Wedding Planning Q&A

What Should Wedding Photography Cost? with Richard Hamblion, Wedding Photographer


What Should Wedding Photography Cost? Richard Hamblion, Wedding Photographer offers up some super advice on how to afford the Wedding Photography you want!

Listen to Richard on the Wedding Espresso Awesome DIY Wedding Planning Podcast…


Richard Hamblion, Wedding Photographer


James: [00:00:03] Hi Richard. Thanks so much for joining me. 

Richard: [00:00:05] No problem. Thank you for having me. 

James: [00:00:07] Absolute pleasure. So you are Richard Hamblion Photography. And you obviously do wedding photography. So perhaps you can help us out with this little question that our brides and grooms to be have been asking.

“What should wedding photography cost?” 

Richard: [00:00:23] So there’s a few different ways I think you can approach that. So you’ve got to think of who you’re looking for. What kind of thing you are looking for, as in what kind of photography you’re looking for? And are you happy with having a full day or part day? Those are all things to consider. So if you break it down… So if you are on a really strict budget, the thing I always recommend to people if they’re coming to me, and they say I’ve only got £100 to spend. If you’ve got that kind of budget, then you’re probably best going and looking at universities, and stuff like that. So sending an email to universities and saying,

“I’ve got a wedding coming up, can you ask your students if they are willing to photograph my wedding for me”. You’ll probably have some really talented young people reaching out to you, and it won’t be very expensive. 

James: [00:01:18] So to be honest a lot of good photographers have cut their teeth that way haven’t they? That’s how they got started! 

Richard: [00:01:23] Yes, that’s how I got started. In a similar fashion. So I appreciate that. If you want to have pictures still, then be prepared to just reach out to those kind of institutions. So you know your local universities, your local colleges. There are a whole pool of young people ready and waiting to just get a bit of work.

Obviously the risk with that is you’ll have someone who might be doing their first wedding. That’s a risk in itself.

There are horror stories out there of people who have spent hundreds of pounds on student photographers, to only get back dark grainy photos, which is not what you want. Obviously you want bright happy nice photos that have got no grain in them, where possible. 

Richard: [00:02:11] So. If you have got a budget in mind, so if you’re budget conscious, I beg your pardon.

The things you would need to then consider is “am I looking to have just part of the day covered?” Or “am I looking to have the full day covered?”

If you’re looking to get part of the day covered, so that’s usually Ceremony to Cake Cutting or Preparation to Cake Cutting. Or just Ceremony only, then for a standard photographer, you’re looking at between £200 and £500. In that kind of region. So £200 coming in, you’re looking at somebody who’s got… Is a bit of what people might call a “weekend warrior”. So they come out at the weekend. They do their photos, and then they go back to a job during the week. Ranging up to somebody who’s a bit more experienced, within the £500 – £600 plus range. 

Richard: [00:03:12] And then for a full day. You’re looking at at least £500 for a decent photographer. Rising right up to somewhere, it could be as much as £1500. If you’re asking me where it should be, anything over a thousand pounds is pushing it. Especially where I live in the north of England, where people don’t have an awful lot of money. I appreciate down in the London area, you are probably going to have people that have a bit more spending power. So you’re going to be able to spend more than that. So you do definitely see a north south divide in the sense of things definitely. 

James: [00:04:04] Yeah. That’s kind of a really good range that you’ve given there. And I think on the flip side of the coin,

there’s a huge cost, like you actually alluded to earlier actually, there’s a huge cost in NOT investing in wedding photography isn’t there? 

Richard: [00:04:21] Yes. Yes. If you think about what I was saying earlier, about if you have just a student photographer, and you’re only willing to pay just a small amount of money. There is that risk that you’ll have some photos that you’re not exactly going to look at again, because they’re not that special. But if you just even invest in it a little bit… there are services that I use, where I can see roughly what other photographers are putting down as a quote, and their prices are insanely low. And they’ve all got great reviews that are five stars still. So they’re obviously producing quality work. But they are able to undercut people because like I’ve mentioned before, they’re kind of in that weekend warrior category. They’re able to put their prices that low, because they’ve got other forms of income. Myself, I’ve got other forms of income, but my business is still a vast majority of my time, four or five days a week. It’s still the vast majority of my time. So I get how it happens like that basically. 

