Wedding Photography.. DIY VS Professional Photographer

Could you photograph your wedding cheaper ?

Every day I get enquiries asking if I can do weddings any cheaper than my advertised prices and the answer is always, its not possible. Often people have unrealistic budgets and opt to photograph it themselves or get an amateur which I completely understand. Wedding photography does seem very expensive but I aim to keep my prices as low as possible.

Sure you’ll always find someone else who will do it cheaper, but is saving a few pounds really worth it ? After all when you book a wedding photographer you want quality, service and professionalism to the end (Or I would) as well as a consistent quality of work and style regardless of the conditions. You want someone who has the equipment to provide the best results and get the best shots (Its worth noting better equipment doesn’t make a better photographer, but better equipment lets a experienced photographer do more. There’s a reason some cameras cost 500 and some costs cost £2500, Same with lenses some cost £100 and some cost £1000+ even if its not immediately obvious)

So after another call asking if I can do it any cheaper, I thought I would price things up so couples can compare doing it yourself Vs Hiring a photographer.


The Essential equipment

For this experiment, I only included the most essential equipment. I haven’t included costs for accessories such as flash triggers, camera bags, travel costs, extra batteries, spare bodies or lenses, post production equipment etc. 

Instead I’ve opted only to include the items that I use that I would deem essential.

My basic wedding equipment list would be

Camera bodies : Nikon D850 & Nikon D750 

Lenses :Nikon 24-70mm F2.8 & Nikon 70-200mm F2.8

2 Nikon Flash guns

2 Backup memory cards (You should always shoot with a backup memory card in the camera incase the primary memory card fails which they occasionally do)


How would it cost to hire?

So I’ve listed the equipment that I deem to be absolutely essential, but how much would it cost to hire this equipment and do it yourself ? To answer this I used an online Camera equipment hire company that I deem to be reliable and reputable as these are the two most important qualities when I need to hire anything.

I based this on needing the equipment for a single day, I haven’t included any insurance costs or delivery costs, I’ve simply shown the basic hire cost per day of the equipment.

Nikon D850 £105.60 Per day

Nikon D750 £55.20 Per day

Nikkor F2.8 70-200mm Lens £49.20 Per day

Nikkor F2.8 24-70mm lens £49.20 Per day

XQD memory card £28.80

Compact memory card £36.00

SB900 Flash Gun £12.00

SB500 Flash Gun £24.00

Totaling £360.00


How much do I charge ?

My Wedding photography prices for Ceremony until meal is £400, this includes all of the above equipment and a whole lot more. If you’ve booked a Platinum package you roughly double the above amount of equipment as the Platinum package has 2 photographers. 

I always carry spare equipment, spare batteries as well as artistic lenses and specialist equipment to allow me to get the best results possible. More importantly the price also includes post production, quality control, labor time, travelling time, being available to answer questions 7 days a week and insurance to include a few!

 


Conclusion

In conclusion yes you can save yourself money by photographing the wedding yourself but would you really want to have that added stress to your wedding day? Are you going to be left with a set of unedited wedding photographs and not a clue what to do with them? As a wedding photographer I don’t only just take photos of all those special moments that happen through the day, I create the scene, make sure it is perfect and then capture it so that you have these wonderful memories for years to come as well as taking care over the presentation and editing of your wedding photographs. 

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