Choosing a wedding photographer ? Session 5

What should I look for when choosing my wedding photographer ? Session 5. Why is wedding photography so expensive?

So why does wedding photography seem so expensive? After all if you look in wedding magazines they seem to tell you that a photographer on average will cost around £750. This is I’m afraid seriously misleading and you are unlikely to get anyone who is not just starting out.  There are people out there who will charge £500, but if that’s all you can afford be aware that the results will most certainly be inferior to someone who is more expensive.

“Before you start trying to bargain with a photographer because of your budget, don’t forget that a wedding photographer will work very hard indeed at your wedding. Most professional wedding photographers are exhausted by the end of a wedding shoot. He or she charges what s/he charges because that’s what their experience, artistry and costs demand them to charge.”

Now let’s look at it from a couple of angles, for you the client, the couple getting married and paying for these services (or persuading Daddy to) it can seem like a lot of money to spend on ‘a day’s work’. For a wedding photographer it’s a commitment that involves time, money, travel and a whole bunch of extra things.

There’s a lady called Kat Williams who produces a ‘different’ style of wedding magazine called Rock n Roll Bride, she  comments on the importance of the photographer “If you go low budget on everything else, and splash out on a photographer, that photographer will make your wedding look awesome: “I am a true believer that a fantastic photographer can make even the most budget wedding look kick ass – more than the dress, the decor and the extra details. Seriously, while all these aspects are important it is the photographer that will capture these memories that will last a lifetime and I think this is the one thing that shouldn’t be scrimped on or DIY-ed. Whatever your budget, I can’t stress enough how much I’d urge you to spend as much money as you are able to in order to get the very best photographer that you can afford.”

So let’s look at why a good wedding photographer charges what he, she or they do and why a days wedding is actually a week or two in the life of a wedding photographer.

The first thing is learning the job, any professional wedding photographer will have some form of long term training, be it years of putting raw talent into practice, or perhaps less time but more formal training. It’s not very likely that a great studio photographer or commercial photographer will make an outstanding wedding photographer – it might all come under ‘photography’ but downhill  and freestyle all come under skiing!

During the wedding your photographer (s) will arrive many hours before the ceremony to capture the bridal party getting ready, perhaps the groom and groomsman getting ready as well, a last pub lunch with his friends maybe, then there are the details that make it all so special. There’s the wedding itself, and all the time afterwards, right up to the ‘going away”

After the Wedding 
This is the component of the process that is probably the most misunderstood by the average person, as it is the one that they have little-to-no exposure to, generally speaking. On average, your photographer will spend not less than five hours on the back end – selecting, processing, enhancing and tweaking your images – for every hour that they are in front of you. That means that an average 8 hour wedding will require, at a minimum, a total of 40 to 80 hours of work on the part of the photographer. A “one day” wedding has suddenly turned into almost two weeks of work.

Other Considerations – Equipment 
Most photographers will need at a minimum of two professional quality camera bodies (usually two or even three including backups), which can cost anywhere from £1500 to £6000 or more. Add to that an array of lenses costing anywhere from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand pounds each, any lighting equipment, required software, etc. and the costs can be more than £15,000 just in basic equipment to be able to make, edit and process photos. And like most technology, much of the above equipment will be obsolete in 3-5 years due to advances in capabilities and industry trends.

The intent of this article is simply to attempt to illustrate that which most couples shopping for a decent wedding photographer never realize – that there is much more than “show up and shoot” on the day of your wedding that went into your photographer’s ability to be there and make images that will be cherished for the rest of their lives.


I can make you look beautiful for nothing.

To ensure your confidence in our wedding photography we offer the pre-wedding shoot before you sign the contract.

Call us for details 01747 830123, or complete the enquiry form.



© Michael Blyth Photography 2024