Information On Why Wedding Photographers Charge So Much
Most couples will have a budget set for their wedding, this article is meant in no way to encourage breaking the budget, though it may help you decide to reappropriate funds. Though like most big projects, the budget can be all too often exceeded, partly because the cost is under estimated at time of planning. As with employing any trade persons, there are hidden costs in the industry, the price of a wedding photographer is not the take home pay, costs and tax have to be subtracted. According toHitched.com the average fee for a UK wedding photographer is £1500-£2000 for full day coverage and digital image files . A rough guide is the cost of your photography should be about 10-15% of your wedding cost. Though you can spend anything from a £50 to £5000.
It just depends on your personal situation and how important this aspect of the wedding is to you. So even if you are having a small, midweek wedding, it would be worth booking a professional photographer, most will have a more affordable option for short, off-peak assignments. Even taking this it all into account, the fee for one day of photography can be baulked at, leaving a lot of people asking, why is wedding photography so expensive? However if you break down the cost of running a photography business and the time just one wedding absorbs, then most photographer fess can be seen as reasonable.
What Wedding Photographers Income Has To Cover
Even if you figure that, hey its not so bad. You work more hours but even if youre working ten times more than the hours youre being paid, thats still $50 an hour.
Alright, maybe that doesnt sound so bad, but consider how far that money has to stretch. The amount we gross doesnt go into our back pocket, far from it. Much of this applies to other types of freelancers and small businesses too, but heres what we wedding photographers have to pay for:
I take a draw from my business bank account every month. Thats my salary and its the same every month until Ive earned a raise . Thats right, business owners have paydays that they have to wait for, just like regular employees.
Meaning that of that $80,000, when you take out all costs, youre left with less than half of that in your pocket. 30% is taken out for taxes, so $24,000. Youre spending maybe another $20,000 on standard business costs , reinvestment and equipment. So when you look at whats left lets just say its very sad.
Cue the tiny violins.
But My Auntie Karen Has An Expensive Camera And Says Shell Do It For Free And Give Me All The Photos On A Memory Card
Great let her do it, its your wedding.
You get one chance at getting it right, with photography once the moment has gone that shot is lost forever.
Can Karen control a full wedding party to get the group shots done.Is she going to lay off the drink all day and night so that all the special moments are captured?
Will Karen happily miss out on special parts of the day by being the photographer rather than a guest?Does Karen even know how to use her expensive camera?The most important part of the camera is the person using it.
What training has Karen had?Does Karen have lightroom or photoshop for editing the images afterwards?
Your photos are perhaps your only physical reminder of the special moments of the biggest day of your life.
Is Karen really who you want to be attempting to capture them?
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Huge Emphasis On Every Detail Being Just Perfect
All those impeccably styled shoots took hours to photograph, feature professional models and use impossibly perfect lighting. The expectation may not line up with the reality of their wedding.
There arent any other types of event where every detail is agonized over so much. From the exact height of the centerpieces, to how the shade of the bridesmaids dresses works with the table linens.
When you book a restaurant for a birthday gathering, you pay zero attention to the color of the napkins. However, even the most low-maintenance bride is still concerned with details.
Why Is Wedding Videography Important
I think its best to pose that question to a couple who didnt have a videographer. The vast majority of these couples regret not having a wedding videographer according to TheKnot.
Dont be one of these couples who regret not having a wedding videographer. If you think wedding videography is still expensive, what about the cost of not having one?
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And Answers To Other Questions You Didnt Know How To Ask
The topic of wedding photography cost is both tip toed around and beaten. Why is wedding photography so expensive? Where does this number even come from?
I get it – with out the tangible product, the services seem to get a bit muddy when talking about time versus money. Its honestly a topic among many of us in the industry as well! Wedding photography is for sure an investment. But is it really expensive? What are you comparing it against? What makes it considered expensive? What you thought the cost would be? What the cost is versus a family session? What the cost if versus what your bestie paid?
Okay – I digress again lets get into the time versus money which I feel is where a lot of people go to when considering package costs. One package I offer is 8 hours for $3,200 and includes two photographers. Of course there is tax but that goes directly to the state so we can just skip that part. That breaks down to $400 an hours which I agree with you is an absurd amount! Lets break it down further.
Now the fun part! On to the gear! My favorite part!
The Value A Skilled Wedding Vendor Brings Pays For Itself
Specialized knowledge equals value. When you need a great quality service, you book someone who is great at doing that one thing. If someone you know has cancer, would you seek advice from an oncologist, a general practitioner or a med student?
Sure, theres always a cost reason to go for the cheaper option. The generalist is pretty competent, and the student seems very promising.
Weddings might not be life and death in the same way, but they are complex, important, emotional events. If you didnt think they were, you probably wouldnt be having a wedding celebration. They may have a lifetimes worth of expectations riding on the back of them.
If a vendor can prove their value and help to execute a wedding vision flawlessly, that is truly a value-add.
