How much does wedding photography cost in Edinburgh?

What influences the price, about cheaper  wedding photographers, and what you want to consider if you want your wedding photographs to look the part.

Wedding photographer prices in Edinburgh, Scotland

So here’s the big question: What are the prices for the best wedding photographers in Edinburgh, Scotland?

So many of brides and grooms use the internet every day to find out about photographers in Edinburgh and in Scotland in general. Once they looked at the photographs and they see what they like, the most burning question they want answered is: "What is the price for the wedding photography packages" of the wedding photographer they are looking at? And in most cases, they have to send an enquiry and wait a few hours or days for a reply. The pricing question is a crucial one to ask and most vendors avoid putting their prices on their website. And you know why?

It depends….

For me it is vitally important to find out as much information online as I can and in my own time. When I want to buy something, I will do a lot of research. I want to know what the offer is and what is included. That’s why I will shed some light on wedding photographer prices in Edinburgh, to help you to be able to make an informed decision.

This article will explain why professional photographers charge what they charge for their service. I will talk about the different elements of wedding photography packages and how they affect the price of the package. At the end of this article you will be much clearer about different pricing options and what to look out for.

Edinburgh wedding photography prices

Many photographers offer different wedding photography packages and the prices vary widely. I receive many enquiries every week asking me for the price of my photography packages and what they include. This seems to be a standard question, as most photographers bundle their service into packages.

A lot of wedding photographers offer different price options, for example a cheaper package for smaller weddings during the week, a standard package for their standard photography coverage at weekends, and a deluxe, all-inclusive package. Some wedding photographers offer a package with USB only, or a package with USB and wedding album. A package with one photographer. A package with two photographers.

We - the photographers in Edinburgh - all try to get it right, to provide the best options for you - the couple - and we all have our own reasons why we package things a certain way, which makes it a bit harder to compare different photographers.

Some wedding photography price packages include the photography time on the day only, the photographer will then charge extra for the provision of the digital images on a USB stick. Some photographers charge extra for a wedding album, some include an album in their wedding photography packages.

What is normally included in photography packages?

Most wedding photography packages include a combination of or all of the following elements (more detailed information about what is included in wedding photography packages):

  • The duration of one photographer taking photographs on your wedding day (usually the package spells out "up to 4 hours, or up to 8 hours, or 10 hours). The length of time of the photographer taking photographs obviously affects the price of the package.
  • It can include a second photographer, and how long they take photos on the day. Most wedding photographers assume the second photographer will be there for the same length of time as the main photographer.
  • A pre-wedding photo session. This is a photo session that takes place months before the wedding, some people also call it an engagement photo shoot. It's like a play shoot where you can get to know your photographer (more info about Edinburgh engagement shoots on this page).
  • Digital images on a USB stick. Some photographers include the edited photographs in high resolution. This means you can use the images to make your own prints or albums online, using suppliers you select.
  • 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).
  • It might include one framed wedding photographed for your wall.
  • It might include a preview album which is a photo book showing all edited photographs printed in an inexpensive book.
  • It might include a wedding album. This is also difficult to compare, as there are so many album suppliers out there. Check out the article about wedding albums I wrote here.
  • It might include a little video compilation with music of the best photos of your wedding.
  • A password-protected online gallery, so you can share the photos with family and friends.

What influences the price of wedding photography packages?

Experience of the photographer

If you want to have amazing photographs of your wedding day, you want to hire a truly experienced wedding photographer in Edinburgh, Scotland, one that has photographed 100+ weddings, has been exposed to all different weathers and seasons, in a number of different venues, such as ceremonies outside, or a ceremony at a venue without any windows with only candle light as a light source,  one that has photographed tiny weddings of only three people as well as organised groups of over 100 people and still got them smiling, and one that produces images you adore. Expect to pay approximately £2,000 for one photographer for a full day’s coverage - excluding any digital images or wedding album.

One or two photographers

If you want to add a second photographer to the mix, different photographers charge different prices. Some wedding photographers come as a “package” - a husband-and-wife team. Couples who book my services are keen to have a second photographer present, someone who can provide additional photography coverage on the day. Some wedding photographers also prefer to work on their own.

I offer my customers to book just myself, or add in the second photographer. The husband-and-wife teams often offer an all-inclusive package which covers both their fees. Other photographers hire a second shooter and the fees vary from £200 for the full day up to £500 for the full day.

Time of year + day of the week

Some photographers charge different prices depending on the time of year and the day of the week. The wedding photography package price for a Saturday in June can be more expensive than a Thursday in November.

