A guide to professional photography prices

If you haven’t commissioned professional photography before, it can be hard to find out how much a photographer costs, especially when you’re at the early stages of budgeting and not quite ready to ask for quotes. In this guide, my aim is to give you a starting figure to help you decide how much you will need to spend.

These outline photography prices are based on my part of the UK (North-West England and North Wales), but I hope that they will help you get started with budgeting wherever you are.

Wedding photography prices

Let’s get the painful bit out of the way first: a mid-range wedding photographer is likely to charge around £1,000 for a standard package covering the main parts of the wedding and a good quality album of prints. But prices do vary wildly: you can get a budget package for £500, particularly if only part of the day, such as the ceremony itself, is covered. Or you can find a master photographer for thousands.  In a way, the most crucial thing isn’t finding the cheapest photographer (or the most expensive!), but finding one with plenty of experience and whose work you love.

Need to know: As you might expect, the more you ask for, the more expensive the wedding photography package will be. The more time the photographer spends with you, the greater the cost, so think carefully about whether you really do need bride-getting-ready shots, for instance. And the final output in terms of albums, DVD slideshows and so on will also have an impact.  At a quiet time of the year, such as the winter months, it may be possible to get even a highly expert photographer at a more affordable rate by compromising in these areas.  (I did this for my own wedding: a shoot with a wonderful photographer, excluding the ceremony, was £800 including a beautiful album.)

Commercial photography prices

The sheer difficulty of finding out commercial photography prices is what originally inspired this article.  It also gave us the idea of pricing our photography transparently (click here to see our prices).  Based on my research, I’ve found some guidelines which will hopefully help you to get an idea of how much you’ll need to spend.

Most photographers charge by the hour, day or half day, which isn’t much use to you if you’re not sure how long your shoot will take.  As a rule of thumb, we find that photographing small commercial premises (for instance a guest house, show home or office building) will take about half a day, while larger premises will take about a day.  Product photography tends to be charged by the half day or day. As a very loose guideline, a half day with a commercial photographer will cost around £300-£500, while a full day will be charged at £600-£1,000.

Need to know: Commercial photographers can charge for many extras, from post-production editing to travel; from licensing to simply putting the images on a disk.  So you need to be absolutely clear, when looking at a quote, about what’s included.  If you’d like more help, download our free, impartial checklist for finding and choosing a commercial photographer.

Portrait photography prices

Portrait photographers often charge for a sitting, with a separate fee for each print.  The sitting charge in a studio is often £50-£100, although we’ve noticed prices sliding closer to the £50 level as the recession continues.  A session away from the studio can be a little more expensive, unless the photographer offers a mobile-only service. Often the sitting fee will include a print, although these are usually of a relatively small size.

Need to know: The important thing to find out is how much the photographer will charge for any extra prints that you choose.  The cost of a print large enough to hang on your wall can reach £100 or more, and seeing wonderful images of your family and not being able to afford them can be a real pain.

As mentioned at the start of this article, these prices are based on what we’ve been able to find out about photography prices in our part of the world, so you may find that the quotes you get do differ.  If you have any questions, please do get in touch and I’ll do my best to answer them.  Thank you for reading!

About us: We offer creative and cost-effective commercial photography in North Wales.  Geoff Steen, our photographer, specialises in interiors, exteriors and corporate photography.  He has clients across North and Mid Wales, Cheshire, Merseyside and Manchester.  Find out more by visiting our commercial photography pages.

Posted by: Jane

Image via www.freedigitalphotos.net