Appreciate the cost of wedding photography

10 11 2010

It is a wonder wedding Photographers get up in the morning with so many half-wits butting in on wedding photography to offer a unsustainable business model, for brides surely this means if a low cost cheap wedding photographer offers a cost that is a “steal” they will be out of business even before they get to print your album?

We of course we have all heard about the bride and grooms who have not had their wedding albums or the photographer is bankrupt or the job that the so called professional was so bad they cried for weeks after the photographer wrecked the wedding and their memories are ruined. But is it a case of you get what you paid for?

those out of work people who are quick to see where they can make a buck over their dole Giro from a weekends work of quick snap and go to Asda for the wedding prints, they  are all over wedding photography and I would guess more than 50% of the wedding photographers you will find are up to it. 

Let set aside the buying and selling points of wedding photography and the professional photographer from the weekend uncle bobs who offer mediocre performance and quality work to work out the costs of real wedding photography, let us see if you’re willing to pay the costs the real wedding photography. I have made this very simple for those wishing to check the prices themselves with the links  next to the information, so that you can see the real world costs of your wedding photographer and photography.

We will start with the cost of Camera hire. as many people who hire photographers forget, cameras are not free and must be purchased. Professional Cameras also need Len’s to make use of the cameras body which are two separate things. Of course we should have TWO of the camera bodies just in case anything happens and we cant stop the wedding to wait for a replacement.


Of course a Camera isn’t any good without lenses and they are everything when it comes to quality and style.

£38.00 fish eye

£21.28 Close up macro lens

£23.83 Wide angle lens

£26.38 Long lens

£17.87 Flash

Basic kit cost so far: £356.00

We will then need:

Memory cards to store the photos and some  lighting

£4.26 8 Gig CF and we will need a few to cover the day: we will have 5 of these (£21.00)

£45.00 Portable lighting kit

 A portable lighting kit is ideal for those weddings where it may rain and the photo shoot has to take place indoors.

Of course we need to have the right insurance to cover both the photographer and the wedding in the event something should go wrong: its about £17.80 £204.00

This is correct, there are two types of insurance that a photographer needs to have, with £5million pounds cover the photographer can work and be covered in a number of venues and areas, these are broken down to public and professional liability.

We also need to get to the wedding: Car hire from the Friday to the Sunday so that the car is ready loaded on the morning of the wedding and can be returned the following morning after the wedding.
Often overlooked by wedding clients and anyone else, cars are not free and nor is the day today running costs and maintenance costs.


We also need fuel £15.00

The concurrent costs are now £736.80


We then need to pay the photographer who will not work for free for you because you have a nice smile and they have bills to pay, I’m sure you wouldn’t go to work all week for free, or would you?

£15.00 per hour, is a good rate of pay for a professional that is an expert in their Field of work, Car mechanics are paid around £45.00 and shelf stacker’s are paid around £6.80 per hour,   on the basis that they could be booked all day regardless if a client is booking half a day or not we need to cover the costs.

From 08:00 – 22:00 is 14 hours and covers many of the wedding preparations and the disco later on in the evening reception, this wage amounts to £210.00

We also want a second photographer and assistant thats £6.80 x14 hours £95.20

For those who would say we can do away with the assistant, please come to visit to hold my camera bag for twenty minutes, most people struggle holding the camera for 2 minutes. yes there is a weight to be carrying for 14 hours, plus I’m sure that you are aware that you would want a photographer taking photo’s not moving equipment around all day.

Total wages for the day costs £305.20

Retouching and post production

When the wedding day is over the photographer need to make your images stunning before making the on-line gallery for you to select your photos. Most photographs from Pro SLR cameras is never spot on and as you may notice from your cameras, lighting changes so the images have to be balanced so that they look even though the album.

Typically this post production work  is around 3 times the time that the photographer was hired taking the photos. This would amount to around 42 hours we will reduce the rate of pay to £10.00 for the professional job they do giving you a total cost of £420.00

They need a computer to do this post production and an Internet connection as well as a hosting site for the gallery. So we need to factor these costs into the wedding photographer’s costs:

Computer and monitor £48.00

keyboard and mouse £16.00

Internet £17.99

A telephone line also costs £11.50

Hosting and domain £55.00

These of course run off electricity and therefore would cost around £10.00 to run.

