How Much Does The Average Couple Spend on Professional Wedding Photos

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I was astonished when I found out how much the average couple spends on professional wedding photography. I knew that weddings were expensive, but I didn’t expect them to be that expensive. Granted, Sydney isn’t the cheapest city in the world, but some vendors are asking couples for a lot. But how much, exactly?

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Photographer In Sydney?

Okay, let’s get down to it: what is the average couple paying to hire a photographer in Sydney?

For the sake of argument, we will assume that you want to hire a professional photographer for a big chunk of the day, not just an hour. We’ll also assume that you want to hire one photographer, not a team.

Six Hour Shoots

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Professional photographers usually hire out their services in multi-hour chunks. Six, eight and twelve hours are all quite common, although it can vary from provider to provider.

A six-hour “basic” package for a wedding near Sydney comes in anywhere between $495 and $14,455. The average price is somewhere in the $1,250 to $3,000 range.

But, of course, that’s not the whole story. If you want to add things like high-definition photos, that’ll cost you more.

Adding an additional hour on the day also bumps up the price. Data from Wedlockers suggests that you’ll pay around 12.6 percent on top of the final bill for every hour you add.

Want photo books or albums? That pushes up the price by 18 percent.

Need a pre-wedding shoot? Expect to pay an extra six percent.

You’ll also pay more depending on the accolades of the photographer. The highest title in the industry is Master Photography bestowed by the Wedding and Portrait Photographer’s Association International and the Australian Institute of Professional Photography.

Photographers with this certification will charge in the $3,000-plus range for the day.

Eight Hour Packages

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Eight-hour packages are probably the most popular option. At most weddings, the most critical events happen in an eight-hour window between 11:30 and 19:30.

Thus, eight-hour slots provide ample time for the exchanging of rings, vows, guest arrivals, cutting of the cake, wedding breakfast, and first dance.

According to PerfectMoment photography (a wedding studio from Sydney), only a photographer who really “gets you” can create genuine photographs that enable you to celebrate the day in style. You need someone who understands who you are as people and the kind of images you’ll want for posterity. It’s a subtle art, but vital.

As you might guess, eight-hour shoots cost more, on average than six-hour shoots, but not by as much as you think. Most of the cost of the day is the inconvenience that it causes the photographer (they have to take precious time out of their day). Two more hours don’t usually add a massive amount to the price.

Eight-hour services in New South Wales come in at between $1,100 and $6,480. The average cost in Sydney is closer to $2,700, with prices in most catalogs quoting a few hundred dollars either way.

If you want to upgrade to Master Photographers, you’ll have to fork out $3,500 on average, or around $500 more than you’d pay for the same service on a six-hour shoot.

12-Hour Shoots

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12-hour shoots are usually the longest that a professional photographer will offer. For one thing, it’s harder to work continuously for longer than that. Plus, you can almost always capture all your memorable wedding moments in that time frame.

12-hour shoots, in my opinion, are probably the best if you want to capture every element of the day. On this shoot, the photographer arrives in the morning and leaves later in the evening.

It means that there’s a chance to capture the wedding preamble, the bride as she gets ready, as well as scenes from the after-party.

The range in price for a 12-hour package in New South Wales is enormous. Couples can pay anywhere from $1,175 to $8,460 – that’s a difference of $7,000 depending on who you choose.

The average price is somewhere between $3000 and $4000, with the vast bulk of people spending in the $2500 to $4500 range.

Again, if you want to add high-resolution images and a wedding album, you’ll pay more. Packages including these features creep up to between $4,000 and $5,000 on average. Adding a pre-wedding shoot can add 25 percent or more to the cost of the day.

Wedding photography doesn’t need to be expensive. There are plenty of affordable options available. Plus, there are several tactics you can use to keep prices down.