Wedding photography is one aspect of your big day we’d advise you not to scrimp on. We’re all for DIY weddings and doing as much of it all you can yourself, but we think your photography is something that’s worth investing in. You’ll be looking back at these photos for years to come, so you want them to be the best they possibly can be to remind you of what a special day your wedding was.
Leave it to the professionals
You may have a friend who’s a keen amateur photographer and who has offered to capture your big day, but we’d still say invest in a photographer. You need someone who’ll stay focused on the job at hand and won’t be itching to go off and join the party, have a few drinks and miss some once-in-a-lifetime moments.
When you’re putting together your wedding budget, allocate some money for your photographs first and then look out for a wedding photographer whose style you like. So how much hould you put aside for this? We asked some of our favourite wedding photographers what you should expect to pay for somebody who’s going to do the job well.
Mark Dolby is based in Leeds, and has been a best man twice and as well as a groom, so he knows what it feels like to be on the other side of the camera! He advises that you budget at least a thousand pounds for your photography.
“The simple answer is £1200, including your album and disc of images,” says Mark. “How much you spend on a photographer really depends on how important the photos are to you. If photos aren’t a priority, don’t be afraid to go for a less expensive photographer or perhaps only get coverage for part of the day – just make sure you understand the risks!
“It’s hard to compare photographers based on price, because so much of what you’re paying for is about the quality of service and personality of your photographer. It’s worth investing in someone who’ll not only take great pictures but help you have a fantastic day, and so I think it’s important to meet them before you book.”
What about if you’re getting married abroad?
One thing we definitely advise when it comes to arranging photography for your overseas wedding is making sure you can communicate with your photographer properly – whether this means getting a translator to be a go-between for you and the resort photographer, flying a UK-based photographer out to your chosen destination or choosing an expat who’s based locally. The last thing you need to be worrying about is whether your photographer knows exactly what you want from the day because you haven’t been able to communicate clearly with one another.
Gypsy Westwood, who’s been photographing weddings in Ibiza since 2001, says that on the island you should expect to pay 2000 Euros and upwards for a whole day.
Good customer service
Mark Tattersall is based in the North West of England but travels all over the country to capture weddings for couples.
“When it comes to costs, it’s a simple equation,” he says. “Wedding photographers can only fit in so many weddings per year whilst maintaining good customer service, professional development and a smoothly-run business. It’s impossible to pay the bills unless you charge in the region of £1500 a time.
“Some will charge slightly less and some a lot more, but a photographer charging under £1000 must be either an up-and-coming talent or one of the many wedding photographers of whom I hear horror stories from couples who contact me for help after being disappointed with their budget photographer.”
“There are many talented ‘weekend warrior’ photographers who work a regular 9-5 job during the week, but who still do a high-quality job at weekend weddings,” says Home Counties specialist David Bostock. “However, you need to ask if they have invested in the back-up facilities for your images, professional gear and lenses that can shoot in very low light, and public liability and professional indemnity insurance should the worst happen.
“Certainly anything less the £1,000 a day is often a recipe for disaster. A full-time wedding photographer with upwards of 200 weddings under their belt should probably be around £1500 for a full day’s coverage. Many of the top wedding photographers will be charging more than £2000 and sometimes over £3000 for their services, and in my experience, the £2000 cut-off is quite a telling price point. The most important thing is to check out their portfolio and their coverage of at least three full weddings.”
So according to our experts, £1000 a day seems to be a ballpark amount to set aside for high-quality photography that you’ll cherish forever. Here at Wedding Ideas we’ve seen lots of real-life brides have beautiful and touching photographs taken by talented people for all sorts of prices, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you pay less than £1000 that your photos will turn out horribly – but it’s definitely a figure to bear in mind while you’re putting together the budget.
To see gorgeous galleries from real brides and be inspired by their photography, why not take a look at our Real Weddings section?