there is a growing trend towards "shoot and scoot" wedding photography in the UK, at the cheaper end of the market. In general the clients are looking for a cheap package and not being charged the earth for reprints, they are more interested in getting half decent images of the day at a low cost, rather than top notch prints at a much higher price.
This is often chosen for registry office weddings, rather than church weddings with all the trimmings.
I was chatting to a photographer who does these, and discussing the point about losing print / reprint sales and he said that it can still be very profitable.
He does also do big wedding packages at a premium price, covering the wedding, reception etc., then doing proper PP, making up the album, doing quality prints etc. With such a package he gives up most of a day to do the shooting, several hours for processing, a couple more to assemble the album, time is also taken up sorting out proofs, taking orders etc. He charges accordingly, like most wedding photographers.
However, he reckons he actually makes as much, or more, doing the cheap "shoot and scoot" weddings, where he turns up at the service, takes the shots and later delivers a CD with all the images on, with basic batch processing, that takes less than hour to produce. As he is an experienced wedding photographer, and does turn out very nice images, the shots out of the camera are still very good and professional. If the customers then send them to a half decent printer, they will have prints almost as good as with his premium package (just lacking the extra retouching in Photoshop).
How does this make as much money as a "bells and whistles" shoot?
Simple. Instead of ONE shoot, he can do four or five weddings in a day. Process the whole lot that evening, mail them the next day and forget about it. The hours saved processing, dealing with proofs and orders, assembling the album etc., allow him time to process other work, allowing him to fit in more portrait shoots etc., during the week. As he turns out stylish images he can charge around £400 for this budget service, so making £1,600 and up on a decent day.
So, it can work from an established photographers point of view. It is also popular with newbie photographers looking to make a few pounds at weekends. Unlike the chap I was chatting to, they will often have limited experience, turn up with one body and a couple of lenses and turn out mediocre results. However, they may only be charging £100-150 and couples with little money may appreciate the saving even at the cost of low quality pics. These photographers "shoot and scoot" because (often) they have no real Photoshop skills and just want to dump the shots straight from camera to CD.