How is wedding documentary (photography & videography) priced in the market?

Wedding documentary can be classified into two broad categories

– Just documentation
– Artistic documentation

Just documentation:

The phrase used for such kind of documentation is:
Traditional/Regular Photography and Traditional/Regular Videography

Just plain documentation is what you get when you hire the usual road side studios. They are great if having photos & a video of the event is your only necessity with no focus on creative work or any wow factor.

How are they priced?

  • Traditional photography can be as cheap as 1k to 2k per hour
  • Traditional videography can be as cheap as 2k to 3k per hour

If you are wondering why are they so cheap, that’s because of the combination of following reasons:

  1. Traditional photo-video guys use old fashioned camera gear which is usually not upgraded but can do a decent job.
  2. They use one lens for the entire wedding. a generic zoom lens which does everything ok and nothing outstanding

> Photo Sample –

3. They usually have no artistic training whatsoever other than handling the camera, so if you notice their movements in handling the camera you will get the feel of their output. The traditional photographer will often insist the subjects to look at the camera and the video output is usually monotonous and plain looking.

4. They use artificial light to illuminate the space and that makes their life easy and this also reflects in their costing (flash on the face type of standard output)

> Photo Sample –

Photos shot by them are readily available for seeing the very next day as they don’t edit the photos, they shoot in jpeg mode which means what they shot is what you get. An underexposed photo will turn out to be dark, a shaken photo will also be delivered and there is no chance of any major editing possible.

Video shot by them will be the usual videography, which means all details will be seen but they will use a lot of artificial light to illuminate the space and more often, the footage will be painfully long to see even though it your wedding.

> Video Sample – Shooting style –

> Actual video output –

Most often, you will get an employee working for a small business house who will shoot. They are trained only through experience and have taken-up this job as a source of livelihood and not due to a passion.

However, these guys are very important. They do a good job in ensuring everyone is clicked, at least everyone in the family. They are good at crowd management and will get everyone to do the customary group photos without which an Indian wedding is incomplete. When you are on a shoe string budget and just documenting the event is important not art, call these guys. GK Vale in Bangalore for instance will send their employees with a GK Vale branded shirt and makes it a little more professional.

Artistic documentation:


Then comes Artistic documentation. This is the genre you will find most candid photographer and videographers and cinematographers playing in. Most of these players have taken this up as they are either very passionate about their work or have a deep understanding of what they can do for their clients.

The goal for candid artists is not document every detail of a wedding or to capture all guests. Candid work on the other hand is to get you fewer but interesting looking artistic summary shots of the entire event, predominantly focusing on the couple in a non-intrusive way without using flash on the face. This kind of work requires special gear, training and years of experience.

Sample Candid Video –

How are they priced?

Candid photography can be classified broadly into three categories:

  • Freelancers who may have a 9 – 5 job elsewhere. Most of these players are relatively inexperienced and it is a gamble to shoot through them as they are not dependent on the earnings from a shoot for their livelihood and this could lead to non-seriousness in their approach. They wouldn’t have more than 3 – 5 weddings to show the work and would refuse to show the entire collection. Will want you to decide based just on the cream of the photos they up for display publicly. They can be as cheap as 15k for a typical event, for one person shoot for photography or videography. If you are on a budget but still want some good output, they could be a choice, but it is a gamble.
  • Independent artists are on the other hand are those who have taken this up as their full time profession. Depending on how many years or how many 100s of weddings they have covered, they can be priced from 20k to 35k for a single event shoot for one person for photography or videography. Always insist on seeing a few end to end shoots so that you get to know the amount of coverage and the type of work you can expect in your wedding.
  • Small businesses or celebrity photographers can have a team, with a mix or new comers and experienced professionals. The eventual delivery ownership will be on the main business holder. This can work out well when there is a large wedding and you need a team of photographers/videographers. Depending on how large the event is or depending on multiple events happening simultaneously, this can cost from a couple of lakhs to about 10 lakhs for entire wedding event line-up.

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