Wedding photography packages are an easy way for photographers to cost their services, and choosing a standard container is often an easy option for couples. There are so many photographers out there, and they all offer different things. However, wedding photography packages can usually be customised to suit your needs.
Do you want to know what to add to your wedding photography package? As a photographer, you need to give your client a complete package that covers events, timings, albums, and more.
Wedding Photography Package For Your Clients
Ever wonder how to start making a wedding photography package? You may know the exact amount that you can charge from your clients. However, a breakdown of the price will give the couple a clear idea of what they are paying to you. If you need advice on your wedding photography, check out our photography packages and services at Wild Romantic Photography.
Number of Events to be Photographed
The first thing you need to discuss with your client is the number of events that need to be covered. You can divide it into several days too. Few of the wedding ceremonies last long, and the client asks you to cover all the events. It is recommended to discuss the events in detail before signing up the contract.
Number of Photographers Shooting the Wedding
Most wedding photographers have second shooters to cover the details of all events. It is also a value-added service to charge a reasonable price from the client for delivering more in less time.
Number of Photographers
The wedding photography contract should include several additional photographers that are assisting you in the wedding shoot. You can add or remove the second shooters based on the needs of your client.
Number of Hours for the Shoot
For each event that you signed to shoot, you should talk about the number of hours. Most of the clients would expect you to be available all day. However, you should charge on an hourly basis to restrict the misuse of your services.
Number of Hours
Be clear about your availability for all the events and charge accordingly.
Number of Prints and Soft Copies to be Delivered
Printed photos and soft copies of the wedding ceremony need to be decided in the photography package. You should talk with your client about the number of prints to be delivered. You can include these details in the contract, so there is no miscommunication, and the process becomes easy for both.
Travelling and Accommodation for Destination Wedding
Those wedding ceremonies that needs travelling are far more exciting. Your client must pay for all your expenses. It is recommended to discuss the flights and accommodation mutually ahead of time. At Wild Romantic Photography, we have the best Melbourne wedding photographer to take memorable photos on your wedding day.
You should also talk about meals and other basics. This cost should be included in the wedding contract.
Photography coverage on the day
The duration of one photographer taking photographs on your wedding day. Often, the package details “up to 6 hours”, or “up to 8 hours”, or “from the ceremony until the speeches”. The length of time of the photographer taking photographs affects the price of the package.
A second photographer
Some wedding photographers offer the option to hire a second photographer. Most wedding photographers assume the second photographer will be there for the same time as the main photographer.
A pre-wedding photo session
It may include a pre-wedding photo session. This is a session that takes place months before the wedding. Some people also call it an engagement photoshoot. It’s like a play shoot where you can get to know your photographer, and they get to know you.
A USB stick
The package might include a USB memory stick with the edited photographs in high resolution (this means you can use the images to make your prints or albums online, using the suppliers you choose).
A certain number of digital photographs
The package should say how many photographs you can expect to receive after your wedding.
A certain number of prints
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).
An online Gallery
Most photographers will give you access to your password-protected online gallery so that you can share the photos with family and friends. Often this gallery allows you and your relatives to purchase individual prints at prices set by the photographer.
A wedding album
It might include a wedding album. This is also difficult to compare, as there are so many album suppliers out there.
A large frame or canvas
It might include one framed wedding photograph or a canvas print for your wall. It should say the size of the frame or canvas (or other product) and when you can expect to receive it.
A preview album
It might include a preview album, a photo book showing all edited photographs printed in an inexpensive book. This is not a wedding album.
A video with the best photos
The photographer might create a little video with music showing the best photos of your wedding.
The package should detail all the elements that are part of the photographer’s service. It should show a price, either including or excluding VAT. It should also spell out clearly how much of a deposit is required to secure the booking and when the full package price is due. This varies from country to country.
What’s included in wedding photography packages?
The style of photos
Will the photographer utilises a reportage style to capture spontaneous moments during the photoshoot, or will they take mainly formal posed shots? Will there be a variety of media like black and white or sepia as well as coloured photos?
When you select a wedding photography package, you should know the style of pictures that are included. Quite a few packages even list specific images contained, such as a certain number of group pictures, a shot of the exchange of rings, a picture of the cake cutting, and so on. 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.
Time spent at the wedding
Your wedding package should come with a specific number of hours that your photographer will stay at your wedding venue. It should specify whether the duration will be spent in the run-up to the ceremony, at the ceremony itself, or the reception. The package should also set the number of people attending the wedding; a few packages include two photographers or one photographer and an assistant.
The lighting and equipment
Suppose you are organising an outdoor reception or an evening event. In that case, your photographer might need to provide superior lighting or shades, and this should be referred to in the details of your photographer package. Your wedding package should come with the details of the kind of cameras used on the day. Even if you don’t know a lot about photography yourself, check with a friend who does if these are up to date models or conduct a little research online. Check whether they will be coming with backup equipment if one of the cameras fails during the event.
