Most engaged couples can agree that stunning wedding photographs are essential, regardless of their stances on optional elements like late-night reception snacks and elaborate floral centrepieces. Even though the price of a wedding photographer can be quite high, it is typically not something the happy couple will forego. How you allocate your wedding funds will be determined by the value you place on various parts of your big day. You should prioritise hiring a fantastic photographer if you value the prospect of looking back on your wedding day with fondness many years from now.
It is up to you to find a professional wedding photographer at a price that works for you, as this industry varies widely between different vendors and the services they provide. We have the answer, however, if you are just curious about the average cost of hiring a photographer for your wedding.
Your wedding photos tell the story of your special day and preserve the unforgettable moments you'll look back on long after the cake has been cut and the toasts have been made. Although researching and negotiating the details of a wedding photographer's fee and contract may seem daunting at first, you'll find that the process is actually quite straightforward.
In this article, we'll explain the steps necessary to find a qualified wedding photographer who fits your desired aesthetic, has a pleasant personality, and doesn't break the bank.
Check out our extensive list of Wedding Photographers in Melbourne to help capture your special moments.
Table of Contents
Wedding Photographer Cost in Australia
An Australian wedding photographer will set you back an average of $3,211, an 8% increase over the previous year.
New South Wales
The cost of a photographer contributes to the generally higher-than-average price tag for a wedding in New South Wales. In New South Wales, the average cost of hiring a photographer is $3,896. This is because there is a growing demand for professional wedding photographers in NSW, which has seen an uptick in the number of high-end weddings being held there.
At $3,080, Victoria couples' photography costs are just below the national average. This is great news for Victorian couples, as weddings tend to be expensive here, especially since many couples prioritise other wedding costs, like food and drink, over the actual ceremony and reception venue.
The average cost of hiring a photographer in Queensland is $2,672, which is only a modest increase from the previous year. Wedding photography in this state is significantly cheaper than in New South Wales and Victoria.
Couples in South Australia can expect to spend an average of $2,741 on a professional wedding photographer. It's similar to the trend of South Australian weddings costing slightly less than their east coast counterparts, and thus falls below the national average, as does Queensland.
There is no exception to the rule that photographers on the West Coast charge less for weddings than their East Coast counterparts. In Western Australia, the average cost of hiring a photographer for a wedding is $2,893.
Australian Capital Territory
The cost of wedding photographers has increased across the board, but the only state to see an increase greater than the national average is the ACT. The average cost for a couple to have their fairytale moment photographed on the steps of Australia's parliament is $3,292.
Couples in Tasmania will be relieved to learn that the cost of a wedding photographer has decreased since last year, as the state boasts some stunning backdrops for wedding photos. The average cost is $1,838 but can go up or down depending on the level of experience of your chosen photographer.
Photographers in the Northern Territory charge slightly less than the national average, contributing to a lower overall wedding cost. North of the Mason-Dixon Line, there may be fewer nuptials, but that doesn't mean there aren't any wonderful opportunities for a photographer. Approximately $2,850 is what you should budget for.
What Is a Reasonable Budget for a Wedding Photographer?
You probably already know how pricey wedding photography can be if you've done any research on the topic. Over the past five years, this number has remained remarkably stable.
Most websites recommend allocating 10-15% of your wedding budget to a wedding photographer, as they are among the top three things to prioritise for a wedding. Spending 10-15% of your total budget is a substantial amount. It's a lot of cash if you're already strapped for cash. But what exactly is it that makes a wedding photographer so expensive?
Considerations beyond these include the photographer's skill and training, the price of necessary equipment and supplies, insurance premiums, and the price of prints and albums.
The expense of hiring a photographer to document the wedding needs to be considered as well. It is easy to assume that a price is high when you see the full amount displayed all at once as a package price. In your opinion, how much would you pay to have some repairs made to your home or vehicle?
When put next to the hourly rates of a plumber, an electrician, or a mechanic, a wedding photographer's fee doesn't seem so excessive.
How Do Photographers for Weddings Decide on Their Rates?
A wedding photographer's job is similar to any other profession. You need to do some market research and write up a business plan when you're just getting started. You check out the goods and services provided by your rivals. You must then ensure that your proposal is competitive with those of your rivals.
What you're doing is exactly what a wedding photographer would do if they were just starting out or rethinking their business. As a starting point, they would look at what other photographers are offering and charging, and then model their own services after those already in the market.
