Party photography costs and FAQs
Whether you are throwing a birthday party, a gender reveal, child’s party or any other kind of party, you will need a professional party photographer to capture those special moments that occur. Most party photographers fall under the umbrella of an event photographer. In the UK, the average starting cost of party photography is £150 per day. The prices of party photography can vary with several factors such as experience and location heavily influencing how much a photographer will charge. Let’s have a look at party photography and what can impact the price you will pay!
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|Minimum You Should Pay||£150|
|Maximum You Should Pay||£300|
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Why Hire a Party Photographer?
Many of us have flashy smartphones with excellent cameras, so why hire a photographer to shoot at your party? While you may think these photos will be perfect, it’s likely you will be too busy to constantly be taking photos yourself and you may miss out on a special moment. Instead, hiring a photographer will take the stress off you so you can enjoy yourself and those special moments will all be caught on camera. Rather than just having substandard photos that are great for Facebook, invest in photos that will be cherished for a lifetime. A photographer will be skilled in catching those priceless moments, as well as the unexpected ones, that you would have otherwise probably not be able to capture well.
What Kind of Photos Can I Expect from Party Photography?
Not every party will have a significant moment that is typical of a gender reveal, for example. Of course, parties that do have a key moment such as the gender of a baby being revealed or someone blowing out their candles will always be caught on camera; you can expect to see and feel the emotion that was felt in that very moment. Hiring a party photographer for a gender reveal may seem a little much for some people, but to have professional, high-quality images that capture that very moment you find out your little one’s gender is priceless; the look of surprise and sheer happiness and excitement can never be replicated! While you may have friends or family that can snap great photos with the newest iPhone, it still won’t beat what you will receive from a professional, who will ensure your most important photos are crisp and beautifully edited.
You can expect a mixture of candid and posed shots. Candid shots are great for telling a story and truly getting a snapshot of the emotion and vibe of the day. Posed shots are a beautiful way to get group shots that will be cherished for years to come. Your photographer will usually also capture some ‘behind the scenes’ shots prior to all of the guests arriving; these may include balloons being blown up and final touches being made to decorations at the venue. It is always a good idea to speak to your photographer about the kinds of shots you would love to have. Luckily, your photographer will be experienced and will be prepared to shoot those unexpected moments that are intimate and honest and convey a great deal of emotion.
Your photographer may also use technology to capture aerial photos at parties, especially if they are outdoors. Find out more about drone photography prices and the different cost factors.
Some photographers will have props available that make for some fun for the guests who want to have some silly shots taken. Not all photographers will have props, so it is a good idea to discuss this with them and if you feel there is a particular prop you want, you can arrange this ahead of time and discuss how you want them to be used. At parties, most party photographers will work around everyone who is there, but sometimes they will use their social skills and really engage with guests to take a photo that exudes happiness and fun. Again, most party photographers will want to tell a story of the party with the photos they take, so you can expect to relive your party through the photos you receive.
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Factors That Affect Party Photography costs
Some parties can go on into the wee hours of the morning, but that does not necessarily mean you need your photographer there the whole time. Party photographers usually offer prices based on either an hourly rate or a set amount of time with a fixed price, such as a half-day or full-day. If you are hiring a photographer who charges by the hour, you will want to make sure you allow adequate time for them to capture the most important moments - such as blowing out candles and revealing the gender - as well as enough time to capture those unexpected moments that will help tell the story of the day.
Most photographers will supply your photos online in a password protected gallery; from there you can choose images that you would like printed. However, if you would prefer to have your photos on a disc or have them all printed, the rate you pay can vary. Many people prefer to receive their photos digitally and then choose a handful that they love to have prints of to be hung around the home or sent to family members. Do remember, the number of prints required, the quality, size and paper they are printed on will heavily influence the price.
