Wedding Photography

How Much Does a Wedding Photographer Make an Hour?

We're asked common questions: 'How much is an event photographer?' and 'What are the prices for event photography?'.

We probably shouldn't be surprised that these are the following questions a client asks once they have found a professional event photographer's website displaying photos that fit their mood board or photography brief. After all, we've all got budgets to work within! Check out our extensive list of Wedding Photographers in Melbourne to help capture your special moments.

All events are unique, so we quote according to the brief and what the client requires as an end product, but here are a few ballpark figures to help with planning your event.

What Do Photographers Do?

Photographers use their creative and technical capabilities to capture photos of people, places, and things. Photographers generally spend a great deal of time coming up with ways to market their skills to the public. They are often hired to take photos at memorable events such as weddings, birthdays, and graduations. They usually have in-depth knowledge of photo editing software which may or may not enhance pictures. It is also common for photographers to offer photo album designs to serve as covers for customers' memorable photographs.

Photographers may specialize in different areas, including but not limited to, commercial photography, aerial photography, news photography, and special events. Depending on the size of expertise, they may tailor their marketing in the right direction.

A degree is not strictly required to become a photographer; however, an associate's or bachelor's degree in photography can dramatically increase employment opportunities. Many consider photography a form of art that takes many years to perfect, and aspiring photographers are always fortunate to work under or alongside experienced photographers for any amount of time. Those in this position must have detail-oriented minds and eyes, as their entire jobs rely on how particular moments are captured in a camera lens. Prior experience in business is also beneficial, as many photographers must do their marketing when first starting in the profession. 

How Much Does an Event Photographer Cost?

Wedding Photography

An entry-level Photographer with less than one year of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of AU$24.90 based on 17 salaries. An early career Photographer with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of AU$28.38 based on 149 salaries. A mid-career Photographer with 5-9 years of experience makes an average total payment of AU$30.09 based on 104 salaries. An experienced Photographer with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total reward of AU$26.30 based on 75 salaries. In their late-career (20 years and higher), employees make an average total bonus of AU$40,

Further detailed explanations are given below, but these offer an accurate picture of event photography pricing in Melbourne in 2020:

  • Daily rate (8 hours) $2000 + GST
  • Half-day (4 hours) $1000 – 1200 + GST
  • 2 hours $500 – 600 + GST

Pay Difference by Location

Employees with a Photographer in their job title in Brisbane, Queensland, earn an average of 12.3% more than the national average. These job titles also find higher than average salaries in Melbourne, Victoria (5.5% more) and Perth, Western Australia (5.5% more). The lowest salaries can be found in Adelaide, South Australia (17.4% less), Gold Coast, Queensland (12.4% less) and Newcastle, New South Wales (8.7% less).

What Are the Typical Event Photography Costs, and What's Included?

An event photography quote will usually include the photographer's time and expertise on the day for the agreed amount of time.  

Usually (but not always!), this will also include the post-processing of the images. The average hourly rate for event photographers in Melbourne is between $250 – $350 per hour of shooting, depending on the type of event, duration of the event, number of guests, end-use of images.

Do Event Photographers Offer Discounts?

NGO, not-for-profit and charity organizations sometimes benefit from a more preferential rate of around $200 per hour, depending on the size and scope of the event, as well as planned usage of images.  

Some photographers are more open to being flexible with their rates than others when it comes to working in the not for profit or charity sector, so it's often worth organizing a time to detail what you have in mind to see if it aligns with their values and areas that they prefer to support.  

For example, we generally provide one pro-bono event photography service per year, and other enquiries are then offered a less expensive pro-bono rate.

Is it Cheaper to Book a Photographer All Day?

Photography quotes are often based on the number of hours on-site, with most photographers preferring to be working onsite for a whole day rather than just an hour.  

Most event photographers will quote for a minimum of a 2-hour booking, whether you require just one hour or two as they want to maximize the use of their available time and don't have to spend hours sitting in traffic getting between jobs.

For example, a 2-hour booking is likely to be between $500 – 600, an hourly rate of between $250 and 300. Contrast this with an 8-hour booking, which is most likely to be quoted at between $1600 – $2000, and an hourly rate of between $200 and $250.

