How much does a good wedding photographer cost?
On what is arguably the most important day of your life, your wedding photos are a big deal — which makes choosing the right wedding photographer an even greater problem to ensure you’ll have beautiful photos to cherish for years to come.
Maybe it’s because of our digital connectivity and greater attention to visual media, but couples are willing to pay more for wedding photographer than ever before. In The Knot’s latest survey of the 2014 wedding season, released in 2015, the average cost of a wedding had reached an all-time high — including the money spent paying for a wedding photographer.
Here in the UK, you can spend anything from pretty much zero to £10,000 for a UK wedding photographer – and if you look worldwide you can pay even more! You’ve probably seen some of this already with ads promising high-quality coverage both for £395, £995, £1495, £1995 and £2995. Why pay £2995? Or is £395 enough for everyone?
Why do we charge £1750 per 12 hours? Why should you pay the extra over a photographer who charges £1000 or £1500? What more will we deliver compared with the other photographers?
Why pay more for your wedding photographer?
It’s very human to assume that other people’s jobs don’t require much experience and photography is no exception; it seems that anyone “with a good camera” is seen as a potential wedding photographer.
The truth is that someone who takes some nice photos of ducks or landscapes or even people is as capable of photographing a wedding as I am at cooking a meal worth £500! Wedding photography requires a very specialised set of skills – people, organisational and photography skills – which are developed over the years.
So .. pay more to reduce risk! As you pay more, you minimise the possibility of disappointment. It isn’t a 100% correlation, but most of the time it’s true.
- A free photographer may experience basic problems, and you might not receive good photos.
- A cheap photographer for £500 will probably produce poor results at some points.
- A professional photographer for £1000 will likely produce acceptable results in most circumstances.
- An experienced photographer for £1500 will probably produce a consistent set of photographs with style.
- A luxury wedding photographer for £3000 should produce amazing results, no matter.
- Of course, the “for free” photographer may have everything in their favour one day and produce amazing results while the luxury wedding photographer might have an off day and mess up … The chances of these happening are low, though. That’s why it’s about risk and not a certainty.
Do you get what you pay for then?
On the whole, throughout every industry worldwide, you do get what you pay for. Cars, houses, food, holidays and so on all follow the same rule. Photography is no exception, but it is unique in that couples usually have little or no experience of professional wedding photography on which to make an assessment about value for money.
Just like with chefs, photographers have a limit to their natural talent too. Professional wedding photographer who is more efficient will float to the top end of the industry because their love for their art will push them to produce more and more of the beautiful work that they get a buzz from.
Bargains can be found, especially if you’re willing to be less exact with your requirements, but photographers who are more expensive will tend to provide a better service and more stunning photographs than a photographer who charges less.
Here are some of the differences that you can expect from a more expensive photographer:
- Be a more competent wedding photographer. This is the most obvious difference. In theory, at least, every photograph I produce will be more effective than cheaper photographers.
- Use more expensive equipment, such as the highest quality lenses (which can cost up to £2000 each!), cameras and lighting. These do make a difference.
- Spend more time and be more competent in the post production of photographs, which is where photos can shine. They could also have a higher quality screen and a colour accuracy tool.
- Spend more time listening to the couple’s needs and giving advice.
- Have more effective admin and business systems.
- Deliver your wedding using higher quality products.
If a photographer is charging less, it’s very likely that some or all of these elements will be missing.
We hope this article has lifted the lid off the confusing wedding photography pricing system, as well as given you something to work from. Whoever you choose, do your research and compare them with others of similar quality.
If you have any questions or comments, leave them below!
Good luck with your search and we hope you have a fantastic wedding day!