In addition, they would consider the price of living and the price of the service they provide. The main factor in regional variations in the prices photographers charge is the cost of living. Northern regions of the country often have much more affordable housing than their southern counterparts. As a result, the general cost of living would decrease.
If you do some preliminary research, you'll find that the vast majority of photographers in the wedding niche advertise themselves as being in the range. An album, prints, and a digital copy of the photos on a flash drive could all be included in this package for the same price.
Looking for the best Wedding Photographer in Melbourne? Check out our ultimate list here.
What Do Wedding Photography Packages Include?
You may recall the super-size me' option if you've ever ordered fast food or even a coffee. If you walked in and asked for a burger, the waiter would follow up by asking if you wanted fries.
It was a way to offer the same thing in a larger portion, or if you ordered two separate items, the waiter or waitress might ask if you wanted the "meal deal," which was the same thing but came with a free drink. As this trend has persisted, more and more products come in bundled sets, making it more challenging to acquire a single product without also purchasing unnecessary components.
One area where wedding photographers can vary greatly from one another is in what's actually included in the price.
The majority of wedding photographers only provide all-day coverage. You can get everything you need, from the bride's getting ready to the after-party, in one convenient bundle. Half-day rates are available, but it seems that only a small percentage of wedding photographers actually offer them.
Albums are typically included in the packages offered by wedding photographers. One of the more time-honored components of wedding photography packages is the creation of a wedding album. Even back when weddings were still photographed, albums were created to preserve the memories. Once upon a time, you went to a local shop to pick up your prints and an album. You then spent an enjoyable evening looking through your wedding photos and reminiscing about the big day. Is it the same to let the wedding photographer choose the photos and assemble the album as it was back then?
It's a USB drive that comes with a nice presentation case. It's a byproduct of the advent of digital photography. A small box in which you can safely keep all of your wedding photos. The days of having pictures sent to you on a compact disc are long gone, but that was only a few short years ago. Does your laptop still have a CD drive? The older USB drive format is being replaced by the newer USB C drive. When will that USB drive be considered dated? Then, what are you going to do with all those wedding pictures?
Prints are surprisingly rare to find as part of wedding packages. While it's true that prints are included in the wedding album, what if you wanted to frame some to display on your walls? Having the digital file for a print makes it simple to have it printed by yourself. When compared to standard retail outlets, photographers tend to use higher quality print suppliers.
All wedding photographers share this in common. You could make the case that this is the only component of the bundle you actually need. You are free to do whatever you want with the digital images after you have obtained them. You could make a poster out of them or a print to put in an album. Then, you can upload them to a photobook or album maker. Since they already exist on your hard drive, hardware obsolescence won't be an issue; if the software changes, you can simply save them in the new format.
The price of your package will increase as you add more and more of these features. The photographer adds their own markup to the price of the album, USB, or prints. The markup that reflects the company's investment in producing the service. Additionally, we revert to the hourly rate that a wedding photographer would charge. It will take some time to create an album, transfer the photos to a USB drive, and arrange the prints. All of that time will be deducted from the hourly rate of the wedding photographer.
How to Cut Costs on Wedding Photography
In contrast to being legally obligated to buy prints and enlargements from the photographer, you may be able to save money by securing access to printing rights. Before downloading images from a website, make sure you have the legal right to do so. If you want to know how much your wedding photos will end up costing, this is the way to go.
When compared to buying the photos for each event separately, a discounted package that includes both the engagement and wedding is a better value.
Finally, don't be shy about haggling or asking for price reductions. You may be able to negotiate lower prices for your wedding photographs depending on the time of year and the level of competition among local photographers.
Check out our post on Are wedding photographers worth it?
Why Are Wedding Photographers So Expensive?
Due to factors such as travel time and the expense of packing up or renting equipment, hiring a professional photographer for a wedding will always result in a higher total cost than a simple hourly rate.
Due to the logistical challenges of coordinating everyone who should be in each shot with a single photographer, costs tend to rise as group size increases. Sending photos to each guest and waiting to hear back from them about changes or additional selections takes time.
The photographer must also consider the lighting conditions at the venue, which usually necessitates a memorable pre-event visit to the venue to ascertain the conditions under which the photos will be taken.
