Average spend by Couples in the UK on Photography

£0

Last year the average spend was £1,450.

Average Full Day Starting Packages

Cheapest Region

North East - £0

Average Full Day Starting Packages

Most Expensive

South East - £0

0 is the average number of weddings captured a year

Last year this was 28, so there has been a slight increase.


Average Weddings Shot that were Unplugged
Unplugged Weddings
13%

Bookings

Average Percentage
that Book after Enquiry
62%

This was 65% last year.

Average Percentage
that Book an Engagement Shoot
34%

Last year this was 35%

Percentage that buy
a Wedding Album
33%

A new statistic for this year.

The Business Side

0Hours

Is the Average Time Spent Editing

0Years Old

The Average Age from those Surveyed

Time most spent
Years Experience
Client Spend
Top 3 Social Media for Bookings
Facebook - Organic
54%
Facebook - Paid
26%
Instagram - Organic
20%
Top 3 Biggest Expenses
Equipment
Online Advertising
Travel
Canon Vs Nikon Canon Vs Nikon
Canon Nikon
59% Canon
59% of Photographers use a Canon Camera, a tiny increase from 58% last year.
(Less than 2 percent of photographers also use Sony and Fuji cameras)


Thoughts & Opinions


Below are a sample of comments you left with regards to your thoughts on the industry.

"Too many inexperienced wedding photographers flooding the market and lowering the value of quality experienced ones."
"Too many paid and meaningless award sites, just so you can have a badge gives you more creditability. Let your work do the talking."
"Couples hiring cheap photographers without realising the consequences until it is too late."
"Yes! People starting out with 3 years experience or less need to be vetted and trained so it doesn't become even more saturated. Wedding magazines and other things like it need to stop giving average pricing as they are setting a precedent for price when actually the reality is that most Professionals and I mean pros! Start at £1500-2500 for full day, thats the figures that need to be going around so people have that expectation, not thinking £1400 / £1000 is enough."
"My only concern is being pushed into offering video because I have no interest in shooting video because it's reduces my time for creativity."
"I'm concerned that nowadays people seem to think that all it takes is a Fuji mirrorless camera, a bought preset and a bought following on Instagram to be a successful wedding photographer. Too many people shooting for themselves/to impress other photographers instead of their own clients. Using the same presets and shooting style means everyones work blends together in one huge editing style that will soon become very dated. Orange toned dark edits will soon be the spot-colour of 2018..."
"Pricing is too low in the UK. Wedding venues are all competing on price which pushes the price of all of the other services down. Some are barely able to staff their venues adequately for the size of the event. It's the photographers job to try and 'make the venues look good'...when many are quite sparse."
Thank you to everyone that took time to complete the survey, so what are your thoughts on the industry at the moment?

Your Thoughts - 32 Comments


  1. Great read, thanks for asking me to be a part of it! 🙂

  2. Whoever wrote this comment….
    “I’m concerned that nowadays people seem to think that all it takes is a Fuji mirrorless camera, a bought preset and a bought following on Instagram to be a successful wedding photographer. Too many people shooting for themselves/to impress other photographers instead of their own clients. Using the same presets and shooting style means everyones work blends together in one huge editing style that will soon become very dated. Orange toned dark edits will soon be the spot-colour of 2018…”

    This!!

  3. Dale says:
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

    Great survey, thats for doing this, some interesting results. I think the main issue is cheap and poor photographers, however that being said I feel couples are more wise to it and understand the importance.

  4. Really interesting results and comments, particularly the one about venues driving down prices and not staffing them adequately. I haven’t seen this too much, but I have been to venues which don’t employ/use a coordinator for the day, meaning all the guests were looking to me and my second shooter to tell them where they should be going and what they should be doing.

  5. Really interesting results this year and thoughts & opinions.

  6. Really good stats, its nice to compare where I am against the average in the country.

  7. Paul says:
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

    Great survey, thanks for doing this, nicely put together.

  8. Really interesting stats. From my interpretation it seems more people are down on bookings then ever before. There are too many people flooding the market with cheap work it seems

  9. Interesting reading. I’m torn with some views, yes there’s plenty of choice out there now, they can charge what ever they like, it’s their business. Does that de-value the industry? Maybe.

  10. Louise says:
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    There have always been new, cheap and inexperienced photographers. There have always been couples willing to book them. I’m not sure they’re the problem. It’s easy to blame those new to the industry because they don’t have much of a voice. It’s the industry itself- we’re self destroying and too stupid to even realise it.

    I mean, does anyone actually want to shoot weddings anymore, or is the goal to just “do your time” out in the field and acquire enough of a following in the process that you can start running workshops instead?

