A guide to wedding photography – how much should a wedding photographer cost?

With so many talented wedding photographers around, it can be difficult to pick the one that’s right for you or. Some couples know exactly what style of wedding photography they like and select their photographer based on their portfolio. Others ask themselves how much should a wedding photographer cost and base their decision on the budget they have set aside for wedding photography.

With prices ranging from £250 – £5000, the latest report by the Wedding Photography Industry states that the average spend by UK couples on wedding photography in 2019 is actually £1,560.

But how much should a wedding photographer cost?

Ian & Magda's Welsh Elopement in Snowdonia

Why are wedding photographers so expensive?

There really is no simple answer. It totally depends on what’s important to you. If you just want a couple of generic wedding photos of the ceremony and family group shots then a photographer in the lower range (up to £500) might be just the ticket for you.

Wedding Photography Costs

If you want something a little more creative and personal then your photographer needs to have invested in themselves with a couple of expensive training courses or workshops. And this is generally reflected in the fee. A photographer charging up to £850 may be pretty new to the industry with a few weddings of their own under their belt.

They may still hold a full-time job and enjoy a couple of weddings during the summer. They may have a starter portfolio to show you and are starting to develop their very own style.

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’re in pretty good hands! Their portfolio 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.

Max & Sam's Anglo-American Llyn Gwynant wedding

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. Anyone who ever found themselves asking for photographer recommendations in a Facebook group will no doubt have experienced the ridiculous number of names popping up.

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.

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.

Wiltshire Wedding Photographer

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.

North Yorkshire Wedding Photographer

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 – get in touch, would love to help you document your perfect day!

You may also enjoy:

Babs Boardwell is a wedding & elopement photographer based in Llangollen, servicing Wales and the surrounding areas. Often provides services for weddings across the whole of the U.K. Specialises in capturing artistic portraits paired with unique storytelling moments to produce natural, romantic wedding photography. The Clwydian Range is home but available for travel across the whole of the U.K. Also available to book as a North Wales Family Photographer.