What does a wedding photographer cost? In summary.
On average, a bride and groom spends about €1400 on a wedding photographer. Our prices starts at €1795 for one photographer. Are you shocked by this price? There are lots of options. But know that you are going to pay between €500 and maybe €5000 anyway.
Yes if you have two photographers, a mega wedding album, multiple parent albums, a loveshoot, day after-shoot and are also getting married abroad. So it’s usually not going to be that much. Click on the link for our wedding photography rates.
Where those wedding photographer fees are based on?
Below we are happy to address that question.
Costs to reduce risk
Because a wedding is such a unique day, you are quick to pay more to make sure the chances of making a mistake are as low as possible. Actually, that’s pretty much the short answer to the question of why a reportage has to cost so much. And why the difference between a wedding shoot and a normal photo shoot is so different.
Average wedding photographer prices are high
Within wedding photography, this has long been a taboo subject. And whether it’s “costing a lot” or “being expensive,” the fact remains that you do indeed pay quite a bit of money for most wedding photography. We thought long and hard about whether we should write about this, but now actually think, “Why not?”
Special things cost money
We don’t have that much to hide. Because it’s true that things related to marriage often cost a lot of money. Consider a wedding bouquet (compared to a normal bouquet), a wedding cake (compared to a normal pastry), and a wedding dress in relation to another dress.
So, too, is the wedding coverage….
About 9% of your budget goes to the wedding photographer – The Perfect Wedding
The Perfect Wedding writes that about 9% of your budget goes to your wedding photographer. And the 2017 National Wedding Survey, conducted by Top Trouwlocaties, writes that the cost of an average wedding, including honeymoon, comes to €16,692. They also asked what people spent on average on a photographer and/or videographer and this amount came to €1408. So how is it possible that there is so much difference in price between various photographers? There must be a good reason for that, right?
For example, what does a wedding photographer cost per hour?
Yes, of course, that is the question. After all, your photographer is only there for about ten hours, right? If you then divide the price by ten then you are at a hefty hourly rate. A concrete example of a beautiful wedding of eight hours, two photographers and a nice complete wedding album: you quickly end up with about 45 separate working hours at a wedding!
Prior to the wedding
- Emailing back and forth about the wedding day
- Introductory meeting, in person or via Skype for example
- More mails and talking through the wedding day
- Preparing the equipment, charging the batteries and emptying the memory cards
- Travel time to and from the wedding
- Wedding day photography (and be there on time)
Immediately after the wedding
- Backing up in the evening
- Photo selection and post-processing
- Exporting and uploading the complete reportage in an online gallery
Creating your wedding album
- Communication about the wedding album
- Wedding album creation, emailing about feedback and processing this
- Order, check and send wedding album
- Possible communication afterwards
A lot of working hours
In short: before you know it, you’ll be at those 45 hours. If we assume a price of, say, €2950 and 45 hours have been worked, then you end up with about €65 per hour (from which VAT and costs (and income tax) have to be deducted). Just the cost of the wedding album….
Beyond the hours you make specifically for photographing a wedding, as an independent contractor you have additional non billable hours. Think about maintaining your website, figuring out which insurance policy is best for your equipment or visiting (wedding) photography fairs to keep up with the latest equipment and/or albums.
We meet with colleagues to exchange experiences or give each other feedback and we regularly attend workshops to educate ourselves. All in all, a full-time job that we put our hours into with a lot of love. And this affects the prices of a wedding photographer.
It’s true that those hours above are not directly related to your wedding, but if we don’t pay attention to our website, we can’t serve you either. Hence, we are naming them anyway.
Why do I often see “hourly wedding photographer” prices from €150 to €200?
A photographer will often charge you around €100 to €200 for each extra hour booked. The standard price is based on all those hours of work you have anyway, but then that separate hourly price is for that extra hour of attendance. One hour of photography will incur additional costs for the photographer. Additional depreciation of equipment and any additional parking costs. But also, the photographer has to pick and edit more photos for you.
Our hourly rate is for one photographer €150 and for two photographers €200, per additional hour.
What does it cost to have a wedding photography business?
A professional camera easily costs between €3000 and €4000. We have four. A professional lens costs between €500 and €2500, we have (let’s keep it to many ;). And all that equipment has to go in a special bag, that bag has to go in a (company) car (think: depreciation) and that car needs fuel, road tax and insurance. In short, before we arrive at a wedding, we’re quite a few dollars away.
