Wedding photography prices explained | Hiro Arts Photography
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Wedding photography prices explained
[2020 UPDATE]

All couples, when it comes to choosing the photographer, have to face some difficult questions. How do I find the right photographer for my wedding? How much will it cost me? Or, perhaps more importantly, what’s included in the price, and what isn’t?
There are so many photographers out there that, sometimes, it can feel overwhelming. Luckily, there are some simple aspects you should focus on: just knowing these few tips will make your life much, much easier!
But first, let’s start with…

How do I choose the right wedding photographer?

Every photographer is different and works in a different way, so feel free to ask any sort of question. Writing a list of questions that you can submit to all potential candidates might be a good idea. These should include info about their previous experience, their style, if they have recent reviews, if they ever worked in the venue you chose, etc.
You don’t want to overlook any aspect of such an important (and expensive!) service. Obtaining clear answers can really change the final result and determine the success – or failure – of your wedding reportage.

Here, a little list of questions I think would be very useful when it comes to choosing your photographer.

– How would you describe your style?
– Can I see a full album from a real wedding?
– Have you ever shot a wedding in my venue before?
– How much are your packages and what do they include?
– What happens if an emergency comes up and you can’t make it to my wedding?
– When and how will I receive my images?
– How can my family members and friends order prints?
– How many weddings do you cover in a year, on average?
– What do you enjoy most about photographing weddings?
– Can I see a contract?

Wedding Photography Styles: what are they, and how do they affect the price?

First thing first: make sure the style of the photographer matches your taste and your wedding’s overall style. Being aware of the differences can help you decide, but keep in mind that the style can impact the costs as well.
There are mainly three different styles you can choose from. Here you’ll find them ordered by costs, from lower to higher:

Photojournalism

The photographer focuses on taking documentary shots of the events as they unfold. Less traditional, “posed” photos and more real-life moments captured during the day.
PROS: Best to capture the real vibe of the event. Laughs, tears, hugs, smiles and emotions are portrayed for what they really are. Moreover, the photographer doesn’t impact your day. He/she just walks around capturing moments, and you never have to stop what you’re doing to pose.
CONS: Some people (especially grandparents) tend to appreciate classic family portrait shots, group photos and couple portraits, that normally are not part of this style.
PRICE: it’s normally the cheapest option, as it doesn’t require an assistant photographer nor any particular equipment. Bear in mind that any additional service, such as a second camera to follow both bride and groom during preparation, will result in additional charges.
See some photojournalism wedding coverage examples here.

Traditional

A formal and classic style, which includes a lot of posed shots.
PROS: It’s a safe bet: the photographer engages with your guests in the way they would expect, and the photos will be particularly appreciated by the older generations. This particular style can result in classy and elegant photos, especially good if you like a more “serious” approach.
CONS: You have to dedicate a lot of time to your photographer on your wedding day. In several occasions during the event you have to stop what you’re doing to pose for a traditional picture. Moreover, the final images might lack some genuine, organic emotions.
PRICE: Not only this tends to be more expensive (as it normally requires an assistant and some specific equipment), but it’s likely that the photographer will have an “old-fashioned” way of pricing things. For example, they might only include a limited number of photos, hours or services in the package, and charge for extras. Things that were very common in the past, but that are no longer the norm with younger photographers with a more holistic approach.

Fine Art

Photographers tend to label as “fine art” any particular or creative composition. It’s a bit of a stretch but anything out of the ordinary can be considered “fine art”. It can be very dramatic, from lighting usage to poses choice. It can feature different points of view, or impressive scenery; it can even go as far as digital art compositions. Above all, the final product has to create frame-worthy photographs: they are meant to be works of art.
PROS: You get stunning images, that can decorate your entire house and will impress everyone who sees them. Moreover, taking some creative photos can be a fun and inspirational moment with your other half or your friends.
CONS: Some shots may take a little bit of extra time, maybe some setup and makeup, and they may need hardcore editing – meaning they can take a while to be delivered.
PRICE: Needless to say, it’s the most expensive option. But if you like the photographer’s personal style, it’s definitely worth it.

