Why the fudge are wedding photographers so expensive?

You’re on the hunt for that perfect photographer but the prices vary so much and all you can think is “how can they justify charging so much for a day’s work!”

Equipment, time & the costs of running a business are all a factor.

“But they’ve already bought the equipment?”

And you are essentially hiring it for the day, a typical kit bag for a photographer can sum up to £12,000 – because they need double of everything for backups.

Typically, the equipment can last 3 years and at a cost of £12,000 over 120 weddings – you essentially have a small hire fee of £100 embedded in to the cost.

But equipment isn’t everything – knowing how to use it is key! Would the pictures I take on a £5,000 camera look the same as someone using it for the first time?

“But my mates uncle has one of these expensive cameras and will do it for free”

But will uncle bob know where to stand at the right moments? Moments are like dust they are gone with the wind so knowing exactly where to be at every point of the day is crucial.

Can they control the full wedding party?

Will they be organised in to running through the day with you?
Does uncle bob really know how to use the camera?
If it rain’s will uncle bob know the best course of action?
(Will they lay off the drinks and keep going all day long)
Do they know how to pose that awkward couple
Do they know how to spark that natural laugher between you both for your photos?


These are some of the basics comparisons.


Personality

You need patience in wedding photography and the charm to make people feel relaxed around you. Could anything stiffen you up more than a stiff/boring/arrogant photographer directing you around for your shots. The fear will show in your photo’s.

Having that charm to round up and hurd 80 guests for a shot is a skill like no other. It’s no place for the timid.

You have to be likable and finding photographers that are willing to waste a few hours chatting to you before booking will what helps you discover them as a person which can form a crucial part of your decision.

They are also around your guests all day too and you want the guests to have fun and enjoyment in the shots.

I found a quote for £900 and that includes video too so I think I am going to use them?

Something that I come across often enough.

Is it one person or two? (one person cannot do both with good results, or even half good results) how can someone photo the confetti shot and video it?

 

And usually, these sorts of deals are a friend roped in to the day with very basic knowledge controlling one of the cameras (likely the video one).

Video and photo are worlds apart – they are a different skillset entirely. Whilst the principles of using a camera are the same – filming those moments in a perfect way that can be edited to look magical is key.

Could I personally film a wedding? – Absolutely!
Could I make it look as good as someone who does just video? – not in a million years and that is why I leave it to the professionals.

Combo packages tend to be – one main person experienced in video or photo – and a second person “holding” a camera all day. And I mean that literally. 

You get what you pay for essentially and if you are wanting to go down that route you need to be prepared for low-standard quality.

 

If you truly want to go down this route – then at least book them separately – a good photographer, and a cheap videographer or vice-versa to secure at least one good product.

 

The problem with the wedding industry….

It’s no hidden mystery that adding the word wedding to something doubles the price and what you tend to find is people start to see it as an easy ticket to making money for little work but it couldn’t be further from the truth.

New people will come in to the industry, under cut everyone without fully appreciating the work involved and it’s something I was guilty of my self.

I did my first wedding for £300 but the day it’s self was a tiresome one, 12 hours on my feet, £30 spent in petrol going from location to location, after support when the bride wanted certain amends, a pre visit to the venue, 3 planning meetings in total to run through everything so it was perfect for her and in the end I spent 55 hours on this wedding at a rate of £5 per hour it worked out and that’s before factoring in the £10,000 of equipment I had. 

I quickly learnt my lesson. For a skill I had spent 5 years mastering and over £2,500 on training courses I saw my self where the costs come from and started to adopt to a better more sustainable pricing. I love wedding photography with a passion but I also have to make it sustainable and worth while otherwise its a matter of time before you soon begin to hate something if it’s more hassle than its worth.

We all have to start some where, and we (photographers) start to appreciate the time & effort involved and the prices over time begin to reflect that.

But don’t be fooled, whilst I came in during my early days at a low price there are others that go straight for the top end pricing as they think “I already know how to take photographs”

keep a look out for overpriced photographers

With all this being said and done there is one thing to bear in mind. Being expensive doesn’t automatically qualify as being good. There are some basic criteria I would expect a yes to on all the below.