The time spent taking photographs on your day

The price will vary depending on the time you want the photographer taking photographs at your wedding. If you want the photographer to only take photographs from the ceremony until the speeches, it will be vastly different to the same photographer taking photographs from the bridal preparations until the dancing. There are photographers out there who offer shorter photography packages, e.g. 4 hours or 6 hours.

Digital images on a USB stick

Some photographers do not include the images on USB, and you may have to pay extra (usually £500+) to buy the high resolution images. This is entirely down to how the photographers run their business and there is no right or wrong. I provide a USB to all my customers and this is included in the price. I absolutely love photographs and I always think that I will give to my customers what I would want to receive if it was my wedding. I would want to be able to share the images with my family and friends abroad, and if I only had an album, I would not be able to do that.

Please also check out my article about copyright here.

Digital images on a USB stick, wedding photography cost in Edinburgh
Digital images on a USB stick

Why some photographers do not like to provide a USB stick

As photographers, we are hugely protective of the work we produce. We want you, the couple and your families to enjoy the photographs we have taken in the best possible way. We want the photographs to look bright, and if printed - professionally produced.

If we give you the option to choose your own high-street photography lab, chances are that the quality of product is very low, which then can affect what other people think about our photographs, even though it is the cheap product that makes the photograph look cheap. When I give a USB stick to my customers, I always encourage them to seek out high quality suppliers, and I actually provide a list of good suppliers that are accessible to the public.

Including a wedding album affects price

Including a wedding album into your wedding photography package will also influence the price of the photography package. Professionally produced wedding albums are not cheap, production costs usually start at £250 for the smaller albums - i.e. that's the cost the photographer has to pay the lab who produces the album.

The following things influence the price of a wedding album further:

  • The size of the wedding album (such as 8"x8" is much cheaper than a 14"x14" album).
  • The number of images in the album - 40 images will be much cheaper to produce than 150 images in an album.
  • The cover material of the album, genuine leather with an engraving on the front is more expensive than a fabric or photo cover.
  • Additional design features that can be added to certain album styles, such as a vellum sheet at the start of the album, or special borders around the images for overlay / matted wedding albums.

This is again purely down to preference. I have written an article about different wedding album types on my blog here. Different photographers provide different pricing options for wedding albums. Some photographers might only charge £500 for taking photographs, but then you may have to pay £2000 for a wedding album. Other photographers only charge for the time it takes to design an album, so the cost of an album then is calculated by production cost plus the time it takes the photographer to design the album.

Wedding album prices seem to be a highly guarded secret in the industry. This goes against my belief of true transparency and providing you with the information you require to make an informed decision. Here are the main bigger suppliers and what they roughly charge the photographers for a "standard" wedding album - approx. 14x11 inches in size with 80 photographs and a standard cover, ie. no genuine leather.

Why are wedding albums so expensive?

A contemporary wedding album is a luxury product. A photo book is a much cheaper product. The price of a photo book is very low, you can get them online from £25, depending on size and number of pages. Photo books are inexpensive and machine-produced. They cannot really be compared with a professionally hand-produced wedding album by a leading photography lab.

So what's the difference between the most expensive supplier and Jorgensen? I have dealt with both suppliers and have only had good experiences. Having handled them both, I prefer the Jorgensen albums. I love the weight and quality of the paper and detail of the album. So if you really want a wedding album from a certain supplier, and an album is included in their packages, make sure to check the size of the included album and the number of photographs. A proper wedding album is approx. 35x35 cm or even bigger.

Beware: Sometimes, the luxury album that's included in a wedding photographer's package might only be 20x20 cm with 30 photographs. If you then want a bigger album, there is a much higher price to pay after the wedding, sometimes going into the £1000s!


Wedding album, wedding photography cost in Edinburgh
Wedding album

Why do wedding photography prices in Edinburgh vary so much?

This is a question that applies to photographers in general, not just wedding photographers in Scotland.

Professional photographers are photographers who do nothing but photography. We do not have another job to go to. Wedding  photography (and often family photography as well as corporate assignments) is our full-time job.

When I look at other wedding photographers in Edinburgh, we all do our job with a passion. We love being at weddings and taking photographs of our customers’ best day in their lives. We deeply care about you before your wedding, are there to answer questions and help, we are more than photographers on the wedding day, we often liaise with the venue to make sure everything runs on time. And then there is the time we spend after the wedding, editing your photos to the best standard so you can enjoy them for yours to come.

As a photographer, you need to have good nerves and bags of experience to be able to deal with all the situations a wedding can present, and still keep smiling and keep the energy positive. And when we get home after a wedding, we easily work another 3-4 days on the photographs to make them look absolutely stunning.

