Wedding Photography All Day £295 and an Album

    I was looking through some ads online today when I spotted the headline above. Seems like a bargain compared to all those expensive "other" wedding photographers. I know we are in a recession and people are looking to save and dare I say it, the photography part may not be the most important thing for some people, right?

    Does £295 seem about right for turning up and taking a few pictures and then leaving. Easy money you may think.

    Well think again and consider how that breaks down. Let us say this wedding will be at 2.00 PM in the afternoon.  The bride wants the photography to start from midday to capture everyone getting ready. The first dance will be at about 8.30 PM. A nine and a half hour day. So the photographer earns just on £31 per hour. (9.5 divided by £296).

    Not a bad wage that but the reality is far from the truth.

    Preparation for the wedding starts (for me at least) the week before when I like to meet the couple at the venue and walk around and discuss what will happen on the day and to agree on the list of formal groups. I like to plan where these will happen and what we will do if we have bad weather. I also like to plan and suggest any intimate shots we can do and suggest where and at what time this could take place if the couple want to. So taking into account the travelling and time spent lets say a minimum of 1.5 hours. We will forget the expense of fuel etc.

    All our camera equipment is prepared the day before to ensure all is well, batteries charged, memory cards formatted, lenses cleaned and cameras wiped clean etc.

    I have already written a blog entry on why weddings cost so much previously so I will ignore the cost of the primary equipment and back up equipment, computer hardware, software and insurance.

    So next day I work my 9.5 hours and then get home and spend two hours backing up all the images I have taken on my computer and burning back up copies to disks to ensure they are safe. So my total is 1.5 + 1.5 + 1 + 9.5 + 2 = 15.5 hours. Than means I earn just on £19 per hour. Well that isn't bad these days. It is better than national minimum wage.


    What makes the difference between a holiday snap and a wedding photograph happens a great deal in the processing after (not all but quite a bit). I will easily spend 40 hours going through and processing pictures to get them just how I want them to be.

    So lets check what I am earning now. 15.5 + 40 = 55.5. Hmmm I am now down to £5.31 per hour.

    I will now burn images to a proof disk and upload images to web galleries etc. More time.

    When we process an image for printing it has to be cropped to the correct size and DPI and then finally sharpened. However let us forget how long that takes. Lets think about the cost of printing. If you go to Boots on the High Street you can print 40 9 x 6 photographs for £14.00 and an album say £20. A decent photo book with a hard cover would be about £40 to £50 pounds. But would take more time to design the pages.

    Now, just so we are clear, Boots print great pictures and I recommend them over any other High Street photography printer. But would you want your main wedding pictures from them or a professional lab who use better papers?

    So with just our print and albums costs our £295 is down to £261. That means we are earning £4.78 per hours and that is being generous.

    I suspect something is being cut out of the equation to make things worth it don't you. If having spent in excess of £10,000 on your wedding and over a £1000 on your dress, you really think £295 for a photographer and album is a good choice to make? If you do, everybody working at your wedding is earning more than the guy you are trusting to capture the day you have so heavily invested in.

    Brides for Guides give a breakdown of cost for photographers and feel free to have a look at that here:

    Wedding Photography CostsSource URL:
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