You may find that some photographers increase their hourly rate slightly during weekends and public holidays.

The photography time included in the quote, a pre-event consultation on the phone, via skype/facetime, or in-person to discuss the client's requirements and start building an effective working relationship. Delivery of images is another factor that may be charged as an additional service by photographers, with most including online delivery via dropbox, wetransfer or google drive as part of the quote.  

Should you require an online gallery, or a service where guests can download images for themselves, this is likely to be an additional cost. Ideas delivered on a USB or hard drive may incur additional charges, but these are often just the item's cost price.

Looking for the Best Photographers in Melbourne? We have compiled an exclusive list of some of Melbourne’s best photographers to capture your special day.

How Much Does a Second Photographer Charge?

If you require more than one photographer, the second photographer is often charged at a slightly cheaper rate per hour as they are under the direction and management of the first photographer. These additional photographers have usually worked with the lead photographer regularly.

The photography is thus usually split between the photographers with one stationary shooting action such as speakers on stage, branding or exhibition spaces, while the second is photographing audience reactions, guests interacting and socializing photos, and alternative angles on what the main photographer is covering.

Do Photographers Charge for Travel and Parking?

The short answer is, it depends.

As a guide, most event photographers in Melbourne include travel costs for locations within approximately 30km of Melbourne CBD. Beyond that, you may find that they charge a fixed fee or the 68c per km or as advised by the ATO. 

Do Photographers Require a Deposit?

Some event photographers charge a deposit of 50% to hold a booking.  

We're flexible and usually charge clients we have worked with previously following the event once we have edited and delivered the images. New clients have invoiced a deposit of 20% to make a booking, with the balance payable following the event and providing ideas.

Photographer Average Salary in Australia

Wedding Photography

A person working as a Photographer in Australia typically earns around 50,800 AUD per year. Salaries range from 23,900 AUD (lowest) to 80,200 AUD (highest).

This is the average yearly salary, including housing, transport, and other benefits. Photographer salaries vary drastically based on experience, skills, gender, or location. Below you will find a detailed breakdown based on many different criteria.

The Median, the Maximum, the Minimum, and the Range

Salary Range

Photographer salaries in Australia range from 23,900 AUD per year (minimum wage) to 80,200 AUD per year (maximum compensation).

Median Salary

The median salary is 53,800 AUD per year, which means that half (50%) of people working as Photographer(s) earn less than 53,800 AUD while the other half are making more than 53,800 AUD. The median represents the middle salary value. Generally speaking, you would want to be on the right side of the graph with the group earning more than the median salary.


Closely related to the median are two values: the 25th and the 75th percentiles. Reading from the salary distribution diagram, 25% of Photographer(s) earn less than 35,000 AUD while 75% of them make more than 35,000 AUD. Also, from the chart, 75% of Photographer(s) are earning less than 71,100 AUD while 25% are earning more than 71,100 AUD.

What Is the Difference Between the Median and the Average Salary?

Both are indicators. If your salary is higher than both the average and the median, you are doing very well. If your salary is lower than both, then many people earn more than you, and there is plenty of room for improvement. If your wage is between the average and the median, then things can be a bit complicated.

How Do Experience and Age Affect Your Pay?

The experience level is the most critical factor in determining salary. Naturally, the more years of experience, the higher your wage. We broke down Photographer salaries by experience level, and this is what we found:

  • A Photographer with less than two years of experience makes approximately 27,500 AUD per year.
  • Someone with an experience level between two and five years is expected to earn 38,000 AUD per year, 38% more than someone with less than two years of experience.
  • Moving forward, an experience level between five and ten years lands a salary of 54,000 AUD per year, 42% more than someone with two to five years of experience.

On average, a person's salary doubles their starting salary by crossing the ten years experience mark.

Additionally, Photographer(s) whose expertise span anywhere between ten and fifteen years get a salary equivalent to 65,900 AUD per year, 22% more than someone with five to ten years of experience.

If the experience level is between fifteen and twenty years, then the expected wage is 69,500 AUD per year, 6% more than someone with ten to fifteen years of experience.

Lastly, employees with more than twenty years of professional experience get a salary of 75,700 AUD per year, 9% more than people with fifteen to twenty years of experience.