So here is a bare minimum checklist for any photographer above £800

– Planning meetings are factored in
– Contracts issued (keeps you safe as much as them).
– Insured
– Backup equipment on hand
– A good variety of different images – Night, Bridal prep, Confetti, First kiss, Bride & groom shots – all clearly visible
– A selection of at least 10-15 weddings visible on the website.
– That they have a website (Yes it may seem obvious, but it may be more of a hobby, or they are new).
– Images are clear, straight, in focus and edited well.
– Watch out for black and white mania – Black and whites are good but some photographers use this as a technique to mask problems such as struggling to take shots in low light.

– Are they asking the right questions about your day? You should feel like they have made you think about things you never even considered.

But I just want it capturing I’m not bothered about how good they are.

The essential summary of all this is how much are you willing to risk your wedding photos.

Some brides are not as bothered as other’s and so this plays a part in to what you want at the end of the day. Don’t take risks by trying to cheap them if they are important to you and likewise don’t spend a fortune if you just want nothing special.

Ultimately it’s your call.


 

THE REAL COSTS

Let’s get straight into the costs of wedding photography – 

Annual costs 
£1000 training courses to keep current.
£200 website.
£3000 a year – Equipment breaks and let’s assume it all needs replacing every 3 years.
£100 a year -Insurance.
£700 a year – PC (let’s assume a new one every 3 years).
£500 – Software/licensing/backup systems.
£3000 – Advertising – hitched/bride book/FB ads all mount up to the biggest cost.

Total cost = £8.500 / Year

Total cost per wedding = £212 

Now let’s break down a £1,200 photographer

She/He makes £790 profit per wedding after tax

Not bad ey! but wait…. for how many hours?

Each wedding

5 hours of planning and discussions.
12 hours on the day.
15 hours of editing.
5 hours on amends/aftercare support.

Total time spent = 37 Hours per wedding.

Total hourly rate = £21 per hour.

For all the stress and work involved, the pressure and the responsibility you soon start to see how much they really earn.

Now is it expensive?


THE BIGGEST MISTAKE

The biggest mistake we make when hunting for a wedding photographer and looking at price is assuming its “just a days work”.  The wedding it’s self is only 1/3 of the total time spent.

It is unfortunate that there are other suppliers in wedding industries who do charge excessively for what really is just “a days work” and yet the photographer always seems under valued for the time and effort spent in to each wedding pre & post.

They’re the one you rely on the most on the day, talks to you the most and the one who spends the most time with you on your big day.

When you factor in cancellations, ghosting and those who after many discussions decide to ask auntie Karen to take the pictures. The hourly rate soon vanishes into nothing. 

but how are others charging £600 for a day?

Something has got to give in these instances.

Are they regularly training?
Are they insured?
Are they replacing equipment or just using low-end equipment?
Are they spending a good amount of time editing each wedding?
Are they even planning and visiting the venue?
Are they new and want to build experience?
Perhaps it’s more of a hobby to them?

One thing I can assure you is … They won’t keep their prices that low for long when they start to see the time and effort required for each wedding and this leads to one major point. 

They either don’t put as much time into weddings as they should or they just haven’t done enough weddings to appreciate how tiresome they really are.

how is wedding photography different to other photography?

Whilst the technical skills of photography all conform to the same.

The world of wedding photography engages more challenges

– Handling rain/bad weather.
– Handling dark/dingy rooms when the registrar won’t let you use flash(common thing!).
– Being able to control crowds of people(Not for the timid).
– Being able to make photos look beautiful even in any environment.
– Being able to pose couples/groups to look natural.
– Being able to think fast and adapt .
– Understanding their camera at every level to get your shots fast and efficiently to let you get back to the wedding.
– Having the confidence to pull a couple away from their wedding for some photos – (Yep! something ive seen first hand 

Summary

All being said and done we now have an idea of what’s involved in wedding photography and the expense it.

Photos form a part of your long-life memories of the day and capture each moment and shot of the important family in your life. It’s a very sad but true fact that our loved ones will not be around forever and that shot of you and dad on your wedding day could become your most treasured memory for your eternal life hanging on the wall till the day you are 70 showing your grandchildren the day you got married.

It’s ultimately your decision at the end of the day on what you want to spend but at least now see the costs associated behind the scenes.

Pricing Plans

This week only - save up to £300 on gold and platinum package

Sale remaining

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Special offer

£150 discount on all packages - Offer ends thursday

enquire today and secure your discount -

booking must be fully confirmed before end of july

what's included

All packages come with these great features!

✯ Pre-planning meetings before the wedding
To find out what’s really important to you.