Costs for security
Then you have costs like insurance, the occasional check-up for your lenses or camera bodies, an accountant, company phone, high-speed internet connection, photo editing software and more. We don’t want to scare you, but there really is a difference between a student who arrives with 1 camera and a lens and a professional who has good (backup) equipment. We know, because we were that student about ten years ago.
Is there a difference in prices between one or two photographers?
Well, it is becoming more common to have two photographers at your wedding. For example, one wedding photographer will then start with the bride and the other with the groom (unless of course you are bride + bride or groom + groom of course). And of course it costs more to have two professionals at your wedding. Not only in terms of hours of photography, but also in terms of post-processing.
So, in short, higher costs. But then you should expect more. Most photographers have a starting price and also an hourly rate.
Tip: Take a good look at your photographer’s complete portfolio.
What does the cost of a wedding photographer consist of?
Different photographers use different packages. These packages may or may not include the following:
- Are travel expenses included? And parking costs?
- Do you pay extra for the files of your wedding? Or do you get (many of) the files delivered in high resolution?
- Is post-processing included in the price?
- Is the photographer (or two wedding photographers of course) familiar with your location?
- Will you get to see/talk to each other prior to the wedding?
- Does he or she help out in terms of ideas for the wedding day?
What about experience?
Well, let’s assume that since you’ve landed on our website, you think photography is important. Then you will probably also see the difference between the portfolio of a novice photographer and that of a photographer with years of experience. And experience costs money. Because as a photographer, you keep investing in your own skills. That investment, again, costs money. Afin: more experience is soon a higher price.
Compare it a bit to asking a painter if he/she will draw a picture for you. Just a quick sketch, can’t we? Even if the artist only spends a few minutes, the value of the artwork created is high. This is because it involves years of experience. Just like a lawyer has done years of study to get where he/she is. Whether a surgeon has a relatively high hourly rate. And I won’t go into further detail about the cost the dentist charges (per 5 minutes).
Is it the same?
Let’s come back to that bouquet, that wedding cake and your wedding dress and the question of why getting married is expensive… These other products also often cost more than the version that doesn’t say “get married”. Because are we really talking about the exact same product? After all, isn’t that wedding bouquet beautifully composed with the flowers you picked out yourself? Is it true that care has been taken to ensure that the flowers remain beautiful for much of the day as well? Also, I suspect the florist tied the bouquet nicely and finished it with ribbon.
Vivian ter Huurne, wedding planner, often uses the flower arrangements for a wedding as an example: “You often visit a floral stylist (m/f) to talk everything through. You are in contact several times by mail, she makes an offer. The floral stylist goes to the auction days in advance and considers when she can best deliver your most special flowers for your beautiful bridal bouquet.
The quality of the flowers should be top notch and at its best on the day. It is a natural product so there is planning involved. The flowers may need to be set a little warmer or cooler. Flower stylists also always order a lot more flowers because you don’t want to run out. And then on the specific wedding day itself, the bouquet must be made. And we haven’t even mentioned the delivery of flower arrangements. Afin: there is a lot involved in a loose wedding bouquet”.
And also the wedding cake. There is a difference between a cake from the bakery and a three-layer, perfectly decorated and tailored to your needs champagne-flavored wedding cake. The same goes for your wedding dress or wedding suit. This one is so (hand) made that it fits like a glove. The materials are special and out of the ordinary. So there is actual difference from, say, a standard ready-made suit.
Difference in wedding photography rates
So can you compare a wedding shoot to a random session at a photographer’s studio? We believe there is a difference between “just a few pictures and a complete reportage.” Where almost every image adds something to your memories.
“Divide the price by the number of years you’ll enjoy it…”
We also find that there is much difference between a hobby photographer and a professional. Sure, definitely in terms of price, but also definitely in terms of wedding photos.
In short, the price of a wedding photographer is a combination of many different factors. And so if you divide the total price by the number of hours the photographer makes for your particular wedding, the hourly price immediately looks very different.
To reiterate a statement we wrote down once before, “if you divide the price by the number of years you enjoy it, it’s not so bad.” And you can’t say that about your cake ;)
Keep track of your wedding photographer prices in a planner
Tip: Want to keep track of how and what in terms of budget? Then you can check out The Perfect Wedding’s budget planning tool. And if you want to see if we can fit into your (after all, really not small) budget, please be sure to get in touch, as we are happy to advise.