So, you take great photos, especially of people and events. Friends keep asking you if you’ve thought of shooting weddings. Perhaps you’re closer and closer to jumping into the waters of professional wedding photography. Well, then this may surprise you. A recent survey from Your Perfect Wedding Photographer shows that professional wedding photographers actually spend most of their time not taking photos.
The website conducts this survey every year and shares some interesting statistics. Over 300 professional wedding photographers take part, and their answers help to follow the changes in the industry. Your Perfect Wedding Photographer notes that all results are based on full-time wedding photographers. What I must add is that they’re all in the UK.
However, although the answers are from UK professionals, there are still many aspects that I believe are applicable to photographers from other countries. The one that I find most curious is the time spent taking photos. Or should I say, not taking them?
According to the 2019 survey, photographers spend the majority of their time editing photos, on average 14 hours. Then comes the business/admin work, followed by culling the images. Communication with clients is second to last, and it still takes up more time than actually shooting. Wow!
The survey shares some other useful and interesting data. For example, a professional wedding photographer in the UK shot 28 weddings per year in 2019. Compared to previous years, this number hasn’t changed significantly. The average price of the full day starting package is £1,590. The most expensive photographers are located in the southwest of the country, charging £1,700 for this package. The cheapest region is in the northeast, where the same package costs £1,100.
What I also found interesting is the number of inquiries wedding photographers got in 2019. There were on average 110 inquiries from potential clients, and the percentage of bookings from the first inquiry varies greatly, as you can see in this graph:
Some of you may be wondering about the gear use. Canon and Nikon seem to be the most popular among UK wedding photographers, with 40% and 31% users respectively. It’s interesting to see mirrorless cameras on the third and the fourth place: Sony takes up 22%, and Fuji 7%. I remember people claiming a few years ago that Sony cameras were terrible for all-day wedding photography because of their poor battery capacity. How times change!
Finally, I found it interesting to learn about the gender, average age and years of experience of photographers. According to the survey, there are 44% of women and 56% of men in this industry. The average age of professional wedding photographers is 39, and the majority of them has between five and ten years’ experience.
There is plenty more information on Your Perfect Wedding Photographer, so make sure to head over to their website and check out the full results of the survey. I found it really fun to read overall. But, I definitely found the statistics about the hours spent shooting to be utterly surprising. And if people ever ask me again “Why don’t you shoot weddings?” I’m just gonna show it to them. Because out of all these skills, taking photos and sometimes editing them are the only ones I enjoy and actually know how to do.