✯ Professional Photographer (me!)
Experienced, professional and most importantly fun

✯ Your personal online gallery
To showcase and download your high res watermark free images and share with guests

✯ 2-4 week turnaround
No waiting around for months for your photos.

✯ Every image edited
All images will be professionally edited to my signature style

✯ 350/400+ Images
Silver package typically return around 350 images whilst Gold/Platinum packages will return 500 however this is a minimum. I simply send as many as i can.

✯Wedding support prior to your big day
From ideas, planning, suppliers and more i am with you every step of the way and access to guides ive written to get the most out your photos
✯ Inclusive travel within 2 Hours of Leeds
Any accomodation and travel fees are inclusive of the price (Small charges apply outside of 2 hours)
✯ Coverage till after the first dance

I wont be vanishing after the first dance but instead will be capturing some of the evening antics, i typically a little after the first dance but if there are extras such as sparklers and any night shots you want i stay till the job is done

Availability notice

2024 – Fully Booked – You can check anyway – off peak i may be able to help but summer is full 

2025 – Almost full (Summer has a couple of dates left – Spring/Autumn has good availability)

2026 – Good availability at present

Please feel free to enquire anyway and i will let you know either way

Digital packages

Digital only packages  – Where your images are returned to you in digital format via your online gallery

Silver

The important bits 
Half day coverage – Digitals

✯ All of the above

✯ 8 Hours – (Ceremony till first dance coverage or bridal prep till speeches)

✯ 350+ Images

 

£1100


Gold

Bridal prep till late
All day coverage – Digitals

✯ All of the above

✯ Bridal prep

✯ 500+ Images

✯ Coverage till 1-2 hours after first dance

Currently on offer this week- save £250

 

£1300
£1550
 

album packages

Digital & Album packages – receive your images in a digital format plus a printed wedding album

Platinum

Platinum package
All day coverage + Digitals & and album

✯ All of the above
✯Coverage from Bridal prep till 1-2 hours after first dance
✯ 500+ Images
Digital delivery of your photos
10″ X 10″ 20 page wedding album
(Upgrade to boxed album + usb for £75)

  •  

Currently on offer this week- save £300

 

£1550

£1950

 

Platinum+ Extra

£1995

All of it 
Plus 3 albums & print

  • All of the above
  • Full day coverage from prep till party
  • Digital delivery of your photos
  • 1 x 30cm + 30cm 20 page wedding album + Boxed + USB
  • 2 x 20cm x 20cm copies (Perfect for parents)
    1 X Canvas Print(Various sizes up to 90×60 available)
    • Special offer till  31/01/2024 

      Complimentary upgrade

      Free wedding shoot Plus Extra photographer worth £500

      Booking must be confirmed prior to end of February

Extras

Extra photographer

£275

  • Added coverage of your day
  • Perfect for larger wedding or at large venues
  • Recommenced with weddings of 90+ Guests
  • Add’s around 300 photos to your collection

    Do i need 2 photographers? Click here

Album Packages
 

From £275

  • Selection of albums available in various sizes
  •  Choose from 25×25/30×30/20×30
  • Add additional pages from £10 per page

    See more information here

Wedding Preshoot

 £250

Get some practice in before the wedding and enjoy a preshoot  + 50 images to  download

Video Packages

From £955

I have teamed up with a fellow videographer to deliver a discounted rate on video packages when combined with a photo package

Having 2 companies each specializing in their own field will deliver the best results for your special memories

 

On Key

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So you already have your wedding planned and everything is on target But you are still undecided about the video… Videographers are just as expensive as photographers and with good reason, they need even more equipment, tripods, microphones and assistance

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Let's check your date

My 2024 is full and my 2025 is filling up fast

£300 off this selected packages
Enquire before February the 14th to be receive discount Booking must be fully confirmed before Feb 28th 2024

Check your date below

Now here is a treat for you! £100 off your booking….But why?

 

I have hidden this amongst text for a reason.

Couples who go the effort of wanting to know as much about me as possible are the sort of couples i love the most!

The one’s who want to know as much as possible about there photographer for there big day as they know it’s a big decision for them!

So here is a special treat for you – Enjoy £100 off your booking just write “I read your stuff” when you inquire and i will apply the discount to your booking if you decide to go ahead.

It’s just a sweetener to say thanks! as you are the type of couples i love to work with! :)


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