Wedding Photography Price/Package Builder

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Wedding Photography Price.

Every couple and every wedding is unique, so why should your wedding photography package be what ever the photographer has in their ‘wedding packages price list’? Try our new “Wedding Photography Price/Package Builder” to make your own tailor made wedding photography package.

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We have set up this smart little page to let you pick and choose the features you want for your wedding.

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90 Replies to “Wedding Photography Price/Package Builder”

  1. HOW MUCH SHOULD A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER COST? ♦ A GUIDE TO UNDERSTAND UK WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PRICES
    January 16, 2012
    Bride and groom advice article, An explanation of UK wedding photography prices, and how the photography pricing works.

    A guide to UK wedding photography prices, based on your budget…

    If I was about to get married and I was browsing the Internet without a clue of what to look for in terms of wedding photography – I’d be sooooo confused dot com. I really can’t blame any couple in a situation like this! There are online adds screaming out All day wedding photography £500, then I go to another site and see something like Wedding photography packages starting from £1800. The UK wedding photography prices seem to be all over the shop. An acquaintance of mine charges £5’000 + for a 12 hour cover. And then there are a few top photographers that charge around…. 20 000 USD to be there for your day.

    Yes I’d be confused if I was getting married.

    So therefore, I think it is time that somebody made an effort in explaining to brides and grooms why the differences can be so huge. We all know the expression: “You get what you pay for”. That is true, but what are the actual components that you are paying for, when paying a wedding photographer? I mean it’s all good to say that: “He/she is such a brilliant photographer, that’s why the charge is high” – but being brilliant does not really explain anything. No, what really needs to be understood behind the wording being brilliant, is what makes it brilliant. I do apologise that I have to present you with this huge chunk of text. But if you just bare with it, there will be some really important information in here, which I am convinced will help you when browsing around for your photographer!

    I just want to point our that this is a rough guide. This is a subjective article, but I am intending to be as objective and truthful as I can in giving wedding couples an understanding for what their money will buy them, built on years of researching different photographers and the wedding photography industry.

    Firstly, what is a professional photographer?

    That is a very good question. Thing is that if you train to be a dentist, you will receive a license to practice your trade. If you train to be a lawyer, you will receive a license. It doesn’t work like that in photography, very unfortunately. Your photographer is not required to have a license. For this reason, somebody who went and bought entry level equipment for about a grand, maybe took an evening course in photography and photographed a friend’s wedding – or maybe didn’t even take a course – this person can still set up a web site and claim to be a professional wedding photographer. While somebody who trained photography at University for 3 years and have been photographing weddings for the last 6 – 7 years, also will call him/herself to be a professional wedding photographer. So there you have it. There is no clear definition to what will make a photographer professional, there are no rules to it. And since the standard of photographers will fluctuate so much – so will the prices.

    I would say that following 4 areas are the most essential components behind what a wedding photographer will charge – they sort of are the building blocks that make the photographer:

    1: The photographer’s training and professional experience

    2: A photographer’s costs and equipment investments

    3: The time spent – post production is a very important factor that sets the real pros apart from the others. And if the post- processing is carried out properly, this will add significant time to the job that your photographer is doing for you – and therefore add quality to your images – and therefore affect the price a lot. And also to mention: The time your photographer will spend with you, during the preparations for your wedding and after as well as on the day – phone calls, emails, meetings, viewing sessions, creating online galleries, albums…

    4: The photographer’s personal style, and the reputation that this has created for him/her

    So with these “building blocks” in mind, I will now explain what you can roughly expect from the budget that you wish to invest in your wedding photography.

    If Your budget is £2’500+

    UK wedding photography prices

    If you have set a budget starting at £2’500, you will be able to find a master from the UK wedding photography industry. However, the very top end photographers will probably start even higher for covering your whole day. ( I want to state that this is for the UK, since in some other countries the prices tend to lie a bit higher. )

    With a budget that starts around £2’500 you can expect following…

    With this kind of budget you are able to find a photographer who have built their style and skills for several years, and therefore could almost be called A brand. When I say that the top photographers have “a brand”, I mean that they are widely known for a top quality body of work – perhaps they have several other photographers and professionals in the industry admiring them, perhaps they have been published in several magazines and won several important photographic awards, and they have a very clear style and sets of skills – whatever style of wedding, you can trust that they know what they’re doing.
    When you go through the portfolio from a photographer at this level, you should be able to see that this photographer stands out from the crowd.
    For this budget, your photographer have probably shot hundreds of weddings – maybe thousands. They know exactly what to do in all situations on your day. They already did all their mistakes years ago.
    Your photographer might include a very high quality album custom designed with your wedding images
    You can expect a full day cover from morning to evening for this investment. (You could possibly be getting this photographer’s service at a lower price, but that would probably be with a shorter cover, and most likely no album/book)
    This photographer will be very well trained. He/she may well even have a Professional Degree in photography – or if not, they have put so much time and energy in to learning and getting better during the years, so you wouldn’t notice that they haven’t got the actual formal training behind them.
    These photographers should have the best professional, digital equipment available on the market – with top digital SLR cameras – minimum two + all lenses and accessories required.
    A photographer above this price range might even be using the digital range of Medium Format cameras (eg Hasselblad, Mamiya) Now, just to give you an idea, both the two photographers that charge a minimum of £5’000 and $20’000 which I mentioned in the introduction, do use these cameras for a part of the wedding day. I say part, since for obvious reasons these are not the cameras to run around with at a reception – they are too expensive for that. The digital medium format range are mainly suitable to take up the quality a notch for portraits and the ceremony. Now, what the heck is a digital Medium format you might ask your self. It’s a quite bulky and big top of the range camera which due to its size and its price, mainly will be found in commercial studios where they will be used when shooting high end fashion and billboard advertising. A camera like this together with a couple of lenses could very well add up to £50’000. So do not worry if your £4’000 photographer doesn’t use this kind of equipment. Only a very small percentage of the world’s top wedding photographers will offer the use of these cameras for their clients – to the right price. And to be honest, since the next range of cameras that most photographers will use – Top end professional, digital S LRs – have very good sensors to record outstanding quality and nice details in your wedding photographs, you will not see a big difference in the result. ( Other than for huge, blown up pictures – so if you want billboards in the tube from your wedding day, then of course you should go with a Medium format photographer;))
    The post processing will be top notch at this price level – with professional retoucher or individual image editing made by the photographer with their signature style. Post production from a full day wedding could take your photographer 50 hrs. I know top end photographers that spend so much time on each individual client to get the very best for them, so when you add up the preparation time, shooting time and post production time it adds up to well over 100 hrs.
    If Your budget is £1’200-£2’500

    UK wedding photography prices

    With this kind of budget you will find an excellent and professional photographer. The photographer will either have professional training in the background, or be so good that you wouldn’t notice otherwise. The photographer probably has been photographing weddings for at least three years.
    You might be able to get a renowned photographer from the price bracket above, for a shorter coverage – perhaps 5 or 6 hrs on a weekday or during the quiet season.
    A full day photographer in this price bracket should be a highly professional, who knows where to be throughout the day, can recognize and understand the light and see compositions quickly, and who can show you a portfolio of images from several weddings which convey impact, quality and style.
    What equipment to expect:
    Most photographers on this level will be capturing your wedding with a top end flagship digital SLR from one of the big brands.
    Even more important than the actual price tag on the camera – as long as the camera is a high end digital SLR with a minimum of 12 mega pixel and a professional sensor – is the actual standard of the lenses. There are lenses that for an amateur might seem to be doing exactly the same thing – because they zoom exactly the same distance and they look the same. But there might be miles between them in image quality. For example there is a 70-200 zoom lens, very good for weddings, which can be bought for either £300 or for about £1800! There is no way that a photographer at this price level should be using the £300 – option. The sharpness and detail in the final images will differ too much. I mean, if you as a client aren’t bothered about the best image quality, you could go for a cheaper wedding photographer and be photographed by the cheaper lenses and pay a lot less:).
    On the day, a photographer at this price range should have two camera bodies and about four lenses as a minimum. Two camera bodies is a must – it would be very unfortunate if your photographer only had one camera and it malfunctioned in the middle of your day! The different lenses are required since they give different looks and are suitable on different occasions – some shots look better wide, and some shots look better zoomed in. Even if the photographer has a favorite which is being used all the time, a couple of back up lenses are necessary, in case something happens.
    In addition to this, your photographer will have at least one flash unit that can be used on the top of the camera or wireless. (And perhaps extra flash or led – lights if this is required for his/her style)
    Your photographer should also have a certain level of equipment in his/her office. Such as: Professional computer (£800-£2500), professional image editing soft wares (from £600), back up for your images – at the minimum a double back up drive or an online cloud system. Your photographer should also have a professional screen for editing the images (£500 – 1700), together with a colour calibrator tool (from £200). As you can see, there is a lot of equipment investments to take in to account. I would say that photographers at this price range would easily have spent £10’000 – 15’000 on their equipment, or as a minimum their equipment investment probably lies around £8000.
    The level and time spent on post production. If you don’t know about post production (image editing) yourself, I don’t think that I could ever make you begin to understand how incredibly intricate it is.:)It is just one of those things that nobody can ever fully learn to master, there are just so many different ways of doing things – I for example started using Adobe Photoshop editing programs in early 2000 and I still learn new things… – and there are constantly new softwares developing to learn new skills from. For this reason, the skills on Photoshop, Lightroom and other editing programs will vary a lot between different photographers. Some photographers at entry level might not even put your images through much post production at all – and that will definitely affect what they charge their clients. To give you an idea: A photographer at this price level will practice individual image editing, knowing how to achieve things and work with several different tools. Your photographer will probably do one of the four following things to make sure that all your images arrive at an outstanding quality: A/ Spend 30 – 50 hrs on individual image editing. B/ Hire a retoucher to do the post processing. C/ – Having practiced for so long and having worked out a personal editing system, that he/she can apply personal editing actions to speed up the process – but without loosing any end result in terms of quality. D/ Use actions and standard corrections for majority of images. But spend maybe 20 hours on perhaps just the 30 most amazing shots, to make them look like fine art prints. Bottom line is, that even though your photographer might only spend 10 hrs with you on your actual wedding day, there might be another 40 hrs spent on the computer – on top of the time for pre wedding meetings and venue checking. So bare that in mind: That a photographer of this level might be giving you 50 hrs + of his/her time, while an entry level photographer who hasn’t yet grasped post production, might just give you a total of 12 – 15hrs…
    If Your budget is £700-£1’100

    UK wedding photography prices

    If this is your budget, you can still get a professional photographer. If your photographer only charges about £700 to cover your whole day, he/she might be within their first couple of years of photographing weddings, and so the photographer might still be finding their feet and therefore not have a thorough style. With other words the quality might be shifting a bit. But if you pay at least £700, your photographer should have had adequate training and a good few weddings to show you in their portfolio.
    You could get an established professional photographer for around £1000, but perhaps the cover of your day will be shorter. (For example,if you want a top wedding photographer, this person might photograph a couple of hrs of your day for about £1000, or other adequate professionals might cover half your day at this rate)
    If Your budget is about £500

    UK wedding photography prices

    If this is your budget and you want to have the best you can get for your money, I would suggest that you find a photographer that can photograph perhaps 2, or 3 hrs for this price. That is if you want to hire somebody that has professional equipment, insurance, post production skills, a good portfolio and training behind them. Some professionals will cover small weekday weddings at this price – but their Saturdays will most likely be booked up already.
    If you are rather looking for somebody that can cover your whole day, there is another solution for you! At this price range, you would be able to find a student photographer who is in their final year or who has recently graduated, or a person just starting up their business. Then at least the person you’re hiring will have some experience with photographing. Although you have got to understand that there could be some hit or miss involved:
    The person might not have photographed any weddings or perhaps just a couple of weddings before and might miss important moments.
    For obvious reasons, this person will probably not have been able to invest in proper equipment yet, so they might be using an under-performing camera and not the best lenses – perhaps the images won’t be backed up, and perhaps the person photographing will only have one camera and one – two lenses on your day, and something could go wrong. So there might be some risk involved.
    If Your budget is about £200 – 300

    UK wedding photography prices

    With all the information above explaining that professional photographers invest between £5000 – £50’000 (depending on their level) on their equipment alone – and perhaps 40 hrs on post processing of your images + lots of time for preparations and research, it is not very likely that a photographer charging £200 – 300 will have professional equipment, training behind them or insurance. If this is your budget I will suggest one of the following:

    A/ Research different photographers and see if you can find a photographer to cover just a portrait session with you and your partner and/or ceremony shots. (1 – 2 hrs of photography)
    B/ Pay a keen amateur friend or an amateur uncle who has a half decent camera the couple of hundred pounds, to be responsible for the photographs on your day. This could be an option if it isn’t that important to you what the photographs will actually look like, but you just want to make sure that somebody brought a camera and took on the responsibility to operate it.
    As a rule of thumb…..
    When budgeting for a wedding photographer, a good measurement to have is to allocate roughly 10% of your whole budget on your photography. Then of course, if you really loooove photography, you can increase the percentage here, and perhaps save on something else if your budget isn’t that big. It works equally the other way as well – if the photography isn’t the top priority for your day, then there probably isn’t enough reason for you to spend a higher percentage of your budget for it.
    A LAST WORD…
    Louise Bjorling wedding photographer
    I hope that this little article has been to some kind of help in regards of your search for a wedding photographer. I got the idea for the theme in this article when I recently met with a couple and one of their questions was: “So what would you say would be the most important thing for a client to look for in a wedding photographer?” My first thought was that the question was too difficult – there are just so many things to look for in a wedding photographer. Then I realised what a vulnerable situation many clients are in. While us photographers can look at one and other’s work and know exactly what it is that we’re looking at – it can be very difficult for non – photographers to know what to look for; how to see if quality is good or bad and to see what something should be worth.
    My suggestion is to spend a good amount of time looking at different styles of photography, try to understand the quality of the images and start making opinions on what it is you like/dislike about certain images – in order to start to understand what you yourself, want for your wedding day. When comparing prices, look at the images as well – and in many cases it probably will become evident why one photographer charges a lot more than another.
    And if you have any questions or anything to add at all, please drop me a line or leave a comment!

  2. Setting your pricing is one of the most influential things you can do for
    your business. It determines your market, your business style, your
    priorities, your competition, and of course, your profit potential.

    For this reason, pricing has become a source of incredible stress for many
    photographers. The most common question I hear from photographers
    starting their business or attempting to take their business to the next
    level is how to create their pricing and packages.

    There are a lot – A LOT – of misconceptions about pricing, the first of
    which is that you can simply create a pleasing set of packages and apply
    an arbitrary number to them and still reasonably expect to turn a profit.
    This is the exact opposite of what you should be doing, and if that’s how
    you achieved your current pricelist, throw it out immediately!

    A bad pricelist will not only cost you money, it will also destroy your
    business. It can and will make you seem desperate, unprofessional, unintelligent,
    and possibly even unethical. It will force you to work endless
    hours for very little pay, and will eventually kill your passion for what
    you do. A good pricelist, on the other hand, will woo clients your way
    with its simplicity and ease, and will build a very profitable system that
    will grow with your business.

    There is good news… I have the solution! I have put together the most
    comprehensive guide to building a smart pricelist that you will ever find.
    It is a compilation of knowledge from a number of different photographers
    from different backgrounds and different markets. The primary
    reason that I decided to give this packet away rather than sell it is because
    these are not specifically MY secrets or MY techniques – it’s just

    Prologue 1
    good plain smart business sense. The more people who discover it and
    are able to make a living doing what they love, the better off the world
    will be.

    I caution you though – this is a long, involved pricelist that requires a
    massive amount of business planning and number crunching. There are
    no shortcuts, no “simplified” methods, no “works every time, for every
    one” answers. Everyone’s pricing will be different, and should be different.
    I will show you the path and give you the tools, but at the end of the
    day, only you can determine what is right for your business.

    I will also warn you now that the numbers you calculate are likely to be
    much higher than what you were expecting, especially if you are new to
    the business. If you’re used to charging $1,000 per wedding, you’re in
    for a huge shock, because the Professional Photographers of America
    benchmark study estimates (and in most cases the numbers agree) that
    the average wedding photography business needs to make approximately
    $5,000 per wedding in order for the business owner to make a reasonable
    living. That doesn’t mean that if you’re not to that point yet that you
    can’t still run a profitable business, but you will most likely have to push
    yourself to stop giving away your services for free and start charging
    what you’re actually worth. If you go through these exercises and you’re
    alarmed at the numbers you’re seeing, don’t freak out. I will provide
    some tips and suggestions at the end for adjusting your numbers to get
    a price you feel more comfortable with.

