Why wedding photography is NOT cheap
I have been getting a ton of wedding inquries lately, and I wanted to share some insight on why wedding photography costs so much. Many people have not booked with me based on pricing alone, and I want people to understand that so many factors go into pricing!
Weddings are A LOT of work! From planning, drive time, shooting and editing. I do not pocket everything that I make. Taxes come out as well as business expenses, so please know that us photographers are not 100% profiting what we make! On wedding days, I am not JUST the photographer, I help with so much more. I herd people where they need to be, make sure the timeline is running smoothly (if you have a coordinator, we both kind of do this!) and help out in whatever way I can. We do not get paid hourly. We do not get paid for marketing, planning or anything! We get paid when we have work, aka photo sessions! There is no salaried paycheck with this job, and that is just one of the things that comes with being self-employed. If you did the math for the ACTUAL hours I worked on a session, from start to finish, it would be less than minimum wage.
In photography, you get what you pay for. So many people message me, and tell me I am way out of their price range. Not a problem at all! I know everyone has a budget. But what I always tell people, find the photographer you love, love their work and see if you guys are a right fit! I become friends with all of my brides! We have to work together on their big day, so its super important that we get along and are on the same page. If you love a photographer, ask if they have payment plans, do whatever you need to to to get your dream photographer. It absolutely blows my mind that people spend thousands on a venue, decorations, the wedding dress, etc., but want to pay nothing for a photographer. We are literally documenting your day for you! I also offer a complimentary engagement session with some of my packages, so that is an extra bonus for my wedding clients :)
Gear. Cameras, lenses, flashes, bags, all of the equipment I use is not cheap. The person charging significantly less than some other photographers may not have the best gear, or experience with wedding photography. Licensing and insurance are another expense as well. If something happens at a session, or someone gets hurt etc, we have to be covered. There are so many expenses that come with self employment.
So when you are paying for photography, whether it be wedding, family, etc., your are paying for
1. Experience of the photographer. Well seasoned wedding photographers know where to be and when to be there as things are happening!
2. Time. planning / shooting / editing
3. Worth. Photographers charge what they know they are worth. Time, talent, all of that good stuff going into pricing factors of photographers.
If you are planning a wedding and looking for a photographer, please take all of these things into consideration when searching for a photographer!