The Total IT costs are then: £158.49

Dealing with orders and albums

Once your wedding gallery is on-line you may wish to order an album, at cost (what the photographer pays) a good album on average costs £300.00

They of course do not magic themselves together and though has to go into the layout of the album, this is called design work and takes around 20 hours, we will use the same rate of £10.00 per hour so that gives us a total of £200.00

As you would want the album shipped to you  and be covered by insurance just in case it is lost or damaged this adds another £18.60

This brings the total album cost to £518.60

Adding it all up.

The wedding day £736.80

The wages on the day costs £305.20

Post production and album £1,097.09

Wedding total cost £2,139.09

 Less – Marketing and advertising costs as well as National insurance and Income tax payments.

Capitalist wedding photography verses communist wedding photography

As we live in the UK we are a capitalist society meaning that a business should make a profit, this makes perfect sense that any business should make a healthy return, this works out as: money into the pockets of investors, or money returned into the business to make the business grow. The communist business would be to charge just as much as it costs to do the work. However we don’t live in that world and so 25%  should be added. And with income tax, National Insurance payment being liable to the photographer which equals around 21%, you will soon see that this adds 46% to the total costs.

Just so that you can follow this, so you know this is not made up, take your wages before deductions and take off 21%, you will find that this is about correct. also in consideration that there is no employer for the photographer there is no sick pay or maternity pay, and also no guarantee of work each and every two weeks.

If we look at the wages – which is the actual money the photographer sees, and take into account that there are 52 weeks in the year, they may be ill for two weeks and go on holiday for two weeks this gives us 48 weeks, divide that by two to give us the maximum clients the annual wage for the photographer would be

£630.00 per wedding x 48  = £15,120 Less tax and National insurance.(£11,994.80)

Of course these figures are based on a photographer being able to sell all 24 weddings each year, and with competition growing many photographers fail to reach 15 weddings each year. It is these photographers that go out of business and simply cannot afford to live. incidental 15 weddings a year is £9,450.00.

Being unemployed living in a family home would net £12,162.00+, so as you can see the photographer is marginally above the poverty line working at these rates that I have stated.

 So, now you see the real rates and costs of wedding photography and can appreciate the work, time and costs of wedding photography, needless to say these figures are firmly based on factual figures of the world we live in and everyone has the need to live and enjoy life.


Wedding Worries: will your photographer be in business?

14 10 2010

For many brides planing their big day the economics  add undue stress.

For the past two years we have heard stories of wedding venues going bust and the administrators have turn up closing down the  perfect wedding venue that the bride and groom have selected for their special day.
There are still a growing number of businesses that offer wedding services, but will they be around when it comes to your wedding day? Read the rest of this entry »

low cost wedding

24 08 2010

Many people say that a wedding is costly and if you want all out flair and style for your wedding it will be based on the amount of money that you have.. I do like a challenge and I don’t see how this is possible to say that weddings are costly, and I think we can carry off a wedding for super value without cutting any corners at all. 

As a Wedding Photographer, Hotel manager and restaurant manager I see the whole picture, know the costs and just about everything there is to do with weddings. It is a common jest that I should be a wedding planner, but as yet I haven’t jumped that far, or into the fire. I hope this post will help brides and grooms who have a lower budget in mind to have a WOW wedding all for themselves. 

The general things we start with is with a man and a woman, I cannot help in this area and if you are reading this, I would expect that you  have the two main patrons. 

A wedding consists of these things: 

  • Bride
  • Groom
  • Bridesmaids
  • Wedding Dress
  • Bridesmaid Dresses
  • Best man Suites
  • Grooms Suit.
  • Wedding Venue
  • vicar/registrar
  • Decorations
  • Flowers
  • Wedding Breakfast
  • Meal
  • Wedding Reception
  • Buffet
  • —-
  • Guests
  • Guest Invitations
  • Wedding cars
  • DJ/band

Read the rest of this entry »

And video

22 08 2010
A professional wedding videographer at work.

Image via Wikipedia


Wedding photographers who are professionals know lots about weddings and where to be at the right time. it is true that during the vows and speeches we cannot capture the words just the emotion and this is where wedding video takes the leading role. 

At National Photographer, Wedding elegance packages also offer video, a simple highlight together with general coverage can be a great bonus for any wedding. 

While it is not perfect video and doesn’t fully replace a independent video team, the server as you will find may be the deciding factor in hiring wedding elegance to photography your wedding. 

Click this link to view some of our wedding videos and make up your own mind. 

