15

Nov

2012

The Real Cost of Wedding Photography

A Couple of weeks ago I released the results of my Boho Readers Survey and I have to say I wasn’t quite ready for some of the feedback I got back. Talks of budgets, themes, the hatred for styled shoots! but what came out as one of the biggest talking points was the price that you brides are paying for wedding photography!

wedding photography pricing

With a MASSIVE 34.2% of you saying you were paying between £500 – £1000 for a wedding photographer, it did set off quite a few discussions with people, and I have to say I was pretty surprised myself.

As a wedding planner I have to source Photographers for lots of my brides, so I have a good idea how much these things cost  Now obviously there are some Photographers out there who are very cheep, and others who are very expensive, but I always advice my brides that they will need to budget around the £1,500 – £2,000 mark for a good quality experienced photographer. Obviously there are lots out there more expensive than this, add on albums, photo booths  engagement shoots, others that offer years of experience, awards behind them, and a rock star status, but averagely £1,500 – £2,000 is what I go with.

On the surface the results from the survey may have been a bit of a surprise BUT when you add up the other percentages, the results actually look  a lot more realistic!

 

50.6% – spending over £1,000

34.2% – spending between £500 and £1,000

8.2% – say a friend is doing it

6.8% – spending under £500

 

This kind of backs up my advice I guess!

So today I wanted to talk to you more about what wedding photographers cost! Now if you look at the back of most wedding magazines they will all give you breakdowns of an average wedding budget, all of which seem to tell you that a photographer on average will cost around £750! This I believe to be incredibly misleading. Honestly I don’t know many photographers who charge this little, maybe a few just starting out? but honestly…..£750 isn’t going to get you much for your money.

So  I asked a selection of photographers that I feature regularly on the blog to share with you what they charge. That way you can really get an idea of what an average Boho Wedding Photographer costs.
Now remember these are photographers who’s work I feature regularly on the blog, so you will be used to the quality of work. They are in no particular order other than alphabetical.

 

 

Brighton Photo – www.brighton-photo.com

7 hours = £1,550,  up to 10 hours with story book £1,750,  Both Includes high res edited files on a memory stick or DVD.

Brighton Photo  - wedding photography

 

Claire Penn – www.clairepennphotography.com

£1595 digital full day coverage inc disc and online gallery. £1995 with album and engagement shoot is included.

claire penn - wedding photography

 

Cotton Candy Weddings – www.cottoncandyweddings.co.uk

£1,850 Includes: 2 Photographers for 8 hours, plus shots using our Retro Camera Range. CD containing at least 500 high res images from the day.

cotton candy - wedding photography

 

Helen Lisk – www.helenliskphotography.co.uk

Digital Package £1500 –  Full coverage of your wedding day, An online gallery and slideshow for your guests to view and purchase prints. All finished photography supplied as high resolution files,
Fine Art Album Package £2000 –  Full coverage of your wedding day, An online gallery and slideshow for your guests to view and purchase prints. All finished photography supplied as high resolution files,  A beautiful luxury 10×10” leather or photo cotton Fine Art Wedding Album with 30 pages and a bespoke design to tell the story of your day.
Deluxe Fine Art Album Package £2400 –  A pre-wedding photo session with a complimentary 12×8” print. Full coverage of your wedding day,  An online gallery and slideshow for your guests to view and purchase prints. All finished photography supplied as high resolution files,  A beautiful luxury 12×12” leather or photo cotton Fine Art Wedding Album with 40 pages and a bespoke design to tell the story of your day. Two mini 6×6” parent copies of your album, with canvas covers.

Helen Lisk Photography - wedding photography

 

Jonny Draper – www.jonnydraper.co.uk

£1,995 includes a disc of hi-res images with permission to Print/distribute, also include lo-res versions to make it easy to email/Facebook, etc. I also supply all of the shots from the day on a DVD slideshow set to Music of the bride and grooms choosing. I also include a pre-wedding shoot for all my wedding clients.

