We all know wedding photography isn’t cheap but is it over priced? Well, read on and decide for yourself.
All couples budgets vary, as do the prices of individual photographers. The prices differ drastically in some cases, usually based on experience and the skill of the photographer in question. Many photographers offer different packages which can involve various things, some offer albums, prints, family gifts, etc etc. I can not really speak for every photographer but I can give you a run down of what I earn per hour as a wedding photographer.
If I photograph a wedding for the whole day my price is on average around £800. I say on average because it varies depending on the time of year and which day of the week. Usually it will start with exchanging emails answering the usual questions regarding pricing and what the couple will receive. This can be for an hour or two over a period of a few days. Not all, but most couples like to meet before the big day. This involves driving somewhere in between where I’m based and where the couple lives. On average with travel, discussing the wedding day and reviewing the contract, this takes a couple of hours. Sometimes if the venue is close enough I’ll check it out before the wedding so that is another couple of hours. Then the wedding day comes around and for me personally to photograph a wedding and tell the complete story I need to start at the beginning and finish at the end. So for a typical wedding I’m there from bridal prep all the way until the last of the merry guests are leaving, this isn’t always the case but sometimes if that’s what is needed then that’s what is needed. Let’s say for the sake of this calculation 11 hours shooting on the actual day that’s without travel.
Now for the fun part, editing. This really is the part that can vary massively from wedding to wedding depending on how many shots I end up taking, even when the edit and post production is fast it will take around 2 full days, so let’s say another 24 hours. The wedding photo book or album is another thing that takes time to put together, usually a couple of hours. Then taking the USB to the post office sending it off then following up with emails say another hour. Now at a very rough working out that is less than £20 an hour. I can assure you that in actual fact, with overheads and other factors, I would be extremely lucky to earn £20 an hour.
The reason I wanted to do this little break down is because I’ve heard it said that wedding photography costs so much and it’s only one days work. It’s not one day, there really is a lot involved. I’m certainly not the most expensive wedding photographer out there and you can easily pay 2 or 3 times that amount but that’s still only £40-60 an hour for someone who will capture, with true skill and professionalism, one of the biggest days of your life. Someone who will document your day in a way that only a professional wedding photographer can. If you ask me then I say that is a small price to pay for something rather special.
Joseph Brazil provides a documentary / reportage wedding photography service based in Surrey, England.
He is available throughout the U.K. as well as overseas events with no occasion too small or large.