How Much Does a Wedding Photographer Cost?

Wedding photographers help preserve memories of one of the most important events in your life.

They capture candid moments of happiness, sentimentality, and romance. A great photographer can bring such moments to life and ensure they don’t look artificial or staged.

Couples are often on the hunt to find the best photographers to ensure their wedding pictures turn out great. However, many are concerned about their budget and how a professional photographer might fit into it. Here we will discuss wedding photographer cost and related factors.

Remember – Photography Is An Investment

Most couples create a list of priorities while planning for their wedding. This list often contains things like wedding clothes, catering, venue, and transport. These are the items they are willing to splurge on and assign most of their wedding budget to.

But professional wedding photography isn’t often featured on the list, even though it is an investment and should be.  The pictures can last a lifetime and will soon become a part of your family’s history. This makes them immensely valuable. It makes sense to ensure they are of good quality and capture the essence of the event.

Things like food, flowers, and even the wedding dress become less valuable after the wedding is done, but the photographs are treasured. It is a good idea to keep this in mind before planning a budget for wedding photography.

Wedding Photographer Cost?

Wedding photography cost depends on a number of different factors ranging from your location to the photographer’s level of expertise. That’s why it is important to understand what’s included in the cost before making a choice.

  1. What Is The Average Cost Of A Wedding Photographer?

In the UK alone, You can expect to pay at least £1,000 for your wedding photography, especially if you intend to hire someone with experience and skill. The average wedding photography cost is around £1,500 and it has remained consistent around this price point for almost four years. The cost can be in the £500 to £5,000 range based on the professional and type of package you choose.

  1. Destination Wedding Photographer Average Cost

Destination wedding photography can prove to be quite expensive and its cost largely depends on the location. Experienced photographers will charge an average of £2,000 a day and expect living/travel arrangements made in addition to that.

It is a good idea to get a full quote from your photographer to ensure you know of all the expenses involved in a destination photography project. As the cost for every destination could be different, it is a good idea to get an estimate beforehand.

  1. Upfront Payment

Most wedding photographers will want a deposit at the time of booking. Weddings are planned months in advance and most photographers want to make sure their calendar is booked enough to give them a comfortable income.

Every day is important, which is why photographers need advance payment to reserve it. Experienced photographers will ask for anywhere between 10% and 50% of the assignment cost in advance.  The rest can be paid a few days before the wedding or on the wedding day after the photographer shows you some samples of their work.

  1. How Much To Tip A Wedding Photographer

The photographer’s profits are usually included in their fees so it’s not necessary to tip them. However, some couples do pay an extra £50 to £100 to express their pleasure at the quality of the work.

Tipping is up to you and is a nice way to show that you appreciate the effort the photographer put into the work. This should give you a fair idea of how much it costs to hire a photographer. You can adjust your budget accordingly.

wedding photography by Nathan
Photo Credit: Nathan M Photography

A Breakdown of Wedding Photography Cost

It’s not just the quality of photographs and technical equipment that sets a professional photographer apart from a novice. Experienced photographers often spend 24 to 48 hours planning the photographs, marking out the best locations and backdrops. They know how to capture candid moments and take staged pictures while ensuring they look good.

Photographers are also unobtrusive and won’t disrupt your wedding ceremony. After the wedding is over, the photographer will browse through the pictures, refine them with editing software and add effects wherever needed. All of this work is included in their cost. Your friend or relative or any novice photographer won’t be able to deliver the same level of service.

Budget Vs. Price

Experts recommend setting around 10% to 15% of your wedding budget for photography. However, the cost depends on what you want. Most photographers will offer a basic, no-frills package that involves just one professional and a set number of hours. These packages are quite affordable and will still provide you with professional quality photos. If you’re on a tight budget, this will be your best option.

Some packages are much more comprehensive and include a full team of photographers for several days. They also include hundreds of professionally edited photographs. If you have room in your budget and want to make sure the entire wedding event is covered well, this might be the best option for you.

Why Do Photography Cost Vary?

The cost can vary based on the photographer’s location, level of experience, services offered, and even their reputation. For example, a renowned photographer who is often featured in magazines will charge much more than a skilled but inexperienced newcomer. The cost will also vary based on the season, duration of the photography session, discounts, and last minute reservations.

How Much Should You Pay a Photographer?

You should pay what you are comfortable with based on your budget. There are ways to get affordable professional photography without resorting to asking a friend. Make sure photography is one of your top three priorities when it comes to expense. You can cut costs on less essential services if needed.

Choose a photographer based on their experience and reputation. It is a good idea to browse through their portfolio to understand their work before hiring.