Jonny Draper - wedding photographer

 

Lifeline Photography – www.lifelinephotography.co.uk  

I charge £1200 now for full day, me plus assistant, with images on USB stick plus complimentary e-shoot. It’s the only option I offer.

Lifeline Photography - wedding photographer

 

Mark Tattersall http://mark-tattersall.co.uk/ 

I charge £1400 for up to 12 hours and all images as digital files. Albums are extra.

Mark Tattersall - wedding photographer

 

Mark Tierney – www.tierneyphotography.co.uk

I have a standard price and then the albums are extra. Standard price: £1200 which includes: A high resolution printable DVD (Minimum 400 images).All images digitally enhanced to the highest standard . All of the colour images are also converted to black and white. Coverage starts at the bridal preparations until after the first dance.A  pre-wedding Lifestyle shoot which includes a free print. A Wedding DVD slideshow (tv) Varying styles of albums and prices which range from £300 – £550.

Mark Tierney - wedding photography

 

Miki Photography – www.mikiphotography.co.uk   

I have one price package £1100 and for that you get: 10hrs coverage, 100 miles travel, DVD with 300 edited images, Online Viewing Gallery, 2-3hrs Engagement Shoot + DVD (wedding Album £400)

Miki Photography - wedding photography

 

Nicola Thompson Photography – http://nicolathompsonphotography.co.uk/

£1500 for full day wedding coverage plus a CD of high res digital files, Plus travel anywhere in the UK. £650 extra to add an album of your choice.

Nicola Thompson Photography - wedding photography

 

Paul Joseph Photography – http://pauljosephphotography.co.uk

£895 for 6 hours, £1250 for full day 2 togs and £1400 for previous plus a photo booth. No albums are included and all include a love shoot.

Paul Joseph Photography - wedding photography

 

Philippa James Photography www.philippajamesphotography.com

Each Package includes – A pre wedding shoot, a designed wedding photobook, all edited images on a disc.
5HRS OF SHOOTING £1200 (usually from bride’s preparations up until the reception)
8HRS OF SHOOTING £1550 (usually from bride’s preparations to the first dance)
11 HRS OF SHOOTING £1900 (usually from bride’s preparations to well into the party)

Philipa James Photography - wedding photography

 

S6 Photography www.s6photography.co.uk

I charge £1800 which includes complete coverage, 500+ images on disc, Slideshow, travel to anywhere in the UK.

S6 Photography - wedding photography

 

Tino and Pip – www.tinoandpip.co.uk

Our wedding photography packages include; all consultations, chats and venue visits, every image retouched, online gallery, a disc of high resolution photographs
The Essentials– £980 (Monday to Thursday only): Up to 4 hours coverage, presenting you with around 150 photographs.
The Extra Touch– £1230 : 4 to 6 hours coverage, presenting you with around 250 photographs
All in the Detail– £1480: Full day coverage (up to 8 hours), presenting you with around 300 Photographs
All in the Detail & Then Some- £1750: An engagement shoot, so we can get to know each other before your big day and full wedding day coverage as above.
Photo albums from £585 – £750

Tino&Pip Photograph -  wedding photography

 

Toast of Leeds – www.toastofleeds.co.uk

£950 for 6 hours and £1375 for 12 hours,  includes disc and pre wed shoot

Toast of Leeds - wedding photography

 

Tux and Tales – www.tuxandtalesphoto.co.uk

£1095 for 7 hours and £1395 for 12 hours (including a photo booth). 7 hour package has £100 in print credit, 12 hours has £200. Albums start at £250 (average album cost is £400) including travel and an e shoot

Tux and Tales - wedding photography

 

 

So what do you think? I would LOVE your thoughts on this. Are you paying less than £1000 for your photography, or are you paying more? are you a wedding photographer what do you think? 

 

Big Boho Love

Kelly xx

 

 

 

 

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Comments

    Heidi

    I am getting married next October and a good friend of mine (pro photographer) is doing my photos… although we haven’t got down to the nitty gritty of the day yet, I know her wedding photography packages start from £1850…. I wouldn’t even question this price because she is an amazing photographer and I think the pictures she comes out with are priceless!

