How Much Does Wedding Photography Cost?

Nov 24, 2023 | Wedding Wisdom

So How Much Does Wedding Photography Actually Cost?

“How much does wedding photography cost?” is a common question that many couples ask when they are planning their big day. Especially as a wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime celebration. It is a day when every detail should reflect your unique love story. Choosing a wedding photographer is an important decision. Please check out our blog post “How To Choose Your Perfect Wedding Photographer”.

But, just how much does a wedding photographer cost? And what distinguishes luxury photography from more budget-friendly alternatives? Why should you choose a more expensive luxury wedding photographer over a cheaper alternative?

The answer, unfortunately, is not as simple as the question.

Wedding photography prices vary depending on many factors. These primarily include the quality of the wedding photographs and services offered. In this post, we’ll delve into the world of wedding photography. We explore the value that comes with investing in a quality photographer to immortalize the moments that matter most.

There Are Several Costs To Consider

Before we begin there are several ‘costs’ associated with wedding photography that are worth considering:

Financial Costs

You have a wedding budget and your photography should be a significant part of this. This is often the main consideration when looking at the cost of wedding photography. We have broken financial costs down into:

Average Price & Budgeting

Number Of Wedding Photos

Time & Quality

Comparing Costs & Services

Quality Of Wedding Photography

Upselling & 'Packages'

Costs To The Photographer

There are also other significant costs that are often overlooked when talking about the costs of wedding photography:

Emotional Costs

Your wedding photography should be an enjoyable, relaxing and positive experience. It should create evocative images that warm your hearts for generations to come.

Time & Effort Costs

From the moment of the proposal the wedding planning and execution will take a lot of your time. The amount of time and effort you put into researching and working with your wedding photographer is important.

How much is your time worth?

The Importance Of Wedding Photography

“There are only three important things you take away from your wedding; your husband, a ring, and your wedding photos” – Anom

Wedding photography is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You only get one chance to capture your wedding day. And you don’t want to regret missing any moment or compromising on the quality of the photos. This should be taken into account when wondering “how much does wedding photography cost?”.

Wedding photography is more than immortalising one of the biggest days of your life. It is an investment for the future. Your wedding photos are not just for the present, but for the generations to come. They are the tangible memories that you will look back on and share with your family and friends. They are a legacy for your children and grandchildren, and even your great-grandchildren.

how much wedding photography cost pricing uk

Financial Costs Of Wedding Photography

What Is The Average Price For A Wedding Photographer?

The Annual Wedding Photographer Survey* shows that the average cost of a wedding photographer in the UK last year was £1,820. In London, the average is nearer to £2000.

This is, however just an average for a single shooter. It spans a vast range of budgets and needs. At the lower end, some wedding photographers charge as low as £500, whilst others as high as £5,000+.

Many other surveys show different averages but they all agree on the huge range in average prices. Remember – these are just ‘averages’, some couples spend £0 and others will spend £10,000+ on their wedding photography.

We will explore what exactly is influencing the difference in these prices. The major factor is the quality of wedding photography and services offered:

How Much Should You Budget For Wedding Photography?

The greatest expenses of any wedding often revolve around the venue hire and dining arrangements. However, where you allocate your budget truly depends on what holds the utmost significance to you.

When it comes to budget planning, unraveling the costs for your dream wedding can be a daunting task. It’s challenging to determine the expenses for what you truly desire.

Depending on where you look the advice varies wildly when it comes to budgeting for wedding photography. Online blogs and directories recommend between 5%** and 20%***of your total wedding budget on average. If the average budget for a wedding is £24,000**** then this ‘recommended figure’ is between £1200 and £4800.

These statistics are pretty unhelpful when answering “How much does wedding photography cost?”. They do raise the question “Who wants ‘average’ wedding photography?”.

There are no hard and fast ‘rules’ when it comes to the amount you should spend on your wedding photographs. It is often down to two things, your budget and the significance of quality wedding photography to you as an individual.

