplying the digital files for a set fee or will only give you the digitals that you choose for your album if an album is included in the package. This can result in a fee to release all the other images as high resolution files to you or removing the watermark. Please always read your contracts through to ensure whoever you book has outlined what is included. How important are wedding albums? An album might be included in your package, these will vary in size, the number of spreads or photos included, different fabrics or acrylics front covers maybe be used. Most photographers will have a standard size and fabric included with the opportunity to upgrade for an additional fee.
Do you need a second photographer? A second photographer might also be included or the opportunity to add one to your package. The second shooter will cover your partners preparations in the morning and work throughout the day to capture different angles and candid images of your guests. This creates an additional cost for your photographer in order to pay them, plus the additional hours spent editing the images they take. However they are absolutely worth the extra cost if it's an opportunity that's available to you to book.
Location can have a big impact on the price of your wedding, London and South East England are one of the most expensive areas for suppliers. If you book a venue in an affluent area, you're more likely to have suppliers at an above average cost. If you live in an area of lower income you may find some suppliers are cheaper. Remember you'll always fine someone cheaper for the job, but not necessarily have all the skills, experience or even equipment to cover the job to the standard you want. Photography is an investment, once the cake has been eaten and the guests have left you'll be left with your images to remind you how special your day was.
Behind the scenes -
Some of behind the scenes costs of running a photography business could also impact what someone charges. I personally shoot with 2 cameras, bring 4 different lens, 3 flash guns and various batteries and memory cards with me to all weddings. However someone starting out charging a smaller fee, may only shoot with one camera, one or no flash and possibly only one lens. The cost of their business is smaller as they've not invested as much into the equipment, you may also find someone starting out that isn't insured or paying tax. It costs money to insure businesses, run software systems, marketing costs, have an accountant - the list could go on! These are all things that the customer doesn't see, but happen in a professional capacity.
Should a family members take your photos because they have a good camera? Having a good camera isn't the end result, you're paying for someone's knowledge in how to pose, using the available light to the best advantage, grouping guests for portraits and greeting everyone in a professional manner.
We also understand how the timings of the day can change and how to react to situations that might arise like assisting to button the dress up, fixing a buttonhole or even contacting the wedding cars to find out where they are. Our experience and guidance is invaluable, I often give tips and suggestions on how your day can flow with ease and always recommend other suppliers I know and trust to work with.
Wedding photos act like a time machine to re-live your big day, ensuring you have memories of all your loved ones celebrating your wedding day to treasure for a lifetime.