How much should I spend on a wedding photographer?
Let's talk pricing.
First up, there is no-one who can tell you what your wedding photography is worth to you; and I'm certainly not going to try to do this.
What I can do is share with you fact-based information to help inform if you're not sure what you should be budgeting. In this article we'll talk about industry survey data and I'll also share what my current clients are spending on my services.
But before we go into that, I want to address a number of articles that I've found recently on the internet, mainly written by other photographers, laying out various options in terms of price and trying to educate you on why some people charge much less than others. They'll explain things in terms of experience of the photographer and whether or not they are a full-time wedding photographer and delve into costs of running a business etc. etc. then relate that back to the price you can expect to pay. This is all very well and good, but it's not really very ground-breaking stuff to say that photographers that have been around a while, are well respected and working full-time on weddings are going to be charging more than someone fresh out of college and starting their career, or only doing it as some extra cash on the side.
Let's not lose track here; the important thing is finding the right photographer for you and your partner; and by this I mean that you LOVE their work and you LIKE them as a person. If you haven't read my blogs on those aspects go ahead and read them now:
But assuming you have a shortlist of photographers and maybe have an idea of what you might spend on employing them here is some relevant industry data that should help to inform you further.
Scottish Wedding Directory Census: 2017
This is the biggest and most reliable, up-to-date data for spending in the wedding industry in Scotland. You can read about the main points using the link above but what you won't find is any data for the average spend on photography, not even in the printed magazine article. However, I contacted SWD and asked Dawn Stafford, account manager for the Edinburgh area and she was only too happy to share this information and in turn I'm delighted to share with you:
The average spend on wedding photography in Scotland in 2017 was £1,165
There are a couple of important things to point out about this figure.
- The survey included a lot of married couples (over 1,900) so this means that it is likely to be very close to the true average.
- However, unfortunately the survey did not include a question about printed products (i.e. whether or not they chose an album) so this means that the average spend including an album will be more than above and without an album, less. I have requested that the SWD includes this question in the 2018 census.
Bridebook Wedding Report: 2017
The published report is quite comprehensive in terms of breaking down by region and industry sector; you can download it at the above link. According to this report the average spend on photography in Scotland is £2,173, which is very different to the SWD figure!
I do not consider this figure to be accurate for the Scottish wedding industry as it seems that less than 40 couples married in Scotland took part in the survey (compared to over 1,900 by the SWD). The UK average spend, from over 4,000 couples surveyed UK wide, was £1,213, which is very close to the SWD figure for Scotland.
The average spend on wedding photography in 2017 was close to £1,200. But including an album, this figure would be higher and without an album, lower.
What price are you willing to pay for the photographer who's work you love and who you like as a person? Only you can decide that, but I hope this article has been helpful.
What my clients spend:
I always give my clients a custom quote based on what they actually need on their wedding day and I never try to mould any of them into a set package, because everyone's requirements are different. What I can say though is that at the time of writing:
- The current average spend for my clients getting married in 2019 is £1,471
- with a range of spending between £1,ooo and £1,830
Think I could be the right photographer for you?