Wedding photography is one aspect of your big day we’d advise you not to scrimp on, but don’t worry if your wedding budget is tight – there’s still a variety of affordable wedding photography packages out there, many of which include an engagement shoot, wedding album and up to 10 hours of photography on the big day.
How Much Does a Wedding Photographer Cost?
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 it’s best to invest in a professional. 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.
But how much money exactly should you realistically 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.
Expect to spend at least £1,000 on wedding photography
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 £1,200, 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.”
How much does a destination wedding photographer cost?
If you’re having an overseas wedding, make sure you can communicate with your photographer properly – whether this means getting a translator to be the go-between for you and the 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 there’s a communication issue.
Gypsy Westwood, who’s been photographing weddings in Ibiza since 2001, says that on the island you should expect to pay 2,000 Euros and upwards for a whole day.
You get what you pay for
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 while 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 £1,000 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 nine-to-five 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 £1,500 for a full day’s coverage.”
“Many of the top wedding photographers will be charging more than £2,000 and sometimes over £3,000 for their services, and in my experience, the £2,000 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, £1,000 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 £1,000 that your photos will turn out horribly, But it’s definitely a figure to bear in mind while you’re putting together the budget.
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