    Prologue 2
    Chapter One
    Determining Your Cost
    Before you can set any prices, you must first calculate your costs. Cost
    can be divided into three categories:
    1. Cost of Running a Business (CRB)
    2. Cost of Shooting a Wedding (CSW)
    3. Cost of Providing a Product (CPP)
    The Cost of Running a Business is the largest category, and includes everything
    you spend to keep your business going year in and year out that
    is not tied to any specific client or job. This can include but is certainly
    not limited to: studio rent and bills, marketing, office supplies, equipment
    repairs and purchases, workshops and seminars, computers, software,
    accounting and legal fees, websites, bridal fairs, association dues,
    sample albums, contest entries, travel for business trips not paid for
    by a client, and website membership fees (such as Flickr, DWF, WPJA,
    etc.). This isn’t a little mini-spending-spree.. Try to really think about
    the things you need to have to make your business work, and cut out
    anything that isn’t a necessity. “Maybe” items can always be purchased
    with your profit money if your business does better than expected. Add
    all of these things up to get your total yearly CRB.

    The Cost of Shooting a Wedding is anything you do for a standard wedding
    that is not related to a specific product. This includes the cost of
    meeting with and booking a client, welcome packets, gas, client gifts,
    proofing system fees (i.e.: fees from providers like Exposure Manager

    Chapter One 3
    or Collages.net), and anything else you know you will spend on a wedding.
    This can also be personal, for example some people like to go get
    pedicures or massages the day after they shoot a wedding. If you expect
    to spend it, add it in. Add all of these numbers to get your per-wedding
    CSW.

    The Cost of Providing a Product is anything tied to a specific product,
    and this amount will vary from product to product. Most of the time
    this will include the manufacturer’s cost and shipping , but it can also
    include design fees or packaging fees as well. This also includes things
    like fees that you will pay assistants or second shooters.

    Homework Time
    Before you go any further, take some time to sit down and figure out all
    of these numbers, including the CPP for everything you offer. Don’t try
    to skimp or underestimate – you will only cost yourself money in the
    end. Be generous with these numbers, and pad them a little bit when
    appropriate. After all, it’s better to have a little extra profit than to not
    have enough to cover your costs!
    Chapter One 4
    Chapter Two 5
    Chapter Two

    Determining Your Business Plan
    Now that you have your business costs determined, it’s time to set your
    business plan. Your business plan is a set of projections for the following
    year that you must base everything else on. This is without a doubt
    the must crucial step in the process, because everything you do from this
    point on will be determined by the decisions you make. There is a lot to
    say about creating a business plan, but most of that has been discussed
    in-depth already by others who are smarter and more capable than me
    (Laura Novak is the master of business plans, check out her Strategy
    Avenue set for some incredible advice), so I will stick with the questions
    you need to answer in order to effectively price yourself.

    1. Are you full-time or part-time? If part-time, would you like to go
    full-time in the near future? If so, how soon?
    2. How many weddings will you shoot next year? Keep this number conservative
    – if you want to book 30 but only think you can make it to
    15, you should probably only plan for 12. A good benchmark to use is
    what you shot this year, unless you want to make a drastic increase or
    decrease. This is a crucial question, because if you project for more
    weddings than you actually book, you will lose a substantial amount
    of your profit from the weddings you do shoot.

    3. Who is your average client now? Where do they live, how much do
    they spend, and what do they value most?
    4. Who do you want your “target client” to be? Are you yearning to get
    in with the old money country club set, or would you rather book the
    young trendy fashionista brides? It’s okay if you don’t have your ideal
    client narrowed down that much, but try to think of the things you really
    love to see in a client, and make a list of those. Also, is there anything
    that your current and ideal clients have in common?

    5. What products and services will you be providing? Create a list of every
    item you want to sell, as well as any upgrades or add-ons associated
    with those items. This will form the content of the à la carte pricing list
    you are about to create.

    6. What are the most important products that you wish to sell? Do you
    want to focus on providing just your time, or the digital negatives, or
    flushmount albums, or large canvas prints, or something else entirely?
    Obviously we all want to sell as many of these things as possible, but we
    have to determine what our primary selling points will be in order to
    build effective packages.

    Homework Time
    Think about these questions for a little while and really give them some
    thought and soul-searching. As I mentioned before, this is the most important
    step in the entire process, so the more honest and realistic you are
    here, the more effective your prices will be later.

    For Full-Timers
    If you are full-time or plan to go full time, you need to figure out a fourth
    cost, and that’s your Cost of Living (COL). Your Cost of Living is what
    it takes for you to live, and includes (but is not limited to) rent, utilities,
    bills, student loans, food, gas, health insurance, car payments, and anything
    else you need to survive if you plan to live solely off the income of
    your wedding photography. Don’t pad this with fun things like entertainment
    or clothing – your profit will compensate for that.

    Chapter Two 6
    Chapter Three 7
    Chapter Three
    Creating Your À La Carte Pricing
    The biggest flaw I see in most people’s pricing is that they don’t have a
    good à la carte system. This baffles me, because it’s the most essential
    part of your pricing. Your à la carte pricing is the thing that gives value
    and worth to all of your products and services. If someone offered you a
    big box of camera equipment for $3500, but they wouldn’t tell you how
    much each individual piece of equipment was worth, would you do it?
    Probably not. You would want to know the value of everything in that
    box so that you could determine whether that $3500 was a good deal.
    Well, the same concept applies here. We can’t expect our clients to fork
    over thousands of dollars for a collection of products if they don’t know
    the value of each thing that they’re getting. Your à la carte pricing will
    give them that value, and it will also do all the math for you when determining
    your package pricing.

    The first price that you should set is your hourly rate. Contrary to popular
    opinion, this is not a number that you just pick out of thin air. This
    number is mostly made up of the CRB that you determined in Chapter
    One (as well as your COL, if you are Full Time or going Full Time), divided
    by the number of weddings you plan to shoot next year that you
    determined in Chapter Two, plus your CSW.

    So, if my CRB (plus COL, if applicable) is $10,000 and I plan to shoot 10
    weddings per year, then I end up with a $1,000 per-wedding overhead.
    Then I add my CSW to that, (in this case let’s just say my CSW is $75)
    and I now know that I need to make $1,075 per wedding to cover cost.

    Chapter Three 8
    Now I need to divide that number by the average number of hours I plan
    to shoot per wedding. For most people, that will be about 6-8 hours.
    It’s best to stay on the conservative side, because like I said, it’s better to
    have extra profit than to not cover your cost. For me, every wedding I
    shoot includes eight hours of coverage, so I’m going to divide $1,075 by
    8, and I get $135. That is my per-hour cost of running a business. For
    every hour that I am photographing a wedding, I have to make at least
    $135 just to break even! Crazy, huh?

    Next comes the rule of three. Think of it as the businessman’s ruleof-thirds.
    The absolute LOWEST price you should ever charge for any
    item is three times the cost. Why, you ask? Well, one third of that price
    will obviously be your cost. Another one third will go to taxes (even
    if you have a great tax advisor who helps you pay less than 30%, you
    should still set aside that much, to be safe). The remaining one third
    is the profit that goes in your pocket. For many items you will go much
    higher than that (for example, loose prints are usually 15-20 times cost
    or more), but one third should be the lowest. To calculate your hourly
    rate, multiply the per-hour cost that you just calculated in the previous
    paragraph times three. For me, $135 times three is $405, which means
    that I should be charging at least $405 an hour as my base fee.

    If this number is too low for your tastes, feel free to increase it to whatever
    number you’d like. On the other hand, for a lot of people (especially
    full-timers) this number can be frighteningly large, sometimes upwards
    of $1,000 an hour. Although I don’t recommend doing this for ANYTHING
    except your hourly rate, if the number you get here is terrifyingly
    large, you can cut it in half. This will cover your cost and taxes, but will
    leave no profit for you. Hopefully you will make up for that lost profit in
    other items, but keep in mind that in the future you need to keep this number
    as close to the “cost times three” number as possible (or higher!).

    Good news! You now have your first price, and you’ve also just made enough
    money to run your business. Even if you never sell another item, you are
    making enough with your hourly wage to pay your bills and taxes and turn
    a profit. Everything after this is just icing on the cake. Woohoo! Success!!!
    Doesn’t it feel amazing to know that with this one number, you can run an
    economically self-sufficient business?

    Homework Time
    As awesome as that is, we still have a lot of work to do. You need to go down
    the remainder of your products on your à la carte list and calculate the price
    you wish to charge for each one of them. Remember that when using the
    “cost-times-three” method, you will be making a profit that is equal to the
    cost of the item. Thus, if an item costs $100, and you use cost-times-three
    to get an à la carte price of $300, you will be turning a profit of $100 on that
    item (equal to your cost). For items with a low cost, you will need to increase
    the price substantially to turn a profit that is worthy of the time it takes you
    to provide that product. A great rule of thumb is to decide how much money
    you would like to make on an item, add it to the cost, multiply that sum times
    1.5 to cover taxes, and that number will be your price. So, if something costs
    you $5 to provide, but you want to make $20 off of it, you would multiply $25
    times 1.5 to get $37.50, and that’s the price you should charge. I highly recommend
    starting a spreadsheet that has a list of all your costs, profits, and the
    amount that goes to taxes in three separate columns for each item you sell.

    This spreadsheet will come in handy when managing your finances later.

    Chapter Three 9
    Chapter Four 10
    Chapter Four
    Building the Contents of Your Packages

    Now that you have your à la carte pricing determined, you are ready to
    start building what will go in your packages (assuming that you want to
    have packages.. if not, go straight to Chapter Six). Ultimately, this process
    is something you have to determine entirely on your own, and any
    advice I would give would have to be specific to each individual person’s
    business. This is where the business plan that you created in Chapter
    Two will start to really come in handy. Think about the type of clients
    you’re booking now, and the type of clients you want to book in the future.
    Think about what’s important to them, and what they are most
    likely to spend their money on. Similarly, think about the products that
    you rarely sell, or the products you don’t enjoy selling.

    There are three basic methods to creating wedding photography packages.
    The first method is to have one, all-inclusive package that includes
    everything the bride and groom will need for one large, inflated price.

    Usually this includes unlimited hours from one or two photographers,
    one or two portrait sessions, digital negatives, a large album, and a print
    credit of some kind. This system is favored by high-end wedding photographers,
    but it can also be effective for photographers serving the upper-middle
    class, as well.

    The second method is to have a semi-all inclusive base package that has
    everything involved in shooting the wedding, such has full hourly coverage
    by multiple photographers, a portrait session or two, and digital neg-

    Chapter Four 11
    atives, but leaves the more tangible products such as albums, canvases,
    or prints for higher packages. This is the system I use, and has worked
    really well for me. My base package includes eight hours of coverage
    (which is enough for 95% of brides), two photographers, a portrait session,
    and the digital negatives. Anything less than that really isn’t worth
    booking to me, unless the date is super close and I am not likely it book
    it otherwise. Since I have decided that albums are the cornerstone of
    my business, my subsequent packages include small, medium, and large
    albums, as well as small, medium, and large print credits. Although this
    method is fairly uncommon, it is being seen more and more.

    The third and most common method is the ascending package method,
    where you start with one small package, and the contents of every subsequent
    package increase across the board. For example, Package 1 might
    have four hours and one photographer, Package 2 might have six hours
    and two photographers, Packages 3 might have eight hours and two photographers
    and an album, etc. I am not a huge fan of this method because
    all too often you end up with tiny packages that no one wants and
    large packages that include a lot of fluff and filler solely to make them
    look bigger, rather than building packages that make sense for you and
    your clients. If you choose to use this method, I encourage you to really
    think about the progression you take in each package increase. If your
    lowest package isn’t something you would want to sell, change it so that
    it is. Similarly, if your highest package is full of a lot of extra hours and
    albums and prints that the majority of people would never want or need,
    adjust it so that it makes more sense and is more desirable to the average
    person.

    If you choose the second or third method, it’s best to keep the number
    of packages fairly low, usually around 3-5 packages total. In your base
    package, include the absolute minimum service you are willing to provide
    to take a day off of your calendar. If you don’t think it’s worth booking
    a date for four hours of coverage, then don’t include a package with
    four hours on your price list. Remember, if you have a prospective client
    who comes to you with a special situation, you can always customize a
    package for her (using your handy dandy à la carte pricing), but when
    determining your standard packages, keep the “every client” in mind,
    and don’t worry about the exceptions. Also, don’t include anything in
    a package that isn’t quantifiable, such as “unlimited hours,” because it’s
    impossible to place a set financial value on such items.

    At this point, don’t worry about the prices of these packages. Right now
    we are only concerned with the content, and building packages that make
    sense. We will discuss pricing these packages in the next chapter.
    Homework Time

    Build a system of packages that you truly believe in. Remember that
    your bottom package should be the absolute minimum service that you’re
    willing to provide in order to take a day off of your availability calendar.

    Compare your packages to those of the most successful photographers
    in your area (if you can get access to their packages) and see how your
    packages relate to theirs. Show your proposed new packages to some
    random females, and ask them (without knowing how much each package
    is) which packages they would be interested in, and which packages
    are not desirable at all. Revise as necessary, until you have 1-5 packages
    that you are truly confident in.

    Chapter Four 12
    Chapter Five 13
    Chapter Five
    Setting the Prices for Your Packages
    This is probably the easiest step in the process, because this is all just
    simple math. However, it’s also the step that causes the most heart attacks
    and emotional breakdowns, because once you do the math, you’re
    likely to end up with numbers that are much higher than you expected,
    and maybe much higher than you are comfortable charging. Try to go
    into this with an open mind, and remember that if you set reasonable,

    profitable prices on your à la carte pricing, then you will end up with reasonable,
    profitable prices for your packages. If you’re shocked at what
    you see, it’s probably because you have been charging WAY too little for
    your services in the past. Buckle your seatbelt and prepare yourself for
    a brand new world of getting paid what you are worth!

    For each package, you need to determine the Sum of All Products. Basically,
    go through each product you provide in a package, find the price
    you assigned to that product on your à la carte pricing, and add up all of
    those prices. This sum is the retail value of each of your packages.

    In a perfect world, this is the price that you would charge for your packages.
    After all, there’s really no need to discount your packages. Doing
    so only cuts into the profit that you assigned to each product. On the
    other hand, people have been conditioned to expect a package discount,
    and it does have the benefit of encouraging clients to build bigger packages
    when they book so they can avoid paying full price for items after
    the wedding. However, remember that if your package discount is 33%
    or higher, you will completely eliminate the profit for any items that you

    Chapter Five 14
    used the “cost-times-three” method to price. It’s best to keep your discount
    no higher than 25% at the very most. Remember that you can
    always decrease your discount percentage as time goes on, getting you
    closer to your ideal prices. I started my discount percentage at 25%,
    and have lowered them a couple of percentage points each quarter. This
    allows me to slightly raise my prices as time goes on without having to
    change all of the prices that I set on my à la carte pricing.

    If you’re not good at determining discounts, use this formula, where S is
    your Sum of All Products and D is the percentage discount (i.e.: 25 for
    25%) you wish to apply: (S * (100-D) * .01). You can paste this formula
    into a Google search box, and just replace the D and S with the corresponding
    numbers, and Google Calculator will do the work for you.

    Homework Time
    Determine the discount you will apply to your packages, and calculate
    your new package prices. When discounting your packages, you can
    choose to either have one flat rate or an ascending discount. An ascending
    discount is a discount that increases with each package (i.e.: the lowest
    package has a 10% discount, the next highest has a 15% discount, the
    third highest has a 20% discount, and so on). Either one is acceptable,
    and I recommend doing the number crunching for both methods to decide
    which set of numbers you prefer.

    Chapter Six 15
    Chapter Six
    Numbers Too High?
    At this point, you’re basically done. You’ve determined a profitable price
    for each product, built a system of packages that make sense for your
    business, and calculated the appropriate discount for each package. You
    should now have an awesome, amazing, kick-butt, and most importantly
    PROFITABLE pricing system. Mission accomplished!

    For some of you, even with a steep discount, these numbers may be higher
    than you feel comfortable charging. It’s important that you realize that
    if you feel that way, it’s only because you have not been charging what
    you are worth, and you have been allowing customers to take advantage
    of your lack of confidence in your own work. Even someone who has
    never shot a wedding before deserves to charge enough to cover cost,
    taxes, and still turn a fair profit. If you ever hope to make photography
    more than just a hobby, you need to start charging what your service is
    worth.