 

Some serious research and 20+ years of experience in the wedding photography industry allows us to guide with some ‘average’ costs: 

Wedding Photography Service Low End Spend Mid Range Spend High End Spend
Full Day Wedding Photography £1,200 £2,100 £3000+
Destination Wedding Photography £1,900 £3,450 £5000+
Engagement Photo Shoot £200 £550 £900+
Add A Second Shooter £300 £525 £750+
Printed Wedding Album £150 £525 £900+
Sneak Peek Video £350 £540 £725+
Online Gallery £250 £350 £450+

 

Cost Of Wedding Photography VS Quality Of Wedding Photography

As with the majority of services there tends to be a direct relationship between the price of a photographer and the quality of their work.

When we refer to the quality of a wedding photographers services we are not just talking about their images but also their customer service. That is the direct experience you have with them and the photographer themselves.

So What Is Quality Wedding Photography?

This can be tricky and subjective as photography is an art so let’s stick to the fundamental elements. The following are all markers of a ‘quality wedding photographer’ and are by no means unrelated:

Technical Quality & Creativity

Technically excellent photos are discussed in terms of composition, colour balance, subject focus, tones, and black and white conversions. More important is the ‘wow’ factor and ability to convey emotion. They are often described as beautiful, stunning, amazing, and full of life

Quality photos can stand alone as pieces of artwork but also represent a moment in time that tells its own sorry. The photographs are selected in such a way that they beautifully tell the story of the wedding day. The images are individually processed for maximum impact.

Great levels of creativity are employed when creating quality photography. The images are as unique as the couple themselves. No one wants ‘cookie cutter’ wedding photographs.

Timeless Styling

Quality wedding photos are subtly styled. As trends go out of fashion in the blink of an eye quality wedding photograph tends to be timeless in their styling. Quality photographers are often aware of all of the latest wedding trends and styles. It’s how they incorporate them into their work in a timeless manner that will separate them from the crowd.

Blending Genres

Incorporating skills in many different types of photography. Wedding photography can be viewed as a mix of photography genres. Within this, a high-quality wedding photographer will need to be a master of all. Have a look through a photographer’s portfolio. Can you see a blend of landscape, detail, architectural, portrait, traditional, family, fine art, macro, black and white, fashion, documentary, and experimental photography? Murray and I even use underwater, food, astro, and abstract photography in our work. There are few other types of photography that require expertise in such a broad range of genres.

Customer Service

How a wedding photographer works with you before, during, and after your wedding day is extremely important. Quality customer service goes way beyond delivering a professional contract or payment plan.

A quality wedding photographer should be easy to reach and talk to. They should have mastered the art of clear and concise personable communication.

Part of this is their ability to plan – do they want to talk to you about your wedding plans? Great photographers work to the philosophy that the more information they have about the wedding day the better prepared they are. They should use this information, knowledge, and experience to develop their own logistical schedule.

Are they flexible? Plans change, the weather (especially in the UK) is unpredictable and timings often shift. An experienced wedding photographer will have no problems when things don’t go to plan. This is one of the reasons why we will often work out a plan B, C, and D, even for our proposal and engagement shoots.

dorset wedding photographer helping bride and groom

Your Experience

Related to their customer service is how you, personally experience this service. Do they help you relax generally and in front of the camera? Quality photographers will reassure and guide you when wedding planning and on the big day itself.

As part of a quality wedding photography service, clear expectations should be set. An example of this is being very open about delivery dates or times that specific pieces of information (or even payments) are required.

Do they have a level of passion that makes you feel excited about having your wedding photographs taken? A quality photographer’s enthusiasm for their art is often contagious. They should help open your eyes to all the stunning opportunities they can offer you.

There is a level of psychology to quality wedding photography that is often overlooked. A wedding photographer should be able to bring out the best in people. You and your guests should feel relaxed and reassured in their company. Natural personalities, emotions, and intimate moments can then be captured.