Details of editing
The photography package details should detail how the pictures will be edited and whether they will be digitally altered or enhanced to add more intense colours or a better image. Your package should also suggest roughly how many images will be edited and how long this will take.
The overall costs and extras
Often understanding what isn’t included can tell you more than knowing what is included, so when you select your wedding photography package, ask for a list of possible extra costs, such as travel to the venue. See how much your photographer will charge for additional prints or albums and a second photographer if this isn’t provided with your package.
Would you like a magazine-style product more, and would you want parent or guest books to hand out as gifts? Do you wish to have printed photos displayed in a mounted album or a coffee table style book? Pay attention to the details; what kind of covers and edges will your albums come with? There’s a wide variety of wedding photography products now on offer, so ensure the package you pick has what you want.
Your photographer might offer different styles, such as canvas prints or prints, enhanced to look like paintings. Some packages include a specific number of professional images, which can be mounted and framed if you prefer. Several photography packages now include all your photos in digital format, so you can have extra prints done whenever and wherever you wish. Finally, quite a few packages include a DVD with a slideshow of the best shots from your big day, set to a suitable soundtrack.
Steps for Setting Your Wedding Photography Prices
Wedding photographers have a few wide-spread fears, like missing the kiss or tripping mid-ceremony. But many wedding photographers often have one fear that has nothing to do with photography. It’s about turning a passion into a business: asking for money and setting those wedding photography prices.
But wedding photography is valuable, and you need to set a value for your work. If you can’t garner up the guts to charge for your photos, you can’t make a living as a professional photographer. Create lasting memories through your Yarra Valley wedding photography that will be cherished forever.
Set Your Goals
Understanding your purpose and what you hope to achieve helps you make the best decision for your business. And it helps you measure just how well you’re doing at meeting that goal.
Start your wedding photography pricing by determining the goals of your business. Maybe you have no intention of quitting your day job. But you want to have a secondary source of income doing something you enjoy. Perhaps you want to photograph weddings full time. Or maybe you want to photograph weddings along with portraits and other events.
The more specific you are with your goals, the easier they are to measure. There’s nothing quite like that feeling of realising you’ve met, or even exceeded, a dream. These goals can change over time too. For example, in my first year photographing weddings, my goal was to save enough to have a full gear kit. I still had a 9-5 job paying my bills. Setting concrete goals helps you keep the big picture in mind as you place your prices.
Know Your Value
Imagine you need a new smartphone. One option is $500; the other is $800. Which smartphone is better? Most will answer that the more expensive one is better. When you set wedding photography prices, you are also putting your value.
In general, brides and grooms will assume the more expensive photographer is, the better one. Sure, there are couples on a tight budget looking for good value. But setting prices too low will give you a brand identity similar to the cheap smartphone brands.
That doesn’t mean you should set your prices crazy high and be done with it, however. You need to balance your value with your geographic location, the quality of work in your portfolio and your brand. You need to understand the value in your work before you ever try to put a number on it.
The price list you set will also reflect your brand. If you set low prices, your brand will be a budget brand. High prices, a luxury brand.
Estimate the Time Involved
Measuring the value of a wedding photographer is tough. The wedding photos will decorate the walls of the family’s house for decades. Their emotional value is priceless. But you need to charge your clients somehow. To guide your decisions, estimate how much time you’ll invest in each wedding. Yes, you’ll spend several hours photographing the wedding. But many new photographers don’t realise how much more time is involved than just that actual wedding day.
When estimating the amount of work, in addition to the hours spent shooting, don’t forget to include:
- Meeting with the bride and groom before the wedding;
- Creating and filing contracts and other paperwork;
- Shooting engagement photos, if included in the price;
- Travelling to the location;
- Uploading and sorting images;
- Editing images;
- Creating any deliverables such as prints or digital copies along with album design.
Wedding photography doesn’t end up being a single day’s work once you put everything together. The answer varies a bit from photographer to photographer. For me, a full wedding package is closer to 30-40 hours of work than the ten spent on the actual wedding day.
Understand the Area
Photographers working in New York City don’t charge the same as photographers working in small towns. Use a wedding cost calculator to estimate the number of money couples in your area spends on a wedding.
Working in a rural area, the average cost of weddings in my area is around $15-$20k. The average wedding photographer in my area costs about ten per cent of that. The average cost of a wedding in a large city such as New York is twice that, which means a photographer’s price lists will vary based on where they work.
With that in mind, the photographer is often the fourth most expensive wedding item. According to Value Penguin, the reception takes up a big chunk, followed by the rings, reception band, and photographer.
We’re not saying that you should set your price at the average cost. After all, the middle means that some pay more and some pay less. But you should understand the area average. You should factor that information in with the other aspects to setting the price, like the time spent, your experience and your brand.
Budget for Equipment and Marketing
Time isn’t the only thing wedding photographers invest in a wedding. Don’t forget to leave room in your pricing for photo gear and other expenses. Even if you already own a great wedding camera and lenses, camera bodies age. In a few years, that camera body won’t be so new anymore.
