You've reached the stage of budgeting for your wedding, and surely, you've asked Google how much a wedding photographer costs in Portugal? This article is the report of a market study we recently conducted for internal use, but we've concluded that we should share it, not only to make your life easier but also to inform you.

We bring you our conclusions in the hope that it will be useful and help you make good decisions when it comes to investing your money.

A study about wedding photography prices in Portugal

Methodology and comparison basis.

We hired a market research company to gather data for this study. The contracted company sent emails to 196 photographers. They received, in a timely manner, 128 valid email responses. They also conducted 26 phone interviews, covering all districts of mainland Portugal and the Autonomous Regions of Madeira and Azores. 

To standardize and compare more effectively, we considered only the prices for a service package that includes:

  • Pre wedding Couple's Photoshoot;
  • Full wedding day coverage;
  • One printed photo album;
  • A system for delivering digital files (online gallery, USB drive, or other)

In addition to the prices of each photographer, we rated other qualitative factors on a scale of 1 to 10, such as:

  • The quality of work based on what we could find online (websites and social media);
  • "The quality and functionality of their websites;"
  • The level of professionalism in email responses;
  • The time to get a response;
  • The level of professionalism and friendliness in telephone service.
  • The clarity of the provided info.

First conclusions

When analyzing the data received, we concluded that, in general, the wedding photography market in Portugal is diverse and of reasonable quality.

We continue to notice that the overwhelming majority (about 83%) of wedding photographers in Portugal are amateurs and combine photography with another profession.

In recent years, as a result of investment in training, several colleagues with high-quality work have emerged in the market, reaching the standards found in other European countries. On the other hand, it is becoming more common to see foreign clients hiring Portuguese photographers to capture their weddings in their home countries. 

We also have some of the best printers and manufacturers of wedding albums in the world!
To highlight our main suppliers, Dreambooks pro and Floricolorwho exports worldwide and are highly appreciated by colleagues and customers beyond Portuguese borders.

wedding photography prices in Portugal

How much does a wedding photographer cost on average in Portugal?

There are huge price differences!
We have come to the conclusion that estimating an average cost of a wedding photographer in Portugal is not an easy task, and the result is not very enlightening as it is heavily deflated by some photographers who charge very low prices, distorting the sample.

The result of a simple average 

Making a simple average, we arrive at a completely absurd value.
We were shocked to realize that the average price for a wedding reportage in Portugal, including everything in the reference package, is close to €400!!!

We quickly realized that analyzing 'averages' would not bring us good conclusions.

We noticed then, on our Excel sheet, that 15 photographers were dragging the average prices way down... yes, it's true, we found someone asking for €150 for a package with everything described above!

Let's see:

In our country, on a wedding day, a photographer easily works more than 12 hours just on the coverage.
Before the wedding day, between meetings, administrative work, conducting the pre-wedding photo session, and preparation, a photographer easily needs at least 5 more hours.
In the post-production phase (choosing and editing photos), easily more than 18 hours of work are spent.

Being very optimistic, we're talking about a total of 35 hours of work for a wedding.

So €400/35 = €11,43 per hour.

For some, this amount may seem reasonable; however, we're not considering any costs... not everything is profit!
The photographic and computer equipment is not exactly cheap; it has to be maintained and replaced periodically. There are software licenses that need to be paid for editing photos and creating beautiful photo albums. There are always expenses for travel, a vehicle for transportation, vehicle maintenance expenses, taxes, communication costs, administrative expenses, advertising costs... and, by the way, it's essential that the photographer receives a salary, right?

How much does a wedding photographer costs in Portugal | Boris the Cat

How much does a wedding photographer costs in Portugal?

When analyzing the data, we noticed a pattern.
When we compare the price with the qualitative analysis factors, we easily see a relationship between price ranges. The higher the price, the higher the scores in qualitative factors.

We essentially detected 3 main price tiers:

  • €150 to €1500 tier
  • €1500 to €4000 tier
  • €4000 to €10.000 tier

€150 to €1500 tier

In this price range, we essentially find 4 types of photographers:

  • Photographers at the beginning of their careers.
    With little experience but some training. They offer low prices to build their portfolio.
  • Photographic equipment collectors.
    They are mostly individuals with little technical and aesthetic preparation, based on what we observed from the responses we obtained and the images they advertise. We suspect that these are people who see wedding photography as a way to earn some extra money to supplement their daytime job income in order to support the expensive hobby of photography. 
  • These are professionals who have stopped in time.
    Colleagues who failed to adapt and evolve and continue focusing on a style that is not suitable for the current market.
  • Companies that operate in the mass market with low-cost services.
    Are companies that handle a large number of weddings simultaneously and offer low-cost services. They cover many weddings each weekend and provide a very impersonal and standardized service.

