Wedding Photographer costs might be a bit of a shock at first. I was chatting with a bride-to-be the other day to confirm a booking for their London.
It’s not the first time I have had the conversation so, I thought I’d pop down my thoughts on the subject and maybe dispel some of the myths surrounding the way we price our services.
I charge between £995 and £1,295 for a day’s wedding photography depending on which day of the week your wedding falls.
Wedding Photographer Costs?
Anyone can point the camera and press a button, right? I suppose so but would you proudly display the results? Probably not.
An enthusiast with a decent cameras may not do your memories justice.
Photographers come in all abilities, we all have different levels of experience. A full-time, dedicated professional who has been working for years is likely to be a more valuable proposition than a part timer that dabbles at the weekend alongside their regular job. The former is likely to charge more than the latter.
The pros amongst us have invested masses of time, effort and cold hard cash in learning and developing their skills. To get to the point where it’s our only source of income is testimony to that and the fact that we’ve probably got a bit of a knack for it too, which you can’t just buy off the shelf.
All those special little moments that you’d like captured on camera will only happen once on your wedding day and they’ll happen very quickly. You’re paying in part for the photographers ability to do all this quickly, effectively and without fuss in whatever weather conditions the British climate sees fit to throw at them. It’s not easy, you can’t learn it over night and having the latest most expensive camera isn’t quite enough to make up for a lack of experience or flair.
The contents of a photographer’s bag will vary wildly too.
It’s very true that all the best gear in the world will not make anyone a good photographer. It is, however, a complete load of rubbish when people say that you can always take a fantastic picture on any camera.
The camera and lens are tools. The more you pay, the better a tool you have at your disposal.
My camera bag contains at least two professional cameras, many lenses, multiple flash guns. We’re talking around £14,000 of kit. Is it necessary? Yes! I know I can cover whatever is thrown at me. Howling wind and rain? I can light indoors perfectly. A stray pint of bitter all over the camera? It’s ok, I have a spare.
In a nutshell: The cheaper your photographer is, the less equipment they are likely to have at their disposal. It’s also likely to be of a lower standard and they are less likely to carry back ups.
What else does the photographer do apart from take the pictures:
Now this is likely to vary the price massively. In the days of film cameras (for those who remember them) we used to take the photos and send the films off to the local lab to be processed. It took hardly any of the photographers time at all. Today, it just isn’t like that.
Personally, I spend around 15% of my working week actually taking photographs for clients. The rest? Processing the images takes a huge chunk, especially as I do each and every one individually as opposed to sending them through a program overnight.
The rest of the time? Practicing, trying new stuff, marketing, meeting clients, admin… you get the idea.
In a nutshell: Making lovely images takes time. The cheaper the photographer, the less time they are likely to spend on processing your images which will either mean fewer finished images or lower quality images, or both.
What you actually get:
This varies madly and is often the bit that bamboozles couples when shopping around for their photographer. We all offer different stuff. The common ones to look out for:
- Time. Some offer a certain number of hours on the day, others won’t clock watch.
- Images. Do you get them all? Do you get any? Have they been processed? All of them? Are they high resolution so you can print them?
- Rights. This one is important. A photographer will almost always retain the copyright of your images. They then usually give you a licence to use them which should detail whether you can print and share the images and with whom. Many photographers are happy for you to use them as you wish providing you use them privately and not commercially. Some will specify that any sharing or reproduction must be arranged through them, which is usually an extra cost.
- Online Gallery. Is this included so your friends and family can have a look at the images afterwards?
- Albums. Do you get one? Is it the one you want? Can you make any alterations to the layout or finish?
- Expenses. Are they included or will you have to pay extra for your photographers mileage and lunch on the day?
Even so, photographers still charge too much…
For me, one wedding equals one weeks work by the time I’ve taken into account everything else that goes with it. What do you think a skilled professional should get paid for a full weeks work? Add to that the cost of a car (purchase, service, maintenance, fuel), an office or similar, utilities, IT equipment and software, training, insurance, an accountant, taxes and national insurance. Then add on the cost of the photographic equipment needed to do the job. If we’re going to make it comparable to ‘regular’ employment we should also factor in holiday allowances, sickness benefits and pension contributions. It all adds up!
The final nutshell: We don’t just pluck a price out of the air. All of the elements mentioned above cost money. The more a photographer offers you, the more it will cost you. You really do get what you pay for. You need to weigh up how important your wedding photography is to you both and search for the one that offers you what you want.
Meet up, have a chat, get to know each other beforehand. Having a good working relationship is just as critical to achieving good results as having a decent camera. You’re not going to relax and look happy around someone that gets on your nerves now are you?
There’s a photographer out there to suit every couple and every budget. Having the ‘wrong’ photographer is one of the more common post wedding regrets for lots of couples. Spend a bit of time finding the one that’s right for you.
For more information on wedding photography prices in Kent visit HowlingBasset.com
The cost of a wedding photographer might be a bit of a shock at first -I was chatting with a bride-to-be the other day to confirm a booking for their Kent wedding next year. The bride mentioned that they were a bit surprised at the cost of a photographer for the day but as it was the first time they’d ever booked one, they knew no different. Well why would they?
I tried to explain why wedding photography costs as much as it does. It’s not the first time I have had the conversation so, I thought I’d jot down my thoughts on the subject and maybe dispel some of the myths and misunderstandings surrounding the way we price our services.