• Jessy Jones

WHY DOES WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY COST SO MUCH?



One thing that comes up time and time again when people are looking for photographers is ‘How can they charge so much? why is there such a difference in prices between different photographers? Along side often seeing posts on social media for a ‘cheap wedding photographer’

When I got married, I wasn’t hugely into wedding photography, and was only just beginning my journey into the dark side. However I knew what I wanted. After looking around for someone who wouldn’t make me stand around for hours on end and just shoot away in the background, we put down our deposit. Our wedding photography, barring the reception venue, was THE most expensive part of our wedding day. It is also the first thing that I booked as soon as we set the date.

Now – being a photographer your probably thinking ‘well photography is important to you’ - True. However I'm also more than aware that once we had said ‘I do’ eaten the meal, danced the night away and I’ve finally managed to work out how to untie my wedding dress – what did we really have left other than the rings on each others fingers, and obviously each other Hopefully, a full record of the day from start to finish that’s what, and that ladies and gents is what you are paying for.

So, Why do people charge such varying rates?

Experience.

Lets face it – being a wedding photographer is a pretty nerve wrecking job. You have an awful lot of pressure on your shoulders. This is someone’s wedding day. Whatever you do…IT CANNOT GO WRONG. No second chances. So, you need someone who knows what they are doing.

If you have read through my other blog rambles you will notice I often refer to ‘uncle bob’ as the generic friend or relative who has just bought a shiny new camera for a few hundred pounds – therefore they can do our wedding photography. Right?​

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Choosing a photographer who has taken years to master their trade means you are going to pay for that experience. They have invested a lot of money into themselves to get to the stage of the photographs you’re looking at on their website. It isn’t a case of pressing the button and that’s it. They have to post edit, spend days, if not weeks perfecting the look of your wedding photography, so the one you choose will pretty much come down to what you want or don't your photographs to look like.

In the end wedding photography is an investment and like any investment the amount that you put into it is going to determine how much that you get out of it in the end.

Professional equipment

Believe me (and my poor bank balance) being a professional photographer isn’t a ‘get rich quick’ profession. I am constantly investing in new equipment, new lenses, or something I’ve found and thought ‘Oooh shiny’ much to my husband’s horror; especially when a single professional photography lens can cost between £1-5k (even more in some cases).

We all know that just because you have the best equipment doesn’t make you the best photographer – However I'm a strong believer that investing in the best you can, will only improve your work.


Most professional photographers will carry around a number of camera bodies, numerous lenses, flashes, backup cameras incase anything goes wrong and many other gadgets and gizmo’s. They will pretty much be walking around your wedding with thousands of pounds of equipment. Put onto of this the different insurances we need and out time ;- If someone is willing to charge you £200 for a full days wedding photography do you think they have the same?

Expertise

Similar to what I’ve said in the ‘experience’ section of this post, wedding photographers cannot go wrong. It has taken numerous years for a professional photographer to get to the stage that they are at in their work.

Having a good reputation for your work takes along time and comes at a cost, however this is the main way of advertising for a photographer and id say that 70% of my bride and grooms have came to me because I have been recommended by a friend or family member. This isn’t something that happens over night and takes a great deal of hard work to gain a good reputation – especially with there being so many wedding photographers in this area.

When I first started wedding photography I was a complete wreck; in all fairness I still get butterflies before a wedding even now. When I first started I worried about absolutely everything. How do I make people stand? What If someone is awkward? What if my flash doesn’t go off during an important moment – ARGH.

There are SO many mistakes to very easily make as a wedding photographer which is why knowledge, time and investment are the three keys to being good at it. If something goes wrong, they will know straight away how to sort it, if something doesn’t work they will know instantly how to fix it or have a spare on hand ready to go. You need to know lighting, posing, how to communicate with people, know your camera inside out, how to edit…. I could go on.

Expertise is a skill picked up over many years. I’ve spent what feels like a lifetime teaching myself new editing techniques, listening to webinars and tutorials, buying programmes such as Photoshop and other editing software, moaning at my photography friends when I can’t get something to look the way I want it to. Every wedding I complete I feel I’ve upgraded my style, even if it’s just by a tiny bit but I will take whatever I’ve learnt from my last wedding and take it to the next one with me.

Time

One thing that 99% of people take for granted is the amount of time that a photographer actually puts into the resulting image that you see on your screen.

Shooting a day’s wedding will usually result in being sat at a computer for until midnight, having zero social life between may-September and hardly seeing my husband or children on an evening because I'm so busy with work. They say that for every hour you spend shooting you spend 3 editing. So for every 12 hours I'm at a wedding I can spend up to 36 hours editing and tweaking the images. That’s the average working week of a person spent on a single days photography.

You’re not only paying for someone to be at your wedding, you’re paying for their time away from their families, their time sat in front of a computer making sure your photographs look their best and the culling of the ones that don’t, also not to forget this is usually their only income.

Understanding and valuing the time and effort that your chosen photographer puts into your images and you will understand why they charge what they do and be happier knowing that your wedding photography is in the hands of someone you trust as a professional.

Jessy x

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Primrose Lodge, Primrose Crescent, Boston, Lincolnshire, PE21 7TP

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