    That said.. If you are freaking out right now and thinking, “There’s no
    way I can charge this much,” there are a few things you can do. The first
    and best is to make your business more efficient. If you can lower the
    costs of running your business, you can then lower the costs for providing
    your products, and in turn lower the prices you charge your clients.

    Go back to Chapter One, where you determined your CRB, and see what
    numbers you can eliminate or reduce there. You can also research vendors,
    and try to find album or canvas providers that are substantially
    cheaper than the company you’re currently using (I recommend using
    Forbeyon albums (www.forbeyon.com) – they are the most inexpen-

    Chapter Six 16
    sive flushmount albums I know of, and also the highest quality, which is
    an amazingly lucky combination). If you currently farm out services to
    other people, such as post-processing or album design, consider bringing
    those back in-house so you can charge less for that product and still
    make the same profit.

    If you’ve found that your hourly shooting rate is very high and is driving
    up the cost of your packages, remember that that number is based on the
    number of weddings you shoot per year. If you shoot more weddings,
    the per-wedding overhead that you calculated in Chapter Three will be
    significantly lower, so your hourly shooting fee can be lower as well.

    The third option is my favorite, because that option is to “suck it up” and
    deal with your new, better prices, and start marketing yourself to a better
    market. Just because the people who have been booking you thus
    far refuse to pay more than $1000 for a wedding photographer does not
    mean that the rest of the world, or even the rest of your community, is
    that cheap. The worst phrase you can ever utter is, “The people in my
    area won’t pay more than $X.” Photographers like Jeff and Julia Woods,
    Kelly Moore, Lauren Clark, and Bruce Dorn have established very successful
    businesses in small towns that are a substantial distance from a
    large city. Admittedly, they do a lot of traveling, but if you’re attempting
    to build a profitable wedding photography business in a tiny town,
    you’re going to have to get used to the idea of spending a lot of time in
    cars and planes if you want to make serious money. Middle and upper
    class clients flock in droves to the major cities to find their wedding vendors,
    so if that’s where the clients are, that’s where you need to be (or at
    least where you should be marketing).

    Besides, you will be amazed by what people will pay when they truly
    believe a service is worthwhile. I once met with a couple who were both
    still students and had minimum-wage part-time jobs. They told me
    that they were paying for the wedding themselves with very little help
    from their parents, and they had budgeted only $1,000 for their wedding
    photographer. Within a week they had signed a contract with me
    for a $5,500 package. I don’t think that I necessarily did anything to
    persuade them to spend over five times their budget, they simply came
    to the realization that they found something they wanted, and they
    would figure out a way to pay for it. If your customer service and your
    personal marketing are good enough, you will never have a hard time
    finding clients who will pay any price. And if those things are not good
    enough, then your business is doomed no matter what you’re charging.

    So stop worrying about your prices, and start worrying about how
    you’re running your business!

    Chapter Six 17
    Chapter Seven 18
    Chapter Seven
    Managing your Finances
    Although this isn’t strictly tied into setting your prices, this system of
    pricing essentially divides up your income into three categories: cost,
    taxes, and profit. I strongly recommend that you keep good records of
    how much of each of those things you make, and every time you get
    a payment, put the appropriate funds into separate accounts. I have a
    “Tax Escrow” savings account that holds all of the money I have allotted
    for income taxes in my prices as well as the sales tax that I collect when
    applicable. I also have a “Cost” checking account where I put aside all
    of the money for cost that I have built into my prices. I also take 10%
    of everything I make and put it into a general business fund. I use this
    fund to treat myself to special purchases such as vacations, seminars,
    cameras or lenses that I want (as opposed to equipment I need, which is
    purchased from my cost account), or emergencies. Whatever is left over
    (approximately 40-50%) is my profit, and that goes into my personal account.

    The worst mistake that I see photographers making is when they
    simply cash every check they get, and never put the appropriate funds
    where they belong. Then their money gets spent on various things, and
    when it comes time to pay the second shooter or order an album, that
    money has to come from a personal account, rather than a cost account,
    where it should come from.

    Obviously you should consult your accountant or financial advisor to
    set up the account system that works best for you, but I believe that this
    method of pricing will substantially help you in keeping your finances
    smart and streamlined (especially if you made the spreadsheet I suggested
    at the end of Chapter Three).

    Chapter Eight
    Marketing Based on Your Packages
    Believe it or not, your marketing should be substantially based on the
    content of your packages. Your advertisements, blog, website, marketing
    materials, and especially your prospective client meetings should all
    be centered around the content of your packages (because the content of
    your packages should be reflective of the business you want to run).

    For example, someone who loves to travel might build a system of allinclusive
    packages focused on traveling distance (an out-of-town package,
    out-of-state package, out-of-country package, and out-of-continent
    package). They could then use those packages to market themselves to
    destination wedding brides, travel agents, overseas venues, etc., with the
    selling point of being able to say “This is how much it will cost for me to
    shoot in (fill-in-the-blank-location).” For many people who hate being
    nickel-and-dimed or hate having to negotiate a package and then deal
    with miscellaneous vendor travel fees, this flat-rate system would be a
    dream, and would be a huge selling point that they should focus on in
    their marketing.

    On the other hand, a different photographer might enjoy being extremely
    high-volume and booking three or four (or more) shoot-and-burn weddings
    in a weekend. This photographer might build a system of packages
    that focuses solely on hours of coverage, or provide substantial discounts
    to clients getting married on Fridays, Sundays, or early Saturday
    mornings. This photographer would be better served marketing these
    aspects of his business, focusing on budget or DIY brides who simply

    Chapter Eight 19
    Chapter Eight 20
    want a quality photographer who will show up, shoot the wedding, and
    turn over the files for a reasonable price.

    For me, albums are the most important product I offer, and that is what
    I focus my business on. All my packages are identical except for the size
    of the included album. I mention my albums frequently on my blog,
    often posting photos of new albums when they arrive, and when I meet
    with a client I bring 10 or more sample albums to show them my work.

    I explain to them the importance of these albums and how, at the end of
    the day, the album is the best way to tell the story of their wedding day
    in a format that people will actually want to look at. As a result, 95% of
    my clients purchase an album of some sort, and many of them purchase
    the largest, nicest album I offer. I have sample albums made for coordinators
    I work with, and for all the major venues that I enjoy shooting at.

    Since most of my clients are referrals from past clients or coordinators,
    70% of the people I book have seen my albums in some way, shape, or
    form before they ever even contact me, so they come to me knowing that
    an album is something they should expect to purchase.

    Look at your packages and decide what sets you apart from your competition,
    both in terms of who you are and how you run your business, and
    determine some ways to incorporate those things into your marketing.

    Chapter Nine 21
    Chapter Nine
    Adapting the Method for Portraits
    I am a weddings-only photographer, and I always have been, so I can’t
    pretend to know the secrets to running a profitable portrait photography
    business. That said, there are some similarities – for example, the
    advice given in this guide on setting à la carte prices from each product
    based on cost, taxes, and desired profit is applicable to everyone in every
    industry – but there are also some methods that can be adapted to fit
    photographers who primarily shoot portraits.

    The biggest difference is that in this guide, I encourage people to factor
    in their CRB and COL into their hourly wedding fee. Portrait photographers,
    on the other hand, will need to factor in your costs into your session
    fees. Let’s say that your CRB is $24,000 per year and your COL is
    $30,000 per year, giving you a total amount of $54,000 that you need
    to make that year to break even. At this point, you need to think seriously
    about the number of paid sessions you expect to do that year.

    Just as I mentioned with weddings, it’s crucial that you not overestimate this
    number, because if you do, you could potentially come up short when it’s
    time to pay your bills. If you plan to do 10 paid sessions a month, that’s
    120 sessions annually. Divide your total annual cost by the number of
    sessions you expect to do (in our example, $54,000 / 120 = $450) and
    that will give you your per-session overhead. You should also calculate
    the portrait photographer’s version of the CSW, a CSS (Cost of Shooting
    a Session – any costs that are directly attributed to shooting each session,
    such as the cost of the welcome packet or the cost of the proofbook you
    provide). Add your per-session overhead and your CSS, and that is the
    MINIMUM amount you should be charging for your session fee.

    Earlier, I encouraged wedding photographers to multiply this number times
    three in order to build in a substantial profit into their time. With portrait
    photographers, this is not as necessary. Most portrait photographers make
    anywhere from $500-$3000 (or more) in additional sales after the session.

    This is where your primary profit is going to come from. Whereas your session
    fee is going to keep you out of the red, by ensuring that you have the
    money you need to pay your rent, purchase insurance, pay your employees,
    etc., the additional sales that you make after the wedding are going to determine
    how much you actually profit each year.

    As I mentioned in Chapter Seven, setting up a good system of accounts will
    help you keep your payments in order. The three accounts I suggest are a
    tax escrow savings account, a cost checking account, and a business general
    checking account. The amount that you’ve calculated for cost (for example,
    the $450 from your session fee we calculated earlier, or the CPP for each
    item you sell) should go into your cost account. Thirty to forty percent of
    everything you make (after subtracting cost) should go into your tax escrow
    account, as well as all of the sales tax that you collect. I also recommend putting
    at LEAST 10% of your payments into your business general account as
    an emergency/petty cash fund. The rest you can pay out to yourself as profit!

    Chapter Nine 22
    Epilogue 23
    Epilogue
    Remember that the point of owning your own business is to make money.
    The industry we are in is too expensive and too time-intensive to survive
    for any meaningful amount of time without ensuring that we have a
    steady, reliable stream of profit.

    Hopefully this guide has helped you come up with a comprehensive set
    of pricing and packages that will take your business to a new, more profitable
    place. I really do believe in this system, and all the people I have
    shared it with so far have told me that it has turned their business around
    and brought them out of the red and into the green.

    Huge thanks to Anne Ruthmann and Jillian Kay for being such an inspiring
    example of how photographers should give back to the photography
    community and share their knowledge. Their blog Photo Lovecat
    (http://photolovecat.blogspot.com) is a must-read for every photographer,
    and they have killer advice on pricing, as well.

    Thanks also to Timco Photo, Kristel Wyman, Jason Huang of Table4Photography,
    Scotty Perry of Think!Photographics, Sarah Anne Strong, Cesar
    and Tanya of Perez Photography, the members of Flickr’s Starting a
    Wedding Photography group, and my darling boyfriend Jason for contributing
    to the production of this guide in various ways. Your help was
    invaluable!

    Additional Help 24
    Additional Help
    If you would like some personalized help with this process, or would like
    me to take a look at your new pricing and see what additional assistance
    and suggestions I can provide, I do offer one-on-one pricing consultations
    for $250. This includes an in-depth review of your à la carte pricing
    as well as your packages, a design critique of your pricing materials
    (what you send to clients when they inquire about a wedding date), and
    suggestions on how to use your new pricing to market your business.

    I also strongly recommend getting involved in an online photography
    community, such as Digital Wedding Forum, Open Source Photo, or
    Flickr’s Wedding Photography or Starting a Wedding Photography Business
    groups. These groups are full of smart, talented people who are all
    willing to give their knowledge and expertise freely. They are an invaluable
    resource and will help you grow faster and stronger than you ever
    could on your own.

    Best of luck to you in your business, and remember – with smart pricing
    and great customer service, ANYONE can be a profitable photographer!

  3. What Wedding Photography Pricing Model Should You Use For Maximum Profit?
    Wedding Couple in a Field
    Credit: Madison Wedding Photographers
    There’s so many different wedding photography pricing models that sometimes it’s hard to know what will be most profitable for you and your business.

    Should you have packages? Or go completely A la Carte? Which one books you more clients and gets you higher sales?

    There’s an easy way to tell, and the answer will be different for each person.

    So first we’ll look at 3 wedding pricing and packaging models, discuss their strengths and weaknesses, and then you’ll learn how to determine which one you should use to maximize your profits.

    The Package Model (Most Common)
    The most popular wedding photography pricing strategy is to offer a number of different packages to your clients with an A la Carte list of items that they can use to add on to packages.

    Let’s be real. For most people who offer packages with an A la Carte list on the side, the A la Carte list is really just there to make the packages look like a better value and photographers don’t really expect people to buy much off of them at all. Yeah, I said it.

    While some things are purchased from it, it’s not something they really expect to sell from often. So we’re going to ignore its presence when discussing packages.

    modern wedding photography at the overture in madison

    Benefits of having pre-defined packages:
    You can create your packages in such a way that people generally select the package you want them to select. Yes, really. See Tofurious’ Creative Pricing and Packaging ebook (affiliate link) to learn how. Once I used their methods, about 80% of my clients chose the package I wanted them to with most of the rest choosing a larger package (even better!)

    There’s also less decision fatigue. According to the linked article, we’re more apt to stop making good decisions after we’ve made many in a day. Putting together packages of your most commonly purchased items means fewer decisions for people who don’t want to make them.

    Downfalls of having pre-defined packages:
    People ask to swap things out and change them at A la Carte prices, but they are often discounted because they are sold in a package. This obviously doesn’t apply if you don’t discount from your A la Carte items list.

    It also seems like people don’t customize as much because the A la Carte list is seen as extra money on top of what is already in the package or can be viewed as unnecessary extras.

    modern madison wedding photography

    Tips when offering packages:
    I’ve been using the package model since the beginning and have found that the most important element to consider in creating your packages is to offer things that people really want in them.

    If it’s not something they really want, they will ask to substitute it or take it out causing extra headaches for you.

    Provide a great reason for people to upgrade. For example, if the package above the one they’re considering seems to be worth $1000 more but is only $500 more in price, it will seem more valuable to them and encourage them to upgrade.

    Buy and read Tofurious’ Creative Pricing and Packaging. I can’t recommend it enough. Sorry for sounding like a broken record, but it truly is amazing and will give far more tips than I can in one little blog post.

    A la Carte Only Model
    With A la Carte only pricing, you start with an hourly rate and people can hire you for exactly what they need. I know many photographers who use this model successfully as well.

    Modern Madison Wedding Photography

    Benefits of A la Carte Pricing:
    When you do everything A la Carte, your clients feel like they have a custom package and there’s generally a positive connotation associated with custom purchases.

    People get exactly what they want and don’t feel like they are wasting money on something they don’t need. Always a good thing.

    Downfalls of A la Carte Pricing:
    If you aren’t careful, an A la Carte pricing list may have too many decisions for your clients to make and they may experience decision fatigue, resulting in minimal sales.

    It’s easier for people to itemize your services and put a price on every little thing instead of valuing your services as an experience.

    I honestly don’t think that sales end up being as high as there’s only one anchor point (initial price points that people see and judge value on), so people won’t vary as far from it as they would if there were several like with packages.

    Tips for doing A la Carte Pricing:
    Make sure you don’t have too many items on your list. The simpler the list is, the better. Only show what you really want to sell, and leave the rest as “request only” items.

    Price your hourly rate high enough that you will be just fine if no one adds a single extra thing onto it. There’s nothing wrong with requiring that at least a certain amount of hours be purchased as well. This avoids people who only want 2 hours on the day of their wedding from taking up an entire day when you could have otherwise been shooting a full wedding.

    Walk through the options with them and make it as clear as possible. Have samples of everything you want to sell so that they can hold it and fall in love with it. We value things we can feel more highly than just images of products.

    The Guided Choices Model (Hybrid)
    My friend Andy has convinced me to change up the way we do pricing by creating a hybrid between offering packages and straight-up A la Carte pricing.

    This guides your client through the different things they need to decide by category so it seems like fewer choices to people.

    It’s essentially a packaged A la Carte list with instructions.

    For example, group your A la Carte items into the following groups, and tell them what choice to make next:

    hybrid photography package stragtegy that is a la carte too

    This makes it seem only like 3 decisions instead of deciding if they want each item on your list individually. I’d also add prices next to each item, and then add them up as you go across.

    You may also want to add incentives to it, such as a certain number of included goodies with different albums or coverages.

    The more I think about this option, the more I think this is genius and is something that I’ll shift to permanently. Here’s why.

    It allows for customization but people aren’t overwhelmed by all the options at once. They are split into categories so it makes deciding less stressful.

    You can use what you learn about creating packages in how you create the list of options below, so you still get to use the psychology behind pricing packages in it. Pretty cool.

    It also clearly tells people what they need to consider. Because the steps are clearly outlined, people will automatically be considering your goodies because it clearly tells them to do that next. Setting expectations of what someone is supposed to do is a really easy way to make them actually do it.

    But before I move to using this completely, I need to take my advice below to make sure it does what I think it will.

    But how do I know which wedding photography pricing model will be most profitable for me?
    multi-cultural wedding photographyFinally a simple answer, my friends.

    Split-test it.

    Sound scary? It’s not. It’s super easy.

