Why Wedding Photography is Expensive?
There was a craigslist post shared on Facebook that frustrated a lot of photographers, so I have to say something about this. This is not meant to offend or upset anyone, but it's a true rendition of the day to day ins and outs of running a photography business and why photography costs what it does.
The woman was upset because she thought that $3000 for a wedding photographer was "wack" because all we do "is hang out at a wedding taking tons of photos and editing them" and that we are "making so much money its crazy."
WHY is finding an amazing wedding photographer so difficult? :/
I am a Bride who is getting married this summer and have yet to find a decently priced, exceptional, amazingly talented, fun photographer.
WHY because the word "WEDDING" is involved photographers think they can change you $ 3,000.00 for wedding photos? Oh, because no bride is going to go without so they are going to pay it, because they HAVE to. They are ripping people off for all they have! Why when you want to get married it costs you AT LEAST 15 grand after all is said-and-done? Its such CRAP!! I love all you $ 3,000.00 photographers out there but i think your prices are WACK. All your doing is hanging out at a wedding taking tons of photos and editing them.. and thats owrth 3 GRAND!!! You're making so much money its crazy. I just wish people would be more realistic. I mean the "average" persons salary for 1 freaking month is somewhere around 3 grand. (Thats making 19$ an hour) So you're going to take someones WHOLE MONTH paycheck for one flippen day of photos? Just because you CAN!!?????? So that maybe they will not be able to feed themselves or pay any other bills they have, right? It makes me SICK!
I know im speaking for more than just myself right now. Alot of brides out there think the same thing. & I bet all you fancy photographers wont even read this. oh-well. Maybe there are cheaper photographers that will read this and LOVE to take my photos :).
Before I express my thoughts, I want to THANK all of my brides who appreciate my work and think that I am worth the price. This response is not meant to offend anyone. I understand many people are on a budget, especially in this economy and I understand planning a wedding is both expensive and overwhelming. I always try my best to work with my couples and offer customized and discounted packaging options for those who are on a tighter budget.
I just want to state AGAIN, that being a photographer doesn't mean that we wake up in the morning, photograph a wedding for 8 hours and then go home and our job is done. We are also SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS, which ALSO comes with the job of doing all of our own marketing, sales, accounting, scouting, art directing, managing our offices and studios, being our own webmasters, doing our own post production, designing, blogging, being students, being mentors, researching etc. etc. etc.
I am a wedding photographer in the Atlanta, GA area. I photograph only about 12 weddings a year because of the time involved in post production and preparation. Add it up and you'll see my annual income from it.
That being said, I am a small business owner, and that involves a lot of expenses:
- I pay all of my taxes, which takes a good part of my gross income.
- I have to pay mortgage for my small house where I converted a room into an office (which is where I would be editing your wedding images at) and the basement into my studio.
- I have to pay a security company to monitor my house where I have all my equipment so I will not be robbed just before your wedding.
- I also pay business insurance in case someone breaks my camera at your wedding.
- Then I have to pay for my car and car insurance, which I would use to get me to and from your wedding.
- You also probably found me through my website, which I pay $30/month for hosting, and another $30/ month so that you can view your photos online and share the images with your friends and family.
- I also pay for my own Health insurance in case I were to get hurt at your wedding.
- And I pay for a second shooter for your wedding, so that you can have more images and different angles, as to make sure you get the best images possible at your wedding.
- I also need to have a new pair of shoes every season because my shoes get worn out and dirty from season to season.
- I need high speed internet so I can upload all of your images online, my cell phone for my business so I can communicate with you.
- Oh yes, and I also pay a lawyer to make sure my contracts are iron clad and an accountant to make sure that I am paying all of the taxes I need.
- Sometimes I attend workshops and seminars to teach me how to better my business, and make my client happier (that would be you), as well as keep up on the trends and learn new techniques so that I can make sure you have the best quality images available.
- I spend a lot of time and money on buying and reading photography books. Learning new tricks and trends so I can take be best photographs at your wedding.
All these spendings would technically will not leave me much money to feed myself, buy groceries, pay for my heat and electricity, cloth myself etc... BUT, usually I end up re-investing whatever I have left on upgrades and new professional equipment so that I can make sure you have the highest quality images:
- I have 2 Canon Professional cameras (because you always need a backup in case of a camera malfunction which would ruin your big days photographs)
- I also have quality lenses which can capture your special moments in low light situations.
- And I have speed lights to catch the fun moments at your reception.
- Also multiple battery back ups and memory cards, lens filters, light stands, umbrellas, light boxes, external battery packs and a bag to carry everything in.
- Because this is equipment, sometimes I need to have it serviced or cleaned to make sure it is all working properly.
After spending 8-10 hours at your wedding, I then come home to my home office and spend about 30-80 hours editing your images, making backups, creating your album, posting pictures on facebook, ordering you prints and burning your DVD's
- Also we use high performance computers with 30" IPS color calibrated monitors to achieve the most accurate colors on your prints. We also invested thousands of dollars in post processing software.
- And I also back up all of my photographs 2 times on site and one time offsite so if there was ever a fire in my office, you would never lose your photographs.
- I also have office expenses as far as buying paper, staples, envelopes, packaging, filing cabinets and files, etc. etc. etc.
- I also spend time and money ordering your prints and albums, paying for shipping, going to the post office etc.
All of that being said, I'm usually in the hole at the end of the year, and take some family portraits jobs in order to make ends meet.
Photography is my passion and my livlihood, and it is also EXPENSIVE.
Yes, it seems like a lot of money for one day, but one day isn't all we spend on your photographs or on our business. You will spend thousands of dollars on a wedding dress or flowers or a venue or on catering which you are going to have for only ONE DAY, but your photographs will be the only thing you have to remember that ONE DAY for the rest of your lives.
I hope this sheds a little light on why we charge around $3000 for one day of your memories which are going to last you forever.