“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” - Friedrich Nietzsche
The cost of weddings is often a subject of discussion. The average wedding in the UK costs £30,355. But this is just an average. So to budget for your wedding, let’s have a look at everything you need to know about getting a photographer for the big day.
The cost of wedding photographers, techniques, places to get photos, here’s everything you need to know about wedding photography.
Choosing the Right Wedding Photographer
Wedding photographers need to capture all the best moments during your wedding: the prep, the ceremony, the rings, the happy couple, and all the guests need to be photographed to put together an album of happy memories.
Choosing the right wedding photographer is therefore hugely important.
Firstly, you need to think about your budget when choosing your wedding photographer. You’ll have to adjust your search to photographers within your budget. For example, the photographer could be there the entire wedding day. This, and other options, could increase the cost. If you decide to hire a well-known photographer, you can expect to pay a decent amount.
Their reputation will have a big effect on how much they charge. You should know that photographers can charge anywhere between £500 and £3,000 and an experienced photographer will charge more than a novice.
Establishing a budget at the start can help you from getting lost when looking at all the different wedding photographers around and will help you to save time by not considering photographers outside of your budget.
Once you’ve decided on your budget, you’ll need to decide on the types of wedding photos you’d like. Natural, posed, black and white, etc., there are plenty of options available when it comes to getting your wedding snaps.
You might want to have a look on social networks like Pinterest and Instagram. There are tonnes of photos posted every day and they’ll help give you an idea of what to expect.
Finally, you’ll want to arrive at a shortlist of two or three photographers and start getting in touch with them. You’ll need to have decided upon a date before you get in touch with your photographers. Once you’ve booked your venue, the photographer will be able to book those dates.
When you first get in touch, use this time to get to know the photographer and ask them any questions you may have.
What do you expect from the photographer? How is the wedding going to play out? Is there a theme?
You can ask the photographer about their experience and if they’ve photographed a wedding with a similar theme.
You may get recommendations for wedding photographers from your friends or other people involved in your wedding. You can also find wedding photographers online.
Photographing weddings is much harder than it seems. For example, wedding photography packages will include the photographer spending almost the whole day at your wedding, trying to capture candid photos of the guests and the wedding party. They need to constantly move around the wedding venue so that they're in the right place at the right time to capture these photos and once they've got all their photos, there'll be a good amount of sorting and post-processing to get the most out of the thousands of photos they took on the day.
10 Tips for Taking Good Wedding Photos
Taking good wedding photos requires professionalism, skill, and organisation. Being a wedding photographer isn’t anywhere near as easy as it might look and many photographers need to invest a lot of time and money before they can start capturing photos of the bride and groom.
Here’s some advice for wedding photographers looking to capture the best moments during a wedding:
- Meet with the couple beforehand
- Take two cameras
- Make a list of the important parts of the wedding
- Scope out the wedding venues
- Ask for help from the guests
- Use depth of field
- Work in RAW on the day
- Take bracketed shots
- Use a cobra flash
- Edit the photos after the wedding
These simple rules will greatly improve your photos and get the job done effectively and professionally. However, the golden rule is to enjoy your work and capture the spontaneity on the day.
The best wedding photographers will have a level of professionalism and whether you work with a photography company or as in independent photographer, customers expect their wedding photographs to capture all the fun of the day without their photographer getting in the way.
How Much Does Wedding Photography Cost?
Once you’ve decided upon a budget for your wedding, you need to think about how much of it you’ll dedicate to your photographer. Many couples tend to think that wedding photography is rather expensive. This is because they tend to forget all the work that goes into it.
The photographer will work more than just the day. As explained before, the photographer needs to meet with the couple, go around the venue, and set up all their equipment. This can take several hours or a few days.
In addition to the preparation and the day of the wedding, the photographer also needs to spend time going through the photos and editing them after the wedding. Postproduction involves sorting the photos, improving them, cropping them, etc.
Then there’s the cost of the final product be it a USB key, a CD, slides, or photo albums.
That’s why you mustn’t think of their work as just the day of the wedding. A day of photography could amount to several days to a week of work from the photographer.
Do you now see why it seems so expensive?
The cost will vary from one photographer to another. Some might work for a company whereas others may be self-employed and have to pay for a studio, for example. Many variables can affect the cost of the photographer as well as their reputation and experience.
Finally, you need to consider the cost of their equipment. Their equipment won’t be cheap and over time will need to be replaced. Similarly, to avoid any disasters, many photographers will have backup cameras, memory cards, batteries, etc.
It’s unlikely that you’ll pay less than £1,000 for the day. This is a very fair price for a professional photographer, by the way. If you desperately need to pay less than that, you'll have to make sacrifices.
You might need to get in a friend or family member and hope for mates’ rates. Similarly, you don’t want your photographer to have to travel too far.
If they’re not shooting digitally, you can easily spend upwards of £2,500 for the day. Developing film isn’t cheap, after all.
Where Can You Plan a Wedding Photo Shoot?
In addition to shooting the wedding, some couples want personal photos and portraits taken either on the day or at another time. There are several places you can choose to do these photo shoots even if they are on the big day.
The important thing is to find the perfect location so think carefully about the lighting and whether or not you’d be able to make it there in a wedding dress or suit. You’ll want to avoid muddy or dusty places if you want to keep the dress clean.
To avoid having to get all dolled up again, most couples try and get these photos done on the day of the ceremony. In this case, you’ll need to keep this in mind when booking your venue.
Other couples prefer to get these photos taken on a different day to make the whole process less stressful. In this case, you can get the photos taken away from the venue.
For example, you can get your photos taken in your favourite places: where you met, where you had your first date, where you like to go together, etc.
You want your photos to have a personal feel and remind you of the things you love. Choose places you love and feel comfortable in. You need to feel comfortable in front of the lens to take the best photos.
If you don’t have any particular places in mind, think about going somewhere beautiful. Castles, beaches, fields of flowers, etc. You can also choose original places like fairgrounds or an old train station.
Finally, you might want to get photos on your honeymoon, wherever you decide to go! In that case, you might want to get a photographer there rather than paying for your wedding photographer to come with you!
A destination wedding might end up being more costly, especially if you expect professional photographers to come with you. Of course, getting that perfect wedding was always going to come at a cost. If your wedding is hard to get to, you mightn't have many options when it comes to photographers who can make it so you can expect to pay more for your photography packages.