Updated June 2020

The fun and happy memories made during a wedding ceremony should be captured in amazing pictures and videos. One of the common questions people often ask me is this, “What does a wedding photographer cost?” You can expect to pay anything from around R1 000 to R30 000+ for a wedding photographer in South Africa. So, keep reading the blog to find out more about the prices of South African wedding photographers and why prices differ so drastically.

Wedding Photographer Cost in South Africa Explained.

I understand that the couple or their sponsors need to know all the costs to plan a proper wedding budget. However, it is difficult to guess an estimated cost of hiring a photographer. Instead, you should search online or ask a friend, find an experienced wedding photographer, and speak with them about the cost of your wedding ceremony. Any wedding photographer will be delighted to tell you all that they can do to give you the best pictures of your wedding event.

What Determines the Price of A Wedding Photography Package?

While searching for a wedding photographer, you will notice that they offer different prices. Please don’t be discouraged when you find a wedding photographer who offers a price that may seem too high. Instead find out why their rates are higher than other wedding photographers.

Here’s the thing, the fees charged by a wedding photographer are mostly determined by the photographer’s skill, experience and style. What you need is an experienced wedding photographer whose approach delivers superb and high-quality pictures that meet your expectations and look. A chat with the wedding photographer will reveal why they have offered you that bill.

Here are some highlights to help you understand how a wedding photographer in South Africa may calculate the bill for the wedding package you are offered;

1. Working Hours.

How many hours will your wedding ceremony last? It will significantly cost more if you need to use the services of a wedding photographer for longer hours. So keep this in mind.

2. Pre-Wedding Photoshoot.

Pre-wedding photoshoots or rehearsal shoots are so adorable; they set the tone for your big day. A pre-shoot is also great because both the couple and photographers have an opportunity to get comfortable with each other and their shooting style. Do chat to your potential wedding photographers as a rehearsal shoot may be included in your wedding package.

3. Photo Album.

A photo album is a great way to have your wedding day memories live on beyond a file or social media update. I like to think of a wedding album as the book of your love story. The best wedding photographers in South Africa use the best printing labs that produce only high-quality products. This does affect how much a wedding photographer costs in South Africa.

4. Second Photographer.

Many photographers use a second photographer when shooting a wedding but some opt not to. A second photographer is hand-picked by the primary photographer to do a good job where they may not be able to be present. These instances can be if there are two dressing up locations or if two events are happening simultaneously.

5. Skill & Experience.

There’s the years of study, research, practice, and spending huge amounts on upgrading cameras and equipment. There are also editing programs, website & portfolio samples and marketing that builds a wedding photographer’s experience which gives them the skill to produce work at the standard you see. Here is a little of what experience gives you;

On the Wedding Day.

  • On the day of the wedding, photographers will double-check that all equipment is present and working. This can involve formatting memory cards, charging batteries and more.
  • The photographer will check in with the bride before everything begins and generally before any photos are taken.
  • With a normal wedding shoot, we will be working for at least 8 hours and we will need to be at the top of our game, using our photographic creativity while, at the same time being aware of everyone around us to take that perfect shot.
  • A wedding photographer should also have excellent technical know-how as we need to continually adjust our light and settings in the quest for excellent photos that also look natural and never staged.
  • Good wedding photographers know that sometimes the best photographs happen naturally and when clients are not posing. We therefore need to constantly be on the lookout for the perfect, wow image that can happen at any time.
  • Personality-wise, we need to be able to help our clients relax and have fun – this is where the ability to chat and have small talk comes in! Time management is also vital as there is only a set amount of time for each set of photos.
  • Of course, being a wedding photographer can be more than simply taking great pictures. Very often, we are there to encourage, give support, fix broken items and even help in an emergency.

After The Wedding.

  • After the big day is when the real work begins and it is very important that we back up your photographs. Photographers invest in additional hard drives to keep your images safe as it would be a tragedy if we were to lose any photos!
  • Many wedding photographers like us, also include albums in their packages and this will require additional work, planning and artistic skill.
  • Since the most professional-looking photos are always expertly edited, we use great editing software, tools and know-how to have each image looking like a masterpiece.

The Average Prices Of South African Wedding Photographers.

In terms of what a wedding photographer costs in SA, you can pay anything from R1000 to more than R30000+. But, it depends on multiple factors, the current market situation, how experienced they are, the wedding location and what’s included in the quote. Wedding photographers in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town usually charge more than those who work in the smaller towns and cities. It is not about what a wedding photographer costs but rather if you resonate with them and their work.

That being said, we have heard of the country’s top photographers charging a whopping R80000 for a wedding shoot! – this is why we say that brides and grooms should meet with their prospective photographer and establish if both parties are a great fit.

Read Next: 7 Wedding Tips That Anyone Getting Married Should Know.

wedding photographer cost bride photo looking back bride and groom with hands wrapped around