The Photographer Themselves

Quality wedding photographers have a passion for and dedication to their craft. Excellent wedding photographers live, breathe, and sleep photography. Their passion is after all, what motivates them and allows them to rise above. A successful wedding photographer will use their enthusiasm to produce stunning photographs and enjoy every aspect of the process.

This leads neatly to a wedding photographer’s personality. Great photographers have honed their ability to blend professionalism and personability. They need to be someone you can trust to be present in the intimate moments as well as get on with everyone present. They should fit right in. One of our greatest compliments is to be told “We didn’t realise you were professional photographers, we thought you were friends of the bride and groom with fancy cameras”!

dorset wedding photographers integrating into wedding

They will be able to seriously multitask, especially on the big day. They have to be in the moment, constantly observing the ongoings of a wedding. At the same time as focussing on capturing a photograph, they will simultaneously be blending in. This whilst staying out of the way, communicating, planning, and predicting the next shot, the next shot after that, and the rest of the day ahead.

Observation, experience, and prediction mean that a quality wedding photographer will have an amazing sense of timing. They will be prepared, in the right place at the right moment, and be able to respond accordingly.

Dealing With Pressure

How do they deal with pressure? There is a great deal of stress placed on the shoulders of a wedding photographer to perform at high levels. As they know there are no ‘do-overs’ on a wedding day photographers need to effectively deal with challenges in high-pressure situations. It is often the act of overcoming challenges that bring out our creative thinking. They allow us to develop new and exciting ideas for wedding photographs.

Talking of creativity, wedding photography is an art form. Professional photographers should always combine their imagination and ingenuity to bring everyday moments to life.

Life, the universe, and everything can get in the way when it comes to the logistics of a wedding day. And great photographers will take changes in their stride. Adaptability is the name of the game on a wedding day. A flexible approach allows stumbling blocks to be used as opportunities for great photography.

Let’s not forget having an eye for detail. We pay attention to everything, including the smallest details. Because even the smallest details can have the greatest meanings.

Computer Savvy

And yes, we also need to be tech-savvy. Modern-day photographers need to be ‘at one’ with their equipment. Their work requires a high level of computer skills. It doesn’t necessarily need to be the most expensive, newest kit. They do however need to be able to use it without thinking. Camera and computer equipment can be regarded as the tools of their craft. They need the skills and knowledge not only to select the best tools for the job but also to be effortlessly able to use them. The old adage ‘all the gear and no idea’ still rings true. It’s pointless having the best camera equipment they cannot use it effectively.

All the above, of course, is gained through experience. How many weddings have they shot? How many different couples have they worked with? We will look at experience and development later.

So a significant part of the answer to “how much does wedding photography cost?” could be “As much are you are willing to pay for the quality of your wedding photography and service”.

A Note On Number Of Wedding Photographs And Their Quality

It’s easy to see why you might think that the more you pay for a wedding photographer the more photographs you get, and the faster you get them. Watch out it’s a trap! 

This isn’t necessarily as simple as it seems. High-end, luxury wedding photographers tend to sell themselves on the quality of their services and photographs. Not on the number of photographs you will receive.

It’s really easy to ‘machine gun’ thousands of photos on a wedding day, run a batch filter over them all, and deliver several thousand images to a bride. Anyone can do it and call themselves a photographer. The problem is that they will look terrible and barely tell the story of the day, devoid of any emotion.

Curating and individually processing wedding photos are all part of the art form. Back in the day Murray and I had this drilled into us as we were trained in film photography. The film was expensive, as were the papers and chemicals used to develop the photos. It was also comparatively time-consuming when compared to working on a computer. This meant that you had to really think about what shots to take. Which to develop and even how much ‘manipulation’ in the dark mom was required. Quality checks were an essential part of this process.

pile of wedding photographs how much does wedding photography cost

Quality VS Quantity –More Is Not Always Better

We’ve all seen it, and often talk to our clients about it. Photographer A is offering 2000 images, 1000 in colour and 1000 in black and white. They deliver within two weeks of your wedding day. And they are half the price of photographer B. Photographer B only offers 500 images and it takes them a month to deliver.

