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How much does wedding photography cost in Edinburgh?

What influences the price, about cheap  wedding photographers, and what you need to consider if you want your wedding photographs to look the part.
wedding photographer Prices in edinburgh

So here’s the big question: What are the prices for wedding photographers in Edinburgh, Scotland?

So many of brides and grooms use the internet every day to find out about photographers in Edinburgh and in Scotland in general. Once they looked at the photographs and they see what they like, the most burning question they want answered is: "What is the price for the wedding photography packages" of the wedding photographer they are looking at? And in most cases, they have to send an enquiry and wait a few hours or days for a reply.

We are currently planning for our own wedding in 2018 and we are speaking to different suppliers. So when I see lots of amazing things on a supplier's website, I then want to know: "how much?" The pricing question is a crucial one to ask and most vendors avoid putting their prices on their website. And you know why? 

It depends….

For me it is vitally important to find out as much information online as I can and in my own time. I will research wedding photographers as well as other wedding suppliers and what they offer and provide. That’s why I will shed some light on wedding photographer prices in Edinburgh, to help you, the bride and groom, to be able to make an informed decision.  

This article will explain why professional photographers charge what they charge for their service. I will talk about the different elements of wedding photography packages and how they affect the price of the package. At the end of this article you will be much clearer about different pricing options and what to look out for.

Edinburgh wedding photography prices

Most photographers offer different wedding photography packages and the prices vary a lot. I receive many enquiries every week asking me for the price of my photography packages and what they include. This seems to be a standard question, as most photographers bundle their service into packages.

A lot of wedding photographers offer different price options, for example a cheaper package for smaller weddings during the week, a standard package for their standard photography coverage at weekends, and a deluxe, all-inclusive package. Some wedding photographers offer a package with USB only, or a package with USB and wedding album. A package with one photographer. A package with two photographers.

We - the photographers in Edinburgh - all try to get it right, to provide the best options for you - the bride and groom - and we all have our own reasons why we package things a certain way, which makes it a bit harder to compare different photographers in Edinburgh.

Some wedding photography price packages include the photography time on the day only, the photographer will then charge extra for the provision of the digital images on a USB stick. Some photographers charge extra for a wedding album, some include an album in their wedding photography packages.

What is normally included in photography packages?

Most wedding photography packages include a combination of or all of the following elements (more detailed information about what is included in wedding photography packages):

  • The duration of one photographer taking photographs on your wedding day (usually the package spells out "up to 4 hours, or up to 8 hours, or 10 hours). The length of time of the photographer taking photographs obviously affects the price of the package.
  • It can include a second photographer, and how long they take photos on the day. Most wedding photographers assume the second photographer will be there for the same length of time as the main photographer.
  • A pre-wedding photo session. This is a photo session that takes place months before the wedding, some people also call it an engagement photo shoot. It's like a play shoot where you can get to know your photographer (more info about Edinburgh engagement shoots on this page).
  • Digital images on a USB stick. Some photographers include the edited photographs in high resolution. This means you can use the images to make your own prints or albums online, using suppliers you select.
  • Traditionally, photographers would include a selection of prints (6"x4", or 7"x5", or a large one for the wall, but not many photographers do that these days).
  • It might include one framed wedding photographed for your wall.
  • It might include a preview album which is a photo book showing all edited photographs printed in an inexpensive book.
  • It might include a wedding album. This is also difficult to compare, as there are so many album suppliers out there. Check out the article about wedding albums I wrote here.
  • It might include a little video compilation with music of the best photos of your wedding.
  • A password-protected online gallery, so you can share the photos with family and friends.

What influences the price of wedding photography packages?

Time of Year + Day of the week

Some photographers charge different prices depending on the time of year and the day of the week. The wedding photography package price for a Saturday in June will likely to be more expensive than a Saturday in November. And a Saturday in November will be more expensive than a Tuesday in November.

Experience of the photographer

If you want to have amazing photographs of your wedding day, you want to hire a truly experienced wedding photographer in Edinburgh, Scotland, one that has photographed 100+ weddings, has been exposed to all different weathers and seasons, in an array of different venues, such as ceremonies outside, or a ceremony at a venue without any windows with only candle light as a light source,  one that has photographed tiny weddings of only three people as well as organised groups of over 100 people and still got them smiling, and one that produces images you adore - the price you can expect to pay is from £1,500-£2,000 for one photographer for a full day’s coverage, that means from the bridal preparations until the dancing in the evening. The above price is for digital wedding packages, excluding a wedding album.

