Following on from booking your wedding venue and finding your dream dress, the next item on most couple’s lists is locking in their wedding photographer – particularly, as popular photographers book out up to two years in advance!
But when you’re researching photographers and figuring out your wedding photography style, you may feel like you’re going in blind to the booking process as you have no idea what wedding photographers cost and what is included in wedding photography quotes.
So, we’re going to break it down for you. Talking to real life wedding photographers throughout, we are getting real and raw about how much wedding photographers cost.
What do wedding photographers usually charge for a wedding?
As always, different requirements for your big day will determine how much your wedding photography will cost. For example, if nothing is kicking off until 2pm (including hair and makeup / getting ready) and you have an early finishing time, then that will reduce the cost of the physical time-on-site hours of the photographer in comparison to a wedding that begins at 8am and finishes at, well, 8am the next day!
We spoke directly to one of our One Fine Day photographers to get some physical numbers around what they typically charge for a wedding. Over to you Mr.Wigley Photography!
“Our most popular package is our Full Day Package which is $4,499. It includes 8 hours of photography, an online gallery for sharing photos to socials, family and friends, and a personalised package containing a USB with all their photos.”
However, there are more options and prices can vary greatly due to the day of the week you’re having your wedding and the size of your ceremony and reception. Mr.Wigley Photography kindly gives us the dollars for those too:
“Our other packages range in price from $1,499 (for a mid-week elopement) to over $6,000 (for 10 hours of photography, 3 hours of photobooth, 60 page album, online gallery and a personlised USB package).”
There can also be combination packages too if the photographer you are thinking of booking also offers videography – which is something that Mr.Wigley Photography is looking to bring out themselves in the coming year!
While the wedding photography world doesn’t operate exactly like the ecommerce or retail world, so there is unlikely to be a Boxing Day sale or a Black Friday discount craze, there are some occasions where you can lock in a lowered rate. One of which being the One Fine Day Wedding Fair, where photographers and videographers alike run competitions and have special fair offers for their packages. If you’re a fan of the photos running within this post then make sure to get your tickets for One Fine Day Sydney as Mr.Wigley Photography will be there!
What does a wedding photography quote include?
First and foremost it will mean the booking of the photographers time to physically be at and shoot your wedding, along with the editing of all your thousands of photographs.
Where things vary beyond that is factoring in deliverables (such as laying out, editing and printing a physical photo album), as well as travel. Most photographers declare early on what areas they ‘service’ (and you can filter by this on the One Fine Day Directory), but are often open to travelling for weddings too. So if you’re booking your favourite photographer who happens to be based in Wollongong and your wedding is set to be in Noosa, factor in that the photographer will charge the cost of getting two and from Noosa with all their camera equipment.
Talking directly to Mr.Wigley Photography, they honestly breakdown what each of their quotes include:
“The main driver of my prices is my time. Mr.Wigley Photography is a personalised service (no cookie cutters here!) so I spend loads of my time on each wedding – probably a lot more than most people might imagine. When Mr Wigley couples look back at their photos in years to come I want them to instantly feel the happiness and fun of their wedding day. To achieve this I like to get to know my couples so that their Mr Wigley photos reflect THEM and feel highly personalised. So before the wedding I meet my couples to learn about them, their wedding, and any specific shots or themes for the day, I’ll visit their venue to scope out all the best places to take awesome pics, and then I prepare a shot list and run sheet for the wedding day and discuss this with the couple to make sure they’re happy.”
“On the day of the wedding there’s the obvious stuff like travel to, from, and between venues. After each wedding I usually spend 2-3 days processing all the photos, with the aim of getting them a handful of rock star images for their socials and sharing within a few days and all the rest within a month. Oh…and of course the time spent shooting on the actual wedding day!”
“Beyond my time, there’s all the other bits n bobs that go into running a business…my camera, computer, car, website, wedding fair costs (so I can meet my couples), printing, insurance, rent, blah, blah, blah…I could go on.”
So, to summarise your wedding photography quote is likely to include the following:
- Initial consultation with the couple
- Clarify personalised shot list (gathering the criteria for which family shots, who needs a lot of camera time and the portraits you want to capture)
- Venue visit
- Finalising shot list and building photography run sheet
- Review and approval of the above from the couple
- Travel to the wedding venue
- Travel from the ceremony venue to the reception venue
- Travel home from the wedding and/or accomodation for the night
- Physical shooting time on the wedding day
- Processing photos
- Editing first batch of images for the couple to share in a few days
- Editing remaining photos to be handed over within the month
- Printing costs for the physical photo album (if that is in your package)
- Business costs for the photographer – eg. Investing in camera equipment, computer equipment, insurance, website costs, printing etc.
…Which really, when you look at it all in a big old list like this, you’re really getting quite a lot for your money on top of an epic collection of memories from the best day of your life.
How many hours does a wedding photographer spend on one wedding?
So what does all of that work look like in a timesheet? Not that photographers usually work on pay-by-the-hour offering, but because we’re interested to know how much time it takes to capture, edit and deliver these incredible photos.
Here’s what Mr. Wigley Photography has to say:
“You know, before you asked me this question and I’d never really thought about it …but it’s a lot! For a couple where I take photos for 8 hours (like in our Full Day Package) I would usually spend between 30 and 40 hours making sure they have the type of experience and get the type of photos they want.”
30 to 40 hours of work for each couple?! Thats 3.5 hours more than the average working week for Australians. This kind of commitment should be commended – and financially rewarded because boy do these photographers put their heart and soul into their weddings.
The common misconception about wedding photographers
“Apart from how much work is involved in each wedding (above), the biggest misconception about being a wedding photographer like me is the skills you need to do an awesome job every time. Sure, it’s important to take beautiful pictures, but because I want my couples to feel like it’s their day and not my photoshoot my job is to focus on them and their enjoyment. So really, I’m a specialised customer service guy who just happens to take awesome pics.”
A misconception, or an underestimation, that some couples can have about wedding photographers is just how involved they will be on your day. They are literally there every step of the way, from getting ready in the morning all the way till you sparkler-tunnel exit from the reception. Because of this, it’s really important to select a photographer that you gel with. Luckily for you, wedding photographers are extremely personable and put in so much effort throughout the day to make their couples feel comfortable and free to celebrate this magnificent moment.
“Being involved in someone’s wedding is a responsibility I take super seriously,” says Simon from Mr. Wigley Photography. “I’m there on one of their most important days, there’s lots going on, lots of people to wrangle, lots of expectations about the final product (have I captured all the happy!), the occasional thunderstorm, and only one chance to get it… the stakes are high and I LOVE IT.”
“I’ve spent heaps of time coming up with what I call the ‘Mr Wigley Way’ – the bible of how we capture all the happy at the best parties we’ll ever be at. I know most couples feel awkward and uncomfortable in front of the camera (who doesn’t?! ..I’m the worst!) and the ‘Mr Wigley Way’ is how all the Mr Wigley photographers make sure our brides, grooms and their posse get to chill and focus on the party, without feeling like they’re being bossed around or have a camera shoved in their face the whole day, ‘cos no one wants that. Taking good photos is one thing, being a good Ninja is something else altogether!”
So there you have it, an honest look into how much wedding photographers cost and why. If you’re looking for wedding photographers that One Fine Day recommend, then be sure to head to the directory to find the photographer for you.