How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Wedding Photographer?

You’ll be looking back at your wedding photos for years to come so this isn’t an area where you would want to scrimp and save.

Choosing the right photographer is a crucial decision but if you’ve never worked with a professional photographer before, you may not know how much they cost and what options you have.

Of course, a newly minted photographer may have excellent skills but could be much cheaper than an experienced one who has hundreds of past customers and a business built-up on word of mouth.

Below you’ll find our researched price guide into wedding photography costs in the UK for 2018/19.

You’ll see:

But first:

How Much Do You Think it Will Cost to Hire a Wedding Photographer For a Day?

Throughout our site, you’ll find polls where we ask our visitors how much they think certain projects will cost them.

The results are often surprising and provide insights into how much the general public think purchases will cost.

Can you answer this question below?

Our Research Into Photography Prices – How Much Should You Pay?

We asked 20 professional wedding photographers for a price to:

  • Attend a wedding for an entire day
  • Complete all post-production editing
  • Supply us with a set number of prints for albums
  • Supply us with 350 photos in digital format without watermarks
  • Grant us the rights to copy, edit and publish the photos as we see fit
  • Provide us with a price per photo for any images above the 350 quota

The Results

This pie chart reveals the prices given to us by our chosen 20 wedding photographers:

As you can see, the largest proportion (40%) priced the project between £1250 and £1500.

The next 20% quoted between £1000 and £1250.

15% priced the work between £750 and £1000.

Another 15% responded with prices between £1500 and £1750.

Notes:

We sourced these prices from professional wedding photographers based in the south and south-east of the UK.

You can expect prices to be slightly higher in central London and to become cheaper the further away from the capital you are based.

What Do The Leading Wedding Blogs and Sites Say About Prices?

Hitched is a UK based wedding website that has produced dozens of helpful guides. They believe the average cost for a wedding photographer in or near London to be between £1500 and £2000.

Wedding Ideas Mag suggests a price of around £1000 for high-quality photos but around £1500 for a dedicated professional photographer. They also suggest £2000-£3000 as the going rate for top-tier wedding photographers. The online magazine warns against photography costing less than £1000.

Your Perfect Wedding Photographer has surveyed photographers in each of the last three years. Here are the results of their findings:

  • 2015 – £1520
  • 2016 – £1450
  • 2017 – £1480

10 Tips to Help You Choose the Best Photographer For Your Wedding

1)Choose an expert for your chosen style

Before commencing the hunt for a photographer, you have to define what you want. Different photographers are adept at different styles of photography. No style is better than other since it all boils down to preference.

– Traditional/Formal Photography

This style is responsible for most of the wedding photos that you’ll come across out there. It possesses a timeless essence and has a key role. The photographer’s main aim is to capture the highlights of the day such as the ‘first kiss’ and certificate signing. In addition, the photographer takes posed/staged photos of the couple and the loved ones.

– Artistic/Fine Art Photography

This is a complex style to define since it all depends on the artistic skill and taste of the photographer. They employ fine art techniques and always await perfect moments to take unique photos. It may include tweaking angle shots, lighting, posing and composition in order to accomplish a look that the photographer desires.

– Photojournalistic/Documentary/Reportage Photography

The photographer documents events, planned and unplanned, as they unfold in the course of the event. Emotions, candid moments and the general atmosphere of the event are captured in spontaneous and reaction provoking photos.

– Contemporary/Editorial/Dramatic Photography

This style involves a lot of creativity, retouching and processing of the images to produce high-impact photographs. This is all done according to the requests of the couple. The end product may include black and white photos, photos with enhanced colours and other tweaked details.

– Lifestyle Photography

This may be defined as an artistic style of documentary photography. The photographers capture moments as they unfold while they take advantage of the environment around them such as lighting conditions to produce artistic photos.

2) Does your photographer know your chosen venue?

A professional photographer should be able to adapt to new locations with ease. However, landing a photographer who is familiar with the wedding venue is more convenient. It is even much better if the photographer has shot there before. Requesting samples of previous work at the location can help you discern what to expect.

Another benefit of hiring a photographer who is familiar with the venue is the fact that he knows the best spots to take perfect shots.

Choosing a photographer whose familiar with the venue is also time effective since he will have no trouble travelling to and from the said location. Settling in and diving into the task at hand won’t be an issue since he’ll have a clear layout of the place.

3) Check their portfolios

A photographer’s portfolio is his selling tool. It helps you as the client to learn more about the photographer and his work. The photographer will post some of his best work in the portfolio and showcase his aptitude. However, evaluating a photographer’s portfolio is not just about checking out some of his favourite photos. You have to know what to look out for.

A good portfolio oozes creativity. The photographer should endeavour to create unique and outstanding photos each time. If all his past projects seem banal, then your photos too will lack a unique touch.