One or two photographers

If you want to add a second photographer to the mix, different photographers charge different prices. Some wedding photographers come as a “package” - a husband-and-wife team. A lot of my customers book a second photographer - mostly my fiancé - to provide additional photography coverage on the day. Some wedding photographers prefer to work on their own. 

I offer the couples who book my services to opt for just one photographer, and give them the option to add a second photographer even just for part of their wedding day - for example the groom’s preparations. So my colleague would only be there for 2 hours in the morning, and then I will cover the rest of the day. The husband-and-wife teams often offer an all-inclusive package which covers both their fees. Other photographers hire a second shooter and the fees vary from £250 for the full day up to £500 for the full day. 

The time spent taking photographs on your day

The price will vary depending on the time you want the photographer taking photographs at your wedding. If you want the photographer to only take photographs from the ceremony until the speeches, it will be vastly different to the same photographer taking photographs from the bridal preparations until the dancing.

Digital images on a USB stick

Some photographers do not include the images on USB, and you may have to pay extra to buy the high resolution images. This is entirely down to how the photographers run their business and there is no right or wrong. I provide a USB to all my customers. I absolutely love photographs and I always think that I will give to my customers what I would want to receive if it was my wedding. I would want to be able to share the images with my family and friends abroad, and if I only had an album, I would not be able to do that.

Please also check out my ARTICLE ABOUT COPYRIGHT here.

Why some photographers do not like to provide a USB stick

As photographers, we are hugely protective of the work we produce. We want you, the bride and groom and your family to enjoy the photographs we have taken in the best possible way. We want the photographs to look bright, and if printed - professionally produced. 

If we give you the option to choose your own high-street photography lab, chances are that the quality of product is very low, which then can affect what other people think about our photographs, even though it is the cheap product that makes the photograph look cheap. When I give a USB stick to my customers, I always encourage them to seek out high quality suppliers, and I actually provide a list of good suppliers that are accessible to the public.

Including a WEDDING ALBUM affects price

Including a wedding album into your wedding photography package will also influence the price of the photography package. Professionally produced wedding albums are not cheap, production costs usually start at £250 for the smaller albums - i.e. that's the cost the photographer has to pay the lab who produces the album.

The following things influence the price of a wedding album further:

  • The size of the wedding album (such as 8"x8" is much cheaper than a 14"x14" album).
  • The number of images in the album - 40 images will be much cheaper to produce than 150 images in an album.
  • The cover material of the album, genuine leather with an engraving on the front is more expensive than a fabric or photo cover.
  • Additional design features that can be added to certain album styles, such as a vellum sheet at the start of the album, or special borders around the images for overlay / matted wedding albums.

This is again purely down to preference. I have written an article about different wedding album types on my blog here. Different photographers provide different pricing options for wedding albums. Some photographers charge not very much for their time on the day, but then their wedding albums can cost £1,000s. Other photographers only charge for the time it takes to design an album, so the cost of an album then is calculated by production cost plus the time it takes the photographer to design the album.

WHY ARE WEDDING ALBUMS SO EXPENSIVE?

A contemporary wedding album is a luxury product. A photo book is a cheap product. The price of a photo book is very low, you can get them online from £25, depending on size and number of pages. Photo books are inexpensive and cannot really be compared with a professionally produced wedding album by a leading photography lab. 

The wedding albums I offer to my clients come from two different UK-based companies. I offer the popular Bellissimo album (priced from £400) to my customers. This is for a 14x10 inch album with 80 images. I also offer the amazing Jorgenson wedding albums to my customers because I like their style for the matted albums better than the options available from the lab who provide the Bellissimo wedding album. 

I treat wedding albums as an add-on to my wedding-photography packages. I also give my customers the option to buy their wedding album after the wedding. 

Why do wedding photography prices in Edinburgh vary so much?

I think this is a question that applies to photographers in general, not just wedding photographers in Scotland.

Professional photographers are photographers who do nothing but photography. We do not have another job to go to. Wedding  photography (and often family photography as well as corporate assignments) is our full-time job. 

When I look at my competitors, other wedding photographers in Edinburgh, we all do this job with a passion. We love being at weddings and taking photographs of our customers’ best day in their lives. We deeply care about you before your wedding, are there to answer questions and help, we are more than photographers on the wedding day, we often liaise with the venue to make sure everything runs on time. And then there is the time we spend after the wedding, editing your photos to the best standard so you can enjoy them for yours to come.

You need to have good nerves and bags of experience to be able to deal with all the situations a wedding can present, and still keep smiling and keep the energy positive. And when we get home after a wedding, we easily work another 3-4 days on the photographs to make them look absolutely stunning. 

