Why is wedding photography SO expensive?
Oh we are about to get into it today.
This is a bit of a tricky topic to discuss because, well, nobody likes talking about money. It's just a reality. But when you start your search for a wedding photographer, you may be sticker shocked when you find out how much it costs.
Let me start by saying this. You can find a wedding photographer at your price point. I can guarantee it (k but don't come for me if your budet is $0 and can't). There are photographers who charge anywhere between $500 + $20 000 for a wedding day.
Yep - $20 000. They are photographers out there who charge that.
But the majority of photographers lay somewhere in between those two extremes.
I want to let you in on something before we go further.
Wedding photography is a LUXURY. Heck, weddings themselves, are a luxury. Nobody NEEDS a wedding photographer. If you are a-okay with guest photos at your wedding, then so be it.
But many couples choose to hire a professional to document their day because they are exactly that, PROFESSIONALS.
Wedding photographers who are deemed as "expensive" come with years of experience in the industry. Years of experience dealing with all different types of people. Years of experience dealing with all different types of lighting situations. Years of experience pinning boutonnieres onto groomsmen (k this one might not be as important but still). You get my point.
Here are some of the hidden costs that go into wedding photography pricing.
TIME. Yes, we spend a lot of time working on and with each individual couple. Time on a wedding day is what you think of first, but there is so much more than that. Time travelling to and from. Time emailing. Time meeting. Time skyping. Time culling through your pictures. Time editing your pictures (which is arguably the biggest chunk of time that you don't see happening).
EQUIPMENT. Believe it or not, photographers upgrade and replace their equipment every one to two years. Those big fancy cameras that we have? Ya, they have only a limited number of clicks on them and need to be replaced often. Money is spent on lenses, computers, software, batteries, lighting, memory cards, film + film development fees. It adds up. And it adds up quickly.
MARKETING. How did you find your wedding photographer in the first place? Odds are they have a marketing plan in place and that marketing plan usually involves spending money. Not to mention website costs, email server costs and blogging software.
EDUCATION. You probably want a photographer who is up to snuff with the latest technology and trends. In order to keep up, photographers spend money. Money on workshops, online courses and even more formal education.
SELF EMPLOYED COSTS. If you are self-employed yourself or know someone who is, you know that the costs of working for yourself are high. Insurance, home office expenses and the fact that your income as a wedding photographer is highly seasonal, all contribute to the high cost.
Okay I'm done with my list.
And tbh I probably have missed some things but I hoped this helped to see the costs that may not be so obvious to you.
Oh and one more thing that I want to reiterate and drive home.
What you are paying for when you hire a photographer isn't just pictures of your wedding day. It is an entire experience.
You're paying for their knowledge and know-how. You're paying for their people skills. You're paying for their skills behind the lens. You're paying for your memories to be preserved the best possible light.
That's it that's all.
If you have any questions for me, leave a comment below/email me/slide into my DMs. I am here to help!
Until next time,