I have wanted to put together a wedding photography pricing calculator for the longest time, but just never got around to it. Partly this was because I was never sure if it was a good or a bad thing. You see, for the longest time there has been a heated debate amongst photographers as to whether or not we should even put our pricing on our websites. Many say it is a bad idea, but in this digital world we now all find ourselves I have often wondered if it isn’t expected? I know I get annoyed when I struggle to find pricing online for services I am interested in.
So, over the past few weeks I have been putting one together and I am finally ready to release it, but I felt there were probably a few things worth pointing out, which is why I have written this post. I hope that this will be helpful to those looking to get married and have no idea what wedding photography costs. I also hope that it will help couples make fair comparisons between my pricing and those of other photographers by enabling you to adjust a few sliders to compare like with like.
How much time is needed?
There is no hard and fast rule as to what should or shouldn’t be included in a wedding photography package. Coverage (amount of time the photographer spends with you on your wedding day) can vary from 4 hours up to as high as 16 hours. Most photographers have settled on an amount of 8-10 hours to include in their wedding packages as this is what they have worked out is needed on average. A typical 8 hour wedding could easily include the following;
- Grooms preparation (photos of the groom and grooms men before the ceremony)
- Brides dressing (photos of the bride and bridesmaids before the ceremony)
- Family groups
- Creative shoot / Bridal couple shoot
- Reception (around 3 hours of coverage)
The above is a basic outline of what can be achieved during 8 hours of coverage. Of course if all the venues (church, reception, etc…) are quite far apart some of the time may be lost to travelling between venues. Likewise, if everything is happening at a dedicated wedding venue, or perhaps a hotel, then you may be able to fit a bit more in to the 8 hours.
*I typically don’t recommend people look at no less than 8 hours of coverage except for when it is a morning/brunch wedding. In this case often 6 hours is more than enough due to the shorter nature of the luncheon/reception.*
What about albums?
There was a time when every wedding came with an album or prints. Back in the days of film couples relied on photographers to print out the images for them. Much of this was due to the fact that photographers had better access to professional labs that produced prints that were a magnitude better than what could be found at many 1 hour labs.
The advent of digital cameras changed this. People started wanting just the high resolution files, opting to print the albums and prints themselves as budgets allowed. My experience has taught me that very few who set out to do this ever actually end up getting it done. It is harder than many think and so often the budget just never quite allows for it. As they saying goes, life happens.
Kodak had a wonderful saying in the 90’s that went something along the lines of, “An image isn’t a photo until you print it.” This is why I include a basic book in all wedding packages that I do. I include the high resolution files as well, but with the included mobile app and online ordering solutions most never end up using the files themselves.
What’s the difference between a ‘Photo book’ and a ‘Photo Album’
This is one of the more confusing things for clients as there are no hard and fast rules as to what to call the different options. Let me explain the difference between the two main types of albums/books on offer so that you are a little more in the know.
Originally photo albums had blank pages that the photographer would physically stick photographs to. Today albums/books come in all different shapes and sizes but there are generally two main differences. The first is the type of paper used, whilst the second is whether or not the pages open perfectly flat.
The lay flat variety are generally printed using either photographic paper or high quality inkjet paper. It is because of this higher quality appearance and materials that I have designated them ‘Photo Albums‘. The variety that doesn’t lay flat, and as a result has what is called a gutter, is more often than not printed on a digital press – much like coffee table books. This is why I refer to them a ‘Photo Books‘, but it isn’t uncommon for them to still be referred to as coffee table books.
Custom Wedding Websites
Wedding websites have been hugely popular overseas for some time and are starting to gain traction in South Africa. With so much of our lives revolving around digital solutions it makes complete sense to use a custom wedding website as an online invite.
You can also use it to showcase your engagement photos, share info about when & where everything is taking place, to link directly to your online gift registries, and so much more. The sites can even be updated after the wedding to include a curated selection of your wedding photos as well as links to online photo ordering.
This affordable option could be a great way to reduce printing costs. But remember, not everyone is tech savvy so remember to budget for a few physical invites if you choose to go this route.
Are wedding packages set in stone?
No, well, at least mine aren’t! This may sound cliched, but no two weddings are the same. Genuinely, they aren’t, and is why I have always felt that there needs to be some flexibility when working out wedding packages. Some people need more coverage, others want more albums, or perhaps an included engagement shoot. My calculator below helps eliminate a lot of this, but it is why I have included a comments section in the form.
I hope you have found the above to be useful? have a look at my wedding package calculator to work out what your wedding photography will cost. Nothing is set in stone so if there is anything you would like to discuss send my your details using the form along with anything that you would like to discuss. I’ll only be too happy to help.
Please make your selections below to calculate what your wedding photography is going to cost. All photography comes with 8 hours of coverage, but more time, additional extras and services can be added.
The basic package includes the following:
- 8 Hours Coverage
- 30x30cm 40 page photobook
- All travelling within the greater Durban Metro
- High resolution Images
- Custom Mobile App
Additional kilometres are charged at the current AA rate for my vehicle. When submitting the enquiry form below let me know where the wedding is taking place and I’ll include any additional traveling related charges on the official quote.
The prices calculated below are to be considered an estimate. For an exact quote please use the form at the end to send me an enquiry.
Please note that in order for the Membeso or Umabo to be included in the package they need to be done within 12 months of the wedding.
Main Album Options
Enter in how many parents albums you require.
Parents albums are a scaled down (20cmx20cm) copy of the main album (30cmx30cm)
Custom Wedding Website
Custom wedding websites are a great way to keep all your guests updated with regards to your wedding. Include things like your engagement photos, wedding venue details, gift registries, and so much more. You can even use it as your actual wedding invite!
After the wedding the site can be updated to remove the outdated information as well as include a selection of your wedding photos