A great planner, DJ, florist or photographer can help you in ways that you didnt know were possible while making it seem effortless.
Would you book a wedding planner that has no connections in the wedding industry? Of course not, youd want someone thats spent their career creating valuable connections and building up a wealth of knowledge.
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The Expense Of A Wedding Photographer
The price charged by wedding photographers can range hugely, and many charges into the thousands for a full day of shooting however, they are necessary for any wedding day. Wedding days are the most important day in many of our lives, and the risk of not having the photos you dreamed of runs high unless you have professional taking care of them.
Not only do wedding photographers take staged photographs of the wedding party and guests, but many also offer a full day of shooting which involves everything from photos of the bridal makeup and hair being done right until the last person leaves the wedding reception. Furthermore, photographers work is not done when the day is over as they then have the responsibility of choosing the best quality photos and making any edits to those that need them.
With such pressure on professionals to capture every perfect photograph, it is somewhat understandable that wedding photographers are so expensive when considering the sheer amount of equipment required.
They need one camera and lenses, tripods, memory cards, batteries, a different camera for this, the other camera for that and camera equipment is not often easily affordable with many wedding photographers kit reaching a cost of well into the thousands of pounds. With all this expensive kit, you also need public liability insurance that most venues require before allowing you to work on their premises, again another considerable expense.
Economics Of Dealing With Nightmare Clients
In an ideal world, we would draw strict parameters around what our services include. There would be a baseline price, then every additional email, phone call and meeting would be charged for.
In the real world, this would be counterproductive to fostering relationships with our clients. We want our clients to lean on us and invite us into their private world of wedding planning. That is how we can help them and demonstrate our value. I take a lot of pride in this.
However, there are those few clients who are particularly demanding of our time. They take up a disproportionate amount of energy.
Wedding vendor prices are in place to subsidize those few high maintenance clients. No, it isnt sexy or cool to talk about bridezillas but the economics behind this one makes perfect sense.
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Because They Arent Just Photos
When you hire a professional photographer, youre hiring someone to capture your most precious memories and your authentic personality, and we take our responsibility seriously. Professional photographers have invested hours upon hours of study over the course of years to perfecting our skills and are constantly trying to improve our craft. That ranges from the technical study of creating our images to improving our posing and prompting techniques to bring out your best and truest self in the images. Spending on professional photos should never be an investment youre afraid to make because when all the cupcakes are gone, the photos are going to be what remain to tell the story.
The Facts Behind Wedding Photography Pricing
So lets start this by saying that there is an element of wedding photography that is a want, rather than a need. Because weddings are a luxury, by association so is wedding photography. To any couple wedding photography is expensive, however, its a relative expense and must, like everything else wedding-related be based on the value of what is important to the couple and their wedding.
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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.
Its Incredibly Hard To Turn A Profit As A Wedding Photographer
It takes a huge amount of time, skill, financial cost, risk and a little sprinkling of luck to make it as a wedding photographer full time . Making money in wedding photography is hard.
When I was starting out I was giving shoots away for free, at a steep discount, half price or just trying at market rate. Whatever I tried, no dice. There are so many wedding photographers out there. It barely mattered how good the work was or how cheap the price . There is so much for clients to choose from.
There are 3,000 photographers in my area on Yelp alone. How many others are just on Craigslist and Facebook, operating as an unlicensed, uninsured side-hustle? Maybe we arent exactly similar, but were all competing for a slice of the pie. And that pie is only so big. Such is the nature of running a local business.
Its hard in this business to break even. Its hard to stay in business. Some sobering statistics from Digital Photography School:
In the 1st year, 60% of photographers give up their business. Of that remaining 40%, another 25% will fail within the 2nd year. The ones that make it are the remaining 15% who endure through the 3rd year. Thats a staggering 85% turnover rate.
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How Much Does A Wedding Photographer Cost
After months of planning and years of dreaming, the wedding day flies by in an instant. Thats why photographers are one of the most important vendorsthey capture every moment so you can hold onto the memories for a lifetime.
Wedding photographs are the one thing you walk away with from your big day, says photographer Emily Millay. Brides and grooms are going through the motions of the day, but think of all the candid moments they miss. Those are the moments that make up their wedding, and thats why wedding photography is such an important investment.
Meet the Expert
Emily Millay is a Cleveland-based wedding and lifestyle photographer with over seven years of experience capturing moments between couples and families.
But reliable and talented wedding photographers dont come cheap. According to Millay, the cost of a wedding photographer is influenced by experience, demand, and location. While wedding photography prices vary, there are some commonalities.
Heres everything you need to know about budgeting for a wedding photographer.
Other Factors Such As Experience
Its difficult to place a value on this. However, lets try an example. Going to a nice restaurant to eat a meal cooked by a highly acclaimed and award-winning chef will usually cost more than a chef who is newly qualified and yet unheard of.
An experienced and talented wedding videographer will usually be more expensive than a videographer without these traits.