The dreaded question every photographer tries to nudge their way around. I don’t so much despise the question but want to make sure that all of my couples and clients understand why I charge what I do, why my prices go up every so many months, and what exactly goes into being a photographer for your session and definitely your wedding day!
What we as wedding photographers do is nothing like a 9-5 job where you go in, do your job, you leave and you’re done for the night. This is a 24/7 job with maybe a vacation here and there. But I have learned to balance business and life thanks to the wonderful Amanda Hedgepeth!! I get emails all hours of the night, and I am one of those people and if you ask any of my brides or clients, I email them back usually within 10-20 minutes. This isn’t some side thing that we do for the fun of it. Your wedding day is probably the most important day of your life other than giving birth to your children and we as photographers are under a lot of pressure to get the photos you want, the way you want them, and edited and delivered back to you in a timely manner! With that being said……
Why is wedding photography so expensive?
1. Weddings aren’t just another day, this like I said is one of the most important days of your life! We as wedding photographers have back-ups to our backups just in case!! Lol For every wedding I carry 2 camera bodies my Mark III and my 7D. Together that is over $4000. I carry about 4 lenses with me….35mm, 50mm, 70-200, and I rent the 85mm. For me I like to have them all available and each one is about $1200 each if not more! We have multiple flashes, camera stands, remote flashes, camera bags, and some of us hire a second shooter if our husbands aren’t available!
2. Most people work an eight hour day…..weddings are not eight hour days by any means. The night before a wedding I make sure everything is charged, everything on my checklist is called for and I do a little study session on my couples. I check out their pinterest boards, read all emails and go through their files…yes their files to make sure everything is together and I haven’t missed anything! As soon as I get up the morning of a wedding day I pray that my day is amazing and I capture everything that the bride and groom want and that the couples have a fabulous wedding day. I pray for their wedding but I also pray for their marriage (this is oh so important and a whole different blog post). I then get up, double check that I have everything I need and get ready to head out to my close to 9-10 hour day depending on travel and hours bride has requested. I arrive at the venue 30 minutes early to check it out if I haven’t already, and yes a lot of driving is involved! From the detail shots to the first look, to the ceremony and I do’s, to the family/bridal party and couple, to the DJ intro, to the cake, to the first dances, to the cake cutting, to the garter and bouquet toss, to the uncle Bob drank too much photo and so much more at the reception, I get in my car and am exhausted! I am no means complaining about what I do I LOVE it, I live for weddings but when someone asks why this is so expensive this is why! It takes a toll on our bodies physically. One of my lenses weighs more than I do I think!! I don’t have to work out because my wedding days does the job for me!
3. I get home at 11:00-1:00 in the morning depending on the wedding, import the photos into the computer (because God only knows that those photos have to get into that computer and into the external hard drive or I will not sleep a wink that night! The Monday after is the day I look forward to!! The editing, oh I love editing!! I go into my 2 editing softwares…. again (more money and for me a monthly charge) and edit about 800-1200 photos depending on the wedding! This can take a full day and then I post some sneak peeks, blog, and have the online gallery accessible with all of my couple’s photos, that is if they don’t want a CD that I would have to make.
4. I am not just another photographer who is going to show up to your wedding and snap some pictures and say here’s your CD hope you like them! Uh no! I get invested into my couples and learn who they are together, their likes their dislikes. My brides become some of the best friends that I have to this date! I love what I do and am overjoyed that I am able to capture such a special day for a couple! But before judging photographers that we cost too much or don’t deserve what we charge try to do what we do for 1 day!!
So are you willing to risk your wedding day photos on someone with very little experience to no experience at all, maybe someone a bit cheaper? I know I wouldn’t. I want to be able to show my children, friends, and family the amazing photos shot on my wedding day! TO be so proud of them to not know which ones to hang on the wall! Not to think so which one turned out good enough to hang on the wall!!?
We are artists, not just photographers! I am here to serve my couples and would do anything for them! This my friends is why wedding photography can be expensive! Choose wisely because you will never get this day back!