    Reply
    Rachel

    Well, as you know I’ve gone with Tux and Tales and they’ll be with us all day on our wedding day. I think it’s going to be the biggest single cost after the dress, but I think they’re brilliant and completely worth it. After all, memories are priceless!

    Reply
    Helen Cawte

    Thanks Kelly, this is a fantastic article and one that, as a wedding photographer, I’m really interested in. I’m forever having to justify my prices and think a lot of the problem is that people don’t fully understand all the hard work, time and costs wedding photography involves, not to mention the responsibility. I am constantly meeting couples who tell me they are spending £10,000 + on a marquee, or a huge amount on food, or the dress but yet they are trying to haggle me down on price (I charge £1595.00 for my standard 8 Hour package with CD of all hi-res images)!! I honestly don’t know how my business would survive if I was to charge any less. People need to realise, as Rachel has just mentioned, that memories are priceless and it’s all that you’ll be left with after the day (except your rings and a very lovely other half hopefully)!!! xx

    Reply
    Nat

    I am getting married in Devon 2014, we have made looking for a photographer a first priority as is something we will hold forever – photographers are priceless. I am with the 50.6%
    I would certainly never ask a family member to do it, its a lot of pressure on them and they don’t have the skills of a professional – unless of course they are!

    Reply
    Shaun

    I don’t think there is too much harm asking a friend to do the shoot if they are professional and you admire their work.

    However what should still be taken into consideration is things such as the photographers insurance. You don’t want to be paying out to venues after the wedding because the ‘photographer’ has damaged a priceless vase.

    If one of the photographers above is a family member/friend then you may have lucked out. You’re going to be feeding them anyway so may as well make sure they work for it ;)

    Reply
    Andrea Ellison Photography

    what a fabulous post
    I too get asked if I can work to the magic budget of £750/ £1000 suggested by most of the bridal magazine budget lists.
    Pre photography as a bride once myself I know I used them to budget for my wedding too and was shocked by how far out they were.
    I worked incredibly hard to get to the level I am at now price wise and experience wise ..by the time you add everything involved up, time, petrol, equipment, insurance, tax etc etc ….if I worked to those budgets then thats my mortgage not getting paid. I suppose just like anything else though you get what you pay for

    Reply
    Emma

    Great post Kelly and thank you for enlightening your readers. Whenever I get asked the same niggling question of “Why are photographers SO expensive?” from now on I shall refer them to this article!

    Reply
    Claire Penn Photography

    Same here… there was definitely a memo that went out at some point that said couples shouldn’t pay more than £1000 for your wedding photography. :) For out of season weddings I will consider doing a 7 hour package but as I only take on a set number of weddings each year, I have to make sure they pay my bills! With 50+ hours work on each wedding and a lot of blood sweat and tears, I don’t think we’re asking a lot!

    You do get what you pay for ultimately. I think it’s important that couples weigh up everything when choosing a photographer – style, quality, creativity, personailty as well as the practical stuff like insurance and how the photographer backs up the images etc.

    Great post Kelly!

    Reply
    Kristin Struve Photography

    Interesting stats!
    I participated in a wedding magazine survey of photographers earlier in the year. In comparison, their survey revealed 31.3% had spends by couples for between £500-£1000; 42.2% had bookings between £1250 – £1750; and 26.5% were over £2000.

    The two “spikes” were around the £750-£1000 and £2000-£2500 mark.

    I ought to mention, this was expenditure, rather than “single package”, so the expenditure may include photobooths, albums, etc.

    I do though think it’s important for magazines to do such surveys, to get an accurate picture and up-to-date information about what they then put into print to advise brides!

    Reply
    Virginia Thomas Oliver

    It’s great to see what other photographers offer in their packages, thank you for sharing!

    I guess it’s easy for the client to forget (or simply not realise) how much time goes into making those images flawless when you get them home to edit..it’s not one big happy payday for us after a day of shooting.