So, how much does a wedding photographer cost?

The whole wedding industry revolves around one simple rule: you get what you pay for.
Prices can vary wildly for different reasons: from the photographer’s experience and CV, to travelling costs, to the services required. But remember: saving up on the photographer can be a big mistake considering that, when the day is over, what is left are your photographs. When the cake is eaten, the flowers are gone and the clothes are stored in a corner of your wardrobe, your photos are still there. And they’ll last forever!

Price ranges: how much are wedding photographers in the UK?

Bearing the above in mind, the base price (including full day photoshoot and digital images) normally fall in one of these ranges:

  • Amateur: £0 – £700

    If it seems to good to be true, it probably is. What you normally get within this price range is either the-cousin-of-a-friend-that’s-got-a-camera, or an inexperienced student photographer. Someone that might have the passion, but that most likely misses the necessary skills or experience. It’s your once-in-a-lifetime day, don’t go amateur on that

  • Beginner: £700 – £1000

    £800 should be the minimum to expect for a full day coverage, and this price makes sense in the context of someone that’s has got a little more experience but is still pretty new to the industry. Being in their early stages, they might lack consistency – which means that the results you get may be very different from the portfolio you saw.

  • Professional: £1000 – £1400

    Above the 1k threshold is where, in my experience, professional photographers find their place. They normally have between 1 and 3 years of full time photography experience, and they have developed and matured their style and their consistency.

  • Senior: £1400 – £2000

    This is the average range for wedding photographers who are knowledgeable and experienced, capable of coping with any situation the day throws at them, and offering outstanding service. You can expect from them true dedication, and a timely and professional delivery of great images. The quality matches the importance of all those moments you deserve to remember.

  • Top Notch: £2000+

    In this price range you can expect 5+ years of professional experience, a portfolio that includes numerous weddings, maybe some awards. Although the price refers to full-day coverage and digital images only, most of these photographers will only sell bundles that include albums, prints and additional services – second cameras, videographer etc.

Which extras and add-ons can affect the final price tag?

The base price can vary dramatically, depending on several factors.

Location
a photographer based in a cheaper area will more likely charge less, since their business running costs are lower.

Travel and accommodation
Most photographers charge for a travel and accommodation fee if the event takes place far away, such as a destination wedding aversea. But it’s worth to double check with the photographer: some nights or miles might be included.

Your wedding date
Choosing an off-peak season date for your wedding can be considerably cheaper. Similarly, high-season dates are in high demand and therefore more expensive. It’s also worth it to book them in advance, paying a deposit.

Second Shooter
Although some photographers prefer to work alone, most will be accompanied by a second shooter, which increases the total cost. I’d recommend to consider it, especially if you have 150+ guests, and if you want to follow both bride and groom during their preparation in the morning.

Prints & Albums
Most of the time these are priced separately. The prices can vary wildly depending on the various manufacturers, the quality,the number of pages, and countless other factors. Moreover, these can be purchased at a later date. Not every couple decide to go for the prints immediately after the wedding: some decide to take their time to pick their favourite photos for the album.

Extra shootings
Some other shootings can be bundled in at a discounted price. For instance, an engagement portrait session is highly recommended: it gives you the chance to test your photographer, get to know each other, and be fully prepared for the big day. Some photographers include a complimentary pre-engagement session in their wedding packages. If you’re lucky, you may also get a discount on your first anniversary!

Conclusions

I know, this is a lot to process. But to sum it all up, I would always recommend getting in touch with the photographer who has the photos that attract you the most. Be clear, from the beginning, on what you are looking for and what your budget limitations are. Do not shy away from asking any kind of questions: remember, this is your day and your photographer needs to meet your requirements.

I really hope this article can be of help, but please feel free to get in touch if you have questions and to let me know your thoughts!

Happy wedding planning! 🙂

How about Hiro Arts?

See where I stand in this list!

Se individual prices for day coverage, second cameras, videography, albums&prints, additional services and more!