    We’re selling the idea to one another that it’s an easy job. That what we do can be taught in a 6 hour session for £350. We’re praising and congratulating and bigging up our peers for awards they’ve won that we all know actually mean next to nothing. We idolise people for shooting weddings abroad as if it’s the holy grail and yet so often even the big guys are shooting these glamorous weddings for peanuts (if anything) in the hope it’ll lead to more paid work. It rarely does. The whole industry is smoke and mirrors.

    If we don’t want new photographers flooding the market or whatever else it is they’re apparently doing, lets start leading by example and being a bit more transparent about the reality of being a wedding photographer. Lets start being honest about the reality of running a sustainable business. It is so rarely jet setting and glamour and constantly meeting for brunch, yet that’s exactly what instagram would have you believe. No wonder people want to become wedding photographers, and no wonder couples don’t want to spend very much any more, it looks like a doss!

  11. Pretty accurate, and good job on putting this together and publishing the findings. Love the Canon v Nikon Stats 🙂

  12. Some really interesting comments! Thanks for sharing the survey stats – most seem to make sense. The only figure I’m surprised with is a figure of 62% for “Average percentage that book after enquiry”,
    Perhaps I’m misunderstanding but 62% seems to be an incredibly high conversion rate as it implies that couples only approach 1-2 photographers.

  13. Lovely to see the results and all seems accurate to and nice to see where I place in terms of number of weddings and yaesr of experience 🙂

  14. £1480.
    It’s not a shock, but it’s pretty depressing.
    Louise (post above) has got some good points. There’s whole industry piggy backing the wedding photography world – the smart people have figured out that there’s more money in workshopping to wannabe photographers, dangling the carrot. Lighting workshops, posing workshops, editorial workshops, workshop workshops. I’ve been on a few,I even run a mentoring program myself! But no more. They’re the hob-nobbers dream though – I can see the attraction. Pay your way to rock’n’roll success.

    The photographer who wins one of those nonsense awards though. Set up for life. Joins the circuit, speaking at ‘conferences’ and events. It’s inspirational. I wish them well.

    The Fuji comment got my back up, but then the old school mentality has always been quick to presume that modern tech is taking away their baby. There’s no need to worry – Us Fuji users only take up less than 2 percent – you’re OK for now.

  15. It is not the new photographers that concern me, its the 3 day course they take and use the model photos as their own work confusing the bride.

    The stats are flawed as only a minority of new photographers has answered this and would push this price down. Louise has a great point about the created perception of photographers lifestyle opposed to reality, people cheapen themselves to do weddings abroad in the hope to get more work.

    The key to my wins in business is establishing long term relationships, unfortunately investing more in traditional advertising and moving back from certain social media channels.

    Awards unless they are annual guild SWPP, Guild etc are fine but the others do not mean diddly squat and another way of confusing a bride. With advertising, rules should be followed.

    I know a lot of photographers that do not shoot in manual, cant shoot for shxx but are successful which leads my thoughts that when it comes to this business your photos are only 30% of your actual business. People buy people…..

    I must admit, I love my work and now doing well from it but it has taken a lot of hard work and more hours than sense. I don’t like the industry though as its one that everyone is too keen to share their secrets even if its their competitor on their doorstep and in effect saturating their market. It might be a hobby, but its about time you started treating it like a business and protect yours.

  16. Sarah W says:
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    The industry has always been busy, I think competition is a good thing, the ‘cheaper’ photographers that offer everything for £500 will come and go, the true professionals will still be here.

    Awards be it best in a region for 2017 or best photo I find annoying, I feel they are just targeted at helping give someone more ‘creditability’ and ‘stature’ and stand for little else, almost like a marketing method for photographers.

    Apart from that I still love the industry and people in it, be it other professionals or my clients. I shall just keep doing what I’m doing.

  17. Photograph is Art – I hope it will get just as much recognition and remuneration soon as in Continental Europe 🙂 Sarah W – I shall just keep doing what I am doing too!

  18. mamadm says:
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 10:02 PM | Permalink

    I’m so glad you guys do this every year. I find it very interesting each and every year. Thank you YPWPhotographer 🙂

  19. People keep suggesting the problem with the industry is newbies flooding the market.

    I think it’s more the opposite. Where is all the OTHER paid photography jobs? There is none. I originally wanted to be a fashion photographer, realised this was near impossible so became a wedding photographer instead. I’m sure I’m not the only one. SO many photographers want to be doing events, portraits, fashion, cars, commercial. They do weddings because its their “bread and butter”. Its not the wedding industry that has the problem, its the whole photography market.

  20. Mike says:
    Posted March 14, 2018 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    I increase my prices every year but average a lot less than the £1400 mark. There should be a legislation to set prices for a full day coverage etc. Is it too risky to increase prices thinking it’ll put potential clients from booking you? Also, my clients say they cant tell photographers apart, meaning price is the key factor when you are not recommended?

