WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PRICES - Why so Expensive?
It's all about your perception...
Much like some people would pay a lot for a particular painting whilst others wouldn't give it space on their wall - photography is all in the eye of the beholder.
Some people would pay hundreds for a bottle of wine - me - I'm happy with supermarket offerings!
And so it is with Wedding Photography.
For some couples, photographs by their friend or even just guests phone photos are good enough.
Whilst some couples are so "into" photography they'll pay many thousands for a particular photographer to photograph their wedding.
There's no "right" price to pay for your wedding photography - it's more a case of, how much will photos of your wedding day be worth to you - not TODAY but in ten, twenty years time and do you want loads of framed prints, albums, canvases etc?
WHY DOES WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY COST SO MUCH?
The really short version...
It's TOP QUALITY only for Special Occasions and Absolutely Has To Be Right
Think of anything else that has the same description like a Round The World Cruise, or maybe a Day at a Luxury Spa, Lunch at The Ritz.
This is where Wedding Photography fits in the many genres of photography.
There's Family Photography, Corporate Photography and even Fashion Photography;
NONE has the demands that wedding photography has.
A wedding photographer has no option but get everything right first time.
There is no re-run, no second chance - miss a shot and it's gone forever.
Additionally a wedding photographer actually has to encompass all the other genres of photography :-
Portrait photography - of the Bride and Groom and close family and Bridesmaids etc.
Event Photography - photographing the day as it unfolds in a sometimes unpredictable way and yet capturing the "moments" and memorable things that happend.
Sports Photography - tell me that trying to photograph the couples 5 year old playing on the bouncy castle isn't as challenging as any sports photography.
Family photography - well hopefully there'll be some family to photograph at a wedding!
Fashion Photography - less obvious but fashion photography is all about lighting, composition and pose and this is exactly what I do when getting shots of the Bride and Groom - images that would grace a Wedding Magazine front cover.
So your wedding photographer needs to be experienced, accomplished and able to deal with anything the day throws at them.
Unfortunately it's also something seen by people who have a camera as pretty lucrative - as a result we have many (dare I say most) "wedding photographers" are too often weekend hobbyists out to make a quick buck.
It's very easy for a photography enthusiast to think they can photography a wedding - after all it's only taking photos isn't it.
Well actually no, it's a lot more.
It's about understanding people and having the experience to know where to be and what is required to get shots like to one above where I waited for several minutes for this image to happen, when I had selected the right camera settings, the right lens and was in the right place, BTW this wedding image has won several awards.
So wedding photography is a speciality requiring years of practice, a lot of gear and a sprinkling of talent.
That all has a price.....
Wedding Photography Typical Price Breakdown
A typical wedding photograhper in UK will have similar costs but may charge wildly different prices.
Many wedding couples are under the illusion that their wedding photographer turns up on their day, gets the photos and then uploads them to a gallery and job done.
There's a whole lot more to it and let's take a look.
Firstly I offer an Engagement Shoot as part of my packages so there's usually around 6 hours work there - travelling to and from the location, an hour plus getting photos, then around 3 hours editing and uploading to create their gallery.
On the day there's often at least an hours travelling each way, 10 hours at the wedding followed by 8 hours editing and processing, 5 hours creating an album, and time orgainising prints etc.
Also another 4 hours editing a "hilite" video"
Let's not forget the price includes an Album and prints and travel costs all of which reduce the net price received.
And finally this is a business and that has costs - advertising, insurance and of course replacement cameras every two years or so.
At the end of the day for me personally it means I get paid about the same as a skilled craftsman, say an Electrician pr Heating Engineer.
BUT HEY I LOVE WHAT I DO!
So most professional Wedding photographers (as opposed to the "weekend enthusiasts" ) incurr similar costs - what they charge is then a reflection more of their marketing abilities than their photography skills. The photographers at the top of the list when you search for "wedding photographer your town) are those who've been around for many years and worked hard on SEO to get seen by Google.
As a result they can charge probably double what a guy on page 4 can charge - yet their photography in many cases will be no better.
As a VERY rough guide I'd say that for a Full Day Wedding Photography Package by a Full Time Professional Photographer including around 200 digital images, an album and a few prints will be from £1000 to £2000. Above that price and you should be expecting many more products OR outrageous quality, things like Italian Luxury Leather Bound Albums etc.