Couples getting married are often bemused, confused or just completely stunned at the vast difference in wedding photography pricing. I want to spell out in a clear concise way what you can expect to pay and get and take the guess work out of shopping for your wedding photographer. I am sure as a Bride to be you have also read a few magazine or online articles that tell you the average UK wedding photography prices, this is very misleading in my humble opinion.
With over 25 year’s experience as a photographer and 15 of those photographing weddings I have seen the industry go from professional film, to digital to amateur to people using no photographer at all. I believe I can shed a little light on the industry and explain what you can honestly expect to get.
The way I see it there is 3 groups of wedding photography pricing categories:
- The Budget
- Middle Class
- The Premium Service
The Budget comes in at about £200-£1000 for a full day and most likely is just a digital download or a usb with images. This person often has another job – usually nothing to do with photography and can afford to charge less as it is not their main form of income they are likely not insure nor have professional or back up equipment.
The other option is that they are shooting a high volume of weddings to make sure they get enough money. It is not unheard of for this type of person to cover 70+ weddings a year. Whilst this is fine for some people many do not have a backup plan for illness or accidents. I very often see call outs on Facebook wedding photography groups for people in this situation.
The second group is our middle-class photographer and they are more likely to be professional and their pricing ranges from £1000 to £2500. This group generally have at least a few years’ experience, they may have started out part-time or second shooting for another photographer. They are normally insured (but always ask) they may even be accredited by one of the photographic professional bodies such as the BIPP or MPA.
Whilst what you get can vary greatly from this group, you will often see digital files, albums and prints and frames as part of their packages or collections. If you compare the work of someone in the middle of this category to someone in the £500 mark you will likely see a better command of light and posing and a much more professional look to the image.
The premium service is probably only 10% of the wedding photographers in the country, and they start at £2500 and go upwards. I would say that the vast majority of the photographers in this group include wedding albums in their collections, and you can expect to pay additionally after the wedding for extra pages or spreads in the album or additionally for digital files. Realistically you will likely find the average cost to be more in the region of £4000.
If photography or the photographs are of great importance to you then they will give you exceptional results. This group are what we refer to as masters. They have likely won many awards and have a photographers following them or also work in teaching other photographers.
The differences between each of these groups is actually quite noticeable when you know what to look for. It would be like the difference between a meal at MacDonalds, Cote, and a Marco Perrier White Restaurant. It all boils down to what you want and how much you are willing to pay for it.
Many articles actually say the average for wedding photography in the UK is £1200 but what they are not considering is the costs many couples pay to their photographer afterwards to add to their album or purchase an album or parent albums. It also does not account for is the vast difference in regions. Even something just as basic as insurance will cost a London photographer more than someone in the wilds of Yorkshire.
I hope that this has helped breakdown the pricing for you but if you have any questions or would like to know more than please do email as I would love to hear from you.