    Just create 3 different pricing guides. One with packages, one just as A la Carte, and one Guided Choices guide.

    Then send out a different guide every time you get an inquiry. So every 3rd couple will get a the same guide.

    Make sure the prices all add up to the same thing on each of them so that you aren’t charging more to some couples than others. This also lets you test which method is most popular and which causes your customers to book more as you know it’s not due to a price change.

    It may take some time to determine, but it’s a great way to figure out what really works for you and your customers without just making assumptions based on what you think.

    Speak your mind
    How do you present your wedding services to your clients? What do you like about it, and what would you like to change? Leave a comment below or on over at our Facebook community!

  4. Business of Wedding Photography
    a guide by photo.net wedding photographers, November 2007

    Topic #5: Pricing structure

    Jeff Ascough • Mary Ball • Bob Bernardo • Conrad Erb • Michael Mowery • Nadine Ohara • Josh Root • David Wegwart • Marc Williams

    Jeff Ascough – Untitled
    Jeff Ascough
    The Business of Wedding Photography is an extensive subject, best answered by a team of professional wedding photographers, who also happen to be star photo.net members. In this article, these professional photographers have contributed advice and personal experience gained from running wedding businesses. Not only have they provided advice on how to price wedding photography packages, but they also included example wedding photos of bridal parties and wedding ceremonies. Whether you are just entering the field of wedding photography, or are a seasoned professional, the tips and insights shared here should be helpful with your own business.

    We asked our panel of experts the following questions:

    How did you go about determining your pricing structure?
    What do you include in your basic package for a typical wedding? For what items do you charge additional?
    What is the average amount (or price range) a client will spend on a typical wedding?
    The wedding photographers contributing to the Business of Wedding Photography were not required to answer every question in the series. Thus, on this topic, some found the first question to be most relevant to their wedding business.

    Determining your pricing structure

    How did you go about determining your pricing structure?

    Marc Williams: I don’t depend on wedding photography for my living. I price relative to my market, and how interested in a specific wedding I may be.

    David Wegwart: Relative to the local market for my position and for the type of client I want to attract.

    Bob Bernardo: Our prices are all over the place, ranging from $200 per hour to the elite package of $10,000. One needs to be flexible and offer a variety of pricing structures. Some are getting married for the second, third, or even more times, and do not want the full-blown Beverly-Hills-Hotel-$350-per-plate-dinner weddings. Often, a backyard wedding is just fine for them. Our goal is to not turn down weddings. As a result, we’ve photographed a wide range of weddings: from the stars to the Harley-biker-beer-drinker weddings.

    Nadine Ohara: I price according to what I perceive I want as my place in the market, and according to what I feel is reasonable for the services and products I offer.

    Mary Ball: My pricing structure was based on the market I was initially in. As a newbie, I knew I had to be careful not to overcharge and be very clear with clients about how many weddings I had under my belt, while at the same time not lock myself into a “low end” category. I charged about $500 less than the middle range photographers and offered a generous reprint allowance. After two years, I started raising my price halfway through the booking season if/when I saw I was successfully booking 15 or more weddings for that season. Each year as I saw bookings were going well, I raised my price by $200-$300 mid-booking season. For instance, I was booked with 15-20 weddings by November for the following spring/summer and raised my prices for the clients that called for that spring/summer/fall by as much as $300. After that, I actually started offering incentives to anyone who booked with me before December. After December, the prices would increase and that was published on my price sheet.

    Later, rather than raising prices once the ceiling had been reached for what I could charge in my market, I changed “packages”. What I used to charge for an 8-hour wedding became the standard price for a 6-hour wedding. I had a higher price for a 7-hour wedding, and would consider an 8-hour wedding but the prices were $300 extra per hour.

    Michael Mowery: I see what the market is in my area and go a little higher.

    Josh Root – Bride and groom under a large willow
    Josh Root
    Conrad Erb: It goes up incrementally every year based on how busy I am. When I was starting out, I set my rate at $1000 a day, which I thought was a lot of money. I was just out of college, and the notion of making $1000 a day felt crazy to me. After a while, I had built up my business and became very busy. Potential clients told me that they loved my work, but didn’t think I charged enough. For that reason, they didn’t want to trust me for their wedding. So I raised my prices.

    Josh Root: I took my cost of living, my equipment costs, the value of my time and experience, what others in the area were charging, and what I thought I could get away with and still do the number of weddings a year that I wanted to do. I mashed all that info together and made an equation up in my head that spit out a number. I raise that number a bit each year, particularly when I start getting too many bookings or calls.

    Jeff Ascough: I worked out how much money I needed to live on, and then divided that by the expected number of weddings I would book. I then added in my fixed costs and came up with my pricing structure.

    What to include in a basic wedding photography package

    What do you include in your basic package for a typical wedding? For what items do you charge additional?

    Bob Bernardo: A basic package includes 6 hours of photographing, a DVD of images, and a coffee table-style book.

    Nadine Ohara: I include the images (negatives or files), a print of each good image, and me–the coverage itself. I charge additional for prints, albums and any peripheral products I can get that a client asks for.

    David Wegwart – Denver/CO. – Untitled
    David Wegwart – Denver/CO.
    Mary Ball: My packages include 700+ 4×6 prints in proof albums with order sheets and everything is numbered for ease of ordering. Clients typically take 6 months to as much as 7 years to order and the orders are usually for 1 to 4 wedding albums and an average of 60 to 250 prints. I also do a very inexpensive “favorites” album where I pick 30 to 40 of my favorite prints and put them in story form. The prints are adhered directly to the hard black board page with herma-fix and I crop them creatively to fit 2-3 images per page. Others are a 4×6 print on a page. It is a great visual that has increased my album sales by showing the couple what an album would look like. The sample they get is “miniature” and the 4×6 prints are no cost to me as I use doubles that I get at no extra charge. I would say that 80 percent of the time the couple and/or parents tell me they want the layout and prints from the “favorites” album plus additional prints that they love. I also give $100 allowance towards reprints with no time limit for when they can use it.

    Michael Mowery: When I actually do my own job [I also work for agencies in addition to freelancing] it is an a la carte style. I charge for everything.

    Conrad Erb: I usually include around 6 hours of my time, a gallery of about 300 or more corrected images (every image is tweaked – I never post images straight out of camera), a set of prints from the gallery, and the corrected images on DVD. I charge additionally for albums, extensive retouching work, extra hours, etc.

    Josh Root: I tend to be there for most of the day. Quite frankly, if I had to just show up and photograph the ceremony and some formals, I would quit weddings, as those are the least interesting aspects for me. Unless it is a particularly long wedding, or is particularly far away, I’ll be there through the bouquet toss. It might not be the smartest way to do business, but it makes the work much more satisfying for me.

    Conrad Erb – Philadelphia, PA –
    Conrad Erb – Philadelphia, PA
    I don’t like to spend my time selling albums or print packages, so I price myself according to what my time is worth to capture the wedding. I can then hand the clients a CD with images. If they want to buy some prints from me, that’s fine, and I’m happy to sell them. But rather than holding their hand through an album design process, I can spend my free time fishing or camping. There isn’t much free time in the summer wedding season around here, so I prefer not to waste what little there is. I charge extra for a particularly long wedding, if the clients somehow twist my arm to get me to do an album, if a second shooter is required, or if I have to travel to get there.

    Client’s price range

    What is the average amount (or price range) a client will spend on a typical wedding?

    David Wegwart: In my area, the average of my client would likely be around $3,250.00

    Bob Bernardo: After reorders about $3000 for the average wedding. The most expensive photography gig this year was a shade over $15,000. It wasn’t a wedding, but a middle school gig that was a result of a word-of-mouth recommendation for photographing the principal’s wedding.

    Nadine Ohara: About $2000, but that is averaged with some clients who don’t order albums, prints, etc.

    Mary Ball: That can’t be answered easily. A couple can spend anywhere from $5,000 to $200,000 or more. Even my clients vary depending on priorities. Some will do their own flowers so they can spend more on photography and others will spend $50,000+ on flowers but only $5,000 on photography. Regardless of my prices, I have done over-the-top weddings at very expensive venues, or a wedding reception at the local fire hall for the same price.

    Michael Mowery: The average amount spent is about $5,000. That’s NYC, baby! The average client would be $3,000 to $4,000.

    Bob Bernardo – LA area disabled – A Moment Together,
    3 lights going off
    9 PM
    Bob Bernardo – LA area disabled
    Conrad Erb: It really depends on the couple. I have a fairly wide price range, so I have some couples who are on a much tighter budget, and some who really want to splurge. When I was starting out, my couples would spend $300-$1000, and now it is anywhere from $2000-$6000.

    Josh Root: I live in a “small town” semi-rural area and prices are all over the place. I’d say $500-3000 is a reasonable range, with $1300-1600 being average. An hour south in the “big city”, average prices are more like $2000-3000.

  5. How To Competitively Price Your Wedding Photography

    On no we didn’t…oh yes we did! We released a wedding guide on Valentine’s Day!

    Today we present you with How to Grow a Wedding Photography Business – the first PhotoShelter guide dedicated entirely to the wedding photography industry. Whether you’re new to the wedding world or need to switch up your game plan to help your business grow, this guide will coach you to make the most of a career in this exciting industry.

    Included in the guide are:

    Strategies to grow your wedding photography business and set your services apart from the pack.
    Successful wedding photographers’ firsthand accounts on how to innovate and beat the competition.
    Key marketing strategies to build your brand and attract new clients faster.
    Loads of goodies are packed into this free 41-page guide, and below is a sneak preview of the section on how to price your wedding photography.

    How to Charge for your Services:

    As the saying goes, the devil tends to live in the details – and wedding photography is no exception. Unfortunately, most artists have a devil of a time focusing on anything non-creative. But unless you have enough start-up capital to hire a business team, you will need to start thinking like an accountant in order to survive. And hire one too while you’re at it.

    Every sob story begins with a wedding photographer doing it for the money, or letting the money dictate everything else. If we haven’t beaten the importance of brand to death at this point, then hopefully the long-term planning aspect of it still remains fresh in your minds. Wedding photography is not the get-rich-quick scheme many people mistake it to be. Building your business around the bigger picture might not mean cash right now, but it’s a much better guarantee you will still be working 5 years from now.

    1. Begin with a Business Plan1

    Much like a clear brand strategy will guide the nature of your services and customer relations, a sound business plan gives you a foundation upon which to grow your business. When you are determining your prices for the first time, map out your larger goals. This will help you determine where to start initial prices and how to realistically grow them.

    Whether or not you hire an accountant in the beginning, you ought to invest some time and research in learning simple accounting principles for yourself. An understanding of your finances is essential before deciding how to price your services, and having an accountant to help is worth the investment. (Check out PhotoShelter’s 2012 Photo Business Plan Workbook, another free guide, to help structure your business plan if you don’t already have one.)

    James and Megan of Solas Weddings built their wedding business around the notion of being “kick ass wedding photojournalists”.

    2. Consider Your Costs

    $5,000 for a day of shooting sounds pretty great, right? Except you aren’t earning $5,000 for one day of shooting. There are the costs of pre-production, equipment purchase or rental, and materials (film, memory cards, hard drives). You also agreed to have a photo booth and need to hire an assistant to run it. Then there’s post-production, and the album you will need to print as part of the price. This is just the beginning of what $5,000 covers.

    $5,000 is still a reasonable price, but you need to consider what each wedding will cost you and then crunch the numbers to see if your proposed pricing leaves you with a profit. This is why hiring an accountant is really worth the money. They can cross-reference and compare, while you focus on developing and improving the services.

    Brian Dorsey notes that an upscale client experience doesn’t necessarily mean extravagant set-ups and loads of expensive equipment.

    3. Consider the Market

    Spend time researching your overall market, and what your competitors are charging. Just because you are starting out, does not mean you should undersell yourself. At the same time, overcharging can be equally damaging. Figuring out what your peers are able to charge will help you determine what is realistic for you, and how you might price in a way to give you a competitive edge.

    When it comes to your target market, it is important to remember that you are not charging what you think your services are worth. You want to charge according to how your target market values the product. Researching competitors’ pricing will help inform this. Still, approach competitive research carefully. Do not assume that all of the other photographers in your market have made the best business decisions. You may be able to offer more value, charge more, or be more profitable than they are.

    Don’t be intimidated by a large market like New York City weddings – Betsi Ewing saw it as an opportunity for a bigger client pool.

    4. Consider Workflow Software

    Aside from an accountant, many new wedding photographers are a one-man show. If this is the case, consider turning to software to help manage your workflow, pricing and products. There are plenty of programs tailored to photographers that provide customizable templates for contracts, product management, pricing, etc. It allows you to organize all of your clients in one centralized place.

    Photographers we spoke with recommended programs like Fundy Software and ShootQ.

    Cleveland-based wedding photographer Hunter Harrison also shares his Google calendar with colleagues so that everyone is on the same page.

    5. Tiered Pricing

    It might seem like a great idea to offer your clients the option to customize their own package. But too many options can stress out the client, and compromise your resources and finances. It is best to offer separate pricing tiers, with the option to customize.

    If you’ve done your research and considered your costs, you should have most of the information you need to define your tiers. You might want to consider what variable will affect the price jump. These are some factors you may want to consider using, either alone or some combination thereof:

    Hours: 6 hours, 8 hours, 12 hours, whole weekend
    Additional services
    Additional photographer
    Additional deliverables
    The best place to start is the base package. What is the minimum you need to charge based on your costs? Depending on which pricing variable or variables you settled on, you can build up your tiers based on where you set the base price.

    Look for ways to differentiate yourself and your work, says Ryan Brenizer.

    More tips on pricing

    Four tiers are standard, but consider what makes the most sense based on your business plan.
    Be careful to create tiers that leave you open to add-ons later.
    Consider throwing in perks and “freebies” to higher tiers to entice clients.
    Simplicity is key. Padding your packages with too many little things can get confusing. Make sure each package is clear and concise in terms of services offered.

  6. Take The Stress Out Of How To Price Wedding Photography With This Wedding Package Price Calculator

    Home » Selling Photography » Take The Stress Out Of How To Price Wedding Photography With This Wedding Package Price Calculator

    Wedding Photography Pricing Calculator
    What You’ll Discover In Here

    Wedding photographers often have a hard time with pricing, with many caught up in a frenzy of tweaking to try to find the perfect price list, without actually paying attention to the numbers that matter – the cost of sales and their investment in time. This article on how to price wedding photography introduces a new Excel tool to help the wedding photographer come up with a better way of producing their price lists.

    Photography Pricing

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    Take The Stress Out Of How To Price Wedding Photography With This Wedding Package Price Calculator
    Are you a professional photographer dealing with too much stress over how to price wedding photography?

    Do you spend too much time reworking your price list because you’re not 100% confident in the pricing of your wedding photography packages and collections?

    If so, I can totally sympathize with you, and all the other wedding photographers who are in the same boat. I’ve been there myself, having spent countless hours revising and tweaking my own price list in an effort to find the sweet spot clients would invest in.

    Sadly, this isn’t only a tragic misuse of our valuable time, but it’s also unnecessary. I decided a long time ago to use a system as close to a formula as I could find to rid myself of the nagging headache that came with learning how to book weddings and price wedding photography…

    Wedding Photography Pricing Headaches Are A Confidence Problem
    Basically, the symptom of forever tweaking price lists is a result of a lack of confidence somewhere in your business, the cause of which could be any of the following:

    Lack of confidence in the value of our skills
    Poor sales techniques
    Inadequate understanding of the costs of doing business
    Inaccurate cost of sales information
    Attracting the wrong prospects with broken marketing
    Whether the problem is caused by one or more of the above, or something else, identifying the source and eliminating it is critical to the survival of your business. You can then focus on creating price lists that you’re comfortable with.

    Wedding Photography Pricing Is No Guessing Game
    One of the problems with how to price wedding photography is a lot of professional photographers make up price lists based almost on guesswork.

    Some look at the prices other photographers in the area are charging, but another photographer’s price list has little do with our own prices, since we have no idea what their overheads and cost of doing business might be.

    To eliminate this unnecessary and inaccurate guesswork, I developed an Excel workbook to calculate wedding collection prices, which would allow me to focus more on the costs of doing business for each collection I wanted to create.

    How to price wedding photography: Screenshot of the wedding collection investment calculator spreadsheet…
    Wedding photography pricing – A screenshot of the wedding collection investment calculator spreadsheet…
    You Can’t Argue With The Numbers
    While this photography pricing calculator is not intended to give you hard and fast numbers, and I make no warranty or claims on the results, it can act as a point of reference if you’re caught in the game of constantly second-guessing yourself.

