Prices vary across the UK and sadly the South East is the most expensive at avg. £1600. Most couples aportion 5-15% of their budget on the photographer.
Some photographers will travel so don’t be afraid to approach people in less expensive areas of the UK but be aware of additional travel expenses. Even with these it can sometimes work out cheaper.
I realise being a Hampshire wedding photographer that I’m in the most expensive area so I’m likely doing myself out of some work here but I’m more concerned with you getting the right person for you and the best you can get within your budget so you have zero regrets about your decision when those photos come through. I’ve always been a terrible business person!
However, if you want the chance to really get to know your photographer before the day then you’re best off staying local. This means you can have more get togethers and there’s the opportunity for an engagement photography session. Everything is better in person, imo.
Remember these are averages, there will be some that are cheaper and some that are more expensive. The cost of your package will also depend on what you want included and how many hours are required.
WHAT SHOULD I BUDGET FOR MY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER?
Couples often ask whether their wedding photographer is worth such a significant portion of their budget, especially when on the day itself there is seemingly little to show for it. This is a personal choice. Truthfully though, your wedding photographer, depending on their personality and energy/vibe can actually influence the overall feel of your wedding day. Believe it or not! They will certainly affect how you feel as they’ll be hanging around you all day (in the nicest possible way).
This article is just to give you some insight into what your investment means so you can make better choices about where you money goes.
The food will last a n hour or so, the flowers maybe a week. The cake is gone in 60 seconds and the DJ will have you all throwing moves into the early hours. But the photos? The photos will last a lifetime and more.
BUDGET V PRICE
You get what you pay for 100%. Especially with wedding photography. Write out your wedding shopping list and if we’re in the top three then you’ll need to assign around 10-15% of your budget. I know, it’s sounds a lot, but it isn’t me saying this. This is all the top wedding blogs talking!
Most of us offer everything from a base package with one shooter, set coverage time and fixed number of images to a full on knock your socks off ‘all-in solution’ that covers the whole shebang.
More is not always better with photography. Imho it’s better to have a 5 hours coverage with an awesome photographer whose work absolutely blows you away than full day coverage and 3000 images from someone you hired because they were ‘cheap’.
This is great read if you have the time. It’s an interview with a bride who really regretted her decision not to have a professional photograph her wedding. It absolutely breaks my heart when I hear these stories because we only get to do this thing once.
If going for a half day package to save pennies then decide what parts of the day are most important to you in terms of images. Do you want bride prep or first dance because fitting both in probably isn’t doable. There are lovely moments at either end of the day so give it a little consideration.
I always suggest this to my brides if they book a half day package! Do your speeches before you eat because then the photographer will most likely be able to fit them into the coverage time!!
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?
Prices do vary from photographer to photographer and they depend heavily and what you want included. Generally a base package will include the coverage time on the day, your photos in digital format by download or on a USB. Some will include an engagement photography session, guest signing book, second shooter and/or wedding albums. The average prices are based on coverage and images only but the sky’s the limit as to what you can add on.
I include the engagement photography session as standard with all my packages because I believe it’s vital for creating a relationship with my couples. It means they get some practice in and they get to know me and so they feel totally at ease. In other words, this means better photos and a much nicer experience on the wedding day.
If you’re getting married in the off season you can find some great discounts on most suppliers. If they don’t advertise discounts, ask! They may have a quieter month and be more open to throwing in a discount. The worst they can do is say no and if they get snotty about it then they’re probably not the photographer for you! It’s a good way to weed out the ones who are as ‘relaxed’ as they say they are in their bio (we all say that in our bios lol).
WHY DO COSTS VARY?
As with any service there’s always a cheaper option and a more expensive one. I reiterate…you get what you pay for.
Photographers in the North East generally cheaper than those in London and the South East so location plays a big role in this. This is because the cost of living is more in the South.
Experience is the other biggy! New photographers tend to charge much less to help build up their portfolio. We all started there.
More experienced photographers will have hundreds of weddings under their belts and a huge portfolio of images you can browse. This doesn’t just mean they have lots to show you. It also shows their experience and that’s something worth paying for.
We have learned the flow of the day, we’ve seen it so many times that it’s ingrained in our psyche. We know what comes next, even when it’s not on the timeline. We know where to look for the next outbreak of raucous laughter and really see the sweet, funny moments between lovers or two friends. That’s kinda priceless…
Other things that can affect wedding photography cost are;