    So thank you for bringing this to light…I maintain the same stance as Helen above, all you really have left from your wedding day is your wonderful new spouse, the rings and the memories (that have been captured in your photographs for you and future generations to love and cherish)…your photographer is indeed an investment!

    Reply
    Martin Price Photography

    A great article Kelly and plenty of food for thought for couples looking for a photographer.

    Picking a wedding photographer is such an important decision. You need to make sure you love their style, the way they work and the products they offer. You also need to be able to trust them to deliver on one of the most important days of your life.

    Reply
    Laura C

    The comments to this post are really very interesting, as well as the post mind you! We’ve booked Matt & Andy @ Greyeye photography after winning our engagement shoot with them. To be honest, we booked them before asking the price, just because we liked our pictures and the guys so much. They could have charged us whatever! (Sorry guys – you could have really milked us there! :P).

    Reply
    Chrysalis Photography

    Thanks for this post Kelly!! Great to have an unbiased opinion from a non photographer. We constantly have to justify our prices – starting at £1100 for a digital package and like most photographers would struggle to survive if we charged any less. I think some couples fail to realise the amount of work that goes into the images and albums after the wedding day.

    Thanks again for sharing!

    Reply
    Kirsten

    The number of times wedding guests have smirkingly asked me what it’s like to work one day a week. *rolls eyes*.

    Great article, Kelly, thanks so much for doing it.

    Reply
    Fiona wilhelm Photography

    Thanks Kelly – this is sure to help some brides to understand if they’re paying too little or too much – you really do get what you pay for and it’s not something you want to scrimp on as it’s a lasting memory of the day when everything is said and done.
    I think getting a friend ( if they’re not a pro) to do the photos is a bit risky as it’s also about knowing where you need to be and when to get the best shots. If you don’t have that you’re starting with a disadvantage…

    Reply
    Caroline

    Am I the only one who actually looked at these statistics? If you do the maths, over 80% of people in this survey are paying less than £1,500 and only around 10% are within the ‘recommended’ £1,500 to £2,000 bracket. This does not back up the advice, it completely contradicts it! I totally appreciate that the price for great photography is what it is and I think there are so many photographers who do a fantastic job and are completely worth the cost, but they are not the photographers that most respondents to this survey are using. I think it would’ve been more useful to indicate how much high quality photography costs (like the examples above) rather than undermining the post with completely misinterpreted stats. No offence, it just bugs me!

    Reply
    Karen

    I got married in August this year and paid £1650for our photographer which included an album and engagement shoot. For us it was the most important thing after the ceremony, as at the end of the day, it’s all you have to remind you of the day forever. Whenever we tell peoole the cot they are horrified…but they are also in live with the amazing photography we now have! A good photographer is worth every penny! You do get what you pay for I’m afraid!

    Reply
    boho

    Caroline I understand where you are coming from, but I used the photographers in question as examples as these are all photographers I feature regularly on the blog, so work that my readers are used to seeing. From these photographers I have drawn my comparisons.

    I put this post up as I believe magazines are misleading brides telling them that a budget of £750 is what they should be expecting to pay, when really £750 isn’t going to get you much at all.
    yes there are Photographers out there charging £750 but not many, and a ‘high quality photographer’ as you say will be charging more like £3,500 – £5,000.
    These Photographers are every day photographers just trying to earn a decent living from their job.

    xx

    Reply
    Hannah

    This was really interesting to read. Fascinating! Not so much to see the range of prices or the stats (let’s be honest these only ever give the views of people who bother to answer them anyway!) but to see what different things are included for the price.

    We got married recently and paid £2,000. This included an engagement shoot (but no disc this was £250 extra) and two photographers all day (our second shooter is in your list above). We intend to buy the disc which will be another £500. Albums start at £750.

    However, as far as I am concerned (and we’re not rolling in money) you get exactly what you pay for. Good photos are worth every penny and if you find some you like and have the means to pay for it you definitely should invest. You want to look your absolute best. I would have compromised on almost any other part of the day to have show-stopping photos.

