We’ve heard it via email, in person, and during Skype meetings: Why is wedding photography so expensive? It’s a common question, one that I even asked when planning my own wedding. I wasn’t in the wedding industry and didn’t have a clue why wedding photography cost so much. Now being on the other side of the weddings I can say this: wedding photographers don’t get paid enough.
I know that may be hard to believe, that is why I’m breaking it down simply for everyone to understand.
1. We may ‘only’ be at your wedding for 8-9 hours, but you can double that in post processing! That means importing all the cards, culling the images (narrowing the images down), editing, retouching, and exporting. That’s around 20 hours on average! That time doesn’t even included uploading your images onto our blog or social media platforms!
2. We never just arrive on wedding day. Prior to your big day we’ve spent time scoping for locations, organizing the timeline, reading through the questionnaire, charging our camera & flash batteries, and cleaning all of our equipment.
3. We deal with the craziness of the wedding. Weddings never go as planned, but with our years of experience we make sure that every wedding can go as smoothly as possible. This includes organizing drunk bridal parties, dealing with intense family members, finding solutions to problems that arise and so on.
4. The business side of photography is never ending. Insurance, blogging, marketing, cleaning, organizing, printing, mailing, repairs…etc. It never stops! I heard the best quote once that said, “Business owners get to choose their own hours. We get to choose which 12 hours a day we work” -shoppesatire.com. Alex and I love being full time photographers, we just wished people understood how much work that truly is.
5. Equipment isn’t cheap! Great photography equipment comes with a price! On average each camera bag we carry has around $8,000 (or more) worth of equipment. Don’t forget the back up equipment we bring along, the computers we edit on, the external hard drives that we use to store the images and so on.
6. There is also the monthly fees! Let’s not forget about the monthly fees like internet, office space, website, online gallery, work phone, editing software, and more. It all adds up fast!
7. Our education & talent is not free. We both went to college for our career; Alex for business and I went for photography. Our time and talent has become what it is today from the years of experience and education we received from years of schooling.
8. Photography is a luxury! You know that huge t.v. that is in your living room–I’m sure that you saved up for that luxury item. Great photography is an investment too! The images you receive afterwards are enjoyed for years to come and are memories frozen in time.
We hope this insite give you a clearer view on why wedding photography is so expensive. There will always be someone cheaper or giving away their photography for free–but do they have the years of experience, they back up equipment, and the time it takes to ensure a wedding goes smoothly? Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
We love what we do, we are with couples on the happiest day of their lives. We know that there is only one chance to capture a wedding and we take this job seriously, all while having fun in the process. Think of wedding photography is an investment into the future.
Thanks for taking the time to read! -Jen and Alex