“Why is wedding photography so expensive?”

23rd February 2024 by in category Musings, Weddings with 0 and 0
Home > Liverpool and Cheshire Wedding Photography Blog > Musings > “Why is wedding photography so expensive?”

This is one of those questions that is often asked but rarely answered in any way that makes sense. I hope I can do justice to it here!

To be honest, my customers tend to be the kind of people for whom price is not their driving factor when choosing a wedding photographer. But if price is important to you, please read on. 

As a general rule of thumb, wedding photographers fall into two broad categories: 1) those who are self-employed and who run a business as a wedding photographer that provides the vast majority of their income and 2) those who have a different day-to-day job and do wedding photography on the weekends. These two types of photographers are often very different in pricing. Group 1 may well be seen as expensive in comparison to group 2. But why is this the case?

Group 1 wedding photographers are likely to be working with somewhere between 25 and 50 customers each year. In effect, this means that we’re working on only, say 30 days a year. From those 30 days, we have to gain our entire year’s revenue. That has to include our wages, any additional staff wages, travel costs, album supplier costs, photographic equipment costs, insurance costs and the yearly horrors that are VAT and tax. We work backwards from what we’d like to earn after tax and then add all those other costs on top. Then, we divide the total by how many weddings we want to do each year and bingo, you’ve got a cost for a wedding photographer to attend your wedding and produce those beautiful photos you’ve dreamed of. 

Group 2 photographers have it a little bit easier. They’ve got their monthly income already from their ‘day job’. Working on the occasional weekend for a few hundred quid is an attractive extra lump that can be spent on top of whatever else they’re earning. As a result, group 2 photographers tend to be considerably cheaper than group 1 photographers.

So, if the price of wedding photography is the most important thing for a couple, then a group 2 photographer is probably just fine. If art and quality are the most important things, then a group 1 wedding photographer is a safer choice.

I hope this helps explain the answer to, “Why is wedding photography so expensive?” If you want to talk further with me about this, please do fill in my contact form and we can chat!

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