Does it make sense that photographer A is the one to go for? But if we then dig a little deeper we can see a clearer picture:

Photographer A’s images are all over the place. Blurry images, missing important moments, batch filtered, impactless, and devoid of emotion. The 1000 black and white images are merely desaturated copies of the colour images. On the day they get in the way, annoy the wedding guests, and disappear before the evening really gets going.

Photographer B’s images are stunning. Full of wonderful moments, packed with emotion, they pop, fizz, and shine. Their black-and-white conversions have real depth and emotion. The collection is beautifully curated to tell the story of the day. They are helpful, unobtrusive, and capture the entire wedding.

Now which would you go for? Photographer B right?

The point is that the number of photographs you receive is not indicative of their quality. Quite often (because of the time it takes to process them) an inverse relationship is found.

A Warning About Upselling

By definition, upselling is “a sales tactic used to persuade a customer to buy something additional or more expensive”.

How Is Upselling Used In Wedding Photography?

Have you seen the same types of offerings from a variety of wedding photographers? Their silver, gold, and diamond packages? Although it sounds like a variety of different coloured gift boxes this is an example of a wedding photographer using upselling.

Photographers will often tease you into spending more with them by offering differing:

  • Greater numbers of images delivered.
  • More time spent working on the wedding day (often in blocks of 4 hours).
  • A second shooter.
  • Larger and higher quality albums and number of pages.
  • Parent albums and smaller album copies.
  • Extra black and white conversions.
  • More presentation USB sticks.
  • Greater numbers and sizes of photographic prints.
  • Higher quality digital downloads.
  • Framed images of differing sizes and styles.
  • Faster turnarounds on image delivery.
  • The number of previews soon after the wedding.
  • Engagement shoots.
  • Highlight slideshows.
  • Access to all images taken/ RAW images.
  • Variety of licenses with the images.
  • Midweek/ weekend pricing differences.
  • Limited numbers of consultations and meetings.

This type of upselling makes it difficult to compare different photographers’ services. It means also that couples are being encouraged into higher and higher price brackets.

We actively avoid upselling. Why? We don’t believe that it is important. We feel it often gets in the way of delivering high-quality photographs and service.

Lessons Learned About Wedding Photography ‘Packages’

Over the decades we have been working as wedding photographers we have tested and developed a range of different services. We have also conducted experiments: To try to find the optimum number of images to deliver. Calculate the perfect amount of coverage time. Work out a faultless range of albums, prints, etc.

The results of such experiments combined with 20+ years of experience and feedback from couples have taught us the following:

Wedding Services:

  • The optimum number of images to deliver is between 250 and 700. Anything less and couples feel like moments are missed. Many more and they feel like there are too many.
  • Every wedding overruns and has timing changes during. So the only way to fully tell the story of a wedding day is to be flexible and have no time limits on coverage. Booking a photographer in blocks of four hours adds unneeded stress. It often results in missing moments (even if they don’t think it will).
  • Choosing a wedding album before you have seen the photographs can lead to problems. The same goes for prints and frames. The photographs should influence the choice of album. In the same way, you wouldn’t buy wallpaper and then decide which room to put it in. Or purchase a picture frame and then choose a picture for it. We also find that our couples have a much easier time choosing an album once they have seen their actual wedding photos.
  • Sacrificing the quality of photography and service in favour of ‘extras’ is a false economy. It doesn’t matter how many prints you receive if the photographs or the service are sub-par.
  • Quality wedding photography should sell itself. Without the need for extra bells and whistles.
  • Photographs should be taken with colour or black and white in mind. Seeing the same image in both often leads to disappointment with one of them!
  • Removing upselling makes it easier for a photographer to set expectations. As well as over-delivering luxury services.

Wedding Couples:

  • Brides and grooms don’t like making ‘package selection’ decisions. They like even less being ‘encouraged’ into more expensive services.
  • Brides and grooms-to-be are generally unaware that there is a difference between batch and individually processed images. That is until they actually see it. Once they have seen the difference there is no way they would choose to trade quality for speed.
  • Over-complicating wedding photography services can add even more anxiety and stress to the already stressful task of wedding planning.

All of these points (and many more) were taken into consideration when creating our ‘all-inclusive’ wedding photography service. A service that will in the future change. Depending on what we consider important and the feedback from (and needs of) our happy couples.

Time Equals Quality

There are two temporal aspects that directly affect the quality of wedding photographs and services a couple receives. They are 1) The time the coverage spans on the wedding day itself. And 2) The time it takes the photographer to curate, process, and deliver the photographs. In both cases the general rule that the more time the better the quality.

Lets elaborate:

Coverage Time

Back in ‘ye olden days’ before documentary wedding photography ‘Traditional Wedding Photography’ was king. A photographer would arrive at a wedding. Capture some of the ceremony and signing of the register. They would then work through a long list of formal posed family photographs and leave, job done. The couple of hours and style they worked in is a far cry from the storytelling approach of today’s wedding photographers.

As we have previously mentioned many photographers will sell their services by the amount of time they spend at the wedding. Often in blocks of four or five hours. It can sound great: “So we can have the same photographer for a lot less money if they are only with us for four hours”. Again, the problem arises when you begin to think about that.

A Wedding Day Is A Long Day

An average wedding day is about 17 hours long. Every bride we have ever worked with has said that it passed in the blink of an yeye!. From the beginnings of bridal and venue setup to the grand exit at the end of the evening. We are sorry to say it but 4 hours of coverage just doesn’t cut it. Who wants to read a book but only purchases 20 percent of the pages? We know very well that it is impossible to fully tell the story of a wedding day without unlimited coverage (or two photographers!).

Every single wedding, we have ever been to as photographers or guests has at some point in the day had a slip in timings. Almost everyone has had something amazing and unexpected happen.

Imagine you have paid for 8 hours of coverage. Your wedding band is stuck in traffic and the first dance has to be moved by 40 minutes. This might then mean that your photographer is not around to capture it. Or even worse, as we have seen in a viral video recently he leaves (interrupting to say goodbye) during the first dance. It made us shudder.

Working Without Time Limits

With unlimited coverage variability of wedding timings and unexpected events are all captured. After all, they are all a part of your wedding day story. Unlimited coverage is much easier for a wedding photography duo to acheive, see why in our wisdom post “Why Do I Need Two Wedding Photographers?”.

To demonstrate the need for wedding photography coverage without time limits, the following images were all taken over 12 hours apart. The first during wedding preparations and the second during the wedding evening:

bridal preparation wedding makeup taken first thing wedding morning
black white wedding preparation photo shocked bride
brides daughter first thing wedding morning photo
no time limits coverage wedding photo night time how much does wedding photography cost
dancing silhouette wedding photo take after 12 hours coverage how much does wedding photography cost
bride groom silhouette coloured flash tents taken after 12 hours coverage how much does wedding photography cost

We believe so strongly in the power of quality storytelling that we now cover part of the story even before the wedding day. We offer all of our couples an engagement shoot. Yes, it is great to get to know your photographer better (and vice versa) and help you relax you in front of the camera. But just as important is that it captures that often overlooked period of your life before you are married. For more on our thoughts behind this see “Why You Need An Engagement Photo Shoot”.

Time Taken Selecting And Editing Images

Again when answering “How much does wedding photography cost?” we need to look behind the curtain at how this affects the quality of your wedding photographs. A high-quality photographer will spend large amounts of time skilfully selecting and processing your photographs. The more time they spend the better quality your images will be.