    Advice in magazines should be taken with a pinch of salt and anyone with any common sense would figure out that lots more work goes into producing the finished images than just the day of taking pictures! This costs.

    For me the value of photos is in what they mean to you – not how many pounds you pay for them!

    Reply
    boho

    I have to say it has been really encouraging reading every ones comments, is is clear that a lot of you really respect the amount of work that wedding photographers do and how much effort goes into making your images perfect. For this reason a lot of you are willing to pay for that, which is great!

    Great feedback from everyone!

    Thank you xxx

    Reply
    Steven Bradshaw

    This has been a very interesting read and one that will hit home for any fellow full time wedding pro. We are fighting a constant battle with part timers, keen amateurs, ‘Photographer Friends’ and ‘Uncle Bob’… flooding the market, reducing a bride’s perceptions both about what good photography is, and also what good value is.

    Many above have said it, ‘you get what you pay for’, and nowhere is it more true than where wedding photography is concerned. I personally could not keep my business afloat if I made less than £1000 on each wedding I shoot. There are only so many weekends one photographer can work in a given year and alot of time and effort goes into pre wedding meetups; pre wedding shoots; time, effort and creativity shooting the day; 1-2 days in post production; a day on the album design & proofing; design revisions, not to mention countless emails back & forth with clients and time invested in admin & developing a good rapport with each couple.

    Add to the above the fact that every full time pro should carry primary and backup equipment totalling upwards of £15-20K plus Public liability & Professional indemnity of around £400-600 a year, as well as absorbing album costs within a package. A good photographer has to keep up to date with expensive computer equipment, colour calibrated monitors, expensive digital image workflow software, and manage a fool proof digital asset management backup system and costly online proofing & photosales website solutions.

    To be successful a good Wedding Photographer requires knowledge, skill, not only with the camera but in post production, he also needs to be an excellent people person and a good business man too if he is to remain in the game.

    Being a fulltime pro Wedding Photographer is bloody hard work! and it is a specialist profession, best left to experienced, committed full time professionals, and is certainly not be something you just ‘dabble in’ or are ‘fairly good’ at.

    So forget your mate who has a good camera, or uncle Bob who’s good at Landscapes, or you cousin who’s taken some ‘art’ on his iphone and has 200,000 Instagram followers… hire a pro and make sure you are not disappointed!… £1500-£2500 is actually very reasonable, for an excellent, creative photographic record of the greatest day of your life, after all the photography will be the only thing left to remember it by.

    Steven

    Reply
    heather shuker

    Excellent article and great comments and feedback – thank you Kelly. I now know I am not alone in the amount of time I spend on every wedding… I keep looking at ways to improve efficiency with my technology (which is again is further investment and believe me I have the fastest MAC set up know to man that i dare not even divulge how much it cost!) but one cannot omit time spent of visual research, developing one’s artistic style time invested in really understanding our couples needs and what they want – I could never just turn up at a wedding and shoot – well i could but I would not want to …as I want to know about my couples and their families and their friends and on the day I am one of the guests and this is where magic happens !

    Reply
    James Hogg

    Some excellent coverage here guys by all.
    I am a semi professional photographer and my prices are what I am worth. I have expensive equipment from cameras, lenses and software plus much more.
    As a photographer, we pride ourselves on our work! And work hard at it too! I hear comments such as “you must be rolling in it” mainly from narrow minded guests. I have now often replied with comments such as “how do you think I get to keep my Porsche on the road if I charge to little! (The look on their faces is worthwhile and often I never get a reply) truth be told I have a Renault Clio!
    Since working In the industry I never feel frustrated to losing potential business to other “professional” photographers at all. What does hurt is the “weekend warrior” photographers charging a small amount to people. I wonder if HMRC are aware of their extra earnings? More than likely not!
    In life the saying goes “you get what you pay for” and this is true.
    We work at what we do and please respect us for that.
    And if anybody sees a photographer turn up to a wedding in a Porsche unfortunately it is going to be me!

    Keep up the great work every photographer who reads this!

    Reply

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