Wedding photographers can use a lot of jargon and it can all get a bit confusing. I've tried to be as clear and open as possible but for those still with questions hopefully the below section will help.
Also, some couples aren't sure what questions they should ask their prospective wedding photographer so I've put together another section of questions every wedding photographer should answer:
The price of wedding photography reflects the importance of the event being photographed - wedding photographers are in charge of capturing a once in a lifetime (hopefully!) event that cannot be restarted or revisited, so capturing the moment is essential. For many, it's the most planned and important event of their lives. A great wedding photographer will be professional, experienced, talented and will be prepared for any eventuality to secure wonderful photos whatever the circumstances.
Wedding photographers will typically charge between £800-£4000 for a full day's wedding, this often does not include the added cost of prints, albums or the photos available in full resolution for the clients to keep, things that everyone wants. I currently charge from £1400 to £2400 (inc VAT)depending on package, this does not include the album (as the choice of album differs from person to person) but does include many things other photographers might charge extra for. I think I'm great value for money and think my photos more than rival others in the same style.
If it were my wedding I would make sure the photographer can show they take photos in the style I want and at the quality I want. I would make sure they were professional, insured, had experience and talent. If they can't tick all those boxes then it wouldn't matter how cheap they were, I couldn't risk using them.
I shoot in a reportage/editorial style which is rare, this means I photograph the day as it happens, with very few, requested staged photos. I do it this way because I personally think the end result is much better and more flattering and I have spent the day being unobtrusive, allowing everyone to truly enjoy themselves. I capture wonderful, spontaneous moments that are infinitely more special because they are real. Some people like a more traditional shoot with mostly staged photos, or a mixture of both, there's nothing wrong with that at all, it's all a matter of taste. In fact I am usually asked to take a handful of group photos and a couple of staged photos by request which is completely expected and completely fine but if anything more than that were wanted I wouldn't be the right photographer for the couple.
I also think I'm different to many photographers in the wedding package I offer. I'm flexible with what I include in my wedding package and I do offer a half day package by request but in general my standard wedding package is quite comprehensive. The only thing it doesn't include is the album as it is quite a personal choice, I offer three options here, each a different kind of album.
Anyone who's visited many wedding photography websites before this one will know that wedding packages and prices are not straightforward. A quote for a full day may increase if you want them there longer than 6 hours, it may include a few prints but any more than that (which there will be, especially by your family) will cost a lot, albums often cost an awful lot extra and a USB stick of the full-size images to do with what you want will likely cost a lot extra too. These can all add up to hundreds of pounds.
There are no hidden extras with my package. I'm there for the whole day, a minimum of 8 hours and usually more. I offer a comprehensive wedding photography service, including all the photos (between 300-600) in high resolution on a USB stick and online for you or your friends and family to download themselves. This means you can order prints or subsequant photobooks yourselves easily any time you want and your photos will never fade because you will have a digital copy. I also include 100 large prints in a print archival box, perfect for framing or giving to friends and family to frame.
A coffee-table storybook is a hardback book with around 40-50 relatively flexible pages, similar to a high quality hardback book by a photographer you might buy in a shop though the pages are thicker, are printed on photographic paper and can lie flat on the page.
The pages of the book are filled with the best photos from the day, set out as it happened. It's more accessible than a traditional, hard page, mounted album which tend to be more bomb-proof, which means coffee-table books are likely to last many years rather than the many decades of a traditional book. This is partly because a coffee-table book is designed to be looked at and well thumbed, opening it up to the elements more. As mentioned previously, I offer the full-size photos on a USB stick and to download online so replacement books or prints can be ordered by the couple easily when they want a new one in the future. I also offer a more contemporary hard-page coffee-table album by Graphistudio and a traditional album by Jorgensen, these are described in my service section of my website.
Yes, I can give you a quote for one, I use Jorgensen because they are renowned for being excellent quality. Though as they are handmade abroad they are expensive. For those unsure of what a traditional album is, it's a hard-page album with each page containing 'mounted' prints. It's how wedding albums were traditionally made and they tend to last well as the mounts (basically a cardboard window through which you see the photo) around the prints stop the prints touching each other which can cause the chemicals in the prints to get damaged. They are also good at slowing the fading of photos with time as the books are generally not opened, looked at and open to the elements as much.