Working on the computer after the wedding is hugely demanding, as we are all keen to produce the best photographs to tell the story of the most important day in your lives. If you have pointed out to us that you get nervous and might develop red blotches on your arms, for example, we will try our best to make them disappear so that they will not be visible in your wedding photographs. Or we remove that cold sore that developed just a day before the wedding, so you will look back at your images with a smile in your face. We make lamp posts disappear. We make the sky just a little bit more blue. We remove the annoying bit of pink fluff that somehow stupidly keeps sticking to your groom’s kilt and appears in more than 50 photographs…

What about the cheap Edinburgh Wedding photographers who charge £300 for the full day?

If you come across a wedding photographer who only charges £300 for a full day of wedding photography including the USB memory stick, chances are:

  • they are starting out and are keen to get some wedding photographs on their portfolio. 
  • they have a full-time job somewhere else, and photography is a hobby for them. 
  • they are a student who is working for some extra cash. 
  • they are unlikely to have lots of experience.
  • they are unlikely to have professional insurance.

Here’s why should book a £300 photographer

Let’s say you are a cake designer and you work for the best wedding cake designer in Scotland, and you absolutely love cakes and you cannot imagine having a cheap wedding cake at your own wedding. You have £1,000 in your wedding budget left, after you booked the venue, bought the dress, paid for the flowers and so on. And actually, you do not take many photographs yourself. You just want a few lovely wedding photographs after the ceremony and of the cake. So you decide you spend £700 on an absolutely amazing cake because you couldn't do without, and the rest is for the photographer. 

Here's what I would do: I would hire an amazing photographer for one hour, to take absolutely stunning photos of you - the bride and groom - and a few family photos  after the ceremony, and of your cake. This is your most important thing, and that’s absolutely OK. There are no rules. The photographs you will receive from this one-hour photography will be on a par with the £2,000 per day photographers. They will be amazing!

Here's why you should book a cheap wedding photographer

If you feel you need to hire a photographer for your wedding day because your mum and your gran really want you to book one to capture different things, but you are not that excited about the prospect, you might want to consider a photography student or amateur photographer for your wedding photography. So if photography is not that important to you, if you just want a few snaps, then that's absolutely fine.

There are a few absolute gems in among the lower cost wedding photographers. There are a few out there who are starting out and they simply need some practice at real weddings and to them it’s more about learning rather than getting paid appropriately. If you don’t mind that, then that’s totally OK. We all started somewhere and we all needed to get the experience somewhere.

Summary

This is a totally honest review of prices of Edinburgh wedding photographers. So if you have found a few photographers online, and they have worked at many top venues in Edinburgh and further afield in Scotland, and you love their photographs and their personality, you can expect the following:

  • They charge from £1,500 - £2,000 for a full day of photography, for one photographer, no album or a cheaper album included.
  • They have a totally professional internet appearance.
  • They reply to you and offer to meet.
  • They answer all your questions you may have openly, honestly, and confidently.
  • They can show you full sample weddings they photographed recently (not just the best of!).
  • They have different sample albums, different wedding album styles.
  • Their professional insurance is an important part of their business.
  • They can show you lovely and more importantly recent customers’ testimonials.

Here’s how I booked our wedding photographer

When I looked for our own wedding photographer, I looked at the quality of their photographs first. I then had a short-list of three potential photographers. I had ear-marked one pretty clearly for our wedding and I was simply hoping they would be available.

When I contacted the wedding photographers, the way they responded to me (how long it took to reply), or how they answered the phone was a huge deciding point. Thankfully, the one we wanted was available and we booked them for our wedding next year (2018). And we are paying in the region of £2,000 for a five-hour photography coverage plus a substantial portion of that for travel costs and overnight stays.

We only get married once, and we really want stunning photographs of this memorable day. We wouldn’t trust an amateur to do this important job for us. We decided what would be important for us and photography is right up there. We all have different priorities and likes. And we can built our own wedding according to that.

If you have any questions, please contact me as I know so much about weddings and I am here to answer your questions.

Information about my wedding photography prices can be found on this page.

At the start of your journey

Who is Nadin Dunnigan

Nadin Dunnigan is a wedding photographer in Edinburgh, specialising in wedding photography in Edinburgh, Scotland, and internationally. With experience of photographing hundreds of weddings in Scotland, Germany, and Italy, you can rest assured that your wedding photographs will look stylish, and will look and remain elegant for years to come.

Couples book Nadin years in advance, so make sure to get in touch early to get your date in the diary.