Image Curation

Image curation is an art form rarely talked about. Photographers at all levels of their game will take thousands of images away from a wedding day. One thing that separates poor from high quality photography is how well the images are curated..

Does each image tell a story on its own? Will each image stand up as a separate piece of artwork and seamlessly integrate into the others to beautifully portray the story of your day? How many images are too many/ too few? Are there very similar images included in the selection? Are all the important moments from the day included, all of the emotions evoked?

These are all questions addressed when curating the images shot at a wedding. An experienced quality wedding photographer will have this process down to a tee.

Image Processing

When we talk about image processing we are referring to what happens to your images once curation takes place. Put simply, the editing.

This can be from the basics of cropping, colour balancing, temperature, and tone adjustments to complex composite manipulation. All to aid the highest quality image possible. It takes time. Quality images, behind the scenes will have been individually processed. Each image will need its own unique edit, very rarely do two require exactly the same.

Batch processing, where all, or sets of the images are adjusted in the same way detracts from the individual quality. The reason batch processing is used is that it is generally a ‘hands-off’ automated process. Yes, it takes a lot less time but the difference in quality is easy to spot.

cost of individually edited wedding photographs

The Financial Costs Of Creating Quality Wedding Photography

To understand why quality wedding photography costs more. We will again dig deeper.

Running a wedding photography business is not cheap. The overheads often reflect a photographer’s commitment to their art. These will include (but are not limited to):

  • Business premise hire and utilities.
  • Computer equipment, storage, and maintenance.
  • Camera equipment and maintenance costs (double this for two photographers and triple it for backup kit!).
  • Speciality photography equipment rentals.
  • Image processing and general software subscriptions and services.
  • Online Gallery hosting and subscription.
  • Website design, maintenance, hosting, and development.
  • Business Insurance.
  • Training and personal development.
  • Travel, transport, sustenance and accommodation.
  • Presentation materials and albums.
  • Marketing and advertising costs.
  • Mobile phone costs and subscriptions.
  • Wages and taxes.
  • And finally. The extra time it takes for superb customer service, individual image curation, editing and processing, presentation, and delivery.

There are all significant costs to wedding photography and without any one of these, a quality wedding photography service would be lacking. The higher costs associated with quality photography do not necessarily lead to higher profits for the photographer. A common misconception.

wedding photography equitment camera kit costs

Number Of Photographers

As we always shoot as a wedding photography duo we know very well the cost implications of doing so. There are so, so many advantages that there isn’t enough space in this post to talk about it. You can read more about why we work as a team of two photographers in our blog post “Why Do I Need Two Wedding Photographers?”.

When thinking of overheads many (such as equipment, insurance, wages, and training) can be doubled when talking about a professional duo. A single shooter who has to hire an assistant or a second shooter will need to pay for training, insurance, equipment hire, and transportation. All of which adds to the costs

Experience And Training

We have previously touched on a quality photographer’s experience and training. Photography is an art form that never stops giving.

Experience VS Price

Inexperienced wedding photographers tend to charge less than those who have worked at hundreds of weddings. This does mean, however, that there is a greater level of risk in hiring them. Generally the more experienced a wedding photographer is the better quality their service and photographs will be. This, of course, means that they can command higher prices.

Experience Through Continual Development

Wedding photography is constantly evolving and there is always something new to learn. Photographers’ customer service, techniques, and approaches can constantly be improved, all throughout their lives. This applies to business as well as photography practices

Murray and I are committed to our own development within the field, often training with some of the top wedding photographers in the world. As well as training people to work as wedding photographers. Our passion for learning (and teaching) never stops.

