One of the most important investments for your wedding day is a photographer. Weddings are all about creating memories that last for years, and you need to trust your photographer to capture those.
Wedding photography is not just about taking photos on the day, there’s a lot more than goes on behind the scenes. Price is a key consideration for my clients, which I understand, but a lack of knowledge about the work involved can lead to difficult conversations. I want to clear all that up.
I like to provide value for money, but also, I want to grow my business and earn a living. I see many wedding professionals struggling with price, and undercutting others by agreeing to heavy discounts. This doesn’t help the industry as a whole and devalues our amazing work. Wedding professionals are some of the most hard-working people I’ve ever met, with talent and creativity too! They deserve to be rewarded for that, don’t they?
I’d like to help you understand my rates and why they are set at where they are. Here’s what goes into every single wedding from my perspective as a wedding photographer – right from the first contact to the day you receive your images. I hope it explains why I charge what I do, and helps you understand when booking other professionals for your wedding, be it the wedding cake maker or your make-up artist.
Wedding photography package – what does it include?
For a full day digital package, I charge £2,000. What does this include?
Firstly, it starts with preparation. Whether that’s chatting with you on Skype or meeting you in person. It’s a really important part of the process so I can understand you, as a couple, and what you want from your day.
On the actual day, I normally spend around 12 hours at your wedding-taking photographs. If it ended at those 12 hours, I’m making a good income! But the work only just starts here.
Immediately after your wedding all the images are downloaded to my computer and then backed up to two separate hard drives, plus Cloud back up. I like to be safe! I’ve never lost an image.
Then it’s time to edit. This is the longest process for any wedding and each set of photographs is different depending on the venue, lighting, weather and time of year. Per wedding, I allow three 8-hour days for editing, so that’s 24 hours.
After editing all images, usually around 400 files, they are delivered to you –hosted on my online gallery where you can download and order prints whenever you like.
Then there’s the other little things that make everything come together– travelling to venues, admin, calls and emails. Those combined are around 4 hours, more if it’s a wedding further afield or a destination wedding.
So, the wedding, editing, travel and admin add up to 40 hours minimum per wedding. If you’re keeping up with the maths that’s around £50 per hour, as my rate is £2,000 per wedding.
The nitty gritty of running a wedding photography business
£50 an hour sounds pretty great? But let’s not forget what you need to run and maintain a business – expenses!
This is not an exhaustive list but my expenses include equipment and public liability insurance, equipment, hosting, computer equipment, rent, rates, electricity, software, wedding fairs, petrol and, of course, tax. Plus, much more!
Now that £2,000 is incredible value for money isn’t it? If you’re a wedding photographer reading this, I’m not saying that this is the rate you should charge. Your costs will be entirely different to mine – you just need to find that magic number which is right for you. What will help you make a living, grow your business and make a profit? What will help you deliver the best work to your clients?
Every couple have different budgets, and my rate might not be for everyone, but I think it’s important to explain why I charge what I do.
Understanding the cost of wedding photography
This blog is about my personal experience of wedding photography, and I hope it helps you understand what I offer and why.
So once these have been taken into account the hourly fee is reduced quite substantially. I’m not complaining, but I want to educate you as a potential client as well as and fellow wedding professionals. For couples, please consider the work that goes into a wedding but also the quality of the work and the years of experience your wedding photography has. If you value this then please value your photographer’s rates.
For wedding professionals, make sure you charge according to your skills, experience and expenses – never make up your prices. This will help you grow a sustainable business – so you can do what you love and still pay the bills.
If someone charges £1,500 and it works for their business and costs then that’s fine, the same applies if you charge £4,000+. Every couple has different budgets for their wedding and that’s why some people shop in Prada and some in Primark. A selection is there for a reason, to caterer for everyone’s needs.
I hope this guide was helpful, whether you’re looking for a wedding photographer or someone who is new to the industry. I’m always around to answer questions so do send me a message on Facebook or Instagram and I’ll be happy to help!