Photographers: What Couples Love (and Don’t Love)

Updated on: June 12, 2024

Photographers are responsible for capturing the magic, excitement, and emotions of the wedding day. There’s no re-do, so couples need to be assured their chosen photographer understands their vibe and will be trusted to catch the precious moments.

We asked 4,200 Australian couples about their wedding plans and what separates great photographers from those who let them down. Here’s what they said…

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Couples spent 3% more on wedding photography than they did the previous year. Image: iStock

What couples want from their wedding photographer

Wedding photographers are among the first suppliers booked after the venue and celebrant. Cost of living impacts have forced today’s couples to prioritise their ‘must-haves’ from their ‘nice-to-have’ elements. But this is good news for photographers, where 91% of couples will hire a professional photographer to capture their day, according to the 2024 Australian Wedding Industry Report.

Just over three-quarters of couples (78%) request an ‘unplugged ceremony’ where phones are not permitted. These couples want their guests to be fully immersed in the ceremony while the professionals are left to capture the magic as it unfolds.

Traditional posed photography is no longer desired by couples, but rather, more relaxed, candid photography (62%), or a mix of candid and posed (37%).

Just over a third (35%) of couples want photos taken of the entire day. A quarter (24%) most value their couple portraits, followed closely by ceremony shots (18%), and almost half (47%) will purchase a wedding album from their photographer.

In addition to the wedding day shoot, 2 in 5 couples (37%) also commemorate their engagement with professional engagement photography.

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Great wedding photographers went above and beyond to get the perfect shot. Image: iStock

The average cost of a wedding photographer in Australia

While the average spend per wedding declined in many categories across the industry in 2024, for photographers it increased 3% on 2023 prices.

The national average cost of a wedding photographer is on a steady rise. In 2024 it is $3,266, up from $3,164 in 2023 — a further 3% more than 2022 prices.

Great photographers…

  • Provided everything in writing after every meeting
  • Gave direction in fun ways to ease the awkwardness
  • Were able to judge when the couple needed a break from having photos
  • Went above and beyond to get the perfect angle for different shots
  • Have a keen eye for detail e.g. straightening a tie or loose shoelace before taking a photo
  • Provided tips and tricks for the day

For more tips on what to do right, read our article: ‘How personality built a brand for wedding videography duo’.

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Just over three-quarters of couples request an ‘unplugged ceremony’ where phones are not permitted. Image: iStock

But not-so-great ones…

  • Lacked passion and appeared disinterested on the day
  • Over-filtered photos
  • Didn’t take shots that specifically requested
  • Showed example photos that were vastly different in quality from what was taken
  • Didn’t match the high quality provided for our engagement photography
  • Never sent the promised add-ons, like wedding albums

Business Insights

On average, wedding photographers in Australia:

  • Have been in business for 8 years
  • Are booked 9 months before the wedding
  • Work 28 hours on each wedding
  • Spend 25% of their revenue on marketing and advertising
  • Mostly respond to wedding enquiries within 24 hours (40%), followed by within minutes (30%)
  • Are devoted 76% to weddings and 24% to corporate or other photography
  • Are at the early stage of the Wedding Buying Cycle, just behind wedding venues, catering, and celebrants. The chart below shares where couples typically begin their planning journey,  with the cycle generally spread across 12-16 months

Wedding Buying Cycle 1

For the full scoop on all things weddings, click the below button to download the latest Australian Wedding Industry Report.

Download the 2024 Wedding Industry Report

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Categories: Wedding Industry