    If you face the facts of what you need to charge in order to maintain a healthy photography business, it becomes easier to eliminate the knee-jerk emotional tendencies to fiddle with your pricing. This leaves you in a better position to focus on becoming a better marketer and seller.

    How To Price Wedding Photography With The Pricing Tool
    Once you’ve downloaded the spreadsheet, open it up in Excel and you’ll see it contains two worksheets:

    Wedding Books
    Collections
    In each worksheet, some fields are meant to be unchanged, or are automatically calculated for you, which are rendered in a light gray color, for ease of recognition.

    The “Wedding Books” worksheet allows you to set up three different series of wedding books, each with 30, 40, 50, 60 or 70 page variants, where you can enter the printing costs, cost of covers, cases and shipping etc. The mark-up value is taken from the constants on the “Collections” worksheet for primary products.

    The “Collections” worksheet is the one you’ll use to set up your actual wedding collections and calculate your final price list.

    This spreadsheet uses the “cost of sales” methodology to calculate retail prices based upon the cost of materials, plus factoring in the cost of your own time spent on the project, with an appropriate mark-up factor applied.

    You’ll see all the fields where you can enter your numbers are shown with a light green background. Again, any fields that are automatically calculated for you are rendered in light gray.

    First, you should make sure you’re happy with the five main constants. These will be used to calculate many of the prices in the price list:

    Your in-studio hourly rate
    Your on-location hourly rate
    Mark-up factor for your time
    Mark-up factor for primary products (e.g. wedding books and print sets)
    Mark-up factor for secondary products (e.g. cards)
    Next, you’ll need to enter all the costs and values for the various items with a light green background:

    Assistant on wedding day
    Second photographer
    Second assistant
    Design time per page or side for a book (e.g. 0.125 hrs = 10 mins.)
    Hi-resolution DVD (enter your cost and your price)
    Low-resolution DVD (enter your cost and your price)
    Slideshow DVD (enter your cost and your price)
    DVD Cases (enter your cost and your price)
    Pack of 25 cards
    Wedding website
    Print sets (up to 4)
    To create a collection, you’ll see 6 columns labeled “A” to “F”, all of them with light green boxes in the places where you can enter data. You simply need to enter the quantity of each item to be included in the collection.

    When you enter a quantity for a wedding book, the book design costs will be automatically calculated for you, and factored into the final totals at the bottom of the worksheet.

    Understanding The Calculated Prices
    The bottom area of the spreadsheet shows the results of the calculations, based on the data you entered.

    The first 3 lines show the estimated production costs, time costs and a suggested retail price for each collection.

    The next 4 lines show an analysis of your profit (absolute amount and as a percentage) , plus the overall cost of sales.

    The next line allows you to specify your target cost of sale for each individual collection. As a reminder, cost of sale is what it costs you in materials to make the product, expressed as a percentage of the retail price. The cost of sales numbers are initially set to the industry-standard of 25%, but you can enter any value you like to see how it affects the suggested retail price of the collection. It’s highly recommended that your cost of sales don’t exceed 35-40% for a healthy business.

    Finally, once you have your finished wedding price list, you simply need to know how to present your photography price list to your prospects.

  7. I am getting married next October and a good friend of mine (pro photographer) is doing my photos… although we haven’t got down to the nitty gritty of the day yet, I know her wedding photography packages start from £1850…. I wouldn’t even question this price because she is an amazing photographer and I think the pictures she comes out with are priceless!

  8. Thanks Kelly, this is a fantastic article and one that, as a wedding photographer, I’m really interested in. I’m forever having to justify my prices and think a lot of the problem is that people don’t fully understand all the hard work, time and costs wedding photography involves, not to mention the responsibility. I am constantly meeting couples who tell me they are spending £10,000 + on a marquee, or a huge amount on food, or the dress but yet they are trying to haggle me down on price (I charge £1595.00 for my standard 8 Hour package with CD of all hi-res images)!! I honestly don’t know how my business would survive if I was to charge any less. People need to realise, as Rachel has just mentioned, that memories are priceless and it’s all that you’ll be left with after the day (except your rings and a very lovely other half hopefully)!!! xx

  9. I am getting married in Devon 2014, we have made looking for a photographer a first priority as is something we will hold forever – photographers are priceless. I am with the 50.6%
    I would certainly never ask a family member to do it, its a lot of pressure on them and they don’t have the skills of a professional – unless of course they are!

  10. I don’t think there is too much harm asking a friend to do the shoot if they are professional and you admire their work.

    However what should still be taken into consideration is things such as the photographers insurance. You don’t want to be paying out to venues after the wedding because the ‘photographer’ has damaged a priceless vase.

    If one of the photographers above is a family member/friend then you may have lucked out. You’re going to be feeding them anyway so may as well make sure they work for it 😉

  11. what a fabulous post
    I too get asked if I can work to the magic budget of £750/ £1000 suggested by most of the bridal magazine budget lists.
    Pre photography as a bride once myself I know I used them to budget for my wedding too and was shocked by how far out they were.
    I worked incredibly hard to get to the level I am at now price wise and experience wise ..by the time you add everything involved up, time, petrol, equipment, insurance, tax etc etc ….if I worked to those budgets then thats my mortgage not getting paid. I suppose just like anything else though you get what you pay for

  12. Same here… there was definitely a memo that went out at some point that said couples shouldn’t pay more than £1000 for your wedding photography. 🙂 For out of season weddings I will consider doing a 7 hour package but as I only take on a set number of weddings each year, I have to make sure they pay my bills! With 50+ hours work on each wedding and a lot of blood sweat and tears, I don’t think we’re asking a lot!

    You do get what you pay for ultimately. I think it’s important that couples weigh up everything when choosing a photographer – style, quality, creativity, personailty as well as the practical stuff like insurance and how the photographer backs up the images etc.

    Great post Kelly!

  13. Interesting stats!
    I participated in a wedding magazine survey of photographers earlier in the year. In comparison, their survey revealed 31.3% had spends by couples for between £500-£1000; 42.2% had bookings between £1250 – £1750; and 26.5% were over £2000.

    The two “spikes” were around the £750-£1000 and £2000-£2500 mark.

    I ought to mention, this was expenditure, rather than “single package”, so the expenditure may include photobooths, albums, etc.

    I do though think it’s important for magazines to do such surveys, to get an accurate picture and up-to-date information about what they then put into print to advise brides!

  14. It’s great to see what other photographers offer in their packages, thank you for sharing!

    I guess it’s easy for the client to forget (or simply not realise) how much time goes into making those images flawless when you get them home to edit..it’s not one big happy payday for us after a day of shooting.

    So thank you for bringing this to light…I maintain the same stance as Helen above, all you really have left from your wedding day is your wonderful new spouse, the rings and the memories (that have been captured in your photographs for you and future generations to love and cherish)…your photographer is indeed an investment!

  15. A great article Kelly and plenty of food for thought for couples looking for a photographer.

    Picking a wedding photographer is such an important decision. You need to make sure you love their style, the way they work and the products they offer. You also need to be able to trust them to deliver on one of the most important days of your life.

  16. The comments to this post are really very interesting, as well as the post mind you! We’ve booked Matt & Andy @ Greyeye photography after winning our engagement shoot with them. To be honest, we booked them before asking the price, just because we liked our pictures and the guys so much. They could have charged us whatever! (Sorry guys – you could have really milked us there! :P).

  17. Competitive wedding photography pricing
    We have deliberately kept our pricing structure as simple as possible, to keep with our ethos that the photography should be the least stressful part of your wedding.

    However, if none of our packages suit your needs, then please do get in touch with your specific requirements and we’ll give you a price. Click here to download our current price list for your own reference.

    A pre-wedding consultation at your venue to ensure that we understand all your requirements.
    We visit all venues that your wedding will be using to familiarise ourselves if it’s somewhere we’ve not shot before.
    Unobtrusive ‘documentary style’ photo coverage as well as time allotted to traditional posed group shots and artistically directed shots of you as a couple.
    We will be with you for a minimum 8 hours – this is generally enough time to include the bride’s final preparations right through to the first dance.
    All the photos on a DVD-R including black & white shots, with permission given for you to make unlimited prints for friends and family (all other uses must be cleared with us first).
    A post-wedding consultation to show the best photos from the day and to discuss your choice of album cover etc.
    Beautiful photographic page albums, handmade in England or Italy.
    The type of album you receive depends on the package you choose.

  18. If you’re looking for the Best Wedding Photographers in Liverpool then you have come to the right place, superb quality, without the high price tag.

    Wedding Photographers in Liverpool

    We know Weddings can be very expensive, but we believe that great Wedding photos do not have to cost a fortune. Our images speak for themselves, and our prices will be hard to beat.

    Why not save yourself a ton of money, book with us and let us capture your day in style, you can use the money you’ve saved on something else like your honeymoon!

  19. Specialist Wedding Photographer in Liverpool, Merseyside, Wirral, Cheshire and beyond.

    Our goal is to provide you with beautiful, modern, creative wedding photographs that will make your memories last a lifetime. We regularly hear how friends of our couples viewing our Graphistudio albums say, “I wish I’d used them for my wedding photographers!” We supply ALL wedding photos to the customer with every package and tariff that we offer. Why? Because these are YOUR photos – your wedding memories belong to you alone, not us! Please use the links above to browse our site or click on the images below to go straight to the wedding photo galleries, featuring our wedding photographs. So wherever you are in the North West – Liverpool, Cheshire, Wirral, Manchester or beyond, drop us a line. We look forward to hearing from you to discuss your wedding photography plans.

    Every photo featured on this site is a real live wedding photograph from a wedding in Liverpool, Cheshire and other parts of the North West. Our wedding photography service is designed to fit around your needs so I meet with you as many times as you need to, to be certain that I understand fully how you want your wedding in Liverpool or elsewhere to be photographically recorded. I love to do wedding photography in Liverpool because of the compact size of the city – I’m originally from London, where to shoot a wedding in the suburbs and then to wish to travel into the city centre to take advantage of stunning architecture and Royal parks was a logistical impossibility. Here in Liverpool, wedding photography can take place at the church or other venue in the ‘burbs, and then, a mere ten to fifteen minutes later, the bridal party can be in the city centre, with its World Heritage sites and incredibly beautiful period architecture. Wedding Photography in Liverpool is a dream come true for me. I also am happy to travel – wedding photography in Manchester, Cheshire and the surrounding areas is equally as exciting as wedding photography in Liverpool.

    1. This has been a very interesting read and one that will hit home for any fellow full time wedding pro. We are fighting a constant battle with part timers, keen amateurs, ‘Photographer Friends’ and ‘Uncle Bob’… flooding the market, reducing a bride’s perceptions both about what good photography is, and also what good value is.

      Many above have said it, ‘you get what you pay for’, and nowhere is it more true than where wedding photography is concerned. I personally could not keep my business afloat if I made less than £1000 on each wedding I shoot. There are only so many weekends one photographer can work in a given year and alot of time and effort goes into pre wedding meetups; pre wedding shoots; time, effort and creativity shooting the day; 1-2 days in post production; a day on the album design & proofing; design revisions, not to mention countless emails back & forth with clients and time invested in admin & developing a good rapport with each couple.

      Add to the above the fact that every full time pro should carry primary and backup equipment totalling upwards of £15-20K plus Public liability & Professional indemnity of around £400-600 a year, as well as absorbing album costs within a package. A good photographer has to keep up to date with expensive computer equipment, colour calibrated monitors, expensive digital image workflow software, and manage a fool proof digital asset management backup system and costly online proofing & photosales website solutions.

      To be successful a good Wedding Photographer requires knowledge, skill, not only with the camera but in post production, he also needs to be an excellent people person and a good business man too if he is to remain in the game.

      Being a fulltime pro Wedding Photographer is bloody hard work! and it is a specialist profession, best left to experienced, committed full time professionals, and is certainly not be something you just ‘dabble in’ or are ‘fairly good’ at.

      So forget your mate who has a good camera, or uncle Bob who’s good at Landscapes, or you cousin who’s taken some ‘art’ on his iphone and has 200,000 Instagram followers… hire a pro and make sure you are not disappointed!… £1500-£2500 is actually very reasonable, for an excellent, creative photographic record of the greatest day of your life, after all the photography will be the only thing left to remember it by.

  20. Wedding Photography Liverpool is the largest wedding photography and film company based in Liverpool, shooting over 150 weddings per year and with a team of 7 full time staff. Our studio is based in Liverpool City Centre within the FACT building on Wood Street.

    It’s an honour being commissioned for wedding photography or wedding film and it is something that clients need to take time and give much thought to. Choosing the right wedding photographer is an important decision as once the day has passed, the images are the memories of the once in a lifetime event that you will cherish forever.

    Wedding Photography Liverpool, our style is unobtrusive. We will capture your wedding with a discreet and subtle approach. Weeks before the wedding we chat over the style of your wedding photography, what you like, dislike, positions and back up plans if the weather isn’t great etc.

    We always offer a free pre-wedding photoshoot as this gives you a great idea of what it will be like on the day, plus it gives us a chance to prove to you there is nothing to be worried about when it comes to having your photograph taken.

    We are looking to capture the natural moments of the day, so we shoot every wedding with two wedding photographers. One will be with the bride in the morning, the other meets the groom at the ceremony. Using two photographers gives us the opportunity to shoot both artistic wedding photography but at the same time shoot the reportage, natural shots.

  21. LIVERPOOL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

    …if you haven’t come here by chance, then obviously you are looking for quality natural wedding photography…

    So let me say thanks for stopping by. Please have a look at the ‘recent weddings‘ section, and finally, if you like what you see

    drop me a message and I will get back to you. We can arrange to meet each other and talk details about your wedding over a cup of coffee.

    My fifteen years of experience on wedding photography could help you make a better planning of the day. No booking necessary.

    I am based on the Wirral, and usually work around Liverpool and Chester, but will happily travel anywhere, even abroad.

  22. WINNER of Wedding of the Year 2015 & Regional Finalist for the Wedding Industry Awards 2015

    With a passion for producing the most glorious wedding albums, full of natural excitement & drama. Directing only the moments needed to make them perfect & documenting everything else as it happens. Matthews natural and balanced style of wedding photography in Liverpool is unique to the North West. Most of the time you’ll not see or hear him. With remarkable attention to detail along with outstanding customer service, Matthew is one of the top 15 recommended UK Wedding Photographers with over 100 amazing online reviews.

    Honoured with 7 magazine front covers & numerous wedding magazine articles over his professional career. In 2016 he was awarded Wedding of the Year WINNER & was a North West regional finalist 2015. we cover only 40 weddings a year at International destinations as well as the UK, making sure that every wedding has his devoted attention. He’s photographed in most & recommended by many wedding venues across: Liverpool, Merseyside, North West & Cheshire.

    He’d love for you to get in touch visit his Southport Photography Studio, have a coffee and chat weddings, feel free to get in touch anytime.

  23. Hi I’m Sam, I love taking photographs, its my way of keeping memories alive, its a great feeling to capture emotions and happiness in a photograph that can be treasured forever. I love weddings, its the start of a beautiful story, the start of a new family, the start of many happy moments to cherish forever. I love the thought of being able to capture these moments for you, so you can look back on them and remember the truly amazing day you had on your wedding.
    Liverpool Wedding Photographer works all over the North West, Liverpool, Southport and Cheshire, Her style uses a mix of natural light, photojournalism techniques and an element of fashion in her wedding photography.
    A little bit about my background:
    I have 25 years of photographic experience. Im art school trained, I have a BA Degree in Photographic Studies from Edinburgh, I have a Masters Degree in Multimedia Design and Production from Liverpool John Moores, I have worked for The Ford Model Agency New York in the field of fashion and beauty during the era of the “Super Models late 1980’s”. I have also worked in the field of Editorial and documentary for The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Manchester Halle, Opera North and The Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Combined I feel that this is the perfect skill set for creating beautiful wedding photography as its a documentation of your day with a fashion edge.
    I worked for these companies for over fifteen years, documenting the orchestra and working on editorial shots. I learnt how to be unobtrusive, watch for the right moment and capture situations with my sitters being unaware of me. Then Sarah, a lady who worked at the Philharmonic at the time was getting married and asked me to be her photographer! I was terrified. I had never shot a wedding before! She said “you’ll be fine just treat it as a Philharmonic project!”
    So I did, I just documented the whole day and took some lovely portraits of everyone. She married at Chelsea Harbour in London and I’ve never looked back since. Twenty five years later here I am still doing what I love, photographing weddings amongst other things.
    SOME KIND WORDS
    Wedding photographer in Liverpool
    I have Exhibited my work at The Royal Scottish Academy Edinburgh, Open Eye Liverpool, Williamson Art gallery Wirral and St James Palace London “Roots of the future” which was opened by Prince Charles.
    I love weddings, I love the emotion, I love the idea that I can capture these special moments. Years from now people will still see the images I’ve taken and it will make them smile.

