Despite the fact that the prices that wedding photographers charge can vary widely and that many photographers charge into the thousands for a full day of shooting, wedding photographers are an essential component of any wedding. The day of many people's weddings is the most important day of their lives, and if you don't have professionals taking care of the photography, there's a good chance you won't end up with the photographs you've always imagined.
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Not only do wedding photographers take posed photographs of the wedding party and guests, but many of them also offer a full day of shooting, which includes photographing everything from the bride getting her makeup and hair done to the very last person leaving the wedding reception. This is in addition to the posed photographs that the wedding photographers take. In addition, the work of a photographer is not finished at the end of the day because they are then tasked with selecting the photographs of the highest possible quality and making any necessary edits to those that require them.
When you consider the sheer amount of equipment that is required, it is somewhat understandable why wedding photographers charge such high rates. Professional photographers are under a great deal of pressure to ensure that every photograph they take is flawless.
They need not only one camera, but also lenses, tripods, memory cards, batteries, and a different camera for this and a different camera for that. Additionally, camera equipment is not always easily affordable, with the kit for many wedding photographers costing well into the thousands of pounds. In addition to all of this high-priced equipment, you will also need public liability insurance, which the majority of venues demand before they will let you work on their premises; this will be yet another significant expense.
But the camera is only part of the equation; what about post-capture editing? All of these things, including a powerful laptop or desktop computer, software to edit the photos, backup hard drives to ensure that nothing is lost, USB pens, and online storage to supply your photos, add up to a significant cost.
The location, the food, the clothes, the decorations, the DJ or band, and the list goes on and on and on. Weddings can be extremely pricey due to all of these factors. When you add the cost of the photographer to the list, it can feel overwhelming, and you will wonder why wedding photography costs so much money. In order for you to have a better understanding of everything that goes on behind the scenes, we are going to explain it from the point of view of a photographer.
The length of time that a photographer dedicates to documenting a wedding is a significant contributor to the high cost of wedding photography. Meetings with clients, preparations before the actual wedding day, the actual wedding day itself, and editing are the four main categories that make up the time spent.
The initial interview that the couple and the photographer have with one another to determine whether or not they are a good match for one another is not the only purpose of the client meeting. Following the initial meeting, there will be additional meetings where the photographer will be updated on the planning process and where the schedule for the wedding day will be discussed. A skilled wedding photographer will make regular contact with the couple they are photographing to find out how everything is going and if they have any questions or concerns.
Sometimes these meetings can take place over the internet via video chat, but other times the photographer needs to leave their house in order to meet with the couple in person. The completion of this process will take a few hours.
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Pre-Wedding Day Preparation
The pre-wedding day planning and preparation is another factor that contributes to the high cost of wedding photography. When an engagement session is included in the wedding package, the photographer needs to factor in the time it takes to travel to the location, photograph the couple, and edit the photographs. If the photographer has never worked at the location before, there is a good chance that they will need to do some scouting in order to find the ideal setting for the bridal party photos that will be taken on the day of the wedding.
There is a possibility that the photographer will be invited to attend a dress rehearsal. Your photographer may even be searching the internet for ideas, such as different perspectives they can try shooting from or fresh interpretations of photos they have already taken dozens of times. They need to organise and pack their equipment, and they should mentally go over the shots they intend to take. Finally, they should practise. Your photographer will need another seven to ten hours to complete this task, depending on the total duration of the engagement shoot.
The wedding day will probably last between seven and ten hours, not including the time it takes the photographer to get there and back home. It's possible that the photographer will need to travel a considerable distance to cover certain weddings. When covering a wedding, it is not unusual for photographers to have to travel between two and three hours in one direction from their hometown.
When a wedding requires a photographer to fly across the country or even overseas, the travel time and time spent photographing the wedding typically take up about two days of the photographer's time. The cost of doing business for a photographer needs to account for the amount of time spent travelling. In the event that there is a second photographer present, it is necessary to pay for their services as well. When you include two photographers in your wedding package for eight hours, you are suddenly getting the equivalent of sixteen hours of work.
What are the factors that can influence wedding photography price quotes?
It is important to keep in mind that the estimated cost of having your wedding photographed can be affected by a number of factors, regardless of whether or not the photographer's website displays starting prices. Some of these factors include the following:
- The amount of interest there is in your wedding date.
