After months of preparation and years of fantasising, the wedding day comes and goes in an instant. That is why photographers are such important vendors—they capture every moment so you can cherish the memories for a lifetime.
Emily Millay is a wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Sydney with over seven years of experience capturing intimate moments between couples and families.
“Wedding photographs are the one thing you take away from your wedding,” photographer Emily Millay says. “Brides and grooms are going through the motions of the day, but consider how many candid moments they are missing. Those are the moments that make up their wedding, and it is for this reason that wedding photography is such an important investment.”
However, dependable and talented wedding photographers are not cheap. The cost of a wedding photographer, according to Millay, is influenced by experience, demand, and location. While wedding photography prices vary, there are a few things in common.
Here’s everything you need to know about wedding photography budgeting.
What Does a Wedding Photographer Charge?
Wedding photography prices in Australia range from $1,000 to $20,000 or more, but Millay says the average for a photographer is between $3,000 and $4,000. Susan Stripling, a Bankstown photographer in Sydney, says her prices range between $2,500 and $5,000.
While wedding photography styles differ—some photographers prefer bright and airy images, while others prefer dramatic or documentary-style images—styles rarely affect prices. Costs are determined more by experience and demand, but a higher figure does not always imply better photos. “Price does not always determine how good a photographer is,” Millay says. “A lot of the time, the price is determined by experience, as most photographers raise their prices on an annual basis.” So, how much does it cost to hire a photographer with, say, eight years of experience?
The starting price for Millay, who began shooting professionally in 2012, is $4,250.
What Is Included in the Cost of a Wedding Photographer?
Millay provides 10 to 12 hours of wedding day coverage with a second shooter, an online gallery with digital downloads, and an engagement photo session for $4,250. It also includes four hours of travel time and photo editing. Millay’s $4,250 is only the bare minimum for coverage. She charges $200 per hour of additional wedding day coverage. Add-ons such as albums and prints, which Millay offers a la carte, range in price from $300 to $1,200, depending on the couple’s preferences. She limits her print pricing because she does not want to price clients out of the products that are most important to them.
“When you look at old photos, you aren’t looking at the quality. “You’re looking at a memory,” she explained. “Unfortunately, if prints cost $75 or more per photo, people will simply not print them. That is why I make an effort to keep them reasonable.” Another service that her clients have recently expressed interest in is rehearsal dinner coverage. The cost of this is $400. “I encourage it as much as I possibly can,” she said. “It’s great to meet the family ahead of time so that everyone is comfortable with me and knows who I am on the wedding day.”
Most wedding photographers’ packages do not include videography. Photographers and videographers are typically separate vendors from different companies, though some husband-and-wife teams provide both. A wedding videographer costs slightly less than a photographer; for 10 hours of coverage and a five-minute highlight film, expect to pay between $1,000 and $5,000, or more in some cases.