  21. I think you’ve missed out a large part of the market. Check out all the wedding jobs being placed via websites like Bark and Bidvine and you’ll find prices are a lot lower. Also, why no mirrorless?!? I think this is again symptomatic of your sample, which sounds like it’s generally well established photographers.

  22. mark ttt says:
    Posted March 15, 2018 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    Definately think a ‘mirrorless’ vs canon vs Nikon would be a very interesting stat to see.

  23. Sarah W says:
    Posted March 15, 2018 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

    Do professionals really advertise on Bark and Bidvine? Really?

  24. Nick R says:
    Posted March 17, 2018 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    The problem is that couples don’t seem to research anymore and thus only see certain photographers and certain styles of photography in their area. Most don’t know what they want until they have a meeting and we can sell what we do and why more. How do clients get the idea that £1000 is enough? Most pro, well experienced and superb photographers I know are easy £1800+ and quite rightly. There needs to be more information out there for couples looking and ‘the industry’ as a whole needs to show the differences in price, that it is based on quality, skill, value, worth and experience – price being a reflection of this. Magazines (though i don’t know any of my clients who have bought any) need to stop giving crappy average spend information as it’s clearly not the reality and does not help pro and well-established photographers by showing unrealistic pricing and hammering down the average price which makes it look like thats how much a couple should spend. Because of this couples grossly underestimate what to spend on a photographer depending on the level of quality they want.

  25. Interesting, I haven’t been in the industry that long (8 years) but that’s long enough to see a massive difference since when I started. It’s only going to move faster.

  26. Though I no longer shoot weddings I really appreciate the information in this post.
    It is also nice to see thoughtful comments about the realities of the wedding market that has become a mare’s nest of low priced shooters and formulaic photography stoked by breathless articles of photographic “success”.

  27. Constant back patting from meaningless awards sites. The need to feel relevant is ridiculous!

  28. As ever, the comments are very much typical of what you see on various wedding photographer forums. Many of us are constantly negative about all other styles of work but their own, promoting some paid photographer collectives awards as some sort of photographic Bible and seeing the influx of new photographers into the profession as a threat!
    The clients have more choice now and this is a market where the clients are ultimately in charge of exactly what they want. We just need to learn to deal with this! Do we really want to dictate to our clients what they should be looking like in their photographs and how their precious photos should look because as wedding photographers, we are stylists too and the sole bearer of the acceptable standards of look? Yeah right!
    Marketing is the key as it has always been. A great marketer would always get more business than a brilliant (subjective term) photographer who knows nothing about marketing. The wedding blog owners at Rock my wedding, Rock and roll bride, Whimsical weddings to name a few are major influential players in the market because let’s face it, brides love looking at wedding photos and often book their photographers through these blogs. Hence the repetition of these highlights crushing green and orange low contrast photos. But, if a client likes this look, who are we to tell them that the look is unacceptable?
    Like any other industry, those who are the greatest listeners and communicators would be the ones to survive. If we are driving down the road and there is a tailback, there is absolutely nothing we can do. Leave the sarcasm at home, put on your favourite music, relax and enjoy the ride. Get there when you will!

  29. Surprised to see Facebook has the biggest social media bookings.

  30. It’s great to see the numbers crunched. After reading post after post of Facebook brides saying “well we got our photographer for £300 for the day and that includes prints and an album” it’s great to see that the average price spent doesn’t seem to be dropping as much as I would have expected.

  31. I think lot`s of people struggling to justify the higher price to their clients since their work looks just exactly same like others. You should shoot in a way that you separate yourself from the market (or at least with that goal in mind) instead of taking the same photo like another 500 tog and putting it to black and white and suddenly starting to call yourself as `fine art` and `contemporary` wedding photographer.

  32. I may be a little late to the party with this comment, but I will leave it nonetheless.

    I am an inexperienced photographer looking to take up wedding photography as big dogs like yourselves portray it as the holy grail of commercial photography – but state newcomers are killing off the market.

    Sure, some couples may hire an inexperienced photographer for peanuts and get mediocre results, but anybody who possesses the capacity to think for themselves will know that you pay for quality. I’m sure every couple would like to book a £2000 per day top shelf photographer, but the matter is simple; some people just cannot afford that. Who steps in then? The mediocre crowd.

    I know some entree photographers might not hold such high morals, but if I receive an enquiry about my low pricing I make it clear that my pricing is low because my experience is low – and people are just fine with that. They aren’t getting married on the golden beaches of the caribbean, so they don’t need the worlds best photographer to be taking their pictures. Making it clear what they can expect is key.

    When all the top tier photographers retire or die off, are we to expect a vast vacuum left in their wake because they have warned any new photographers away? No, because it is one big circle. Everybody has to start somewhere.


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