Pricing for weddings, couples shoots and children and families

I remember when I was looking for a wedding photographer online, before I was a professional photographer myself, and it was a frustrating experience. I had no idea how much photography cost and it was just one of a number of services I had to budget for ahead of the wedding. I had to factor in the venue, decor, the dress, the rings, the cake, food and drink, accommodation, cars and travel and I had a set amount I could spend. If I overspent in one area I would have to cut back in another.

Rachel & Lucy first dance at The Old Barn, South Causey Inn, Durham

So I searched online for wedding photographers based in Newcastle upon Tyne. My first criteria of course, was the quality of their work and whether it connected with me or not. Then I looked at past client reviews to assess their customer service.

Once I had a shortlist I compared them on price - or at least I tried to! The majority of photographers had no pricing information on their website at all, while most of the rest only had a starting price listed hidden away in an obscure part of their website. It meant I had to contact each photographer individually to ascertain whether they were even close to my budget and what I could expect from them on the day. It was a laborious process with lots of missed calls, e-mails promised but never sent, and made what I thought should be a relatively small task a huge time wasting hurdle to overcome.

My Dad always said if you go into a shop and there are no prices on anything you can't afford anything, and I felt like that looking at photographers websites. I think I missed out on working with some potentially great wedding photographers, that could have been perfect for my wife and I, because they didn't share their pricing from the start.

When I became a wedding photographer myself I vowed to not put my clients through that process. Instead I promised to be transparent and make my pricing easy to access. I don't use a euphemism such as investment, I call a spade a spade and call it pricing. It's really prominent up in my main navigation at the top of my website.

I think one of the reasons photographers hide their pricing is that they are worried that their prices will be too much for some clients. Good!

I'd rather people know up front whether they can afford me or not. If I'm outside of their budget they won't contact me and are free to find another photographer who is right for them. Everyone wins!

Black and white photo of Rachel & Lucy's first dance

I hated contacting photographers whose work I loved, speaking to them about my wedding day, only to find out that I simply couldn't afford them. It was so disappointing! I'd rather be up front and honest and put my full pricing out there for all to see. 

I understand that photographers are running a business and have a little bit of wiggle room when it comes to pricing and packages. I do too. That's why I say that if you have something in particular in mind, and you don’t see it in any of my packages, please ask.

So what do you think? Would you rather have your wedding photographer's pricing easy to see on their website or would you rather get in touch first and then see the pricing later? Let me know in the comments below.