You can easily identify photographers in this segment by:

  • The websites, when they exist, do not stand out for good taste and usually not very organised;
  • Strong presence on social media, but usually inconsistent and without a defined branding;
  • There is almost always video included;
  • They engage in various photography branches without specializing in any of them (you find weddings mixed with all kinds of sessions, pseudo fashion, sports, culinary photography, real estate...);
  • They usually take a long time to respond to communications. In email responses, we noticed more than double the time compared to colleagues in the next price range, and few answered phone calls.

Who is this price range for?

In this price range is for couples who do not prioritize the photography of their weddings.
It is recommended for couples who prefer to spend their money on flowers, sparkles, food, etc.

On the other hand, if you value your wedding photos but your budget doesn't allow you to move up to a higher tier, based on our study, we recommend that you proceed with caution and invest more time in conducting a thorough search.

But, after all, we find good examples.
Mainly young photographers who are starting their careers.
They can be a good bet!

By choosing this tier you can count on:

  • Photos without a defined style, lacking harmony, and often with aesthetically questionable taste.
  • Uneven, irregular, or nonexistent editing in photos.
  • Long delivery times (6 to 18 months);
  • Very high response times to communications (a pattern we also detected).
  • Selling photos at your event to your guests, which could ruin your decoration and create a strong distraction from the entertainment at your wedding. 
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€1500 to €4000 tier

In this price range, and from what we observed, you can expect to find experienced, qualified professionals, usually with more than 10 years of experience. 

These are clearly photographers who invest in their business and their clients.
They depend on photography for their livelihood, so they are very careful about their reputation and, therefore, provide their clients with quality service experiences. 

Expect to find professionals with a very distinctive, consistent and unique style. These are professionals who know what they are doing, and therefore, they give you guarantees that what they show you is what they will deliver.

It is very easy to identify these professionals on the internet:

  • Functional, organized and well crafted websites;
  • Coherent and consistent branding throughout their web presence and communication;
  • Inclusion of galleries with a significant number of photos;
  • A well-defined and consistent style across various different weddings;
  • Careful and uniform editing style;
  • Coherent presence on social media but usually with infrequent posts;
  • Quick response to phone calls and emails.

These photographers are so confident in what they can create that they have no issues showcasing extended galleries with complete works. Their portfolios they are not just an extension of their Instagram feeds.

For whom is this price range suitable?

This price range is for couples who are more demanding, value the photographs of their wedding, and seek peace of mind that an expert can provide. Couples who want to have a beautiful photographic work of their wedding day that will accompany them for the rest of their lives.

It is for couples with more refined tastes who understand the value of having a beautiful wedding photo album and recognize that this work will be a legacy for future generations.

Because they are very qualified professionals who dedicate themselves exclusively to photography, you can expect fast delivery times, usually ranging from 1 to 6 months.

Price list lisbon wedding photographers

€4000 to €10.000 tier

In this price range, we enter the luxury segment.

They are usually colleagues with a very solid reputation in the market, built over many years of their career, and therefore, they take extreme care with their branding and reputation.

It is common to see very little work on their websites because, for "branding" reasons, they tend to disclose only a small number of key images that best characterize their style of work.

In this segment, don't expect much flexibility from the photographer.
It is common for these professionals to adhere to the maxim: "The client doesn't know what is good until I show it to them."
It's not the client who chooses them, but rather the other way around. Most of these colleagues work in partnership with international wedding planners, and the hiring process takes place through them.

Expect a limited number of final photographs, but in return, they possess a beauty worthy of decorating the walls of any museum. It is common for these photographs to be edited by retouching specialists.
These editors meticulously handle every detail of the photographs, so expect delivery times of approximately 6 months to 1 year.

For whom is this price range suitable?

This price range is for clients who value the distinctive brand of the photographer and the associated status. It is also for those who appreciate everything the previous tier offers them.

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Conclusions on how much a wedding photographer costs in Portugal

Based on our analysis, we estimate that in Portugal, more than 80% of wedding photographers are amateurs, and their activity serves to supplement their income from other professions.

We conclude that the price factor is indeed a differentiator, and there is a significant leap in service quality, both aesthetically and in terms of customer support and attention, from the first to the second price tier.

It is evident that when hiring photographers in the price range of €1500 to €4000, the qualitative leap is enormous! Despite the client paying twice as much, if we could quantify it, the client receives 10 times more for their investment!

To help you choose your wedding photographer, read this article where we explain a foolproof method to avoid mistakes:

quanto custa um fotógrafo de casamento

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