Taking wedding photos at the breakfast

19 08 2010

While there is a split between photographers who offer up to the fake cake cutting and those who stay for the speeches and even those who are there for the evening reception, This post will give you ideas and details for wedding photography of the wedding breakfast.

As you should be fully aware for every wedding it is the details that really make the difference, it is the planning that the Bride and Groom have done over the past year or two for their wedding and this is all in the details.

Taking photography of the wedding breakfast is interesting as you can be creative and there usually is time to do this after the group photo shoot, provided you do not run over in the groups and candid after the wedding, and that the wedding is well planned with its timing.

As we have posted before about the photography of the wedding details, much the same applies to the reception (Breakfast). You are going to try to make the most of the bride and groom alone photo set, but you will also want to give the bride and groom time to enjoy their time with their guests. This is the ideal opportunity for the detailed photos of the wedding reception room as the staff time to change around the room so that it is ready for the wedding breakfast.

Ideally, you send your assistant into take some photo’s of the room sets and then return when you go in to the breakfast room to take your master photos.  Leaving the assistant to take the candid moments before the welcoming and seating of the guests for the wedding breakfast start.

Read the rest of this entry »

Who should you invite to your wedding

18 08 2010

Many brides and grooms take a long time to decide on who to invite to their wedding, small weddings have close family and friends, others may have work friends and extended family. The most important consideration is that you invite people that you want to share the day with and the memory of your wedding.

Extended family and friends, co-workers may be invited to the evening reception and not the wedding, Ask you photographer if they can offer a slide show from the wedding day at the evening reception so that those who did not attend the day can see photo’s from the wedding. We do offer this service with our more luxury packages, but please do ask and it is subject to the time frame of the wedding events.

If your wedding has children,  and you intend to invite a few or more; You will need to consider the timing of your wedding to co-inside with feeding times and nap times.

From this video captured on a guests phone, it is worth considering inviting people who have recently seperated from their partners or who are single and ‘party animals’ as they can be ‘over emotional’ and … well… just take a look at the video.

Wedding detail photography

16 08 2010

The Weddings details are important, as professional wedding photographers should know many weddings are all the same, there are a bride and groom or two brides or two grooms, but the format remains the same with very little difference.

Bride and Grooms plans for their wedding for many years in some cases and this planning goes into the weddings details. The differences within the wedding can be seen in the gallery on this post with its 101 detail images from weddings.

While capturing the details of the wedding is important as a record for the bride and groom there is of course the fact that they make great backgrounds for cards and album designs and also stock wedding images as they do not have the wedding party involved directly in the photo.

I will define the content and definition of of the photography details (detailing) as they fall under two types.

 The details of the wedding and its parts, such as the venue, flowers and cake.

 The Other part of detailing the wedding is what is happening at the wedding, which the bride and groom may miss, or funny thing that happened which made part of the day.

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As you can see in this slide show there are images that are taken of the wedding which do not last like the flowers or even the dress that is put away and the food that is eaten.

By detailing the wedding you can capture for the bride and groom all the day without missing a thing. If you are providing a disc of images it is these that are more appreciated in later years when the wedding has long since past and of course for their children who may want to look back at how mum and dads wedding looked and what they had and did.

Traditional photography is IMO more of the people, reportage is how it happened and with any skilled photographer mixing the two with added commercial photography can really work.

For photographers that have not reviewed their images and photography at a wedding or carry out the detailing services for their clients, they should approach the photography of the wedding in a different way.

Ideally a photographer with skills from commercial photography can tackle the details with either a venue or service provider in mind. This meaning that if you are shooting the wedding car; you would approach this as if you were hired by the company to take photos of the wedding car service that they provide, and the same with the venue, flowers and catering.

By Arriving early and having a clear plan from your experience of weddings you should find the time to fit the detailing into your photography plan, for the venue simply turning up early will give you the time to shot the venue and also know where you intend to take you more formal photos during the wedding.

For photographers carrying out the preparations you will find that a single photographer cannot carry out all the detailing prior to the wedding ceremony and you should always shoot with TWO photographers. This allows you to carry out the photography  while an assistant or shadow carries out the detailing photographs when you are not there. However there can be time during the lul between the groups and wedding breakfast (reception) where you can take many of the shots, but you have to ensure that they are in order as you cannot expect to ask the bride and groom to remove their rings so you can get that photo after the wedding ceremony is finished. Solo reportage wedding  photographers will also find this detailing quite hard due to the format of their photography style.