Wedding Photography Pricing

November 16th, 2023

Edinburgh is one of the trendiest places to get married in, even if you don't call this beautiful historical city home. From the grandeur of Edinburgh Castle, the charm of its cobbled streets, and the awe-inspiring landscapes that surround it make for a perfect backdrop for wedding celebrations. That's without mentioning many of the gorgeous wedding venues just outside the city, such as Arniston House or Dundas Castle. So whether you are opting for an Edinbugh city centre elopement, or grand celebrations in one of the many luxury wedding venues nearby, you'll want to have a wedding photographer by your side to capture those epic moments. But while the experience of getting married in a UNESCO world heritage site is priceless, your wedding photography won't be.

 

So how much should you be paying for a wedding photographer?

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The price of wedding photography in Edinburgh can vary greatly, largely depending on the photographer's experience, the duration of the event, the location, and the specific services required. On average, you can expect to spend anywhere from £800 to £2500 on a professional wedding photographer in Edinburgh for a full day option.

 

You might be thinking, "Yikes" at the prospect of spending thousands on one person for a few hours, but there's a lot more to wedding photography than just turning up on the day. After all, if you hire someone to win a race for you, do you get Usain Bolt, or hope that Tony down the road, who has only completed a handful of 5k runs, will be up to the task?

 

For many of my readers, this will be your first experience of a wedding and might have no idea what to expect from your suppliers. So what are you really paying for when you hire a professional wedding photographer? Here are 5 things to consider when you are looking at hiring a wedding photographer for your day.

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1. Skill & Experience

 

This is the most important thing you are paying for when booking a photographer. Your day is full of unrepeatable moments, so consider how willing you are to risk a photographer who hasn't had much experience at weddings? Do you want to risk blurred shots, or even worse - important moments being missed? Do you want your photographer to be still figuring out how to use their camera? Do you want to spend hours waiting around for group shots because your photographer isn't organised and doesn't have a shot list to had? What happens if problems arise - do you want to be calming your photographer down when they get flustered, or do you want to feel that you can completely trust in them?

 

Hiring a skilled & experienced photographer is night and day with someone who is newly starting out. That's why you should expect to pay a bit more for someone who is going to ensure your day runs smoothly, who knows how to problem solve in a crisis & keep a cool head.

 

A photographer's skill is more than just knowing what settings to use on their camera - it's knowing & understanding composition, lighting and being able to creatively use their surroundings to capture beautiful moments in time in a seamingly effortless way. Someone who knows how to use the right focal length, composition and lighting will transform dull, 2D images into gorgeous memories of a wonderful day.

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2. Camera Gear, Equipment & Other Costs

 

Having great gear doesn't necessarily make a great photographer, as without that aforementioned skill in composition, lighting & artistry, a dull photo taken by a fancy camera is still a dull photo. However, by the nature of our work, photographers do need to have good gear that's up to the task, can withstand a demanding day of overuse. We need to have professional cameras that can take multiple shots super quickly, and high end lenses that capture your day wonderfully - with that gorgeous bokeh effect, and crisp sharp edges. An experienced photographer won't just take one camera along to a wedding but at least two. You don't want us faffing around changing lenses during your shoot, when we can simply have a camera with different lenses attached to us. We also don't just take one battery each and hope it lasts - I'm carrying back ups on me, at least 2-3 batteries plus 5+ SD cards and duplicates in-camera too. There's also lighting to consider too - with flash being an essential part of photography.

 

You'll also want us to be fully insured for your wedding - something that cheaper photographers may opt not to have. I also include travel & accommodation with every package, meaning you don't have to worry about paying for my petrol money or a Premier Inn for a night or two on top of what you are paying me for your wedding photography.


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3. Professional Editing

 

Professional wedding photographers will also have software licenses that they use so that they can edit your images before delivery. Every image taken during your wedding will need to be edited to ensure consistency arosss the gallery, and that every photo has a certain signature feel about it.

 

No professional photographer would ever deliver images without editing them. Professionals shoot RAW, which contains massive amounts of information that we use to edit our images so that they have great lighting, even shadows and great, consistency colour across the gallery.

When you're looking at wedding photographers near you, have a look at their editing style. Does it look consistency? Does it feel like they have a signature style? Does it have a depth to it, or does it make you feel a certain emotion when you look through their portfolio? Photographers who have curated a certain look or feel over the years will likely charge more for their services than someone who provides very little editing and delivers a straight-out-of-camera feel to their images.

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4. Added Value & Organisation

 

Wedding photography isn't just about turning up on the day and hoping for the best. A great wedding photographer will understand how to shoot a wedding, but be able to tailor it to the parts of the day that are important to you. They'll want to meet with you before the wedding to plan your day, to understand what group shots you want or to reasssure you if you are feeling nervous about any particular aspect of the day. An experienced photographer will have lots of wisdom to offer that you may have overlooked - such as where to stand for your ceremony, and how to perform a great exit as a married couple.

To me, this aspect of being a photographer is included in everything that I offer to my couples. Some cheaper photographers may prefer to provide a conveyor belt type approach - sticking to a set of shots they feel comfortable with and not varying them for their couple. I prefer a more personalised approach, opting to to understand how my couples interact and knowing what compositions and approaches will work for them.

 

Before the wedding day, I want to offer you as much advice and reassurance as I can. When you are relaxed and confident on your wedding day, then that translates directly into the camera and means we can have a fantastic time taking great couples portraits and you can really open up to me.

 

When you are considering your local photographers, what value do you think they will add to your day?

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5. On the Day Coverage

 

The shortest part of a wedding photographer's job is the wedding day itself. There's so much organisational build up and post-wedding editing to do, that the time we spent actually capturing these wonderful memories for couples is actually very short.

 

That's why it has to count for a lot.

 

When you are hiring a photographer you aren't just paying for images. Your photographer is going to be a big part of your day - they'll be the closest person to you next to your partner throughout the day. That's why you need to be completely comfortable around them - and you need to be able to trust them implicitly.

 

Most of my weddings take start around 11am and finish around 9pm - with around an hour's travel either side. I'm up early, barely drink water, don't sit down, don't eat until the break and I'm always thinking about what's coming up next. We don't get to sit and chat with the guests during the reception, we're scouting for great candids, emotional moments & reactions. There's no sipping champagne and getting on the dancefloor.

 

While we aren't there to party, that doesn't mean that we are grumpy & serious. I love a bit of banter, and I'm always laughing and joking - and rushing around to help make your day run super smoothly as much as I can. They might not be inherently tied into pricing, but your photographer's attitude on the day is a big part of what goes into their pricing and how in demand they are. We need to have a certain command of the room when required, and step into the shadows when we don't need to be seen.

Every couple will have a different wedding budget. It's best to steer clear from terms like affordable though - as that can mean something very different depending on the couple. What's really important to realise is what it is that you are paying for. Wedding photography simply isn't an on-the-day service. Your wedding gallery will be your window to the past, that you can dive into to relive your beautiful day. Choosing the wrong photographer for you could leave you with regret for a long time, and that's why it's so important to understand that personality, portfolio & past experience is really the foundations on which you should base your wedding photography budget.

When you hire the right photographer for your wedding day, you'll feel completely relaxed around them, find the experience fun & relaxed, and you'll not even care if you went £300 over budget. After all, what's £300 extra over a lifetime of happiness with your partner, and a cherished album of awesome memories to look back on?

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