How Do Education Levels Affect Salaries?

We all know that higher education equals a bigger salary, but how much more money can a degree add to your income? We broke down Photographer salaries by education level to make a comparison:

  • When the education level is High School, the average salary is 34,000 AUD per year.
  • Someone with a Certificate or Diploma gets a wage of 39,600 AUD per year, 17% more than someone having a High School degree.
  • A Bachelor's Degree earns its holder an average wage of 57,700 AUD per year, 45% more than someone with a Certificate or Diploma.
  • Professionals who hold a Master's Degree are rewarded with an average salary of 75,700 AUD per year, 31% more than someone with a Bachelor's Degree.

Is a Master's Degree or an MBA Worth It? Should You Pursue Higher Education?

A Master's degree program or any post-graduate program in Australia costs anywhere from 37,800 Australian Dollar(s) to 114,000 Australian Dollar(s) and lasts approximately two years. That is quite an investment.

You can't expect any salary increases during the study period, assuming you already have a job. In most cases, a salary review is conducted once education is completed, and the degree has been attained.

Many people pursue higher education as a tactic to switch to a higher paying job. The numbers seem to support the theory. The average increase in compensation while changing jobs is approximately 10% more than the standard salary increment.

If you can afford the costs of higher education, the return on investment is worth it. You should be able to recover the costs in roughly a year or so.

Photographer Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage in Australia

How much are annual salary increments in Australia for Photographer(s)? How often do employees get salary raises?

Photographer(s) in Australia are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 10% every 16 months. The national average annual increment for all professions combined is 8%, granted to employees every 16 months.

How Much and How Often Are Bonuses Being Awarded?

A Photographer is considered a low bonus-based job due to the generally limited involvement of indirect revenue generation, with exceptions. The people who get the highest bonuses are usually somehow involved in the revenue generation cycle.

67% of surveyed staff reported that they haven't received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year, while 33% said they received at least one monetary compensation form.

Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 0% to 4% of their annual salary.

Types of Bonuses Considered

Individual Performance-Based Bonuses

The most standard form of bonus where the employee is awarded based on their exceptional performance.

Company Performance Bonuses

Occasionally, some companies like to celebrate excess earnings and profits with their staff collectively in the form of bonuses granted to everyone. The bonus amount will probably be different from person to person, depending on their role within the organization.

Goal-Based Bonuses

It is granted upon achieving an important goal or milestone.

Holiday / End of Year Bonuses

These types of bonuses are given without reason and usually resemble an appreciation token.

Bonuses Are Not Commissions!

People tend to confuse bonuses with commissions. A commission is a prefixed rate at which someone gets paid for items sold or deals completed, while a bonus is, in most cases, arbitrary and unplanned.

How Much Should You Charge for Your Photography

For many creatives, talking about rates and figures is a cringe-inducing subject. Not only do we sometimes feel uncomfortable talking about our rates, but we often have no idea what they should be or where we should position ourselves in the market.

But knowing your rates is essential, especially if you are running your own photography business. Rather than pulling a random number out of the air every time someone asks you to quote for a job, take a look at the tips below to help you work out what you should be charging for your work. Looking for a wedding photographer in Melbourne? Look no further. Vogue Ballroom has compiled an ultimate list of wedding photo companies to help you choose.

Photographer Average Hourly Wage in Australia

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) in Australia is 24 AUD. This means that the average Photographer in Australia earns approximately 24 AUD for every worked hour.

Hourly Wage = Annual Salary ÷ ( 52 x 5 x 8 )

The hourly wage is the salary paid in one worked hour. Usually, jobs are classified into two categories: salaried jobs and hourly jobs. Salaried jobs pay a fixed amount regardless of the hours worked. Hourly jobs pay per worked hour. The above formula is used to convert salary into an hourly wage (assuming five working days in a week and eight working hours per day, which is the standard for most jobs). The hourly wage calculation may differ slightly depending on the worked hours per week and the annual vacation allowance. The figures mentioned above are good approximations and are considered to be the standard. One significant difference between salaried employees and hourly paid employees is overtime eligibility. Salaried employees are usually exempt from overtime as opposed to hourly paid staff.

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