  24. I was just looking at your Wedding Photography Price/Package Builder – Wedding Photography site and see that your website has the potential to get a lot of visitors. I just want to tell you, In case you didn’t already know… There is a website service which already has more than 16 million users, and the majority of the users are interested in websites like yours. By getting your website on this network you have a chance to get your site more popular than you can imagine. It is free to sign up and you can read more about it here: – Now, let me ask you… Do you need your website to be successful to maintain your way of life? Do you need targeted visitors who are interested in the services and products you offer? Are looking for exposure, to increase sales, and to quickly develop awareness for your website? If your answer is YES, you can achieve these things only if you get your site on the network I am talking about. This traffic service advertises you to thousands, while also giving you a chance to test the network before paying anything. All the popular sites are using this service to boost their traffic and ad revenue! Why aren’t you? And what is better than traffic? It’s recurring traffic! That’s how running a successful site works… Here’s to your success!

  25. Wedding photography is one aspect of your big day we’d advise you not to scrimp on. We’re all for DIY weddings and doing as much of it all you can yourself, but we think your photography is something that’s worth investing in. You’ll be looking back at these photos for years to come, so you want them to be the best they possibly can be to remind you of what a special day your wedding was.

    Leave it to the professionals

    You may have a friend who’s a keen amateur photographer and who has offered to capture your big day, but we’d still say invest in a photographer. You need someone who’ll stay focused on the job at hand and won’t be itching to go off and join the party, have a few drinks and miss some once-in-a-lifetime moments.

    When you’re putting together your wedding budget, allocate some money for your photographs first and then look out for a wedding photographer whose style you like. So how much hould you put aside for this? We asked some of our favourite wedding photographers what you should expect to pay for somebody who’s going to do the job well.

    Mark Dolby is based in Leeds, and has been a best man twice and as well as a groom, so he knows what it feels like to be on the other side of the camera! He advises that you budget at least a thousand pounds for your photography.

    “The simple answer is £1200, including your album and disc of images,” says Mark. “How much you spend on a photographer really depends on how important the photos are to you. If photos aren’t a priority, don’t be afraid to go for a less expensive photographer or perhaps only get coverage for part of the day – just make sure you understand the risks!

    “It’s hard to compare photographers based on price, because so much of what you’re paying for is about the quality of service and personality of your photographer. It’s worth investing in someone who’ll not only take great pictures but help you have a fantastic day, and so I think it’s important to meet them before you book.”

    What about if you’re getting married abroad?

    One thing we definitely advise when it comes to arranging photography for your overseas wedding is making sure you can communicate with your photographer properly – whether this means getting a translator to be a go-between for you and the resort photographer, flying a UK-based photographer out to your chosen destination or choosing an expat who’s based locally. The last thing you need to be worrying about is whether your photographer knows exactly what you want from the day because you haven’t been able to communicate clearly with one another.

    Gypsy Westwood, who’s been photographing weddings in Ibiza since 2001, says that on the island you should expect to pay 2000 Euros and upwards for a whole day.

  26. Good customer service

    Mark Tattersall is based in the North West of England but travels all over the country to capture weddings for couples.

    “When it comes to costs, it’s a simple equation,” he says. “Wedding photographers can only fit in so many weddings per year whilst maintaining good customer service, professional development and a smoothly-run business. It’s impossible to pay the bills unless you charge in the region of £1500 a time.

    “Some will charge slightly less and some a lot more, but a photographer charging under £1000 must be either an up-and-coming talent or one of the many wedding photographers of whom I hear horror stories from couples who contact me for help after being disappointed with their budget photographer.”

    “There are many talented ‘weekend warrior’ photographers who work a regular 9-5 job during the week, but who still do a high-quality job at weekend weddings,” says Home Counties specialist David Bostock. “However, you need to ask if they have invested in the back-up facilities for your images, professional gear and lenses that can shoot in very low light, and public liability and professional indemnity insurance should the worst happen.

    “Certainly anything less the £1,000 a day is often a recipe for disaster. A full-time wedding photographer with upwards of 200 weddings under their belt should probably be around £1500 for a full day’s coverage. Many of the top wedding photographers will be charging more than £2000 and sometimes over £3000 for their services, and in my experience, the £2000 cut-off is quite a telling price point. The most important thing is to check out their portfolio and their coverage of at least three full weddings.”

    So according to our experts, £1000 a day seems to be a ballpark amount to set aside for high-quality photography that you’ll cherish forever. Here at Wedding Ideas we’ve seen lots of real-life brides have beautiful and touching photographs taken by talented people for all sorts of prices, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you pay less than £1000 that your photos will turn out horribly – but it’s definitely a figure to bear in mind while you’re putting together the budget.

    To see gorgeous galleries from real brides and be inspired by their photography, why not take a look at our recent weddings

  27. COMPARING WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PRICES
    Some wedding photographers cost only a few hundred dollars, while others can charge a small fortune to do essentially the same thing right? Why do wedding photography prices vary so much? We know you might think they’re just “taking pictures” and with technology today almost anyone can do it. We’re here to tell you… YOU ARE SO WRONG! And you shouldn’t choose just anyone to shoot your wedding, it’s time to do your research and find the right match.
    You’ve been planning your wedding in your mind since you were just a child. You finally met the love of your life and you’re engaged! Now you have to actually plan the big event. Everything from figuring out your budget, finding your dream venue, putting together your guest list… there are countless things that need to be done. A photographer is one of the most important parts of your wedding celebration because you will have the photographs as your wedding memories for the rest of your life.
    Susanaantichi
    Even though you may think the food is important (and of course it is… no one wants to pay for mediocre food!), when you are reminiscing about your wedding on your fiftieth wedding anniversary, the special moments captured by your photographer are what you will have to look back at. The delicious salmon you ate that evening fifty years ago will be forgotten. Your wedding photos will be there to help remind you of the emotions that you felt, the amazing details of your wedding gown, and the way your husband got teary-eyed when he saw you in your gown for the first time as you were walking down the aisle. Those are the special moments you want to remember… those moments that can only be captured by photographs.

    WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PRICES CAN VARY WIDELY
    How do you figure out what is the best option for you? And with all of those different choices, what is the average price for a wedding photographer?!
    We’ve created an infographic based on SnapKnot photographer members to give you an idea of average wedding photographer prices in major cities across the US:

    It really is hard to compare wedding photography prices because the numbers don’t always tell the whole story. SnapKnot is a great place to start to search for photographers in your area to get a basic idea and start asking questions. There are many factors that go into the price so it is important to do your research and compare them all carefully before making your final choice.
    THERE ARE MANY SCENARIOS THAT CAN CHANGE UP THE COST OF A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER AND WE WANT TO HELP YOU TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCES.
    Here’s a real life scenario:
    There are 2 photographers who both have a wedding photography package that cost $4,000.
    For that $4,000, Photographer A will shoot for 8 hours on the day of your wedding, and that also includes an engagement photo session, a framed print, a second shooter and a 20 page 11×14 album.
    For the same $4,000 the second, Photographer B, will only show up and shoot for 6 hours.
    There are many variables involved in the costs. Maybe Photographer A is new to the business and wants to offer more for the money because they are trying to build up their wedding portfolio where Photographer B may have 20 years of wedding photographer experience. Also, make sure you do not forget that, just like any company, there are costs associated with running a wedding photography business. Some wedding photographers have a studio where others may simply work from their home. Some wedding photographers stay very busy and need an assistant or additional photographers working for them, while some prefer to work on their own. There are costs associated with the various cameras and equipment that is needed and if the photographer will be traveling to get to your wedding, travel costs and mileage may also be included.
    Joannamossphotography-weddingparty3
    A few other things photographers factor into their pricing is that they have to pay for (just like any other company out there!) marketing, equipment insurance, and of course taxes.
    Remember also that a photographer does not just spend time with you when they are shooting your photos, they will most likely meet with you at least once to go over your wedding day, theme, and any specific photos or poses you hope to have. They will also spend a large amount of time after the wedding editing your photos. Learn more about what goes into the price range that wedding photographers charge and what exactly IS the average cost of wedding photography on our blog here .
    With all these factors in mind, which of the two wedding photographer prices is the better deal? To make this decision, this is where you have to really use your judgement. Ask a lot of questions. Schedule a meeting with each one. Take a look at their past wedding photos, sample albums, and get a sense of their personality, because you need to remember that this will be someone who will be spending a large amount of time with you on one of your most important days of your life…they should be someone who you enjoy being around.
    After meeting with both you feel that Photographer B will do an amazing job for his $4,000 wedding photographer rate. He has tons of experience, his images are stunning and the customer service is top notch. Photographer A has decent photos, but the albums you saw were not the best quality and their photos just do not show that “WOW” factor like Photographer B’s did.
    So, you choose Photographer B. Great choice! You might have to spend a bit more money to get beautiful album after the wedding, but at least you will be in love with all of your images and you’ll enjoy them for years to come. With your wedding photography being such an important momento to your wedding celebration, you really are getting the better deal because of the value Photographer B brings. If you are going to spend thousands of dollars no matter what, why not get the best quality you can?
    Get-matched-banner
    STILL FEEL LIKE YOU’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO AFFORD THE PHOTOGRAPHER OF YOUR DREAMS?
    As the months pass that lead up to your wedding you’re thinking there’s a lot of money being spent already! There’s so much to consider regarding wedding photography prices, and the overall wedding photographer cost as it relates to your overall budget with all of the other vendors you are using. Our best advice is even if you’re on a tight budget, invest in the best wedding photographer you can afford. Best meaning someone like Photographer B, who might cost more and offer less, but you know you’ll get the amazing photos you’ve always wanted. Then, after the wedding is over, you can always go back to them and order wedding photography packages, prints, albums or any other products you want.
    Disclaimer: With all this said, just because one wedding photographer has higher prices, that does not mean that they are automatically better. It is still up to you to do that research, meet with each photographer you are considering so you can evaluate their skills.
    WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY CHECKLIST
    To determine whether the wedding photography prices are a good value or not, keep in mind these things:
    Bride-with-flower
    Quality of the Images – You will be spending a good amount of money on these photos, so the quality should be outstanding.
    Photographer’s Style – Remember that you will have these photos to reminisce about your wedding day with your grandchildren years and years from now; you need to be in LOVE with the photographers style. Do you love the more candid shots? Make sure the photographer you choose does amazing candid shots, and has a superb eye for capturing those special moments, otherwise you will be disappointed later on.
    Photographer’s Personality – You want to make sure you work with someone who you will be happy to share your wedding day with. Be sure to keep in mind how they present themselves and their reputation from other couple’s they have worked with. Do you think they have a horrible personality? That may not be someone who you want to spend that much time with.
    Quality of Albums – If you want to purchase an album, parent book, or any other item within the wedding photography packages, make sure they are high quality.
    Here are a few things you should do before you book the best wedding photographer for you:
    Ask Around – Getting referrals from trusted friends and colleagues is a great place to start. You can also ask the photographer to provide testimonials from their past customers.
    Do Your Homework – Browse wedding photographers to find those you like who also fit your budget. Research the wedding photographer cost of other professionals in your area. With SnapKnot , searching for photographers is FREE! SnapKnot can match you with photographers who meet your specific budget and wedding criteria or you can message photographers directly from their profile.
    Meet Them In Person – You are stuck with your wedding photographer not only on your wedding day, but they’re usually the only vendor you have to deal with after your wedding is over. It’s important to hire someone you like and feel comfortable with.
    All in all, you want to hire a photographer who is passionate about their job. Someone who shows passion will be dedicated to taking the best possible pictures on your day and give you a remarkable experience and photos you will be so proud to look back on for years to come. Make sure you invest your money in someone you trust, you enjoy being around and someone who has a portfolio that you are in love with.
    Because remember… the photography is the ONLY thing you are going to pay for to ensure that you have happy memories of your wedding day for the rest of your life.

    START YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER SEARCH QUICKLY AND EASILY HERE:

  28. One of the most confusing aspects of the wedding industry is that prices seem to be all over the place.
    But why?
    Jump to a section

    Price averages in the industry
    What you’ll receive for different amounts
    When and why to pay more
    What matters
    How much wedding albums cost
    What to do if you need to keep to a lower budget
    Frequently asked questions
    Price averages

    You can spend anything from pretty much zero to £10,000 for a UK wedding photographer – and if you look worldwide you can pay even more! You’ve probably seen some of this already with ads promising high quality coverage both for £395, £995, £1495, £1995 and £2995. Why pay £2995? Or is £395 enough for everyone?

    Let’s start with an average though. The accepted norm in the UK wedding industry is to spend 10-15% of your wedding budget on your wedding photographer, or 20% if the quality of your memories are particularly important to you.

    That makes the average spend around the £1200 mark, but that amount is obviously location dependent.

    My own photography is in the £1695+ bracket for a full day.

    ENQUIRE ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY
    What are the typical price brackets?

    Let’s ignore albums for a minute and just talk about prices for photography and a disk/USB (I know not all photographers sell the files… but let’s assume they do for the minute).

    It seems that anyone “with a good camera” is seen as a potential wedding photographer.

    What you will find is that photography mirrors the food industry: for both £2 and £500 you can buy a thing called “a meal”; they are both food, but they are incredibly different. The £2 meal will contain sustenance that your body needs (along with some it doesn’t..), while the £500 meal will be a work of art. The £500 chef knows about aspects of cooking that the £2 cook doesn’t even know exist.

    The same is true of wedding photographers. The typical price brackets for a full day of photography are as follows..

    wedding-photography-pricing-backets

    As mentioned, wedding photography prices are also affected by location – you will pay more in London than in a quiet village in Wales, for example.

    Why pay more for your photographer?

    It’s very human to assume that other peoples jobs don’t require much experience and photography is no exception; it seems that anyone “with a good camera” is seen as a potential wedding photographer.

    On the whole, throughout every industry worldwide, you do get what you pay for. Cars, houses, food, holidays and so on all follow the same rule.

    The truth is that someone who takes some nice photos of ducks or landscapes or even people is as capable of photographing a wedding as I am at cooking a meal worth £500! Wedding photography requires a very specialised set of skills – people, organisational and photography skills – which are developed over years.

    So .. pay more to reduce risk!

    As you pay more, generally, you reduce the risk of disappointment.

    A free photographer may experience basic problems and you might not receive usable photos.
    A cheap photographer for £500 will probably produce poor results at some points.
    A professional photographer for £1000 will likely produce acceptable results in most circumstances.
    An experienced photographer for £1500 will probably produce a consistent set of photographs with a style.
    A luxury wedding photographer for £3000 should produce amazing results, no matter.
    Wedding-photographs-

    Of course, the “for free” photographer may have everything in their favour one day and produce amazing results while the luxury wedding photographer might have an off day and mess up … The chances of these happening are low though. That’s why it’s about risk and not certainty.

    Couples usually have little or no experience of professional photography on which to make an assessment about value for money.

    Do you really get what you pay for then?

    On the whole, throughout every industry worldwide, you do get what you pay for. Cars, houses, food, holidays and so on all follow the same rule. Photography is definitely no exception, but it is unique in that couples usually have little or no experience of professional photography on which to make an assessment about value for money.

    Just like with chefs, photographers have a limit to their natural talent too. Photographers who are more effective will generally float to the top end of the industry because their love for their art will push them to produce more and more of the beautiful work that they get a buzz from.

    Bargains can definitely be found, especially if you’re willing to be less exact with your requirements, but photographers who are more expensive will tend to provide a better service and more stunning photographs than a photographer who charges less.

    Here are some of the differences that you can expect from a more expensive photographer:

    Generally, be a more competent photographer. This is the most obvious difference. In theory at least, every photograph I produce will be more effective than a cheaper photographers.
    Use more expensive equipment, such as the highest quality lenses (which can cost up to £2000 each!), cameras and lighting. These do make a difference.
    Spend more time and be more competent in the post production of photographs, which is where photos can really shine. They could also have a higher quality screen and a colour accuracy tool.
    Spend more time listening to the couples needs and giving advice.
    Have more effective admin and business systems.
    Deliver your wedding using higher quality products.
    If a photographer is charging less, it’s very likely that some or all of these elements will be missing.

    What matters, and what doesn’t?

    In articles, I see much of the advice which is touted tends to lead you to that own photographers business or written by online magazines who don’t really understand wedding photography; so what really matters and why?