You may want a better lens, may break a lens or need to service your gear just for upkeep.
Along with budgeting for gear updates and repairs, consider the other costs of running a business, such as:
- Photo editing software, or hiring a photo editor;
- Other software, like for budgeting and client management;
- A computer and printer;
- Website hosting costs for an online portfolio;
- Marketing costs such as online ads and bridal shows;
- Saving for retirements and vacations;
- Paying an assistant or second shooter, if you use one;
- Covering taxes;
- Paying for an office space or studio if you opt not to work out of your home.
Determine Your Services
Along with determining how much to charge, wedding photographers will also have to decide how to set it. There are two popular options. The full, all-inclusive packages or to have clients pick and choose what they want a la carte.
Packages are more straightforward for both the photographer and the bride and groom. Couples pick the option that suits them, and the process of choosing only involves one choice, not several.
For the wedding photographer, it’s easier to mark a single package on the wedding photography contract and other paperwork. It’s also easier to remember package prices and options without looking at a price sheet. While containers are more straightforward, a la carte has its perks too. If something in your packages a couple doesn’t want, that could leave them feeling like they are paying for something they don’t even want. A la carte wedding photography prices help couples pick precisely what they want. We have an exclusive range of wedding photography Mornington Peninsula services. Check them out here.
Detail Exactly What’s Included
Do your clients know exactly what they are getting and what they will pay for it? One couple recently ruined a photographer’s business by claiming she was holding the photos “hostage” until they paid a $150 fee for the album. The photographer won the lawsuit because the price was in her contract.
The lesson here? Include absolutely every fee in the contract. But you should also be sure to go over each cost. If there’s more than one package fee, highlight it if the couple skimmed through the wedding contract’s legalese. List everything that’s included in the agreement, even if it’s something small. Make sure to state whether or not digital files and reprint rights are included as well.
Set a Deposit Amount
When you set your prices, you should also select a deposit amount and a due date for the payments. Failing to put a deposit means a couple may back out at the last minute, leaving you missing out on a date that you could have filled with another wedding. A warranty is usually a percentage of the total due or a fixed dollar amount.
Set a deposit amount that covers any time you’ve invested already in meeting with the client and setting up the paperwork. Find a balance. Set a deposit that’s high enough to discourage cancellations and one that you’re comfortable with keeping if a couple calls off the wedding.
Set More Than One Price
Every wedding is different. So why should wedding packages all be identical? Offering multiple options helps couples find the option that fits their needs best. And it keeps things fair for the wedding photographer.
Offering different packages allows the couple with the 20-minute backyard wedding to choose the other option than the couple with the big ceremony and big reception. Price the various options based both on time involved and the products delivered at the end.
Keep It Simple
Engaged couples have roughly a zillion (to be mathematically correct) decisions to make while planning a wedding. Don’t make choosing a wedding photographer, one of the overwhelming ones. When setting your prices, keep things as simple as possible. Find a balance to offer choices to fit different couples. Try not to overwhelm teams with too many decisions.
Consider Including the Engagements
Engagement photos aren’t part of the wedding day, but they can help the process. Shooting the engagement photos allows you to meet the couple ahead of time. And you learn more about how they interact with each other and what poses work for them.
The engagement session helps them feel more comfortable in front of the camera and get to know you and your style for the couple.
Because engagement sessions are so helpful, some photographers include them in some of their packages (or as an a la carte option). By having the engagement photos in the price, more couples will take advantage of the chance to work with you before the actual wedding day.
The experience of working with the same couple is beneficial for most photographers. And the extra shooting is a massive boost to new wedding photographers that may need more practice working with posing or lighting.
Choose Your Words Carefully
Included engagements and free engagements mean the same thing. But the words evoke very different feelings in potential clients.
What do you think of when you think of the word free? Bargain, yes, but also cheap. Using words like “free” degrades the value potential clients associate with your work.
Avoid free and other similar words when you write out your price sheet. Keep the language minimal. By the time potential clients see your price sheet, they’ve probably already seen your photos and got an idea of what you offer. Adding too many adjectives to the price sheet takes away from the perceived value rather than adding it.
Continue to Revisit Pricing
Pricing isn’t a once-and-done kind of deal. As your business grows, revisit your pricing. What’s working and what’s not? What packages do most of your bride and groom select? Do couples often ask for an option that they currently don’t have?
As your business grows, wedding photography prices shouldn’t stay stagnant. As you gain more experience, hone your style, offer more value, revisit that price list, and make adjustments.
Don’t keep beginner’s prices when you are already a professional photographer. Try revisiting your costs every year during the slow season. Or decide to adjust prices every time you book a certain number of weddings.
Setting wedding photography pricing is a daunting task. Photographers need to find a balance between going so low the perceived value is jeopardised and so high that there are no bookings in the calendar. If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.