Working on the computer after the wedding is hugely demanding, as we are all keen to produce the best photographs to tell the story of the most important day in your lives. If you have pointed out to us that you get nervous and might develop red blotches on your arms, for example, we will try our best to make them disappear so that they will not be visible in your wedding photographs. Or we remove that cold sore that developed just a day before the wedding, so you will look back at your images with a smile in your face. We make lamp posts disappear. We make the sky just a little bit more blue. We remove the annoying bit of pink fluff that somehow stupidly keeps sticking to your groom’s kilt and appears in more than 50 photographs…

What about the cheap Edinburgh Wedding photographers who charge £300 for the full day?

If you come across a wedding photographer who only charges £300 for a full day of wedding photography including the USB memory stick, chances are:

  • they are starting out and are keen to get some wedding photographs on their portfolio.
  • they have a full-time job somewhere else, and photography is a hobby for them.
  • they are a student who is working for some extra cash.
  • they are unlikely to have lots of experience.
  • they are unlikely to have professional insurance.

Here’s why should book a £300 photographer

Let’s say you are a cake designer and you work for the best wedding cake designer in Scotland, and you absolutely love cakes and you cannot imagine having a cheap wedding cake at your own wedding. You have £1,000 in your wedding budget left, after you booked the venue, bought the dress, paid for the flowers and so on. And actually, you do not take many photographs yourself. You just want a few lovely wedding photographs after the ceremony and of the cake. So you decide you spend £700 on an absolutely amazing cake because you couldn't do without, and the rest is for the photographer.

Here's what I would do: I would hire an amazing photographer for one hour, to take absolutely stunning photos of you - the couple- and a few family photos  after the ceremony, and of your cake. This is your most important thing, and that’s absolutely OK. There are no rules. The photographs you will receive from this one-hour photography will be on a par with the £2,000 per day photographers. They will be amazing!

Here's why you should book a cheap wedding photographer

If you feel you need to hire a photographer for your wedding day because your mum and your gran really want you to book one to capture different things, but you are not that excited about the prospect, you might want to consider a photography student or amateur photographer for your wedding photography. Therefore, if photography is not that important to you, if you just want a few snaps, then that's absolutely fine.

There are a few absolute gems in among the lower cost wedding photographers. There are a few out there who are starting out and they simply need some practice at real weddings and to them it’s more about learning rather than getting paid appropriately. If you don’t mind that, then that’s totally OK. We all started somewhere and we all needed to get the experience somewhere.

Summary

This is a totally honest review of prices of Edinburgh wedding photographers. If you have found a few photographers online, and they have worked at many top venues in Edinburgh and further afield in Scotland, and you love their photographs and their personality, you can expect the following:

  • They charge from £2,000 for a full day of photography, for one photographer, no album or a smaller, less expensive album included.
  • They have a professional internet appearance.
  • They reply to you quickly.
  • They answer all your questions you may have openly, honestly, and confidently.
  • They can show you full sample weddings they photographed recently (not just the best of!).
  • They have sample wedding albums.
  • They have professional insurance.
  • They can show you lovely and more importantly recent customers’ testimonials.

Here’s how I booked our wedding photographer

When I looked for our own wedding photographer, I looked at the quality of their photographs first. I then had a short-list of three potential photographers. I had ear-marked one pretty clearly for our wedding and I was simply hoping they would be available.

When I contacted the wedding photographers, the way they responded to me (how long it took to reply), or how they answered the phone was a huge deciding point. Thankfully, the one we wanted was available and we booked them for our wedding next year (2018). And we we paid in the region of £2,000 for a five-hour photography coverage plus a substantial portion of that for travel costs and overnight stays.

We only get married once, and we really want stunning photographs of this memorable day. We wouldn’t trust an amateur to do this important job for us. We decided what would be important for us and photography is right up there. We all have different priorities and likes. And we can built our own wedding according to that.

If you have any questions, please contact me as I know so much about weddings and I am here to answer your questions.

Information about my wedding photography prices can be found on this page.

Copyright explained, wedding photography cost in Edinburgh
Copyright explained

Who is Nadin Dunnigan - Wedding Photographer in Edinburgh

Hey, I am Nadin! (same as "Nadine" - just without the "e"). I am a wedding photographer in Edinburgh, Scotland, specialising in big family weddings in Edinburgh, Scotland, and internationally. I have photographed so many weddings, and it is my mission to help couples with planning their dream wedding. Any questions I come across repeatedly - either in person or online, I will pop in here and provide more insight.

I hope you will find them useful :)

Nadin Dunnigan Photographer