Wedding Photography – How much!!?!?!??!?!

Wedding Photography Leeds, Yorkshire

If you’re looking to get married you’ll no doubt be in the market for a photographer to cover some of or all of your big day.

A little research will probably show you that there’s a huge range of prices, from the £250 “shoot and burn” type, to the £2000+ mega wedding packages.

Wedding Photography Leeds, Yorkshire

You’ll also see that there are all sorts of different styles of photography, off the top of my head there’s….

  • Reportage – usually black and white, candid photos where people don’t know they’re being photographed
  • Traditional – beautifully posed shots, everyone perfectly positioned
  • Natural light – people who refuse to use flash
  • Studio – guys who set up some lights inside and get people to come in and be lit as though they’re in a studio
  • Strobist – people who use flash outside, often 2 or even 3 flashes, with umbrellas sometimes

Wedding Photography Leeds, Yorkshire

Obviously they can be mixed and matched, you usually get a bit of “traditional” for the group photographs, “reportage” whilst the photographer’s waiting for stuff, natural light outside and maybe a bit of flash indoors.

I often get asked what it would cost for McFade to shoot a wedding, and for a days work it does seem very lucrative – but after a bit of explanation of where the costs are, the biggest one being “time”, people start to understand why we charge what we do.

Wedding Photography Leeds, Yorkshire

To help with this I came up with a spreadsheet to estimate how long things take. Its actually quite surprising how many activities are involved from the photographers point of view.

You’re not only getting a person who can take photos, but a project manager, an MC, a planner, a shepherd…. lots of roles!

Anyway – here are the main activities a photographer would be prepared to help with on a wedding…


Phone consultation
Venue visit
Travel to/from venue
Travel time
Engagement shoot
Edit engagement shoot shots
Wedding Plan Creation
Creation of photo list
Phone calls etc.
Pre wedding shoots
Total hours shot
Rating of shots
Pre edit of the shots
Retouch of best shots
Add shots into album
The Wedding
Total time to shoot
Total travel for day
Editing Shots
“Screening” of shots
Pre edit of the shots
Retouch of best shots
Add shots into book
Showing of the Book
Travel to
Travel from
Time showing
Time editing at the showing
Extra Prints
Sizing photos for prints
Sending files to printer
Extra book edits
Number of edits
Edit time/edit
Uploading to website

To coin a cliché, the 8 hours a the wedding are just the tip of the ice berg – you will typically spend more than 8 hours in the preparation phase, with the travel to and from the venue to view it, plan the day and produce a time line etc. etc.

Even on the day, if you’re getting 8 hours of shooting in your package, the photographer’s probably got a good hour or more travel time to add on.

The real work is in the editing – screening the shots (to choose the absolute best, the second best and then the stragglers) can take a couple of hours if you’ve done a long shoot.

Wedding Photography Leeds, Yorkshire

Then dependant on how the photographer works, the pre-edit (converting from RAW files to a useable file format like JPEG) and retouching (making everyone look their best) can take up to a few days.

Once you’ve got the photos all ready to present, you need to create your album – be that in software or printing photographs and sticking them in a traditional album.

All done?

Well not yet!

If you’re creating a book, you’ll probably give the couple a chance to look over the book and change things around – this can easily add another day on to the process. You do need to factor at least one round of changes into the package.

All done…

Pretty much – there may be other tasks like uploading all the photos to a site where people can purchase them, or converting every colour shot to black and white, but these are usually things you can set going and leave the computer to do.

Wedding Photography Leeds, Yorkshire

The final thing worth mentioning is that all the editing and book making “effort” is related to how long you shot at the wedding… so if you went for just a 3 hour shoot, then the edit and book making may just take a day. But if you go for 8, it’s more like 2-3 days, if you have 12 or more hours shooting, then you’re looking at a maybe 4 days or a week.


Anyway – I’m sure every photographer who does weddings will have a different take on how they explain their pricing, but I hope by explaining how much time we spend to make your day run smoothly and produce a book/album that you can treasure for years to come, it’s shed some light on the mystery of wedding photography prices.


2 thoughts on “Wedding Photography – How much!!?!?!??!?!

  1. All good points Ade, well made. May I just also mention the cost of kit? Everything from radio triggers to flashguns to camera bodies and lenses, bags and cases, right down to batteries, chargers, brollies and stands – it all seems to need replaced on a regular basis. And that’s before you even think about keeping your computer up to date and the cost of backup systems.

    1. Good point Jamie. yes…. I broke 3 flashes last year. One thousand pounds in layman’s terms. A typical wedding can involve a week of effort. So just trying to put that in perspective.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *