How Do I Know If My Wedding Photographer Is Right For Me
The wedding industry is a creative and passionate industry, if you feel the excitement, passion and love from your photographer for your wedding day then this is a perfect sign. Sharing your ideas and asking for their input is another great way to see if I dare say it, click.
A Common: Why Is Wedding Photography So Expensive
One of the most common complaints about wedding photography is that its too expensive. Ive seen this sentiment uttered from all corners of the web. Ive also seen just as many photographers jump at the opportunity to defend their prices by writing articles that only an accountant could appreciate.
Three years ago, I stumbled upon one such article on Why Wedding Photographers Prices are Wack, was a public response to an anonymous womans frustrated Craigslist post< asking about the high cost of hiring an exceptional, amazingly talented, fun photographer. Wagner went into great depth breaking down her cost of doing business, deliverables, and living expenses. Her conclusion was that she doesnt really make that much money, despite what clients may think is a high per-wedding fee.
Her article quickly gained traction and spread throughout the online photography community. Although articles about the topic existed prior to Wagners including articles using similar arguments the virality of Why Wedding Photographers Prices are Wack had a watershed effect. Since then, many wedding photographers have written the compulsory why is wedding photography so expensive posts. Unfortunately, this is a counterproductive and fruitless exercise that doesnt address the issue head-on. Quite frankly, Im surprised that someone hasnt yet included scans of their tax returns to make a point. Prepare for some real talk.
What Is A Vacation Photographer
What is a vacation photographer? Hire a local photographer who knows all the best photo spots, when the best lighting will be, and how to beat the crowds to capture magical moments without tons of other tourists in the background. Local Lens photographers are artists that are handpicked for quality, style, and skill in vacation photography.
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Multiple Types Of Photography
Being a wedding photographer you need to master these forms of photograph:
1. Portrait photography: Knowing how to pose the couple and wedding guests. You have to know who kisses who, what type of background fits best, how the lighting might look best on your subjects.
2. Product Photography: Capturing all the small details like wedding rings, invitations, decorations, wedding dress, dress shoes, watches, everything that makes that wedding day special. Sometimes even the groom buys a special pair of socks or cologne for that day. Capturing those details will bring the couple back to that day whenever they see their wedding pictures in the future.
3. Landscape Photography: Capturing the beautiful gardens or venues with all their details. The landscapes around the venue also count as part of the venue. A lot of times these couples pay a good amount of money for the venue, so getting the most out of it is always best.
How Much Do You Tip A Wedding Photographer
While tips arent included in a photographers package, they are certainly something you should factor into your wedding photography budget. We recommend tipping your wedding photographer between $100 to $200. You should also write an online review for your photographer as an added thank-you. When should you hire a wedding photographer?
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The Unspoken Reason Why Wedding Photography Is So Expensive
Heres a common complaint: Why is wedding photography so expensive?
One of the most common complaints about wedding photography is that its too expensive. Ive seen this sentiment uttered from all corners of the Web. Ive also seen just as many photographers jump at the opportunity to defend their prices by writing articles that only an accountant could appreciate.
Wagner went into great depth breaking down her cost of doing business, deliverables, and living expenses. Her conclusion was that she doesnt really make that much money, despite what clients may think is a high per-wedding fee.
Her article quickly gained traction and spread throughout the online photography community. Although articles about the topic existed prior to Wagners including articles using similar arguments the virality of Why Wedding Photographers Prices are Wack had a watershed effect. Since then, many wedding photographers have written the compulsory why is wedding photography so expensive posts.
Unfortunately, this is a counterproductive and fruitless exercise that doesnt address the issue head on. Quite frankly, Im surprised that someone hasnt yet included scans of their tax returns to make a point. Prepare for some real talk.
All This Equipment Cost How Much
I remember the day not so long ago, when I proudly came home from an exciting yet expensive trip down to my local Henrys Camera Store in Downtown Toronto. I think my Visa was still burning a hole in my pocket.
Yet the boxes. All the new high tech camera gear. I could now take a 1000 high res pics in an hour. And those lenses wow! The guy at the Camera store said I would be able to see the hair on the back of a dogs legs at 100 feet or more. Those lenses promised to make me a Superstar in the Toronto Wedding Photography Industry!! Something that I was hoping since I was about to quit my job with my current Employer of some 19 years.
Wedding Photography Toronto was going to take on a whole new meaning for me. I was ready and chomping at the bit to go!!
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Youre Also Paying For The Gear
Although you may think all camera bodies look professional, some are not. If you follow our wedding blog on a regular basis, then you will know that cameras have many different abilities, price ranges, and features.
Some are meant to learn on such as a $500 Canon Rebel T7 or Nikon d3500, while others are workhorses and mean to be used at events like the Sony a7iii or Canon 5dIV.
On top of the bodies, lenses can make or break a photographers signature look and feel, not to mention the massive cost for good ones.
Much of those costs a professional has will be passed on to you the bride and groom and thus the added costs. Good photographers can easily spend $10,000 or more. Check out this article about what it takes for us to run our wedding photo and video business, the numbers may surprise you.
A Wedding Photographers Work After The Wedding
Theyll normally arrange a quick sneak preview very soon after so you get a few shots of your work as soon as possible.A top photographer will typically take 3000+ images of your day.
Some of these will be perfect, someone will have you looking slightly odd with your mouth at a weird angle whilst youre laughing with one of your eyes half-shut.
You do NOT want ever see that image, EVER.
Your photographer will spend hours rounding down these thousands of images down to the hundreds of best ones
Then comes the editing, grading and colouring to make them look absolutely perfect and sending them to you to choose your favourite to go into your main album .Its long, hard work that some lesser photographers will actually outsource to other companies for £200+ because they dont want to do it themselves.All in all, probably 4 full days work.
And then designing the album and everything that goes with it before arranging for it to be delivered.
But its JUST one days work, right?
4) What on earth has this got to do with what other people earn?
The CEO of Sainsburys earn £3.9m/year plus bonus.
Most people wont earn that in their entire life.
Cristiano Ronaldo earns 30m Euros/year BEFORE bonuses.He earns what your photographer is asking for whilst hes having a shower.
Youre comparing apples and oranges there is also a huge misconception about what youre actually paying for, but well get into that later.
5) This is their livelihood!
- Mortgage payments/Rent
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Its Just Taking Photos Why Are They Earning So Much
What are you really buying when youre paying a professional photographer £1000 to be at your wedding?
Are you paying for 10 hours of their time?
Whilst you are, yes thats not what youre buying.
When youre choosing a photographer for your wedding what youre REALLY doing is deciding which person you are going to entrust with capturing the emotional, the moments, the love and laughter of the biggest day of your life.
The moments will be like dust in the wind if not captured. Gone.
Youre paying for their experience.Their observation skills.About a week of their time.And then so much more on top of that.Following all of this you are then delivered a product which only if it has been created correctly is capable of transporting you back in time to single, perfect, beautiful moments.
Ones which can now never be forgotten.Moments that will forever be cherished.
And ones which the wrong/cheap/inexperienced photographer might never have even noticed.
But of course, its justa days work.
Why Wedding Photography Is So Expensive: Because Its A Luxury
In the context of this article, Im defining luxury as something that you want or would like to have but dont actually need. The Craigslist poster wrote, 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. Immediately, I would like to point out that theres a distinction between getting married and holding a wedding. Getting married is something you may need holding a wedding is something you want. The poster is wrong when she states that getting married is expensive: relative to the price of a wedding, its quite affordable. For instance, if you live in Toronto and wish to marry, your total expenses would come to under $400, including the license and marriage officiant. Im aware that the writer is from Puget Sound, but I doubt getting married in Washington is much more expensive than in Ontario. In any case, despite her choice of words, the writer was referring to holding a wedding.
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Why Hire A Private Photographer For Your Holiday
Your private photographer will know their way around and can even show you hidden spots to capture amazing travel photographs. Youll get to capture some of the most iconic and touristy parts of the area but will also achieve some unique shots as someone local shows you other sides of the city too.
How Much Does A Wedding Photographer Cost Near Me
Some wedding specialists near us can easily double the top rates with average photography packages from around $6000 and up. Many wedding photographers prices are quoted for a standard 8 hour day. They typically have a selection of wedding photography packages to offer. 12 hour shoot days are pretty standard.
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Those Extra Costs From Being A Business Owner All Include:
Based on our 2018 and 2019 taxes, those costs average to be $800 per wedding. And we are pretty frugal.
So now we are up to $1400+$800=$2200 per wedding. Still not too bad maybe.
Location Of The Wedding
Finally, costs are also in part determined by where your wedding will be held.
Let me share with you a little secret that most vendors will not tell you.
Many times, its cheaper to hire an equally experienced vendor in a region that has less cost of living, even with a travel fee included.
Ill give you a great example, Carole and me.
We live in Roanoke, VA, to most that live outside of Virginia, have rarely heard of Roanoke. Its a small city with roughly 100,000 people.
The cost of living is about 23% less than the rest of the state.
What does that mean to you, the couple getting married?
You can have your wedding in more expensive places like Washington, DC, Richmond, Raleigh, or Charlotte, then hire vendors from Roanoke, and you will still come out ahead with your wedding budget.
Thats one of the reasons why our costs are lower than most in those regions and why we do most of our outside Roanoke.
Its just cheaper to live in my region than some of those others.
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The Other Reason Wedding Photography Is So Expensive
Being a wedding photographer is a complicated life. We often spend 40+ hours on one clients wedding between the planning, phone calls, engagement session, wedding day, editing, creating albums, etc. We also spend an insane amount of time on potential clients that never book with us . Not to mention the hours we spend on administrative tasks like marketing, bookkeeping, and so on.
And then of course theres the fact that weddings happen seasonally . So its not like we can book a client for every weekend of the year. The average wedding photographer who works alone can only manage about 20-25 weddings per year before suffering from fatigue & burn-out . That means that wedding photographers have to make their entire business income to cover expenses and their salary off of those bookings. Higher end photographers that provide a better client experience usually have to take on fewer weddings to be able to provide that level of service, which means that they need to charge even more.
So yes, you could go with a wedding photographer who only charges $1000 for all day coverage, but think about how many clients they need to take on in order to achieve a salary above the poverty threshold .