What’s Involved In Shooting A Wedding?

10 Hour Wedding Time Graph

So, what’s involved in shooting a wedding? outside of fancy cameras and being “arty”?

Recently I was in discussion with a fellow artist, it was relating to the typical things we do with our lines of work. The one thing that astounded me was that no matter what our particular speciality is there is a phenomenal expense for tools and materials, and more so was the extensive time that goes into any single contract let alone the additional day to day running, particularly being self employed.

There was also a mutually common problem, where by our work is deemed excessively expensive.

It might be hard for some to believe, but wedding photography is a business.
And with that, for the money you pay, there is an awful lot of other work involved outside of actually taking photographs.

I wont go into a long dialogue of how much equipment and skills and advertising cost as its been covered on thousands of blogs, instead I thought I would try and isolate a few of the key things that are dedicated to every individual wedding, adding up the typical averages. These numbers of course are for me and my business, but its arguable that anyone who is intent on providing a decent service will be doing any less.

As I offer 2 types of coverage I thought I would make 2 charts, which I will explain why further down.

To The Infographics


6 Hour Wedding Total Time Cost
6 hours photographing a wedding takes how many hours of other work?

As you might already see, editing a wedding does take up a notable chunk of the work involved. I have it worked out, that for every hour spent taking photos, there is an additional 4 hours required to edit them. And cumulatively for a wedding of only 6 hours, it will take up to 47 hours of work in total.


10 Hour Wedding Total Time Cost
How many hours work does a 10 hour wedding actually involve? a hell of a lot more.

Now when we up that to 10 hours, you can see post production increases significantly as does the total numbers of hours spent dedicated to that wedding up to 67 hours.

You will also see that all the other aspects outside of shooting and editing have remained the same. This is largely because they do remain the same and are very much predicable. This is quite easy to understand when you look at my pricing structure. So for the sake of argument I excluded designing albums from the graphs as they are a custom order item. But for an album you can easily expect another 10 to 20 hours of work on top of that in design and production.

Other things I excluded from the data was things like cleaning of the camera’s (it varies depending on the work they do to how often I have to clean them, but its essential I do), advertising, website work, and other matters that are generally business and I could not isolate as being specific to a clients wedding, which includes general enquiries that do not lead to a booking.

However, responding to emails, phone calls, and so on, can be counted, tracked easy and have been included between various segments for which they represent.

Breakdown Of This Data

This data, I have made a point of keeping out running costs as it can, and does vary from business to business. As does strategy, after-sales and so on which all detracts from the reality of time, and how valuable it is.

And with that I really want people to see that any half decent photographer will be dedicating a whole week or mores work to your wedding. So don’t devalue it? More so, dont devalue that weddings, are mostly on weekends. If you have children at school, you will understand how much of a sacrifice this involves too.

Time is precious. I hope this enforces how much importance we put into your wedding, to sacrifice so much of our own.