    What matters

    Backup equipment; should something go wrong, your photographer will need backup lenses, camera bodies, flashes, batteries and memory cards in order to continue.
    Insurance; should something go very wrong, you need the ability to sue your photographer
    Backup of wedding photos; IT equipment fails at times, so having a camera which backs up the wedding on the day and making sure they have multiple backups at their house is essential. Barely a week goes by without someone on a facebook group saying they’ve lost photos.
    Passion; people who are passionate about a subject, rather than intent on selling you on something, will tend to do a better job for you.
    Relaxed and calm persona; wedding photography is a tough business and with so much going on during the day, having a photographer who is confident and relaxed
    Attention to detail; the most effective photographs are often the ones with the fewest distractions, so a photographer who is detailed oriented will tend to produce photographs which are superior.

    The style they show; some photographers, in order to gain business, will promise they can replicate someone elses style. In my 10+ years in photography I’ve never found a situation where this is true. Only ever book someone based on the style they show.
    Ensure they will be the photographer; some photography companies will send other photographers on the day, so ensure you know exactly who you will have on the day
    What doesn’t matter

    If they are a full time photographer; if they’re not, you just need to check they aren’t doing too many weddings and you aren’t going to be waiting 6 months for the photos, but some of the best photographers I know are part time. The positive that’s never talked about is some of these people do it simply because they love it.
    Have you worked at X venue; experienced photographers are used to working at different venues and it’s simply not important for them to “know what the lighting is like” at a particular venue, or similar.
    What might matter

    The equipment they use; equipment does matter, but as a non-photographer it’s almost impossible to judge what is right and wrong, so just make sure you’ve chosen someone whose work you like and ensure you’ve seen some large album prints of indoor venues (such as dark churches) to make sure there isn’t too much grain – this might be an indicator of cheap equipment.
    How long they’ve been photographing weddings; as time goes by, you do learn more. Newer photographers really don’t like this, but it’s simply the truth. The reason this is in the “might” section though is there are some talented photographers who have worked in other fields for year. Typically, I’d choose someone who has been doing weddings for at least 3 years though.

    Having a second photographer; customers tend to look at second photographers as a bonus – more for less money. However, it’s typical that one photographer will be the more experienced. You will therefore have some photos taken by someone whose work you might not like as much. Unless you particularly need coverage of two locations at the same time, this is a red herring.
    How can I find a cheap wedding photographer?

    If your wedding photography is in the £1000+ budget, you shouldn’t have too many concerns as long as you see plenty of work and like their style and personality.

    However, what do you do if you’re limited to less than £1000?

    Top tip: You should seriously consider choosing a more expensive photographer but just booking them for a smaller portion of the day, if they offer that.

    Well, you can definitely ask a more expensive photographer if they will do fewer hours at your wedding. Some photographers will do as little as 2 or 3 hours, which could be enough for the ceremony and some photos in a local park, for example.

    It would certainly be preferable to have a smaller coverage of the day with good photographs compared with photographs which have serious errors. (And yes, it happens – I’ve been asked to try to correct the files!)

    Secondly, you need to do your homework and that means visiting your preferred photographers. There are two things that every photographer should have and they are professional (PI & PL) insurance and backup equipment (camera body, lenses and flash). I would also want my photographer to backup my photos to at least one other hard disk too.

    Wedding-photographs

    It’s also important to check the quality of their photography equipment so I’d want to see some printed photos at least A4 size in dark locations, like inside churches. Sometimes newer photographers don’t even know that their equipment isn’t capable of producing acceptable results.

    Past that, choose someone who seems honest, dependable … and fun!

    If you want to know more about what the risks might be, read my article on cheap wedding photography.

    What are the prices of wedding albums?

    Albums, like photographers, are available at different price points for good reason.

    Queensberry, who I use, are the “rolls royce” of the wedding album industry. You can expect a Queensberry album to be at the very minimum £400-£500, with most reasonably sized albums costing £700 or more. A cheaper GraphiStudio or Folio album might be a few hundred pounds less, like for like.

    There are also album manufacturers who are cheaper still.

    As with wedding photography, the price reflects the quality and it is possible, with a cheaper product, the album won’t stand the test of time quite so well.

    To finish…

    I hope this article has lifted the lid off the confusing wedding photography pricing system, as well as given you something to work from. Whoever you choose, do your research and compare them with others of similar quality.

    If you have any questions or comments, leave them below!

    Good luck with your search and I hope you have a fantastic wedding day!

  29. Our Wedding Packages are designed to ensure that you enjoy your special day. Let us take care of the details.

    PEARL, SAPPHIRE, AND DIAMOND PACKAGES
    Included in all of the following wedding packages: (Pearl, Sapphire, and Diamond)

    Hour cocktail reception with open bar and passed hors d’oeuvres
    Two-course dinner with salad and selection of two entrees
    Complimentary wedding menu tasting for up to four guests
    Champagne toast
    Complimentary suite for the bride and groom on the reception night
    Use of reception venue
    Appropriate tables, chairs, china, silverware and glassware
    White floor-length tablecloths with white floor-length linens for dinner tables
    Four votive candles per guest table
    Dance floor, DJ tables and staging for live bands
    Display tables for cake, gift and place cards
    Valet and self-parking
    Preferred rates for overnight accommodations for your guests
    – See more at: http://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/san-diego-la-costa/weddings/packages#sthash.wkP2j2LI.dpuf

    1. I got married in August this year and paid £1650for our photographer which included an album and engagement shoot. For us it was the most important thing after the ceremony, as at the end of the day, it’s all you have to remind you of the day forever. Whenever we tell peoole the cot they are horrified…but they are also in live with the amazing photography we now have! A good photographer is worth every penny! You do get what you pay for I’m afraid!

  30. COMPARING WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PRICES
    Some wedding photographers cost only a few hundred dollars, while others can charge a small fortune to do essentially the same thing right? Why do wedding photography prices vary so much? We know you might think they’re just “taking pictures” and with technology today almost anyone can do it. We’re here to tell you… YOU ARE SO WRONG! And you shouldn’t choose just anyone to shoot your wedding, it’s time to do your research and find the right match.
    You’ve been planning your wedding in your mind since you were just a child. You finally met the love of your life and you’re engaged! Now you have to actually plan the big event. Everything from figuring out your budget, finding your dream venue, putting together your guest list… there are countless things that need to be done. A photographer is one of the most important parts of your wedding celebration because you will have the photographs as your wedding memories for the rest of your life.
    Susanaantichi
    Even though you may think the food is important (and of course it is… no one wants to pay for mediocre food!), when you are reminiscing about your wedding on your fiftieth wedding anniversary, the special moments captured by your photographer are what you will have to look back at. The delicious salmon you ate that evening fifty years ago will be forgotten. Your wedding photos will be there to help remind you of the emotions that you felt, the amazing details of your wedding gown, and the way your husband got teary-eyed when he saw you in your gown for the first time as you were walking down the aisle. Those are the special moments you want to remember… those moments that can only be captured by photographs.

    WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PRICES CAN VARY WIDELY
    How do you figure out what is the best option for you? And with all of those different choices, what is the average price for a wedding photographer?!
    We’ve created an infographic based on SnapKnot photographer members to give you an idea of average wedding photographer prices in major cities across the US:

    Comparing Wedding Photography Prices
    Courtesy of: SnapKnot

    It really is hard to compare wedding photography prices because the numbers don’t always tell the whole story. SnapKnot is a great place to start to search for photographers in your area to get a basic idea and start asking questions. There are many factors that go into the price so it is important to do your research and compare them all carefully before making your final choice.
    THERE ARE MANY SCENARIOS THAT CAN CHANGE UP THE COST OF A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER AND WE WANT TO HELP YOU TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCES.
    Here’s a real life scenario:
    There are 2 photographers who both have a wedding photography package that cost $4,000.
    For that $4,000, Photographer A will shoot for 8 hours on the day of your wedding, and that also includes an engagement photo session, a framed print, a second shooter and a 20 page 11×14 album.
    For the same $4,000 the second, Photographer B, will only show up and shoot for 6 hours.
    There are many variables involved in the costs. Maybe Photographer A is new to the business and wants to offer more for the money because they are trying to build up their wedding portfolio where Photographer B may have 20 years of wedding photographer experience. Also, make sure you do not forget that, just like any company, there are costs associated with running a wedding photography business. Some wedding photographers have a studio where others may simply work from their home. Some wedding photographers stay very busy and need an assistant or additional photographers working for them, while some prefer to work on their own. There are costs associated with the various cameras and equipment that is needed and if the photographer will be traveling to get to your wedding, travel costs and mileage may also be included.
    Joannamossphotography-weddingparty3
    A few other things photographers factor into their pricing is that they have to pay for (just like any other company out there!) marketing, equipment insurance, and of course taxes.
    Remember also that a photographer does not just spend time with you when they are shooting your photos, they will most likely meet with you at least once to go over your wedding day, theme, and any specific photos or poses you hope to have. They will also spend a large amount of time after the wedding editing your photos. Learn more about what goes into the price range that wedding photographers charge and what exactly IS the average cost of wedding photography on our blog here .
    With all these factors in mind, which of the two wedding photographer prices is the better deal? To make this decision, this is where you have to really use your judgement. Ask a lot of questions. Schedule a meeting with each one. Take a look at their past wedding photos, sample albums, and get a sense of their personality, because you need to remember that this will be someone who will be spending a large amount of time with you on one of your most important days of your life…they should be someone who you enjoy being around.
    After meeting with both you feel that Photographer B will do an amazing job for his $4,000 wedding photographer rate. He has tons of experience, his images are stunning and the customer service is top notch. Photographer A has decent photos, but the albums you saw were not the best quality and their photos just do not show that “WOW” factor like Photographer B’s did.
    So, you choose Photographer B. Great choice! You might have to spend a bit more money to get beautiful album after the wedding, but at least you will be in love with all of your images and you’ll enjoy them for years to come. With your wedding photography being such an important momento to your wedding celebration, you really are getting the better deal because of the value Photographer B brings. If you are going to spend thousands of dollars no matter what, why not get the best quality you can?
    Get-matched-banner
    STILL FEEL LIKE YOU’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO AFFORD THE PHOTOGRAPHER OF YOUR DREAMS?
    As the months pass that lead up to your wedding you’re thinking there’s a lot of money being spent already! There’s so much to consider regarding wedding photography prices, and the overall wedding photographer cost as it relates to your overall budget with all of the other vendors you are using. Our best advice is even if you’re on a tight budget, invest in the best wedding photographer you can afford. Best meaning someone like Photographer B, who might cost more and offer less, but you know you’ll get the amazing photos you’ve always wanted. Then, after the wedding is over, you can always go back to them and order wedding photography packages, prints, albums or any other products you want.
    Disclaimer: With all this said, just because one wedding photographer has higher prices, that does not mean that they are automatically better. It is still up to you to do that research, meet with each photographer you are considering so you can evaluate their skills.
    WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY CHECKLIST
    To determine whether the wedding photography prices are a good value or not, keep in mind these things:
    Bride-with-flower
    Quality of the Images – You will be spending a good amount of money on these photos, so the quality should be outstanding.
    Photographer’s Style – Remember that you will have these photos to reminisce about your wedding day with your grandchildren years and years from now; you need to be in LOVE with the photographers style. Do you love the more candid shots? Make sure the photographer you choose does amazing candid shots, and has a superb eye for capturing those special moments, otherwise you will be disappointed later on.
    Photographer’s Personality – You want to make sure you work with someone who you will be happy to share your wedding day with. Be sure to keep in mind how they present themselves and their reputation from other couple’s they have worked with. Do you think they have a horrible personality? That may not be someone who you want to spend that much time with.
    Quality of Albums – If you want to purchase an album, parent book, or any other item within the wedding photography packages, make sure they are high quality.
    Here are a few things you should do before you book the best wedding photographer for you:
    Ask Around – Getting referrals from trusted friends and colleagues is a great place to start. You can also ask the photographer to provide testimonials from their past customers.
    Do Your Homework – Browse wedding photographers to find those you like who also fit your budget. Research the wedding photographer cost of other professionals in your area. With SnapKnot , searching for photographers is FREE! SnapKnot can match you with photographers who meet your specific budget and wedding criteria or you can message photographers directly from their profile.
    Meet Them In Person – You are stuck with your wedding photographer not only on your wedding day, but they’re usually the only vendor you have to deal with after your wedding is over. It’s important to hire someone you like and feel comfortable with.
    All in all, you want to hire a photographer who is passionate about their job. Someone who shows passion will be dedicated to taking the best possible pictures on your day and give you a remarkable experience and photos you will be so proud to look back on for years to come. Make sure you invest your money in someone you trust, you enjoy being around and someone who has a portfolio that you are in love with.
    Because remember… the photography is the ONLY thing you are going to pay for to ensure that you have happy memories of your wedding day for the rest of your life.

    START YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER SEARCH QUICKLY AND EASILY HERE:

  31. Wedding Photography Packages

    Included in ALL packages:
    Coverage by a Certified Photographer, hand selected by our team based on your style & preferences.
    Unlimited number of images to tell the complete story of your special day.
    View all your images on-line for 1 year- an easy way to order prints and relive your wedding.
    Wedding day peace of mind! We provide Equipment & Professional Back-up Support for every event.
    All Images on DVD-ROM with full rights and no watermarks. Ready to share and print!

  32. A contemporary wedding photographer will usually provide some or all of the following:

    Indoor photography at a church, temple, or other private venue during the ceremony and reception.
    Outdoor photography (often at a park, beach, or scenic location on the day of the wedding and/or for engagement photos).
    Both posed and candid (photojournalistic) shots of the wedding couple and their guests at the religious or civil ceremony, and the reception that follows.
    Formal portraiture in the studio (for either the wedding and/or the engagement photos).
    Digital services, such as digital prints or slides shows.
    Albums (either traditional matted albums or the more contemporary flush mount type of album).
    The range of deliverables that a wedding photographer presents is varied. There is no standard as to what is included in a wedding coverage or package, so products vary regionally and from across photographers, as do the number of images provided.

    Most photographers provide a set of proofs (usually unretouched, edited images) for the clients to view. Photographers may provide hard copy proofs in the form of 4×5 or 4×6 prints, a “magazine” of images with thumbnail sized pictures on multiple pages. Alternatively, they will provide an online proof gallery. The images will sometimes include a digital watermark/company logo on the images. Some photographers provide these proofs for the client to keep, and some photographers require the client to make final print choices from the proofs and then return them or purchase them at an additional cost.

    Photograph of a page boy. Wedding ring photographs are paramount to some photo shoots. Here, the child is participating as a ringbearer; the wedding ring sits on top of a cushion.
    There are a wide variety of albums and manufacturers available, and photographers may provide traditional matted albums, digitally designed “coffee table” albums, contemporary flush mount albums, hardbound books, scrapbook style albums, or a combination of any of the above. Albums may be included as part of a pre-purchased package, or they may be added as an after-wedding purchase. Not all photographers provide albums; some may prefer to provide prints and/or files and let clients make their own albums.

    Most photographers allow clients to purchase additional prints for themselves or their families. Many photographers now provide online sales either through galleries located on their own websites or through partnerships with other vendors. Those vendors typically host the images and provide the back end sales mechanism for the photographer; the photographer sets his or her own prices and the vendor takes a commission or charges a flat fee.

    Some photographers also include high resolution photograph files in their packages. These photographers allow their clients limited rights to reproduce the images for their personal use, while retaining the copyright. Not all photographers release files and those who do will most likely charge a premium for them, since releasing files sometimes means giving up any after wedding print or album sales for the most part. In the cases where photographers release the high resoluton images they are usually supplied on CD, DVD or USB Stick however, this depends on the individual companies and it’s recommened the client(s) checks what is included with the photographers wedding photography package before signing any contracts.

    The owner of the pictures’ copyright is often explicitly stated in the contract for photographic services.[3] Without such explicit statement, the owner of the pictures’ copyright will depend on the country involved as copyright laws vary from country to country. Photographers who do not retain copyright of the images often charge more for their services. In these cases, the photographer provides the client with the digital images as part of the wedding package. The client then has unrestricted use of the images and can print any that they may desire. Similarly, there are some photographers that offer joint copyrights of the digital images so they can also have unrestricted use of the images for reasons such as advertising.

    Types of photos requested may be “first look” where the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony for first reaction photos rather than first seeing each other as the brides walks down the aisle. Another type of “first look” photo may be having the photo shot of the father of the bride seeing the bride for the first time when she is just about to walk down the aisle with him.