A specific example is our use of experimental techniques in our wedding photography. We like to develop new ways of shooting or using equipment way before we use them at a wedding. First, we will have the idea, conceptualise and develop it between ourselves. Then we will try it out in the real world. Bringing it into engagement sessions and refining it before deployment at a wedding. That way our toolbox of techniques is ever-increasing.

happy keen wedding guest photographers hold their phones up and laugh

Our experience in numbers (at the time of writing):

33

Years Shooting Weddings

393

Total Number Of Weddings

14

Years Photographic Training

13

Years Working Together As A Duo

Comparing Photographers Costs And Services

So, now knowing all of the above we can compare the quality of wedding photography services when answering “How much does wedding photography cost?”. Note – this is, of course, a generalisation for illustrative purposes.

Lower Quality Wedding Photography Services

  • Low cost.
  • Low-quality photographs.
  • Inexperienced.
  • Unrefined customer service.
  • Poor quality communication.
  • Riding current styles – look dated over time.
  • Often batch processed and ‘filtered’.
  • Often ridiculously high numbers of photographs.
  • Bundles albums, prints etc with their ‘packages’.
  • Complex range of services.
  • Charges by time of coverage, which is often too little.
  • Fast delivery.

High-Quality Wedding Photography Services

  • Higher cost.
  • Higher quality.
  • Experience and training – continual development (passion).
  • Superb customer service.
  • Efficient communication.
  • Timeless style.
  • Limitless Coverage.
  • Individually processed images with attention to detail.
  • Wonderful image curation and storytelling ability.
  • Slower delivery.

Again there is a positive correlation between the price a wedding photographer charges and the quality of their service and photographs.

How Much Is A Wedding Photographer’s Booking Fee/ Deposit?

When it comes to booking a wedding photographer, it’s common practice to put down a deposit to secure their services for your chosen date. The deposit amount can vary from 10% to 50%  (depending on the photographer’s terms). To ensure a smooth experience, most photographers prefer to receive the remaining balance closer to the big day.

Over time, Murray and I have honed our payment options based on valuable feedback from numerous brides. We kindly request a third of the total cost as a deposit, while the remaining two payments are evenly split between the booking itself and the special wedding day. Our dedication to offering a stress-free service means that we maintain flexibility with deposits and payments, allowing couples to choose what works best for them. Some couples opt to pay everything upfront while others prefer smaller monthly installments.

At the end of the day, our goal remains to accommodate and support each couple in creating their perfect wedding celebration.

What Are The Emotional Costs Of Wedding Photography?

Many of the emotional elements of working with a wedding photographer have been covered in the above discussion about quality wedding photography. They shouldn’t be overlooked when answering “How much does wedding photography cost?”.

The Cost Of Stress

We know very well that planning and executing a wedding can be a stressful experience for a bride-to-be. This is where a quality wedding photographer’s experience and knowledge are of the utmost importance. An experienced wedding photographer will have worked at hundreds of previous weddings. They are the only wedding supplier to work with a bride and groom from the very beginnings of wedding planning. As well as from the start to finish of the wedding day. Often even further, beyond the honeymoon.

Their wisdom when it comes to stress-free weddings is invaluable. They should be offering it to you from day one, so make sure you use it. A quality photographer can reduce any anxieties you have. Not only about the wedding photography itself but relating to your plans. They should provide much-needed guidance and reassurance throughout the process.

Wedding photographers will also have a mass of experience working with other wedding suppliers across a range of venues and weddings. They can again alleviate some of the stresses of wedding planning with supplier recommendations and even visual inspiration.

How and when a photographer communicates with you and delivers their service should be as stress-free as possible. Murray and I pride ourselves on listening to the feedback we receive from our past couples and adjusting our services accordingly.

Your Emotions And Wedding Photography

Finally, there are the emotions involved with the photographs themselves and their impact on you. A quality photographer should capture the nerves, fun, happiness, love, contemplation, surprise, anticipation etc of a wedding day. Quality photographs should be highly evocative. Taking you straight back to the feelings of the day. There is nothing worse than seeing a set of wedding photographs that leave you feeling nothing. That is a truly emotional cost.

