A guide to wedding & elopement photography in Wales – how much should an elopement photographer cost and how to pick one?
If you’ve chosen to get married or elope in Wales – you’re in for a real treat. The scenery is jaw-droppingly stunning and the people are super friendly. From breathtakingly beautiful mountainscapes to charming coastal views – Wales has everything you could possibly dream of if you want to get married here. Finding the right wedding photographer and knowing how much money to spend on your wedding photography needn’t be daunting. If you are considering a dreamy elopement in Wales – finding the one that’s right for you can be an absolute game changer for your elopement photography!
It’s pretty fair to say that there is a budget and style for everyone and with prices ranging from as little as £250 all the way up to an eye-watering £5000, the latest report by the Wedding Photography Industry states that the average UK couple actually spent £1590 on their wedding photography.
But how much should a wedding photographer cost?
And why are wedding photographers so expensive?
There really is no simple answer. The industry is not regulated and so what it comes down to is that the cost of your wedding or elopement photographer totally depends on what’s important to you. And how much you value wedding photography. Having recently splashed out on a pretty expensive new piece of equipment for my own photography business – I could have easily scoured the internet for the cheapest option but I chose not to. Instead, I did a bit of research, found someone who’d uploaded some relevant content, and watched quite a few of their videos. I discovered I liked what they were doing, and how they were doing it, and felt that they could be trusted to help me make an informed decision. In the end, I was happy to part with (more of) my money (than I had initially planned on doing), simply because I felt I was getting great value for my money. And that, my friends, is exactly what it comes down to when it’s your time to decide how much money you want to spend on your wedding or elopement photography!
Value your wedding photographer’s style
The more you value your photographer’s style, their vision, and how they’re mastering their craft – the more you’ll have to invest. If you just want a couple of generic wedding photos of the ceremony and family group shots and you don’t really care so much about creating something truly special – a photographer in the lower range (up to £500) might just do for you. Being in the lower tier, cheaper wedding photographers can pose a bit of a risk though as they often skimp on proper insurance and have inadequate equipment. They can be a friend or relative trying to break into the industry or someone a little less experienced (especially when it comes to dealing with low-light or fast-paced changes to wedding timelines). While there are, of course, always exceptions to the rule – a lot of wedding photographers in this category tend to shoot weddings as a hobby, and being quite inexperienced means they can miss key moments. They don’t necessarily consider their work to be artistic and do not believe in themselves or their craft and the service they provide is often reflected in their low price.
Wedding Photography Costs
If you’d like to book a photographer that can bring their local expertise and connections and aligns with your values and vision – start by looking for a photographer that covers your chosen region. Bringing a photographer from Brighton (for instance) to help with your wedding in Wales makes no sense to me. Yes, they may offer to do things cheaper but they have no local knowledge and will charge extra for travel so why not get more for your dollar by hiring a local photographer in Wales in the first place? By booking a local photographer you can rest assured that they know the best places (and times) to go for those dreamy sunset pictures on any day of the year and where to take you for easy access when the weather doesn’t play ball. And trust me – that kind of knowledge is worth its weight in gold!
A guide to Wedding Photography Costs
Photographers finding their niche and starting to master their craft may charge up to £1200. In this category, you will find photographers that are talented and keen and starting to establish a name for themselves. Their very own style is important to them and they often want to have a connection with their client. Their packages may also include other products such as pre-wedding shoots or albums.
Is Wedding Photography expensive?
If your photographer charges up to £1800 – you should be in pretty good hands! The portfolio of a wedding photographer in this range should reflect a consistent and personal style. You can usually expect a second shooter in this price range, maybe also a pre-wedding shoot and/or an album.
High-end Wedding Photographer
And if your budget is above £1800 – you can expect to get a photographer who has worked hard on becoming a brand. They’ll be very well trained, have a great deal of experience, and will be at expert level using artificial lighting.
So what makes a photographer a professional wedding photographer?
Good question! The industry is not regulated and we don’t need to study for exams to become a professional wedding photographer. So pretty much anyone can buy themselves entry-level equipment, watch a few tutorials on YouTube, photograph a friend’s wedding, set up a website, and claim to be a professional wedding photographer.
What makes a wedding photographer a good one?
There is no clear definition as to what makes a photographer a good one. And since the standard of photographers will fluctuate so much – so will the prices. Which might put you at risk of this happening. Ever found yourself asking for photographer recommendations in a Facebook group? No doubt you’ll have experienced the ridiculous number of names popping up – usually tagged by their mums or other close relatives/friends.
Why is wedding photography expensive?
The industry is pretty saturated right now and this can work both ways. So, how much should a wedding photographer cost? I’d definitely recommend finding a photographer whose style you can connect with. They may be out of your price range. But their price range is set for a reason. More often than not they are happy to work something out if they know that wedding photography and their style is important to you.
Maybe they’ll be able to cover a shorter package to meet your budget. Some, like me, even offer hourly rates. I recommend searching for a photographer in your area with your preferred style, rather than bringing out of area wedding photographers to your venue. Documentary wedding photographers in Wales or reportage wedding photographers, for instance, will give you images that show how things felt on your wedding day. While images from a Fine Art wedding photographer should have an artistic and bright & airy feel to them. As for micro wedding and elopement photographers – make sure you find a local wedding photographer who is super familiar with the area and can take you to THE BEST off-the-beaten-paths locations for those all important dramatic backdrop shots.
Wedding Photography Investment
Being a Wedding Photographer and wanting to do the absolute best for your couple is super time-consuming. It’s definitely not just a case of ‘turn up on the day and shoot away for 12hours’. From the initial contact via email or social media (not always leading to an actual booking!) to researching locations, coordinating dates, sorting out paperwork like quotes, invoices, contracts etc. to prepping & packing my kit, travel, spending the day with you, uploading thousands of images late at night, then picking the best to edit and selecting a few sneak peeks for social media to delivering an awesome slideshow & gallery for you to enjoy – phew, it all adds up!!!
North Wales Wedding Photographer
Keeping my website, social media streams and blogs up-to-date and looking fresh also takes a lot of time. And while my official job description is photographer, I find myself having to get to grips with costly and strategic marketing & advertising campaigns (to make sure you find me) and the technical upkeep of my website – it all adds up!
Wedding Photographers in North Wales
To ensure there are no technical glitches on your wedding day, the cost of our basic equipment can often exceed £10,000. I always ensure I have more than one camera body with me so should one have a technical failure I can rely on the other one to carry on and your day will not be ruined. Student photographers or super cheap ones offering their services for £350 might not have invested in any decent backup equipment or lenses and not have any relevant experience whatsoever.
How to start out as a wedding photographer
There are plenty of newcomers around who try and break into the industry by giving away wedding photography packages or offer their services super cheap which is fair enough, we’ve all got to start somewhere. Just remember that you get what you pay for.
So there you have it. Now that you know how much a photographer should cost and if you’re looking for authentic, romantic, and a tad arty wedding photography yourself right now – contact me, would love to help you document your perfect day!
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