You’ve finally chosen the perfect wedding venue and everything is slowly coming together. The next thing to tick off your list is booking your dream wedding photographer. After all the hours of careful planning to create a fairy tale day, ensure the occasion is captured perfectly.
Nothing beats the creativity and quality of a professional photographer. After all, you’ll only live out your wedding day once, so make sure you document it with beautiful images.
Looking back on those photographs time and time again will cause all of those wonderful memories to come flooding back. Your family and friends will want copies too, so having an excellent bank for them to choose from is a great idea.
Seemingly overwhelming, choosing a photographer can be narrowed down depending on two main factors. Firstly, what style are you looking for? Photographers will have their own personal technique. Many shoot in a documentary style, capturing the moments as they unfold, whereas some photographers are traditional and will focus on more posed shots. The choice is yours!
Secondly, what’s your budget? It’s a truth universally acknowledged that weddings… are expensive. Sticking to a budget will ensure you secure all of the essentials and don’t have to sacrifice anything. Most photographers will conveniently break down their services in one neat package.
Moving us nicely on to the topic at hand, travel costs will need to be factored in. This is an element you might not have considered but it’s something that will affect the price you pay. If you want to avoid being stung with hefty travel expenses from your chosen photographer, keep on reading.
It’s simple economics, but if your dream photographer is on the other side of the country, you’re going to have to pay out a bit more to get them to shoot your wedding. There’s no two ways about it.
The majority of wedding photographers are more than willing to travel high and low, far and wide to capture your wedding. So securing a photographer who is considerably further away isn’t impossible, but you’ll need to expect to fork out a bit more on top of their prices.
However, communication is key and every photographer has a different way of doing things. With this in mind, make sure that you discuss the potential costs with your chosen photographer beforehand so you have a clear idea of how much travelling to and from the wedding will put you out of pocket.
All wedding photographers will have a local area that they usually work, travel and operate within, even if they state that they shoot weddings all across the country.
Whether wedding photographers are based in Birmingham, Bristol or London for example, they are likely to be happy to travel within that city, and a certain orbital region around it, inclusive of their overall fee.
That’s why it’s a great idea, where possible, to book a wedding photographer local to you! It also means that they are close to hand and easy to meet face-to-face. This enables you to build a real rapport with your photographer so you feel entirely comfortable on the big day.
How far they are prepared to travel from where they are based, outside of their local major population area, will vary from photographer to photographer.
Some will mention that travel is inclusive within twenty or so miles of where they are based and some state they are willing to travel for up to two hours for example.
Ensure you’re totally clear on this and have worked out the exact mileage. Also, find out how much they charge per mile or per hour, depending on how they measure it. If you have an accurate figure in your head then there’ll be no nasty surprises.
Photographers located away from major cities and in the countryside will often base their quotations on a cluster of counties. This is a clear and concise way to find out how much travel will cost, rather than on personal mileage. It also means you should be given a fixed figure upfront.
Travel Time Is Important
So what happens if your dream photographer has to travel outside their normal area? You will have to compensate for their time and trouble by covering their travel costs.
If your wedding is taking place in a location over three hours away from where the photographer is based, then you will probably have to pay for a nights accommodation in a local hotel or bed and breakfast, as a six-hour round trip is quite tricky in one day! Sometimes photographers might require their food expenses to be covered also.
Plus, think about what you want photographed and the timings of your day, if your photographer is going to get pictures of your bridal preparation that takes place in the morning – then two nights’ accommodation may be needed!
You will also have to pay the extra petrol costs in excess of their normal inclusive travel distance. Most photographers will travel by car, as they have lots of equipment to lug around, so you will typically be covering fuel and wear and tear expenses.
Location Location Location
Where you are in the country will also have an effect on the overall cost of your wedding. Wedding photographers in central London typically cost a more premium price than a photographer in the South Wales countryside for example.
Although travel costs will be virtually non-existent for a city centre wedding, the prices might be double what you would pay for someone based just outside the centre. It’s worth doing a bit of research and finding out the average prices near you.
However, generally speaking the closer the photographer is to you, the cheaper they’re going to cost – particularly when it comes to travel expenses. Remember, if you want to meet face-to-face before-hand, which is always recommended, choosing a photographer close to you will eliminate any further travel costs.
Of course, it goes without saying that if you’re travelling overseas for your nuptials you’ll be expected to pay for their expenses. The package for the actual photography time is likely to be exactly the same as if it were a UK wedding. So what you will be paying for is the flight, insurance and stay of the photographer.
Despite this, you may be able to negotiate with the photographer – as your stunning destination photos will make their portfolio stand out from others! Photographers love the opportunity to shoot in unique locations and often offer discounts if they manage to a spot off their photography bucket list.
Not all photographers are willing to shoot destination weddings though, so that is something you will need to discuss with the photographer you have your eye on.
The most important step is to discuss all the costs with your chosen photographer and if there are any travel costs involved, ask them to break it down for you. Most wedding photographers include a limited amount of travel in their overall hire costs, and anything over this you will be asked to pay for.