The Cost Of Wedding Photographers

So you get to the point of looking for your wedding photographer, you find the perfect one (get some tips here) and then the bombshell hits when you discover how flipping expensive they are. Ouch! How much?!

Shelling out a hefty chunk of money on a photographer may seem frivolous, but believe us when we say that a good wedding photographer is worth every penny. Your wedding photographs will be that precious lasting memory of your wonderful day, and you will no doubt look over them for the rest of your life.

wedding crowd
Wedding Photographer Steven Rooney, UK

Here at the Select Bride we have seen some pretty awful attempts at wedding photography but also some incredibly beautiful ones. Like most things in life, you generally get what you pay for. The price you pay for your wedding photography should generally relate to how important the photography is to you. There is a reason a photographer is offering his services at £200. It’s probably because he is not a professional just a ‘GWC’ (Guy With Camera).

We all know that wedding can be a very expensive affair. From venues, to cakes, to food, booze and of course photography. I am sure some of you are very shocked when you look for the first time at a wedding photographers website and the prices attached. There are vast amounts of wedding photographers out there with a range of prices. Some starting at £200 and others £1000, some even up to an eye watering £10,000.

So why on earth can wedding photography be so expensive? We find out why…

wedding landscape
Wedding photographer Alan Law, UK

Hours Involved

Many photographers will spend time meeting with you either at your home or their home for a preliminary meeting. They will then need to liaise with you and draw up the wedding photography contract, process deposits and issue invoices, A typical wedding starts during bridal preparations and ends around the 1st dance. That’s already 8hrs that your photographer works. This doesn’t include the 1hr to 2 hrs for travelling, visiting the venue, church and all the organisation that goes on behind the scenes before the day even starts. A photographer’s day continues long after you’ve arrived on some exotic beach, slurping on that strawberry cocktail…

Once your day is over, the photographer can spend and additional 16hrs preparing your images. Reviewing images, colour correcting for print, post- processing work, private gallery creation, image backups, DVD burning and creating your slide-shows and albums. So already the one day of photography has already turned into at least 3 or 4 days work. A wedding photographer’s time is even more valuable if you factor in the number of weekends in a year there are available to work. Not many!

Wedding Photography Assistants

If your photographer has a 2nd assistant, you will already be paying an additional cost as the photographer will have to pay any assistants working with him. In return you get more images and a better coverage of your day.


The more skilled the photographer the more they are going to charge, in most cases. What you are paying for is their experience. Not only in their ability to take good pictures, anticipate moments and manage the wedding party, but also their ability to process and provide you with pictures that stand above other wedding photographers. This all takes a huge amount of time to achieve, and a lot of personal investment. If you hired a lawyer for a day, the better the lawyer, the more you are going to pay – you are paying for the experience they bring. Experience equals time and time equals money.

Wedding Photography Equipment & Insurance

Professional cameras and lenses are expensive. A reliable camera that can operate in various situations are going to cost around £2000. Professional lenses also start at around £1000. A wedding photographer will usually have at least 2 cameras and at least 2 lenses, if not more. These all need to be insured, because if Aunty Betty decides to do some break-dancing and kicks the camera out of the photographer’s hands in the middle of a windmill, that is going to be costly. So a photographer needs to have insurance for all situations. A wedding photographer also has to have insurance for any damages or accidents they themselves may cause too.

Computer equipment doesn’t come cheap either. The processing power required to retouch images comes at a cost, or you can factor in an extra 10 hours work whilst the photographer waits for that little green bar to reach 100% every time an image is opened or saved to disk.

Website & Advertising

Every business needs to advertise and it’s the same for a wedding photography business. Magazine adverts, wedding fairs, general marketing and search engine visibility all cost. A lot.


So before you choose your photographer for your big day, think about what you are paying for. Even if you are basing your choice on cost, think to yourself why you are paying so little, or at the same time why you are paying quite a lot. Not all photographers are equal and you need to make sure you ask all the right questions and feel confident with the service that is being provided.

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