A Guide To Wedding Photography Prices

An often asked question is, “Why is wedding photography so expensive and why is there be a big difference between what photographers charge? After all, they’re all doing the same thing aren’t they, just clicking the shutter button on the camera all day? Right?”.. Maybe not is all at it seems.

Nearly all wedding couples will have two things in common, regardless of their budget. One, they want the very best photography of their day possible, and two, they only want to trust this really important task to a dedicated and professional wedding photographer. Without doubt, this area of investment is not cheap. It is however far less expensive than getting this huge decision wrong!

Unlike some professions, photography in the UK is not regulated and the market is flooded with literally 1,000′s of poor quality wedding photographers. It is really important that you understand that just because you pay someone to photograph your wedding, you should not just assume that you’ll end up with the professional results you expect.

So please find below information below that will help you with your choice, and hopefully it will go someway to explain why full-time, professionally qualified wedding photographers in the UK will be worth every penny of your investment:

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Group1: The Amateur Wedding Photographer – Expect to pay from free of charge up to £500

This will be a combination of enthusiasts looking for pocket money to pay the cost of their equipment, student photographers, a few part-timers or it could be family members/friends. Please note that these people are unlikely to be insured, unlikely be paying tax and national insurance on their photography income and also not likely to be around if  or when something go wrong.

Naturally everyone has to start somewhere, but due to no or very limited wedding photography experience, the quality of photographs are likely to be low at best and very poor and possible ruined at worst. These photographers are likely to provide a ‘shoot ‘n’ burn’ service (just supplying the images on CD’s with very limited or probably no editing, colour correction, retouching or support). This would mean you’re left to do the pain staking photographers job by dealing with the 100’s if not 1000’s of poor expressions, poses and blinks taken. Any albums offered will be poorer quality and simply available from the high street and also using low-cost printers. At most you can expect a basic quality website and photographs. In addition to no insurance they will have limited or no back up camera equipment. Any equipment they have will be similar to what you can buy from Dixons and Argos.

Group 2: The Part-Time Wedding Photographer – Expect to pay from £500 to £995

In this group we have a combination of new part-time wedding photographers looking to break into the local wedding market, plus also full-time non-specialist general photographers.  It could even be a photographer who’s struggling in other areas of photography so are giving weddings a go.

As with the first Group it is unlikely to find all these people with the correct business insurance and most will have other types of employment to supplement their low rates, which just aren’t sustainable.

The quality of the photographs is likely to be average, with nothing unique to set them apart from the 1,000′s of other photographers out there. Their websites will just have their best images that they have taken not be able to give you a examples of what you’re really likely to receive. Any albums that they supply you are likely to have been designed using template software by the album companies , which means that your wedding album will look exactly the same as the last one they did. This also means that the photographs they would have taken are likely to have been shoot using the same poses in the same location at the same venue for every couple. In other words, nothing personalised about them at all.

Expect them to have limited or at worst no insurance and again limited or no back-up photography equipment when things go wrong. Because they may well have other jobs that keep them busy, long waiting times and poor quality of service is often a feature of their business.

Group 3: The Dedicated Professional Wedding Photographer – Expect to invest from £1,000 to £3,000

With this group you have experienced and dedicated portrait & wedding photographers who do this area of photography as a their sole occupation. They are likely to be paying full business rates, full business insurance, tax and insurance on their income. In addition, they also have the expense of all the other associated cost of running a business, including regularly updating their professional photography equipment (plus the important back up equipment) which will have initially cost around up to £10,000.

More importantly they will also be dedicated to improving and learning their photographic craft by attending regular training seminars or workshops run by the country’s top wedding professionals. Many of them will also be qualified with a leading professional photography association like theMaster Photographers Association (MPA) or the BIPP

Each wedding they photograph is likely to take up more than a full week of the photographer’s time. Numerous quality hours are spent meeting, calling and emailing wedding couples in the run-up to their big day. The photographer will be with you 8-12 hours on the day itself. There will then be 3-4 full days of primary image editing, followed by more meetings with couples. This is then followed by 3-4 full days of additional image processing, plus there will be album design and print processing. It’s not unusual to therefore spend 50-80 hours on each wedding photographed during the year.

The quality of the wedding photography is likely to be high, with unique shots and poses and have a personal photographic style that is distinguishable from the next wedding photographer in the same category.
The quality of wedding albums and other products from these photographers is likely to be extremely high, with most of these professional photographers using the same few high-end album supply companies from Australia, New Zealand, Italy and the UK. The wedding albums are likely to be custom designed, ensuring that your wedding album will be very personal and completely unique to you and your wedding day.

Most will have professional looking websites, with hight quality photographs that focus only on wedding and portrait photography. They are also likely to have dedicated wedding studios either as part of their homes, or in high street locations. They are likely to be fully insured, for your peace of mind, and carry with them essential back-up equipment (and also back-up equipment for their back-up equipment.) The level of service and the attention to detail from these professional photographers is likely to be very high, as they will limit the number of weddings they photograph each year to ensure they maintain their high standards and their level of service.

Group 4: The Celebrity Wedding Photographer – Expect to invest from £3,000 to £10,000

In this group are those few talented individuals who are able to virtually name their price for their wedding photography services. They photograph royalty and the super rich and famous world-wide with their highly unique photographic styles.

Their albums and products will be sourced from the same companies as those in group 3 mentioned above. You can expect them to have studios in London, New York, Hong Kong, Dubai and/or Paris, and teams of employees and assistants helping them with their wedding ‘productions.’