Most photographers do edit their photos as standard; this is because the majority of photographers capture their shots in RAW file formats, which is essentially the equivalent of a film negative, but the digital version instead. The photographer must then process the photograph to be able to see the image. However, the level of editing that comes after this stage depends on your images and how much editing the photographer does as standard. Always discuss this with your photographer, but if you look at samples of work they have done, you should be able to get an idea of the level of editing they put into their photos.
The location of your party may require some level of travel for your photographer. Most photographers will travel up to a certain amount of miles included in their prices, whereas some may quote this fee separately, depending on the location at which your party is being held.
The base location of your photographer does also influence price, as photographers who live in London will be charging more than those who base themselves in smaller cities and towns. It is always a good idea to research local photographers as this will help keep not only travel costs down, but also the main hourly or package price down too.
Photographers with less experience are likely to charge lower fees as they are seeking to build their portfolio; however, you could compromise the quality of your photos with a photographer who is not as skilled. An experienced photographer’s prices will be reflective of the experience they have. Always review portfolios and read reviews and testimonials to determine how experienced a photographer is. This is also essential in finding a photographer that matches your style.
Many photographers will offer packages that suit the needs of many clients. Packages will usually include a set duration of time and will yield an average number of photos during that time. Packages should state in which format your photos will be received and the extent to which they will be edited. Usually photographers will offer the option of creating bespoke packages to suit your needs, so always feel free to discuss additions if you feel something is missing.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I Need Two Photographers?
Generally, most parties are small enough to be covered by a single photographer. Many people assume that by hiring multiple photographers they will receive more images, which in most cases you would, but the chances are you will get many similar photos if you have two photographers covering a relatively small party. It is best to discuss this with your main photographer, as most studios do have secondary shooters to assist if needed; if you do have a second photographer, they will usually offer a discounted rate for them. Weddings, for example, can have in excess of 100+ people and many photographers feel comfortable shooting this alone; most parties are not going to exceed that figure, but it is entirely down to your preference and budget! Find out more about wedding photography prices and their cost factors.
How Long Do I Need a Photographer?
This will be completely down to the length of your party! A children’s birthday party is usually only a couple of hours, so you may like to hire a photographer for just those few hours, or even slightly less, to get some great shots of your child enjoying their party and blowing out the candles on their cake. However, some parties can run longer, and perhaps well into the evening, so it may be best to consider a photographer that offers half and full-day rates to ensure the majority of the party is covered.
How Can I Tell If a Photographer’s Prices are Competitive?
Comparing the rates of a party photographers can leave you feeling a little stumped, as they can range quite a bit! Experience does play quite a large part in determining the price a photographer will charge; the more experienced and skilled a photographer, the more they can charge, even if it then means their prices are not competitive - mostly because their style, skills, name and brand sells and they do not need to compete to win business. Mid-ranged photographers will have to keep their prices relatively competitive to others in the area in which they are located until they have a more established name that can help put them on the map.
If you aren’t sure that a photographer is being competitive in their prices, especially for those that charge an hourly rate, you should always feel free to ask them what their prices reflect. Remember, photography is more than just taking the photos; it could include a range of special equipment to help achieve good photos, travel time and editing.
How Many Photos Will I Receive?
The amount of photos you receive and the number of photos actually taken will differ. A four hour shoot could produce an average of about 400 images, but you will not actually receive all of them. The photographer will cull through your photos to discard any that are not suitable for use or are completely unflattering. After careful culling of photos and editing of decent photos, you can probably expect anywhere between 60-100 delivered photos per hour of shooting. However, the rate at which photographers capture shots and how many they choose to deliver does vary, so to be safe, you should always discuss your expectations.
Hiring a party photographer for an average starting cost of £210 means that you have one less thing to think about, but also means you will relive your party for years to come with highly professional photos. There are many factors that affect the average cost that you will pay, but a key factor is experience. “What do we feel when we look at a good photograph? We just want to be there, right at the exact moment that photo taken!” - Mehmet Murat Ildan. That sentiment is exactly how a good party photographer should make you feel when you receive your party photos!