- Costs associated with travel and/or lodging (ask the photographer about their specific policy)
- Additional items that can be added to a package include albums, prints, second shooters, and so on.
- The total amount of time that they will be required to take photographs
- They may require additional specialised equipment in order to photograph your venue.
- Taxes and other charges (ask the photographer if these are already included in their price quote)
Wedding Photography is Expensive Because it’s a Luxury
In the context of this piece, I'm going to define luxury as something that's nice to have but isn't strictly necessary, such as a desire or a wish rather than a requirement. The individual who posted the ad on Craigslist stated, "They are cheating people out of everything they own!" Why does it cost you at least fifteen thousand dollars when you want to get married, when everything is said and done? What a load of CRAP!! I have nothing but love for all of you photographers out there who charge $3,000, but I think your prices are wack.
It is important to note right off the bat that getting married and hosting a wedding are two entirely different things. It's possible that you require marriage, but throwing a wedding is something you definitely want to do. When the poster claims that getting married is expensive, she is incorrect because, in comparison to the cost of a wedding, getting married is actually quite affordable.
For someone who lives in Toronto and is thinking about getting married, the total cost of the ceremony, including the fee for the marriage licence and the cost of the officiant, would be less than $400. Although I am aware that the author hails from the Puget Sound region, I seriously doubt that the cost of getting married in Washington is significantly higher than it is in Ontario. In any event, despite the fact that she chose certain words, the author was discussing the act of holding a wedding.
The luxury of hosting a large catered party contributes to the exorbitant cost of weddings. You are still left with the greater portion of that hypothetical $15,000 bill after you remove the ceremony from the rest of the archetypical activities that took place throughout the day. Even if you are required by your religion to have the ceremony performed at your respective place of worship, the costs associated with this should not significantly increase.
The major costs include everything that is not included in the official ceremony itself, such as the venue(s), alcohol and multi-course meals for guests, a multi-tiered cake, flowers, decorations, entertainment, your wardrobe, makeup and hair, accommodations, and, given the nature of this article, your desire to have a wedding photographer document the entire affair and do so with exceptional artistry.
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Wedding photographers put themselves and the profession as a whole at a disadvantage whenever they choose to acknowledge the question with detailed cost breakdowns. If you defend your rates in such a way, you are tacitly admitting that they are in fact unreasonable and, what's worse, that your abilities do not speak for themselves.
Because wedding photography is considered a luxury service, there is no requirement for you to in any way provide your clients with any sort of audit. An analysis of this kind may also put you at a disadvantage with customers who question your margins (given that customers who question margins are only concerned with the bottom line anyway), and your perfectly legitimate reasons may be misinterpreted as excuses by those customers.
To all of my fellow wedding photographers, I have a suggestion for you: Please do not continue to defend your prices by citing various cost breakdowns. It lowers the quality of your work. Wedding photography should be treated as the desired luxury service that it is, rather than the basic necessity that couples who are watching their spending wish it would be.
A high-quality wedding photographer is a luxury service for a luxury event, and as such, their fees should reflect this. According to a well-known proverb, "You get what you pay for."
In my opinion, this is the most important factor that contributes to the overall cost of wedding photography. You choose a wedding photographer based on the appearance of their previous work as well as the quality of the photographs they take. It takes a lot of practise for a photographer to develop their shooting technique, discover their ideal editing style, and figure out the most effective way to interact with their subjects in order to capture the most natural reactions and expressions in their photographs. It takes both innate skill and a great deal of dedication to practise until one reaches the ever-elusive level of perfection required for this. A skilled photographer will always be looking for new poses to experiment with and improved techniques to use in order to achieve the results they desire. They will monitor which pieces of equipment are superior in order to provide you with the highest possible level of quality.
You are paying for the expertise and experience of the employees. In the event that something goes wrong, you will not be able to relive this day. You should be willing to pay for the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the person who will be photographing your big day is prepared to deal with any kind of lighting, any kind of setback or time delay, and is prepared to deal with prominent personalities and reluctant subjects without a hitch.
