Working out how much your wedding photographer should cost you can be quite confusing. I’ll attempt to break things down based on my knowledge of the industry over the past 7 years. Wedding Photography in the UK is very different in terms of price when compared to the US, at the high end in particular. However, I will start at the cheaper end of the market.
Straight to Disk – the cheapest option
There is nothing wrong with choosing this option if you cannot afford anything more. There is a large market of wedding photographers operating in the sub £500 bracket. This is what I would call the “Budget” end of the range. They probably won’t be using top end gear, or if they are they are probably not that experienced. Some will just put your images straight on a disk without any editing, and hand you the disk. On the day they will turn up, point the camera in the direction of you and your guests and fire away, generally going for quantity over quality. The odds are, with modern cameras being so good, you will get some nice images. As long as you set your expectations accordingly this will not be an issue. Make sure you check their work and their website, and maybe talk to some of their previous customers. You could get lucky and end up with a talented beginner, or you could be really unlucky and end up in the tabloids as one of those “disappointed couples” whose wedding photographer let them down. You do get what you pay for.
The Mid Range Wedding Photographer
This is the hardest to pin down in terms of wedding photographer cost. Some start around £600 for limited coverage, others are around £1500 for full day coverage. The amount of coverage of your day you get and the style of that coverage is very varied. You get talented people with only a few weddings under their belts. There are also second shooter stepping up to a primary shooter role. There are established industry people who are yet to make it to the high end market or don’t want to. Here are some things to look out for .
Any wedding photographer in this price range should have a decently varied portfolio ( i.e. not just from one wedding ). To get a better idea of their style always ask to see the images from a full wedding. This is the best way to avoid disappointment as their main portfolio will only show the very best images from lots of weddings.
The High End Wedding Photographer
For wedding photography in my home county of Berkshire I’d say high end covers £1800 and upwards. I heard of one wedding at Cliveden where they spend £26000 on the flowers alone, so I suspect they paid their wedding photographer well! Quite often you are at this level paying for a name, rather than expecting the quality to be somehow magically better than the mid range photographers. Venues tend to be extravagant for wedding photographers at this level and this alone helps their portfolio stand out. Photographers charging this much will usually have assistants and second, or even third shooters if it is a big wedding.
There are brilliant photographers available for your wedding whatever your budget. The standard recommendation is to set aside 10% of your wedding budget for photography. Always ask to see full wedding day galleries and always meet your photographer in person/over skype to make sure you get along with them! At any price point you should expect a wedding contract to protect both you and the photographer. Thanks for reading, I hope this is useful!