Wedding Photography Prices
In this article I will give you an outline of what to expect to pay, explain why cheap photography is a false economy, and why the old adage – “ya pays yer money and ya makes yer choice” is so very true – especially when it comes to wedding photography prices and packages.
There’s a traditional rule of thumb when it comes to considering wedding photography prices – “expect to spend between 10-15% of your budget on the photography” and this still holds true. In an age of modern digital photography one might wonder if that is still necessary. The simple answer is yes – creating good quality images that record and represent your special day in all its glory is not something to skimp on when it comes to managing the budget of your wedding.
In my article “how to choose a wedding photographer” you’ll read more about the things you need to consider when setting budget and making your choice. The three key costs are (1) Labour (2) Equipment (3) Business overheads. Firstly, and most importantly, the photographer you employ must charge enough (or be paid enough) to cover their time to do a fully professional job and not feel under pressure to push images out that lack the attention to detail that your wedding deserves. For every hour taking pictures, the professional photographer will typically spend two or three editing and working on a selection in post production to ensure the best quality images are provided to the customer. Remember too that labour rate is what remains after the costs of the business have been covered (more on that later).
Wedding Photography Prices: Why equipment matters
When it comes to Wedding Photography, good equipment is critical to achieving the best images: and pro equipment is expensive. With wedding photography there are particular challenges that push ordinary digital cameras beyond their abilities – getting good clear images from inside a dark church without graininess will outwit most – and then minutes later being able to capture subtle details on a white dress in bright sunshine requires high specification equipment.
Wedding Photography: Business Overheads
Asides from the normal costs of business, wedding photography prices are impacted by the high cost of marketing a successful wedding photography business and by the cost of professional photography equipment. This season I’ve been able to invest in the newest model camera body from Canon, which offers the latest specification and is particularly well suited to Wedding Photography. But, with any new equipment it’s important to put it through its paces before it goes out on a paid job, not least because I needed an opportunity to familiarise myself with the new positions of the controls. On-going professional development is important too – testing new ideas, trying out new equipment and keeping abreast of developments in the field. About 30% of the fee will go on business overheads.
Wedding Photography Prices: watch out for the Ryan Air deal
When looking at wedding photography prices and packages, If a deal sounds too cheap to be true it’s because it is. A low package deal may draw you in, but then you quickly find by the time you’ve added in all the things classed as ‘extras’ that you’d have expected anyway, suddenly the price isn’t so appealing.
Wedding Photography Prices: match budget to expectations
If you’re researching wedding photography prices and packages, take some time to check with friends to see what they paid and what they got. Look carefully at the quality of the images – in both composition and production. Good photography is an art – do the pictures look like they were taken by an artist or are they just ‘snaps’. A skilled photographer will know how to pose you to get the best out of you on the day, will put you at ease, be helpful and kind to you, and will want your day to be really wonderful so that the images are something you can treasure always. You can’t always choose which relatives come to a wedding but you do get to choose the photographer: find one you like, whose work you love and pay them what it costs. And expect that to be about 10-15% of your total wedding spend or not far off what you’ll spend on that lush dress.
Below is a set of images from a wedding photography training event, hosted by my dear friends Deb & Steve of Tiptop Photography, Birmingham which gave me the perfect opportunity to test my newest equipment and enjoy a day of shooting a wedding in the stunning setting of Birmingham Cathedral. I love this work. 🙂