The portfolio will also help you discern the photographer’s style. Determine if this is the style you are looking for. Check for consistency or inconsistencies in his work. Also, take a look at the editing style. Are the colours too amplified? Are the subjects of individual photos clearly brought into focus? Check out the quality of the lighting and composition.

4) Agree in advance who owns the rights to the photos in both digital and print formats

Most clients are naive about photography contracts and what they entail. First and foremost, as a client, you should understand that there is intellectual property legislation that protects the work of photographers. This means that they possess the copyrights to every image they create, be it digital or print. This means that they are entitled to copying your wedding photos and publishing them for purposes such as advertising. However, you as the client possess the model rights, which means that they have to ask for your permission.

For obvious reasons, it is hard for most photographers to give up their copyrights. However, they may opt to license the photos to you as the client. The license is a legal agreement/contract which sets out what the client can do with the photos. You and the photographer may agree on the number of photos to be licensed before signing the contract, with any extras being charged a specific fee. In most cases, you are provided with a USB stick which contains high-resolution and low-resolution images of shots taken in addition to high-resolution print copies.

Before signing the wedding photography contract, you should ensure that you agree with all the terms of the agreement. Apart from the copyright clause, check for other points such as full cost, shot list, booking confirmations, duration of bookings and other details. Raise issues with any clauses that you don’t agree with to avoid any future inconveniences. Non-disparagement clauses usually hinder you from reviewing your photographer negatively online. If your photographer can’t adjust to your requirements, that a cue to find another photographer.

5) Consider a second photographer

Having more than one photographers at the venue is always a wise way to go. First and foremost, it ensures that you don’t miss a moment. From the preparation of both the bride and the groom to planned and spontaneous moments, you are assured that each and every moment is captured.

Secondly, as discussed above, there are different styles of photography. Let’s take into perspective the artistic style as an example. Depending on your taste, you may have an affection for artistically captured images. However, it may be difficult to capture the key points of the day with only an artistic photographer. Having an artistic and traditional style photographer ensures that you enjoy the best of both worlds.

6) Ask how long you must wait to get the photos

Newlyweds are always eager and excited to get their wedding photos back. It is, in essence, an opportunity to relive the day and get a peek of the spontaneous moments that you may have missed. A professional photographer should be able to provide the approximate duration that you’ll have to wait. The photo shooting is only the first part of his workload. Before getting back your photos, there’s plenty of editing and post-processing work that goes into them to ensure that they are top-notch. The time-frame varies according to the number of shots taken and the style used.

The post-processing is an intrinsic part of wedding photography. The main purpose of post-processing is adjusting and enhancing the quality of the photos. The photographer sorts out the good from the bad shots and then tweaks various aspects of the images in order to achieve the desired look. Some styles such as dramatic and artistic may require a longer editing time to achieve the desired results.

It is important to note that photos delivered in a seemingly short duration of time may have a downside. They may have been post-processed in a hasty manner and you may not get your money’s worth.

7) Enquire about how many dedicated shoots the photographer will include in their package

Different photographers include different features in their wedding photography packages. It is essential to enquire how many dedicated shoots that the photographer can provide. Consider photographers whose packages include a number of shoots that is slightly higher than you require.

8) Is your wedding unusual and if so, is the photographer experienced enough?

Many couples desire to have a one of a kind wedding in a unique setting and location. The sunset is an epitome of beauty, and it comes as no surprise that most couples prefer to have a wedding overlook a sunset. The outdoors such as the beach or hilltops are other popular venues. All these settings have different lighting conditions and other factors, which may pose a challenge to the average photographer. If you plan to have a wedding in an unusual spot, you may consider hiring a photographer that is experienced enough with such kinds of conditions.

9) Check reviews and follow up with questions to past customers

Research is key in any type of decision making. Take your time and effort to learn as much as possible about the photographer. Seeking feedback and reviews from past customers is an effective way of making an informed decision about the photographer. Behind every successful wedding photographer is an array of satisfied couples. Set up phone call interviews or emails and gather as much information as possible about the photographer from previous clients.

10) Be realistic with your budget

Cost is with no doubt a major factor in most decision-making processes. Hiring a wedding photographer is an expensive affair. There are compelling reasons that justify why this is so. A professional photographer’s equipment is by no means cheap. Secondly, the profession requires a lot of skill, discipline and consistency. Just like any service business, the higher the level of skill and amount of experience of the service provider possesses, the higher you pay as quality trumps quantity.

Considering the huge cost of planning a wedding, most couples are usually left with little room to manoeuvre while attempting to stick to a tight budget. However, if you can’t afford the full services of a professional photographer, you shouldn’t opt for cheap unskilled photographers who’ll only deliver many shoddily done photographs. It is way better to acquire a limited number of quality photos at a fair price from a professional photographer.

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We hope you found the Job Price’s guide to wedding photography prices and our top ten tips to be insightful.

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