Why is wedding photography so expensive? A grand or two isn’t a bad income for a day’s work right? They get to throw £100s on to the price tag just because the word ‘wedding’ is mentioned. Plus if you have a friend with a good camera, they can get you some nice pictures of your wedding… Can’t they?

Why are wedding photographers so expensive? what is the true price of wedding photography?

I imagine all photographers reading this right now will be assembling lynch mobs! But stay with me.

Do you know what the biggest regret is for brides and grooms?

Either, not having a professional photographer or going so cheap that it’s a miracle that they show up with a camera that’s not attached to their Iphone.

Unfortunately, the cold hard truth is, if you booked a cheap wedding photographer claiming to have 10 years experience, top notch equipment and promising photography at the same standard as those charging £1000+  then  you’re going to end up very disappointed when your photos are lacking that wow factor or when key family members failed to appear in any of the shots.

Everyone has to start somewhere

I should stop to mention that photographers do have to start somewhere and if a photographer is upfront with the fact that they are new, still gaining experience and priced accordingly then that’s a risk that you may want to consider if you are on a tight budget. However, there’s a difference between being on a tight budget and bad prioritization. (Have a read of How Much To Budget For Your Wedding (And When To Blow It)!)

So if you have exacting standards and expect the best then be prepared to pay accordingly. Don’t be that bride who pays more for their chocolate fountain than their wedding photographer, then gets upset when the photos are poor. You CAN save a LOT OF MONEY BY choosing a new or very cheap photographer, but please understand that the emotional price you could pay for that decision might be devastating!

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Photo by Martin Cheung

The point of this post is not to say that cheap photographers are rubbish, absolutely not! There are some amazing amateur photographers or ‘weekend warriors’ as they’re often called (more on this below). The point is that wedding photography is a profession that requires people who are experienced and highly skilled. They need to be insured and tax registered. My point is that if you see someone advertising themselves as a ‘highly experienced, award winning professional’ but charging suspiciously cheap rates like “£150 all day” then you should take some time to consider why they are so much cheaper than their peers.

So why are professional wedding photographers ‘expensive’?

Here’re some costs you won’t be aware of:

Why are wedding photographers so expensive? Expensive wedding photography, the price of wedding photography, how much

Some of the equipment owned by Martin Cheung

  • Equipment costs (cameras, lenses, lighting, computers, photo editing software, printers etc etc.)
  • Insurance
  • Training
  • Advertising
  • Time spent editing
  • Travel
  • Time spent talking with brides and grooms
  • It IS their actual job! What I mean is, this wage also needs to provide them with an income in order to pay bills and raise children like the rest of us. If you consider that one wedding will be around 1 full 40 hour week worth of editing, just to cover minimum wage without all of the points above you need to be spending £288 before you even start wanting artistic sunset shots or carefully staged family pictures.
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Photo by Martin Cheung

What do the pros say?

I interact with and view the work of professional wedding photographers every day. I have carefully selected 2 incredibly talented photographers to give you an insight into photography pricing.

Nottingham Wedding Photographer – Martin Cheung:

Wedding photography is probably one of the most saturated markets within the wedding industries. The advanced technology within cheap digital cameras has resulted in an explosion of people offering photography services. Many of whom juggle being a wedding photographer alongside their full time job. They’re often referred to as ‘weekend warriors’.
As a result of this saturation, I’ve seen prices vary from £150 to £3000 so you can literally get a photographer to suit any budget. The biggest misconception though is assuming all photographer’s are the same. That would be like thinking all wedding dresses are the same. Clearly a £100 dress from eBay is unlikely to be the same quality as a Vera Wang. Which you end up with for your wedding will probably depend largely on your budget. Which is right for you is also very subjective and a very personal choice. It’s the same principle for wedding photography really.

The idea that a photographer can simply raise their prices when the word ‘wedding’ is mentioned is simply untrue. It’s such a competitive market that anyone trying to artificially increase prices would go out of business quickly. And to somehow think hundreds of thousands of professionals are operating in some sort of cosy cartel is ludicrous. The sad reality is that within the industry there is a huge decline in the number of full time wedding photographers as many are edged out by the massive influx of cheaper ‘weekend warriors’.

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Photo by Martin Cheung

What customers don’t see though is that the money we charge must not only cover our overheads but also the time we spend after the wedding editing your photographs. That can often take longer than your actual wedding day. True professionals carry a lot of expensive equipment too. For example, I don’t just bring one camera, I bring three. That way even if one breaks, I still have a spare! My cheapest camera is £1500 without a lens. The most expensive is nearly £5000. That’s not including the lighting equipment and lenses, I need to cover all eventualities.
I hope I’ve given an insight into why I don’t believe the industry is charging unfair prices and you now understand more of what you are getting for your money.

 

 

Professional Wedding Photographer – Marc Bates from PhotosFromMe:

To be chosen as your Wedding Photographer is a huge honour and something that I take extremely seriously, but the work that it has taken to bring me to the professional standard cannot be overstated. Like many of my colleagues, I have invested a huge amount of time and money on my training, certification and insurance. This is something that I need to constantly refresh and update to ensure I continue to produce amazing images for my clients.

Why are wedding photographers so expensive, expensive wedding photography pricing, cost

Photo by PhotosFromMe

My camera equipment is of a high standard which like my training, has required a huge amount of investment. This also needs to be constantly maintained and updated. As a Professional Photographer, I make sure that I am prepared for anything, so it is important to have a backup for all of my equipment. As such I have at least two of everything.

Why are wedding photographers so expensive, expensive wedding photography pricing, cost

Photo by PhotosFromMe

The work that goes into each wedding varies depending on a number of factors, but one thing that never changes is that my work begins long before your wedding day and continues after the evening reception has finished. The wedding images I create for you are not just the result of a single day’s work, but come from hours of research and preparation. This is an important part of my process and it allows me to plan the photos I will take as well as identifying any equipment and accessories I need to purchase. I follow this process so that on your wedding day I am fully prepared and ready for anything and everything that may happen.

You are not paying someone for a day’s work. You are paying someone to capture the magic of your wedding. To create images which tell the story of your day. You are investing in a fully prepared, fully insured professional who will deliver a quality product that will last forever.

There are many ways to save money on your wedding, but these should never include your Photographer.

 

You only have one chance at beautiful wedding photos

Let me leave you on a serious note. You’re likely spending thousands on your wedding day. You’ve spent many months, maybe years choosing every little detail. Without a good photographer, those tiny details will be long forgotten by your first anniversary. You want to be able to look back and remember the little bows that you carefully  tied to favour boxes or the DIY centerpieces that you changed 50 times. A good photographer will capture every detail, every special moment shared with your partner, the tear your dad shed when you have your first dance and the groovy moves your great-uncle pulls off on the dance floor. In the years to come you’ll be able to look back and relive these precious moments of your life because your photographer captured every special moment.

Now go get yourself a great photographer!

Why are wedding photographers so expensive? Expensive wedding photography, the price of wedding photography, how much

Photo by PhotosFromMe

For tips on choosing a great photographer, check out

WHY YOU NEED TO HIRE A PROFESSIONAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER & HOW TO FIND A GOOD ONE