The Truth Behind Wedding Photography Prices

Photography is expensive, right?

Yep, I completely agree. Gosh, even I think my fists would tighten at the thought of getting round to booking my wedding photographer! However, there is a lot of various aspects of wedding photography that cause these cringeworthy prices.

First of all, there’s a handful of necessities that make a wedding, a wedding. A registrar, yes. A venue, of course. Food, probably. And you know, two people wanting to join hands in marriage.

But professional photographic images of your entire day? Nope, that’s a luxury. It is something we want rather than need and as with everything in life – those are the things that cost (more) money.

Along with that, this is my entire career. I don’t know about other photographers, but when I began constructing my price list, I started with all my expenses predicted for the year ahead. These includes:

  •  insurance
  • accounting
  • software
  • hardware
  • equipment renewal
  • travel costs
  • stationary
  • packaging (it is amazing how expensive boxes are!)
  • postage
  • advertising
  • wedding fayres
  • website, blog, ect…

AND, on top of all of the above, I am constantly trying to improve at my craft. To improve on my skills year on year takes time, practice, and of course: money.  `

Next off the bat, I take into consideration how much work I receive and also how much time I can achieve it in. As wedding photography is not the “Nine-to-Five” kind of job Dolly Parton sings about, the chances of getting more than four weddings a month or even being able to cope with more is quite slim.

To simplify it as much as I possible can, I work a full day wedding – 8am starts to sometimes 11pm finishes, sometimes without a break. Yet, 11pm is never when the job is really over. Once I get back home, it’s a matter of writing a blog of the day, uploading the photos (which can take over an hour considering there’s thousands!), editing a few of the shots and having them posted on social media as soon as possible for the bride, groom and entire wedding party to see and enjoy. As you can imagine, this often results in my bed time being a healthy 3am… (And it’s not over yet).


For weeks and weeks after, I work on these photos, editing, perfecting, developing, sending them to printers, creating albums, creating images of your most fond memories, alongside running the business as a whole.

Therefore I set a rate for my “shoot time” and a separate rate for my “developing time” to make sure everything is fair and I am able to come up with a quick price using a simple equation I have created for myself.

I know this is quite lengthy, so if you’ve continued reading this far, let me boil it down to one, simple sentence for you:

With all the costs spread out, it can often work out equal to the national minimum wage. 

So keep that in mind when you’re hassling your wedding photographer for some cheaper prices! We’re all just trying to get by, pay our bills, and put some food on the table…