Last but not least, the editing process is likely the one that consumes the most time during a wedding. One of the many factors that contribute to the high cost of wedding photography is editing. Your photographer may take dozens of photos at regular intervals of a few seconds to ensure that they don't miss any important moments, or they may take fewer photos but be much pickier about which ones they use. Therefore, a wedding photographer has the option of selecting anywhere from 50 to 300 photos in one hour. That equates to approximately 2400 photos for a wedding that lasts for eight hours. The next step for your photographer is to cull these photos, which means separating the exceptional shots from the mediocre or poor ones. It takes a different amount of time for each photographer, but it would probably take three to four hours to select the best photos from an eight-hour wedding.
The actual process of editing takes a significantly longer amount of time, which is an even more significant factor in why wedding photography is so expensive. In certain instances, the photographer is able to apply a particular editor preset to multiple photos all at once. However, after that, they will go through each picture individually in order to manually adjust these presets in order to give the photo the ideal final look. You should anticipate that this process will take another 8–24 hours. In addition, your photographer will most likely put your photos away for a few days before returning to them with fresh eyes to fix any flaws that were missed before sending you your photos.
If we're counting hours, the very least amount of time that your photographer has spent on the various aspects of one wedding is 24 hours. This does not even take into account the amount of time required to put together a wedding album. It's possible that you're scratching your head right about now, wondering why it takes your photographer so many weeks to send you the photos after your wedding.
Keep in mind that your photographer likely has other weddings to photograph, as well as possibly other types of photoshoots to attend, additional client meetings, additional client photos to edit, and their own family life to attend to.
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Photography is more than an expensive camera.
There is a large amount of time and money that goes into having the appropriate equipment for the job, as can be seen, but there is more to the job and capturing your perfect wedding day than just the camera and all of the gadgets; these are just tools. There is more to the job and capturing your perfect wedding day than just the camera and all of the gadgets.
Long years of practise are required for a photographer to acquire the necessary knowledge, abilities, and skills to become a master of their craft. If you give a person with little professional experience the same equipment as someone with more experience, they might take one or two photos that are worth keeping. Nevertheless, a skilled professional photographer with years of experience will be able to capture a whole album's worth of breathtaking shots that tell a story. This is exactly what your money is going towards. Someone who has worked in their field for many years and who you can put your faith in.
Your wedding dress is a purchase, you shall wear it once, and that is all; your wedding flowers are a purchase, and after a few days they shall wilt and that will be it; however, your wedding photography is an investment. Unlike your wedding dress and wedding flowers, which are both purchases, your wedding photography is an investment.
Your wedding album will hold all of those memories and moments forever, which you can share with friends, family, and grandchildren. Your wedding photos are a story of your perfect day, and they will capture the emotion of the day, your beautiful fresh flowers, and your stunning white dress.
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Phew, that was a really detailed discussion in the previous section; I assure you that this one will be much simpler to understand. The equipment that will be used by your wedding photographer is probably the second largest reason why wedding photography is so expensive.
At a minimum, a wedding photographer will have access to two different camera bodies. This is done so that they can cut down on the amount of time that they have to spend switching between lenses – something that is especially important during significant moments such as the first kiss. Additionally, this is done so that they have a backup camera in the event that the worst case scenario occurs and the primary camera stops functioning.
They will carry a minimum of three lenses in their camera bag in order to achieve a variety of different looks and aesthetics. One lens for taking photos from a far distance, one lens for taking photos of extremely close-up details, and one lens for taking photos that are more general. The more experienced your wedding photographer is, the more lenses they will have available to accommodate various scenarios that may arise during the course of your big day.
Your wedding photographer will also bring flashes, spare batteries and memory cards, and lens filters to protect their lenses before, during, and after the ceremony. When added up, the total price of all of these items is well into the tens of thousands of dollars range.
Photography is Expensive
In an effort to keep this article to a reasonable length, I will not go into detail about quite a few of the more insignificant costs. It is my sincere hope that you now have a better understanding of the reasons why wedding photography is so expensive. When first starting out, wedding photographers frequently have to cover some of these startup expenses out of their own pockets in order to attract more customers. They are entitled to the opportunity to recoup the money that was invested in their company. They also deserve the opportunity to earn enough money to provide for their families and save for their golden years. If you’d like to work with professional photographers for your wedding, book with us at Wild Romantic Photography.
Last but not least, keep in mind that the majority of weddings will take place on the weekend. Because of this, the number of customers that wedding photographers are able to work with is typically lower than that of other photographers. Rest assured that photographers who charge a lot of money possess an extraordinary amount of talent and are completely devoted to their profession.