Wedding Photography – why is it so expensive? Or is it more valuable than we realise?
Ok – so you’re not the first to ask – nor will you be the last. The reality is there is so much more going on behind the scenes than anyone would ever imagine. Wedding photography is actually a lot more valuable to you than you realise!
Much as many people believe wedding photography is simply a case of rocking up, taking photos and that’s it, done! This couldn’t be further from the truth. This page is simply to help you understand why it isn’t that easy – and also why it costs what it costs.
But, and most importantly, it is actually the second most important decision you have to make about your wedding day. I won’t lie, I used to say fifth or sixth, but my previous clients who are now also my close friends set me straight and made me change my mind. I know also this makes me sound a little arrogant and bigheaded but I promise you this isn’t the case. It’s simply a reflection of what people have told me, and the profound effect the memories we made together have had on them.
To this end, if you’ve not already read the article on this, then please do so. It’ll explain honestly and faithfully why everyone tells me this is the case. This also shows you how valuable a wedding photographer is to your wedding day! You’ll find a link button below.
Firstly, time is one of the major reasons. Normally I’ll actually spend at least 6 times as much time on your wedding not actually at the wedding. So if you imagine I’m spending 10 hours with you on the day that means I’m spending a whole working week planning, preparing, editing and producing the final product in album, video or photo form. Given I’m normally with you for 14 hours or so, that means a LOT of photos.
I’ll leave a wedding with upwards of 8000 photographs – turning these into your videos, your finished final photographs and an album isn’t quick. I want to make them magical and lifelong memories: you don’t get that perfection if they’re simply left as they were in camera. You will often find me on the same night editing your photos so that you have a first copy the very next day after your wedding and that’s something I am more than willing to do so that you can relive your day straight away. A wedding day goes so quickly and I’d love to help you see everything you may have missed the day after.
Planning and Prep
Planning and preparation wise I’ll be meeting you at least twice before your wedding, and realistically it’s at least 4 times. As you’ve probably seen elsewhere on my website it’s only if we know each other really well that you’ll feel totally relaxed on your wedding day.
If you’ve got little ones’ it’ll be more visits again as they need to know me and be comfortable with me on the big day. I’ll also go to your venue before the big day and scout it out for photo locations, check the sun-set lines and also see where we can use sparklers (which I buy for you) safely and without risk.
Preparation and working together is absolutely key to ensure we capture your special moments.
I’ve also taken the time to put together what I call “The Bride Guide”. It’s a directory of things you need to think about, may not have considered and lots of useful tips to help make your wedding day that little bit more special. You’ll find the link below: I just hope you find it useful!
Storage and SD cards
I’ll apologise now but there is a geeky, technical part. To ensure I capture every special moment in your day and to make sure I’m covered if there is a hardware failure I use 2 SD cards in each camera, and have 4 spare cards just in case which are all at least 128gb in size. Once your wedding is done they go in the safe and I can’t use them again for another wedding until all your photos are delivered to you and you’re happy. It is so important that I don’t use this cards again until you’ve got your photos and video just in case something goes wrong. As part of this I make sure your images are always duplicated and stored in three forms to protect you and your memories. There is a cost I have to bear associated to this though: on average I’m using £350 of SD Cards per wedding that I lock away afterwards and have to imagine didn’t exist.
Spare equipment & lighting
This for me is a big one and of vital importance. Equipment fails: that’s why I’ve got spare cameras in my bag just in case. Honestly it’s highly unlikely that a camera will fail completely: but if it does I need to have spares in case. I could not live with myself if both cameras failed halfway through the day and therefore your special memories stopped half way through as well. I may not have to use the spares, but I did have to buy them in order that they are there just in case.
The same is true for lighting: we’ve all been there in a reception venue where first dance takes place with the lights dimmed and very little natural light. Your first dance always looks better and more impressive this way. However I will need to compensate for that and make sure that your photos are clean, that you are visible but more importantly they’re not grainy and out of focus. To do that I need lighting to do so in terms of both continuous LED but also flash guns. Again there is a cost to these but are vital to make sure I do you both and your big day justice.
Insurance and Imdemnity
Finally and probaby most important: insurance. Please, please, please make sure your photographer has current insurance and indemnity protection to at least the total value of your wedding day. If something does go disastrously wrong this is the coverage you need them to have to be able to recover the situation however that may be. I have NEVER needed to claim nor had anybody claim: but I will never shoot a wedding without it as you never know what will happen. If some disaster unfolded and I was seriously injured during a wedding day this insurance means you can have another photographer onsite, your wedding photos or even day again at no cost to you.
The bottom line here I guess comes down to this: I WILL do you proud, I WILL make it a day to remember and I WILL be putting hours of effort to make it so before, during and after. Unfortunately both the time I take to try and give you perfection and the equipment, insurance and storage does cost me money. Trust me, if I could make it cheaper I would however I want to do your special day the justice it deserve. Maybe I am wrong to believe this, but I don’t think the way to do that is cutting corners, risking your photos or taking any shortcuts along the way.
I know there will always be cheaper options out there available to you but please do consider what you will get at the very end and whether or not the extra is a worthwhile investment. Your photographs, videos and album are your memories for years to come and I want you to have the VERY best. The one thing I can promise you is that I will be there with you every step of the day helping to make your special day one which is both amazing and memorable putting in 100% throughout.
Ultimately it is your big day and you have to be comfortable with your budget and your photographer. I will always do everything I can to support the brides and grooms that have been kind enough to reach out to me and ask the question. By all means tell me what you’re trying to achieve, what you’re looking to do and what you’ve budgeted for. Ultimately the more I know the more I can do to help.
Thank you for considering me to be part of your day and I hope you have the most amazing wedding day.
So please, pretty please?
Whatever you decide please check that your photographer has back up equipment, the appropriate insurance and you feel comfortable with him/her. After the hours of planning and hard work it is without question that you deserve the very best professionalism and coverage on your special day.