May 12, 2015
One of the top questions we [don’t] hear about directly, but know is a HUGE concern for wedding photographers is
This year I decided to do a short survey to brides & grooms in my local area. I posed the question “what confuses you about wedding photography?” and received many responses similar to this question which is why I’ve decided to post a blog about it. I know other photographers have brought this up…but I wanted to give you the reasons why I charge the way I do. I think most of my brides & grooms already understand the value of my services, but here is my answer to anyone who might have that lingering question.
The original thought: Wedding photographers only work “X” amount of hours at my wedding, but they are asking me to pay thousands of dollars! This does not make sense!
The actual truth: Being a wedding photographer is much more than spending the time shooting the wedding. It takes some time before the wedding, and it takes a drastic amount of time after the wedding to get my final product out to my clients. I’m here to break it down!
So now that we reviewed time, it’s easy to see how I can spend at least 36-40 hours total when I shoot an 8 hour wedding without an album or a second photographer. Now, this doesn’t even include what the costs of doing business which includes the following:
I do want to note that although most of these cost of business expenses are not incurred in the span of each wedding, they are something I have to consider & budget into my pricing.
Finally, there is a value attached to your wedding photography that is not captured in the amount of hours worked or the cost of doing business. When you purchase a Louis Vuitton bag, Tiffany Co. necklace or a nice pair of Jimmy Choo’s, you realize that although you are paying for the labor and material, you are also paying an additional fee for it’s value. What is the value? It’s the value of the craftsmanship and how having these items makes you feel. Let’s delve into both individually:
I’m going back up to a part of my last argument: The Uncle Bob with his fancy new camera argument. Yes. We photographers all love Uncle Bob. He’s really friendly, extremely excited, loves chatting us up about his amazing camera (which can sometimes be a newer model than what we own), he loves talking camera mechanics and about what he just learned. We love Uncle Bob. He’s probably the one person who keeps us company during any downtime at awedding. But – can he create the same images? Let me put it this way: I have a football, I can throw a football, I’ve had people instruct me on how to throw a football, yet I cannot throw a football like Tom Brady. BAM. MIND BLOWN.
Please don’t think I’m hating on Uncle Bob….because truly, Uncle Bob is a sweetheart. The only reason why I bring this Uncle Bob argument up is because I’ve had far too many brides come to me afterwards wishing they had hired me instead of “uncle Bob,” “friend Sally, or “friend of a friend who took a photography class last month.” I’ve had brides hire me for half a day because they had a friend who would cover another portion of a wedding, only to come back to me devastated by the difference in quality. So please, please, don’t be devastated. And please understand the value of what wedding photography means to you.