How much should I pay for a wedding photographer?

After months of planning and years of dreaming, the wedding day flies by in an instant. That’s why photographers are one of the most important vendors—they capture every moment so you can hold onto the memories for a lifetime.

Wedding photography is one aspect of your big day we’d advise you not to scrimp on, but don’t worry if your wedding budget is tight. There’s still a variety of affordable wedding photography packages out there, many of which include an engagement shoot, wedding album and up to 10 hours of photography on the big day. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.

Regardless of where you stand on things like late-night reception snacks or extravagant floral centrepieces, most to-be-weds can agree: gorgeous wedding photos are a must. While the average wedding photographer cost is often on the higher side, it’s one expense couples don’t typically skip. Of course, how you divvy up your wedding budget depends on which aspects of your celebration (and therefore which vendors) are most important to you. But since you probably want to relive your wedding memories for years to come, finding a great photographer is an important task.

Wedding photography prices vary by vendor and services offered, so it’s up to you to find a pro who fits your particular needs. But if you’re looking to get a general sense of how much a wedding photographer costs, we have the answer. Read on to find what real couples spend on wedding photography today. 

Based on an internal study of over 27,000 couples who got married in 2019, the average wedding photographer cost is $2,400. Almost 90 per cent of couples hired a photographer, making them one of the most popular wedding vendors. Photography was also the most common area where couples were willing to spend more. Over half of all couples increased their original budget once they started planning—of that, 47 per cent admitted to spending more on their photographer. 

Sixty per cent of couples say that a photographer’s style is the most critical factor when deciding who to hire. This can potentially affect wedding photography prices. When researching vendors, it’s essential to ask about additional services that are offered. Some photographers may provide bulk packages and capture other wedding-related events.

Prices can also vary based on hours worked before and after the wedding, as well as the number of photos you receive at the end. Make a note of what you’ll receive with your potential package. Some photographers will give you raw files once the wedding is over, or some prices will include edited images, organised albums or portfolios. Plenty of factors affect the average price for wedding photographers, so thorough research is necessary. 

How Much Does a Wedding Photographer Cost in Australia?

How much should I pay for a wedding photographer?

You may have a friend who’s a keen amateur photographer and who has offered to capture your big day, but we’d still say it’s best to invest in a professional. You need someone who’ll stay focused on the job at hand and won’t be itching to go off and join the party, have a few drinks and miss some once-in-a-lifetime moments.

When you’re putting together your wedding budget, allocate some money for your photographs first and then lookout for a wedding photographer whose style you like.

Wedding photographer prices can vary depending on many factors, including your wedding’s location (photographers in big cities tend to cost more than in other areas), the type of services and packages you’re looking for, and your chosen photographer’s experience and level of expertise.

A wedding photographer’s cost in Australia has increased by 8% over the past year, averaging $3,211.

This, of course, considers the costs across all states and territories and couples hiring professional photographers as opposed to having a friend or family member take their photos for them. Photography is one of the most important things when it comes to the wedding day, with 91% of couples hiring a professional for their day. By comparison, a mere 7% have an amateur take their photos. Only 2% prefer not to have photos at all!

Your photographs will be your most treasured wedding keepsake. Not sure where to start when it comes to looking for your wedding photographer of choice?

New South Wales

The entire cost of a wedding in New South Wales comes in above average, and the photographer is no exception to this rule. A photographer in NSW will cost you a bit more, coming in at around $3,896. This is due to an increase in luxury weddings in NSW and the demand for professional wedding photographers in the state.

Victoria

Couples in Victoria are going to be spending just below the average cost on their photographer, coming in at $3,080. This is good news for couples in the state as most weddings in Victoria can be pretty pricey – especially as couples prefer to spend more money on other services, such as catering.

Queensland

Queensland has only seen a slight rise in costs for a photographer, coming in at an average of $2,672. Compared to NSW and Victoria, costs for a wedding photographer in this state come in well under the country’s standard.

South Australia

For a wedding photographer located in South Australia, couples can expect to spend an average of $2,741. Likes Queensland, this comes under the national average and is in line with South Australian weddings coming in slightly less than weddings on the east coast.