James: [00:05:27] Right. So if the brides and grooms are looking to save money on their photography, or they don’t have an enormous photography budget. Would you say that there has to be a cut back somewhere? Like…

are the photographers going to spend less time processing? Are those images going to have less polish? Is it a case of just time? Where would you say the balance is? 

Richard: [00:05:51] So if you have run into a problem that I’ve come across with couples, where you’ve spent loads money on your venue. Loads of money on cake. Loads of money on catering. Loads of money on the dress, rings. Yeah. And then it gets to the bottom of the list. For some people it’s not their priority, I accept that. Which in some cases, is the photographer. So when it gets to that, and you’ve only got a tiny little bit left,

it is important to just bear in mind that if you are spending a low budget amount, you’ve probably got somebody who has a lower quality camera.

So it may not be a full frame camera. It may only be a crop sensor camera. Which is not going to be as good, especially in low light conditions. You’re going to probably have somebody who hasn’t got a range of lenses. May not even have a backup camera. Which is something to really consider. They may not be insured. May not have an awful lot of experience. Maybe not have their own car. 

Richard: [00:06:57] Which is another thing because outside of cities, you really do need to have a car, to be a photographer. Because you can’t rely on public transport. You’ve got all this stuff to cart around. Sometimes you’ve got to go to four venues. You just can’t rely on public transport to do that. So if you’re investing in somebody, then that’s probably a few good questions to ask as well. Some of those things like “are you OK with transport?” “Are you OK with insurance?” “Do you have backup equipment?” Because those are the things that aren’t always considered, but you will soon know. Someone might talk the talk, and then you ask those questions, and then the truth will come out. And you can see the potential problems. And that’s what you might get into, if you’re only investing a small amount into somebody. Whereas if you go up a few hundred quid up the ladder, then you’re looking at somebody who has got insurance, will have a backup camera, will have backup lenses, will have backup batteries, backup SD cards.

They won’t run out of things and miss the first dance for instance, which I have known to happen, not to myself. 

James: [00:08:07] Not to yourself! 

Richard: [00:08:07] Not to myself! But I have known people to run out of batteries and SD cards during the first dance and missing that, which you cannot get back. It’s something where you want to have somebody there who’s got all the equipment. And isn’t going to, you know, if their camera breaks, they’ve got something there to still keep shooting. So that’s something that you do definitely pay for. Guarantees, guarantees. 

James: [00:08:31] Yeah. So we’re talking about a balancing act really between compromises aren’t we?

So if you are looking for someone on a budget, I think you’ve raised some really good points. You need to be looking not just at their work, but also thinking about all the other things that go with that as well.

And is it worth, like you say, just bumping that budget up, just to get those extra just couple of hundred pounds maybe, just to get those reassurances and have it done properly. Because then obviously you’ll get the results you want, and you’ll be happy. 

Richard: [00:08:58] Yeah absolutely! 

James: [00:09:00] It’s been really great. Thanks. Thanks for bringing those points up. Some good, some really good points there. So then quickly just before we go Richard, can I ask you,

“how did you get started with wedding photography?”. 

[00:09:12] So it was in university I was actually getting my PGCE. I did a photography degree first. I did a PGCE after that because I wanted to do teaching. I am teaching at the moment, but that’s only a small amount of time. I got asked to do a wedding for a colleague, of the convenience store I was working for at the time. I hadn’t considered wedding photography at all. There was architectural or property photography, that’s something I wanted to do. And I have done a bit of that and I am doing some now. Well I hadn’t really considered wedding photography. I got asked to do this event and it was full day. Twelve hours. I got one of my old university friends to come out and help me out. And it was amazing. I really, really enjoyed it. And it was supposed to be really cloudy and rainy. But the day was perfect blue skies. The ceremony was outside and everything just went amazingly. And from there I started looking for more work and it just snowballed from there. And now it’s got to the point where I did 45 weddings last year. Which in my first full, full year, was amazing. And to get a proper foothold in having my business just being a full part of my life. That was really, really good. And yep, it’s just kept building on there and 2019 looks even better. So it’s going to be great. 

James: [00:10:46] Awesome. Yeah. We really, really love it when people say that passion “passion” is the reason that they do it. Yeah. Richard thanks very much for sharing your insider knowledge with us today, really appreciate that. And we look forward speaking again in the near future. 

Richard: [00:10:59] Thank you so much. Cheers! 

James: [00:11:00] All right take care. Bye for now. 

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