It's comforting to know that photographers are consistently ranked as one of the most highly sought-after vendors for weddings. When it comes to the service they provide on the big day, wedding photographers consistently score a perfect 5 stars from their clients.
Is there any chance that the photographer and the client could reach a satisfactory compromise? However, the client is looking for a photographer who can work within their budget rather than one who will charge them an hourly rate.
The wedding photographer benefits from the higher price, but the client could care less about the extras included in the package. Is the'super-size me' deal necessary to get wedding photography services?
By eliminating the album, not only is there no need to spend time or money assembling it, but the album can also be discarded immediately. We could say the same thing about the USB drive; first there's the expense of manufacturing it, and then there's the effort of arranging and loading all of the images.
Unfortunately for wedding photographers, this trend is likely to result in a decline in both booking averages and total earnings over time. The bright side is that they can accept more bookings if they spend less time on each wedding.
FAQs About Wedding Photographer
In general, wedding photographer prices in Australia tend to range between $1,150 and $3,000, with the average wedding photographer cost hovering around $2,000.
Generally speaking, high-end wedding photographers offer this in their starter packages. They know that images are what's most important for some couples and four hours is just enough time to photograph the end of the getting ready portion, ceremony, and formals.
Editing is one of the reasons why wedding photography costs so much. The time varies depending on the photographer, but it would probably take 3-4 hours to cull the images for an 8-hour wedding. The actual editing process takes much longer and is an even more significant factor in why wedding photography costs so much.
An 8-hour package is usually enough time for an average-size wedding (about 100-150 people), and the extra 2 hours of coverage will usually allow the photographer to capture the tail end of you getting ready, some detail shots of the reception space, and the start of the dance party.
A 10-12 hour wedding photography package allows for pre-wedding festivities, intimate family moments, gift exchanges, candid getting ready moments, ample time for family/bridal party/wedding portraits, full coverage of the ceremony, reception, and every moment in between.
The average cost of a wedding photographer in Australia is $3,211, up 8% from the previous year. Weddings in New South Wales tend to cost more than the national average, and the expense of hiring a photographer is a major factor in this. Wedding photography in Victoria is cheaper than the rest of the country, but only just. A wedding photographer costs South Australian couples an average of $2,741. Wedding photography packages on the West Coast are more affordable than those on the East Coast.
A wedding photographer's fee doesn't look so steep when compared to the hourly rates of a plumber, electrician, or mechanic. The cost of living is the primary determinant of pricing differences between photographic services in different areas. You could give them an album, prints, and a flash drive with a digital copy of the pictures. More and more products are sold as part of bundled sets, making it more difficult to shop for a specific item without also buying multiples of related but unused items.
Digital photography's rise in popularity led to the development of the USB flash drive. Photographers rarely include prints in their wedding packages because they use specialised, higher-quality print labs. After acquiring the digital images, you are free to use them however you see fit. You could have a print made and hang it on the wall, or you could make a poster and put it in an album. Photographer markup on album, USB, or prints.
The higher price is good for the wedding photographer, but the client doesn't really care about the extras. The photographer should also take into account the ambient light level. In the long run, this trend is likely to cause a drop in both booking averages and total earnings.
- We have the average cost of hiring a wedding photographer.
- Most websites recommend allocating 10-15% of your wedding budget to a wedding photographer, as they are among the top three things to prioritise for a wedding.
- The expense of hiring a photographer to document the wedding needs to be considered as well.
- The main factor in regional variations in the prices photographers charge is the cost of living.
- One of the more time-honoured components of wedding photography packages is the creation of a wedding album.
- A small box in which you can safely keep all of your wedding photos.
- While it's true that prints are included in the wedding album, what if you wanted to frame some to display on your walls?
- You are free to do whatever you want with the digital images after you have obtained them.
- All of that time will be deducted from the hourly rate of the wedding photographer.
- You may save money by buying printing rights instead of prints and enlargements from the photographer.
- Before downloading images from a website, make sure you have the legal right to do so.
- The photographer must also consider the venue's lighting conditions, which normally requires a pre-event inspection.
- However, the client is looking for a photographer who can work within their budget rather than one who will charge them an hourly rate.
- The wedding photographer benefits from the higher price, but the client could care less about the extras included in the package.
- We could say the same thing about the USB drive; first there's the expense of manufacturing it, and then there's the effort of arranging and loading all of the images.
- The bright side is that they can accept more bookings if they spend less time on each wedding.