Western Australia

Weddings on the west coast also come in at a lower price than those on the east, and photographers are no exception to the rule. If you’re looking for a wedding photographer in Western Australia, you should be paying an average of $2,893.

Australian Capital Territory

While most states have increased only slightly, it’s the only ACT that has seen the biggest increase in wedding photographers’ cost, even topping the national average. Couples wanting to capture their very own Cinderella moment on the steps of Australia’s parliament can expect to pay around $3,292.

Tasmania

Tasmania has some spectacular scenery for your wedding photos, and couples living in the state will be pleased to know that the cost for a photographer has dropped from last year! Expect to pay around $1,838, but pricing will vary when selecting a photographer’s skill set.

Northern Territory

The overall cost of a wedding in the Northern Territory also comes under the national average, with photographers coming in just under the national photography cost. While there are fewer weddings up north, couples can still find a great wedding photographer in the area. You should be expecting to pay around $2,850.

What’s covered in a wedding photographer’s prices?

When researching wedding photographers, be sure to read the information about their pricing and packages carefully—these tend to differ widely from photographer to photographer and can significantly affect wedding photography pricing. A few items and services to look for include:

  • Time: Wedding photographer prices typically include between six hours and an unlimited amount of coverage. The more time you’d like your photographer to cover your event, the more you’ll have to pay. Additional hours will cost extra.
  • Travel: Does your photographer have to travel a long distance to your event? You may have to pay a per-mile charge if he or she is driving to your wedding, or you might have to pay for airfare and accommodations for a destination wedding.
  • Second Shooters/Staffing: Will, your photographer, have a second shooter or assistants present? If so, expect to shell out more.
  • Editing: A large part of your photographer’s time will be spent editing and retouching your wedding photos to make sure they look amazing.
  • Images: Your wedding photographer’s cost should include the actual images. Digital files can be provided to you in a variety of ways, including in an online gallery and via a USB drive.
  • Print release: Many wedding photography packages include a “print release,” which means you can use the photos for your personal use. However, be aware that you will likely not have a complete “copyright release,” so you don’t own the photos and can’t sell them, and that your photographer can use your photos for marketing purposes.
  • Prints: Some photographers include photo prints (or a print credit—money you can put toward purchasing prints) in their wedding photography rates. While you don’t have to buy your prints through your photographer, they’ll likely come out better if you do.
  • Albums: Your photographer may offer a wedding album as part of his or her package. You can choose whether you’d like to design and purchase your album through your photographer or do it through another service.
  • Additional shoots: Some photographers include an engagement shoot in their package (62 per cent of couples do a pre-wedding engagement shoot). Other shoots that will likely cost extra have bridal portraits, trash the dress sessions or your rehearsal dinner coverage.

Other less obvious parts of a wedding photographer’s business that may be included in their package pricing include equipment, employees, business expenses, marketing, liability insurance, and more.

Planning your dream wedding and don’t want to miss out on the special moments on your big day? Worry no more, Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.

Wedding Photography Package in Australia

One of the difficulties in comparing prices between different wedding photographers is that there’s no conformity across the industry regarding package inclusions. Most starting packages include wedding coverage plus a copy of high-resolution images without watermarks.  

Here’s a list of other products & services that may be included in (and add to the cost of) photography packages:

  • drones
  • 2nd shooters
  • album design
  • albums
  • special lighting requirements
  • prints
  • engagement shoot
  • travel
  • online galleries (maybe a standard inclusion)

Some photographers, particularly at the high-end market, have heftier starting prices but include more extras in their starting packages. For example, many of Australia’s top photographers will only offer packages that include printed images or albums. They believe the printed image provides their clients maximum value for their investment.

However, higher starting prices don’t always mean a more expensive or “higher quality” photographer. So when should you pay more for wedding photos?  

There’s one definite reason for nudging your photography budget up a notch, and that’s when you’ve found a photographer who’s work you LOVE! If you trust them, feel comfortable in their presence and want them at your wedding – book them.

Conversely, if you’re ‘umming’ or ‘arrghhing’ overbooking a package above your budget, move on. There are more than 3,500 professional wedding photographers in Australia. Invest the time to find one you LOVE – you’ll thank yourself when you get your images back. And you’ll enjoy yourself more on your wedding day if you feel comfortable with the decisions you’ve made.