  33. If you know when you want to get married and already know who you want to invite, then why not have a look at some of our ‘unbelievable Wedding Packages’ and take advantage of some great savings too at our Lancashire Hotel! Our Preston wedding venue offers unique packages with extra special touches which you wont find at any other wedding venue in Leyland.

  34. The wedding photography industry is home to some respected names within the photography industry, some of whom were listed in PopPhoto’s Top 10 Wedding Photographers in the World.[4] These figures represent the historical rise of wedding photojournalism, fashion, couture-style portraits, and all digital work-flow.

    As a wedding is a one-time event, the photographer must be prepared for the unexpected. Shooting a wedding is both exhausting and invigorating as the photographer is constantly looking for good angles and opportunities for candid shots. Communication and planning time-lines before the event will alleviate many of the stresses associated with photographing a wedding. The ability to tactfully take charge also helps – particularly when photographing large groups or families – a common expectation after the ceremony. Having a run list with all of the expected shots is also a useful tool. A photographer may work with an assistant who can carry equipment, arrange guests, and assist with clothing adjustments or holding of reflectors.

    Some wedding photographers have an office or studio which can double as a retail photography studio. In bigger cities, one might find dedicated wedding studios that only shoot weddings and may have large studios equipped with make-up, hair, and gowns ready for the bride to wear. Other wedding photographers work out of a home studio, preferring to photograph on location. These home based photographers may hire additional photographers for exposing if the program is much big and unmanageable.

  35. Terminology
    35 mm equivalent focal length Angle of view Aperture Black-and-white Chromatic aberration Circle of confusion Color temperature Depth of field Depth of focus Exposure Exposure compensation Exposure value F-number Film format Film speed Focal length Guide number Hyperfocal distance Metering mode Perspective distortion Photograph Photographic printing Photographic processes Reciprocity Red-eye effect Science of photography Shutter speed Sync Zone system White balance
    Genres
    Aerial Architectural Commercial Conceptual Conservation Cloudscape Documentary Erotic Fashion Fine-art Fire Forensic Glamour High-speed Landscape Lomography Nature Nude Photojournalism Pornography Portrait Post-mortem Selfie Senior Social documentary Sports Still life Stock Street Vernacular Underwater Wedding Wildlife
    Techniques
    Afocal photography Bokeh Contre-jour Cyanotype Exposing to the right Fill flash Fireworks Harris shutter High-speed Holography Infrared Kirlian Kite aerial Long-exposure Macro Mordançage Multiple exposure Night Panning Panoramic Photogram Print toning Redscale Rephotography Rollout Scanography Sabatier effect Stereoscopy Stopping down Strip (Slit-scan) Sun printing Tilt–shift Time-lapse Ultraviolet Vignetting Xerography
    Composition
    Diagonal method Framing Geometry and symmetry Headroom Lead room Rule of thirds Simplicity
    Equipment
    Camera (light-field pinhole rangefinder SLR still TLR toy view) Darkroom (enlarger safelight) Film (base format holder stock) Filter Flash (beauty dish cucoloris gobo hot shoe grid monolight snoot Softbox umbrella wireless sync) Lens (Wide-angle lens Zoom lens Telephoto lens) Manufacturers Monopod Movie projector Slide projector Tripod (head) Zone plate
    History
    Timeline of photography technology Analog photography Autochrome Lumière Box camera Calotype Camera obscura Daguerreotype Dufaycolor Heliography Painted photography backdrops Photography and the law Visual arts
    Digital photography
    Digital camera (D-SLRs (comparison) MILC camera back) Digiscoping Digital versus film photography Film scanner Image sensor (CMOS APS CCD Three-CCD camera Foveon X3 sensor) Photo sharing Pixel
    Color photography
    Color Color film (print slide) Color management (color space primary color CMYK color model RGB color model)
    Photographic
    processing
    Bleach bypass C-41 process Cross processing Developer Digital image processing Dye coupler E-6 process Fixer Gelatin silver process Gum printing K-14 process Print permanence Push processing Stop bath
    Lists
    Most expensive photographs Photographers (Norwegian Polish street women)

    1. This was really interesting to read. Fascinating! Not so much to see the range of prices or the stats (let’s be honest these only ever give the views of people who bother to answer them anyway!) but to see what different things are included for the price.

      We got married recently and paid £2,000. This included an engagement shoot (but no disc this was £250 extra) and two photographers all day (our second shooter is in your list above). We intend to buy the disc which will be another £500. Albums start at £750.

      However, as far as I am concerned (and we’re not rolling in money) you get exactly what you pay for. Good photos are worth every penny and if you find some you like and have the means to pay for it you definitely should invest. You want to look your absolute best. I would have compromised on almost any other part of the day to have show-stopping photos.

      Advice in magazines should be taken with a pinch of salt and anyone with any common sense would figure out that lots more work goes into producing the finished images than just the day of taking pictures! This costs.

      For me the value of photos is in what they mean to you – not how many pounds you pay for them!

  36. Some wedding photographers cost only a few hundred pounds, while others can charge a small fortune to do essentially the same thing right? Why do wedding photography prices vary so much? We know you might think they’re just “taking pictures” and with technology today almost anyone can do it. We’re here to tell you… YOU ARE SO WRONG! And you shouldn’t choose just anyone to shoot your wedding, it’s time to do your research and find the right match, read more

  37. What’s up to every body, it’s my first pay a visit of this webpage; this web site contains awesome and actually fine wedding stuff in favor of readers.

  38. I’m gone to tell my little brother, that he should also visit this webpage, his marriage to his wife is soon on october
    he should to take updated from latest news update.

  39. Hello there, I discovered your blog by means of Google whilst searching for
    a wedding photographer, your web site came up, it looks good.
    I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  40. Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get weddings listed in Yahoo News?

    I’ve been trying for a while but I never
    seem to get there! Thank you

  41. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about wedding photography, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the
    message home a bit, but instead of that, this is wonderful
    blog. An excellent read. I will definitely be back.

    1. Thank you Penny, I’m flattered but I am just another wedding photographer trying to do the best I can. take a look at my wedding photography portfolio page. I’ve put a small collection of some of my favorite recent wedding pictures on there.
      I hope you love them as much as I do and enjoyed creating these images.

  42. Have you ever considered creating an e-book or
    guest authoring on other blogs? I have a blog centered
    on wedding photography and would really like to
    have you share some wedding stories. I know
    my visitors would appreciate your work. If you are
    even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

    1. Hi francine and thank you.
      I have been thinking about putting together some blog pieces or eBooks on some of the more basics of photography with a slant on wedding photography. Your blog might be the ideal platform for this project.

      I’ll be in touch. For now would you mind sharing my post on a free photo shoot please? It’d really help me to get it out there.

      Thanks again Bryan.

    2. Am I the only one who actually looked at these statistics? If you do the maths, over 80% of people in this survey are paying less than £1,500 and only around 10% are within the ‘recommended’ £1,500 to £2,000 bracket. This does not back up the advice, it completely contradicts it! I totally appreciate that the price for great photography is what it is and I think there are so many photographers who do a fantastic job and are completely worth the cost, but they are not the photographers that most respondents to this survey are using. I think it would’ve been more useful to indicate how much high quality photography costs (like the examples above) rather than undermining the post with completely misinterpreted stats. No offence, it just bugs me!

  43. I’m not sure why but this blog is loading extremely slow
    for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

    1. Hi Alison and thank you for the feedback. it’s always a trade off between functionality of the site and keeping it running smoothly and quickly. WordPress indexes well and gives me lots of features but the load speed takes a hit. I will see if there is anything i can do to help. for now i have a home page that i coded myself, please have a look and let me know if it loads any quicker http://www.bryanfarrell.co.uk

  44. Love it, most wedding photographers just have a few packages but with this I can pick and choose the bits I want

  45. Hey There. I discovered your weblog the use of msn. This is a really neatly written article.

    I will make sure to bookmark it and return to
    learn more of your useful information. Thanks for the post.

    I will certainly return.

  46. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and
    also with the layout on your blog. Is this
    a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up
    the excellent quality writing, it is rare to
    see a nice blog like this one these days.

      1. The truth about wedding photographer prices — are you paying too much?

        On what is arguably the most important day of your life, your wedding pictures are kind of a big deal — which makes choosing the right wedding photographer an even bigger deal to ensure you’ll have beautiful photos to cherish for years to come. No pressure.

        Even though we’re living in the digital-Instagram-Snapchat age, most couples these days spring for a professional wedding photographer to document their big day. Sure, it would be easy to ask friends and family to snap a few cute shots, put a filter on it and post it to Instagram, but professional wedding photographers are trained to capture the most intimate (and often the most beautiful) moments leading up to the main event.

        But how much is it going to cost you?

        The average cost of a wedding photographer
        Maybe it’s because of our digital connectivity and greater attention to visual media, but couples are willing to pay more for wedding photographers than ever before. In The Knot’s latest survey of the 2014 wedding season, released in 2015, the average cost of a wedding had reached an all-time high — including the money spent paying for a wedding photographer.

        Based on those stats, the average wedding now runs over $31,000, with couples spending an average of $2,556 on a wedding photographer. Wedding photographer fees remained high on the list, coming in at number four after cash spent for the reception venue, engagement ring and the band.

        More: 6 wedding checklists and other printables to help you plan

        But the exact price you pay for a wedding photographer may depend on where you live, explains Anastasia Stevenson, wedding planner at Coastal Creative Events in Savannah, Georgia. “Costs can vary by state. In the south, the standard is $300 per hour and can be up to $9,000 for full-day, multi-shooter packages, including prints and a look book,” Stevenson says.

        Aviva Samuels, celebrity wedding and event planner at Kiss the Planner, agrees, saying, “The cost of wedding photography varies greatly from city to city and from photographer to photographer based upon the experience level and popularity of the photographer, as well as the specifics of the services that they provide. In South Florida where I work as a wedding planner, photography packages typically run between $4,000 and $6,000 for 8-10 hours of photo coverage. There are, of course, photographers who charge far more or far less, but these numbers reflect a typical price point in the market where my wedding planning business is located.”

        While the industry standard dictates spending 10 to 15 percent of a total wedding budget on photos, brides-to-be may choose to spend more or less, depending on how important they consider wedding picture quality to be.

        Why there’s a big fluctuation in wedding photographer prices
        If you’re wondering why a wedding photographer’s price quote can swing so widely, Samuels helps to break it down for us. Just like any other hourly service, she says, fewer hours could mean a lesser cost when it comes to wedding photography. She explains, “Not only would a photographer have less to pay their assistant or a second shooter for the additional hours, but there would be fewer photos to process, and so less time could result in greater savings for the client.”

        More: Jilted bride-to-be ruins her wedding dress in the best way

        Of course, when it comes to a money-making industry like the wedding biz, there’s always more to the picture. Stevenson says that wedding photography packages with all the bells and whistles are likely to hike up your price point even further. “This will depend upon what the package includes, the amount of time they are shooting for you and how many photographers you use.” Stevenson estimates, “Expect ranges of $2,500-$15,000. Often, inflated pricing includes a photo album and prints.” Likewise, tacking on engagement photos could add anywhere from $100-$12,000 to your total cost.

        Stevenson advises, “There are many less expensive options for printing available online. I always suggest to brides on a budget that they forgo the packages and print their own pictures.”

        Save money on a wedding photographer, without compromising quality
        A talented wedding photographer certainly doesn’t come cheap, as both Stevenson and Samuels can attest. But fortunately, on such an important day as your wedding where your budget may already be stretched to the max, you can have your cake and eat it too.

        It’s possible to save a little money off the top on a high-quality wedding photographer, if you do your homework. “With photography, this is especially easy! The type of photos you want are not dictated by pricing, so the most expensive doesn’t always equal the best! Do your homework and look at potential photographers’ wedding galleries — ask to see images that match what you want from your wedding photos,” Stevenson says. “If you want fun, unique and edgy photos, look for a photographer who has experience and client photos to prove their style. I recommend asking about their candid photos, often this will reveal a photographer’s style and experience.”

        More: 15 tattoos that are the perfect wedding ring alternative

        Based on her years spent as an industry wedding planner, Samuels provides her top tips to save on wedding photographer costs:

        Consider ordering your own photo album. While the quality of the album would likely vary if you ordered your own, the cost savings might be substantial. If your photographer is willing to give you the high resolution images or charge a reasonable fee to get those, ordering your own album saves a considerable amount of time on the part of the photographer, which would result in savings for you.
        Do your family portraits after the wedding ceremony, rather than before. Today, it is popular to do “first look” photos, and while the disadvantage is that you wouldn’t get to enjoy your cocktail reception for quite as long, it would mean fewer hours for your photographer, and that would result in a savings to you.
        Ask yourself, “Just how many photos of dancing do I need?” I personally think the dancing photos become redundant in the final hours, and so, it might be wise to focus your photography budget on the earlier part of the day, rather than after the reception formalities are over. If need be, you can cut the cake and/or toss the bouquet earlier so that you can send your photographer home earlier, which could save money.
        One more thing — remember, we’re living in the digital age where video has become just as important as photography. Samuels considers video equally important to wedding photography since most people are bound to watch wedding footage on Facebook or in a family email thread. “Gone are the days of boring video that no one watches. Today’s video tells the story of the day and captures the important snippets that you might otherwise have missed. His face as she walks down the aisle, for example, or her tears as she opens his gift and note before they see each other at the ceremony. Or the priceless looks on your family’s faces during the first dance and speeches,” Samuels says.

        In a last-ditch effort to consolidate your wedding costs and get the most out of your photographer, consider replacing some still photos with video footage instead. Samuels advises, “While video adds to your overall budget, it may mean that having the moving images cuts down on the need for as many still images that the photographer would provide.” And when all else fails, there’s always the cheap and quirky video editing website Cadaboo, where you can upload your favorite wedding pics to turn them into an animated short.

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  51. I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you have
    hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that not enough folks are speaking intelligently
    about. I’m very happy that I found this in my hunt for something concerning this.

      1. Caroline I understand where you are coming from, but I used the photographers in question as examples as these are all photographers I feature regularly on the blog, so work that my readers are used to seeing. From these photographers I have drawn my comparisons.

        I put this post up as I believe magazines are misleading brides telling them that a budget of £750 is what they should be expecting to pay, when really £750 isn’t going to get you much at all.
        yes there are Photographers out there charging £750 but not many, and a ‘high quality photographer’ as you say will be charging more like £3,500 – £5,000.
        These Photographers are every day photographers just trying to earn a decent living from their job.

        xx

  52. First off I would like to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.

    I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing.

    I’ve had a hard time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out.

    I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost simply just
    trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi,
      I know what you mean, I’ve often described when i write about weddings and a ‘brain dump’. I sit somewhere quite and let it pour out, later I’ll come back and try to spot all the typos and poor spelling. I really enjoy writing about weddings and photography but I don’t think I’m any good at it.
      I apriciate your comments and feel free to have a look at some of my wedding photography posts at http://www.bryanfarrell.co.uk/photography-blog/wedding-photography-blog

    2. Some excellent coverage here guys by all.
      I am a semi professional photographer and my prices are what I am worth. I have expensive equipment from cameras, lenses and software plus much more.
      As a photographer, we pride ourselves on our work! And work hard at it too! I hear comments such as “you must be rolling in it” mainly from narrow minded guests. I have now often replied with comments such as “how do you think I get to keep my Porsche on the road if I charge to little! (The look on their faces is worthwhile and often I never get a reply) truth be told I have a Renault Clio!
      Since working In the industry I never feel frustrated to losing potential business to other “professional” photographers at all. What does hurt is the “weekend warrior” photographers charging a small amount to people. I wonder if HMRC are aware of their extra earnings? More than likely not!
      In life the saying goes “you get what you pay for” and this is true.
      We work at what we do and please respect us for that.
      And if anybody sees a photographer turn up to a wedding in a Porsche unfortunately it is going to be me!

      Keep up the great work every photographer who reads this!

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  54. Howdy, There’s no doubt that your website might be having
    web browser compatibility problems. Whenever I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in I.E.,
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  55. Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this web site before but after going through some
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    1. Thank you, the site is a redesign of my wedding photography site that has been around for a wile, so that might be why it looks familiar?

      Thank you for poping by and commenting.

    1. Thanks Kelly – this is sure to help some brides to understand if they’re paying too little or too much – you really do get what you pay for and it’s not something you want to scrimp on as it’s a lasting memory of the day when everything is said and done.
      I think getting a friend ( if they’re not a pro) to do the photos is a bit risky as it’s also about knowing where you need to be and when to get the best shots. If you don’t have that you’re starting with a disadvantage…

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