I am frugal person, so I totally get the sticker shock reaction to wedding photography prices. Now that I am on the other side of the business, I understand photography pricing better, and I would like to shed some light on the subject. While this won’t apply to every single photographer out there, it will apply to most.
Besides the fact that photography is a specialized service and one must earn a profit to live, there are many other costs to the photographer that you may not have considered. Here is a list of costs to the photographer, in some form or another, and this is just off the top of my head:
- Years of education, time, training, and energy put into learning the art. It’s more than just a fancy camera, folks!
- Speaking of the fancy camera… Yes, that’s a big one. Then there’s the fancy lenses (sometimes more than the camera itself!), lighting, and other equipment that you wouldn’t think would cost so much, but it does, unfortunately.
- Another big piece of equipment is the computer, not to mention all the things that go along with the computer. Extra hard drives, printer, software (editing software is expensive!), online accounts, etc.
- That just reminds me of all the time I spend on my computer. Not only to edit! Time is valuable, but I spend a lot of it on social media, marketing, advertising, writing blog posts, uploading photos, designing albums, book keeping, and, of course, communication.
- Which brings me to the next one. From the moment someone inquires with a photographer to the moment the final photos are delivered, a lot of time is put into the interaction. This includes a consultation, planning, and just plain communicating a lot!
- An obvious one is material costs. This will be a range, depending on what quality of prints and products your photographer provides, but it’s always there. And it can be pricey!
- Cost of running a business. Licenses, fees, taxes, insurance, and all the other fun things you’re supposed to have when you are a business owner.
- Finally, and in my opinion most importantly, a “creative fee”. This is the cost of doing business with the one and only person that can capture your moments in a certain way. No one else can do it the same. You’re paying for a unique creative vision.
This list really just boils down to 3 things. Time, costs, and service . It’s up to you to decide what you value the most, and that is how you should choose your photographer. 🙂
To get some insight on a wedding day in the life of a wedding vendor, click here.