The easiest way to curate your favourite wedding photographers is to view comparable images side by side. At Wedlockers, you can browse images using filters such as ‘emotive’, ‘candid’ and ‘shenanigans’ etc., to help you shortlist photographers in your area.

Investing your trust in a photographer may feel like a leap of faith, particularly if you’ve never booked one before. You may want to check professional credentials before you pay a deposit & lock yourself into a contract. Wild Romantic Photography has the best range of services of wedding photography Yarra Valley. Check them out here.

What should you look for when booking a photographer?

One big requirement a lot of couples find on the day is that they want their photographer to help keep them calm. In the hustle and bustle of a wedding ceremony, having someone taking pictures of you can be extra stressful. Working with a photographer who can help you keep calm on the day will ensure that you get the relaxed and loving images you’ve always pictured.

However, the essential part of booking a photographer is making sure they capture the right moments. 42% of all couples say that picking the right moments is the most important skill to look for in a photographer, followed by their style at 25%, taking good photos at 21%, and friendliness at 12%.

What is a professional wedding photographer anyway?

How much should I pay for a wedding photographer?

In Australia, there’s no regulatory body that governs wedding photography. If you want peace of mind that you’re booking a professional photographer, you’ll have to do a little research yourself. 

Professional Accreditations

Photographers in Australia can choose to become accredited with the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP). The AIPP set accreditation standards that members must achieve.  

If you’ve found a photographer you love that’s not an AIPP member, there’s no need to preclude them from your shortlist – some of Australia’s top photographers are not accredited. On the flip side, if you’re considering an AIPP Master Photographer to shoot your wedding, don’t wait too long to book. They’re busy for a good reason.  

Published in Mags & Blogs

Finding your favourite photographer in a high-end magazine or blog is as good a reassurance as you’ll get.  

Mags & blogs are somewhat obliged to publish editorial content from their advertising vendors – but they still need to curate quality content to satisfy their readers. For this reason, you can generally be assured of photographers who’ve had real weddings or styled shoots featured in well-respected publications like Hello May, The Wedding Playbook, Farewell Fiance & Nouba.

Awards & Accolades

The wedding industry offers vendors several types of awards. Some are based on a customer voting system, while a panel of experts professionally adjudicates others.  

Professionally adjudicated awards include APPA, IWP, WPPI.

Some of Australia’s most talented wedding photographers have received accolades from the world’s most respected photography-related magazines. Being named a ‘rising star’ by Rangefinder Magazine or ‘top emerging photographer’ by Capture Magazine are among the industry’s highest honours.

Being singled out as an ambassador for one of the world’s leading camera companies (including Canon & Nikon) is another of the industry’s highest accolades. A handful of Australian photographers & filmmakers have achieved this honour.

Vendors who are listed on Wedlockers receive endorsements & recommendations provided by other wedding professionals. These provide insight into the particular expertise offered by each vendor. Log in to access these valuable insights – they’ll help you decide between your shortlisted vendors. Looking for a Mornington Peninsula wedding photographer? Look no further! Wild Romantic Photography has you covered.

Reviews

Customer reviews indicate the type of experience you’re likely to receive from businesses in the wedding industry. We recommend utilising reviews on Facebook.

Key points

When choosing a wedding photographer, the most important criteria are that you LOVE their work & feel comfortable around them. With 3,500 wedding photographers in the Australian industry, you will find one that fits your budget.  

The average cost of wedding photography does not take into account varying package inclusions and overall wedding budgets. For this reason, determine a percentage of your overall budget instead of to allocate to photography. Take our budget quiz to determine the correct percentage for you.

Capturing those perfect moments on your wedding day is something most couples want to achieve, but how much do Australian couples need to spend?

The photographer is usually the third supplier a couple will book in the wedding planning process. Couples want a photographer who has experience picking the right moments, with 19% saying that a photo gallery is essential to research for any supplier.

Getting the right photographer is crucial because they will be with you for most of your wedding day. Getting along with them, being comfortable with their abilities, as well as knowing that you’ve booked someone who ticks off all your boxes, and meeting your budget requirements are all things to consider. If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.