In order to fully explore the emotional costs of wedding photography we have to highlight the potential negatives:

Imagine the stress of hiring an unreliable, inexperienced wedding photographer. You find them difficult to communicate with, causing you anxiety. On your big day, they are either aloof or obtrusive, stressed, angry, and overwhelmed. Afterwards, looking at the photos you feel let down.

The wrong photographer can really have a negative emotional impact.

Emotion portraid in documentary weddin gphotograph during wedding ceremony

Time (And Effort) Costs

Planning and executing a wedding can take up a lot of your time. Researching, budgeting, meetings, shopping, correspondence, and general organisation all need to be performed around everyday life. Many wedding blogs and directories recommend allowing at least a year to plan a wedding. In our experience, it can be double this. That is a lot of time. Your wedding photography should not cost you uneccasary time.

And yes. For this very reason, many couples use wedding planners to reduce this time. Which comes with its own financial costs. Again, it’s important that you build a rapport with your wedding photographer before the big day.

wedding planning book

When examining at the question “how much does wedding photography cost?” it is important that you realise the value of your (and their) time. From the photographer’s perspective, good quality service is a tricky balance between taking up little or too much of your time. Your relationship with them should be as effortless as possible.

Clearly, there will be an amount of time involved in planning and executing your wedding photographs, meetings, and engagement shoots. As well as getting to know your photographer (and them getting to know you). They should be able to minimise the amount of your time and effort needed for planning their logistics. And be able to communicate clearly and efficiently without appearing impersonal.

Too Little Time Can Be As Bad As Too Much Time

The last thing you want is a photographer that you book and never hear from again. You don’t want to have to chase them every time something needs doing. Or being left with hundreds of unanswered questions and an emotional headache.

At the other end of the spectrum an inexperienced photographer. They are constantly asking you unimportant questions. Demanding updates on your plans every week. You don’t want your valuable time wasted filling out multiple forms, and responding to unnecessary emails, phone calls, and meetings.

In both cases the answer to “how much does wedding photography cost?” would be a lot, emotionally!

 

Using Technology To Save Time Costs

We previously mentioned that quality photographers need a high level of computer literacy to work with their photographs. They should also be using time-saving, effective methods of communication. Utilizing modern technology to do so.

Again, this can go back to striking the perfect balance between professionalism and personability. Of which the optimum level will be different for every couple they work with.

It is for this very reason that we wait to put together our logistical plan until two weeks before the big day. This way the chances of timing changes, multiple plans, and unnecessarily time-consuming communication are required. We also make sure that we clearly communicate that this is how we work and why we do it. All it takes is one web form and sometimes a quick email or call.

zoom meeting with wedding photographers

To Conclude: How Much Does Wedding Photography Cost?

Wedding photography is more than just taking pictures. As you can see, it is not something that you should skimp on or take lightly. It is an art form that captures the emotions, the details, the beauty, and the story of your wedding day. Wedding photography is one of the most valuable aspects of your wedding. It deserves your attention and your budget.

There are no simple statistics and no simple answer to the question. When looking at how much wedding photography costs there are many factors to consider. These include quality of photography and services, wedding photography ‘packages’ as well as the emotional and time costs involved.

When looking at “How much does wedding photography cost?” don’t forget that a wedding photographer is not just a person with a camera. They are a creative artist who has a vision, a style, and a skill to create stunning images that reflect your personality and your love. A luxury wedding photographer may cost more, but they will also deliver more. They will give you the best possible service. The best possible quality. And the best possible experience. They will make your wedding day unforgettable, and your wedding photos priceless.

Want to read more? Check out our other Wedding Wisdom Posts

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one thousand words Photographers Dorset wedding photographers

Tom Wishart & Murray Lambert

Documentary Wedding Photographers In Dorset & Hampshire

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