It is no secret that wedding photography is expensive and costs quite a bit. Wedding Photography is one of the top tier parts of your wedding budget and that is for good reason. Your wedding photographer does have a very important job on your big day; capturing all of the details and moments that you may not even see. However, hiring a professional is one of the best things you can do for your wedding. Your wedding photos is one of the few tangible items you can keep from your big day. Average wedding photography costs $2500 and you may be asking why is it so high and what does that cover?
– You may find this as an obvious cost. You are paying for the photographer to photograph your wedding day. Now every wedding photographer varies along with their wedding packages; so the amount of time they photograph will vary based on what you chose and you agreed to. However, the costs for the photographer don’t end just at their coverage of your wedding day. They are responsible for paying their second shooter, as well as covering costs for travel (gas, parking, etc.) to and from your wedding venue.
– Now you may not understand all of my lingo here, but don’t stop reading! Even though we have finished photographing your wedding, the work has just begun for us! This is where post production comes into play. Every photographer is different, but we have a process to follow to ensure that you get the very best product at the end of the day. We will spend hours culling, editing, exporting, uploading, blogging, setting up your prints or albums, etc. etc. The editing process will take weeks; and keep in mind, we are still out photographing other sessions and weddings as we continue to work on the post production of your big day.
Every software we use for post production – photo mechanic, Lightroom, Photoshop, your online gallery, etc. all costs us money; every single month. Then you have equipment such as memory cards, card readers and external hard drives that we have to replace frequently so that your images are stored in multiple places as well as stored safely and transferred safely.
Remember that second shooter, they don’t work for free! Some photographers will have other photographers, editors, designers, bookkeepers, and studio assistants to ensure that their business runs smoothly so that everything from billing to scheduling to receiving your images and final products is a seamless and easy process for you. Many times photographers are paying for programs and staff to ensure your client experience is flawless. It is important for your photographer and their staff to be fairly compensated in order for you to receive the work you have been dreaming of with them.
I’m sure you want your photographer to have the best, well maintained equipment – not only so that they can take the best photos possible for your wedding day; but so that their equipment won’t break right in the middle of your vows or missing your first kiss (And if it does break, they should have their backup on them ready to use!) Lets face it, a good top of the line camera is EXPENSIVE and your photographer should and will have several. Also, lets get past the actual camera body, there is the cost of lenses, which is usually more expensive than the camera body. There are also accessories such as flashes, batteries, memory cards, camera straps and holsters. Your photographer will be using top of the line equipment which will come with a hefty price tag.
Now there are so many things that fall under the category of business expenses; but you most likely contacted your photographer through e-mail, social media, or on their phone. All of these things cost money. I’m sure you appreciate your photographer being able to respond to your questions and needs in a timely manner and they can only do so by incorporating these costs of reliable internet and phone service into running their business. Your photographer is also most likely attending workshops, conventions, and mentoring in order to become better for YOU.
Don’t forget that you were able to find your wedding photographer most likely through an internet search or a wedding devoted website such as The Knot, OR maybe it was through a magazine, attending a bridal show or on social media. None of these avenues are cheap for wedding photographers, we pay for listings, and to enter bridal shows, and boost posts on social media.
As a professional wedding photographer your photographer may have yearly expenses for their business to remain compliant with the state they live in as well as their quarterly and/or annual taxes. Also, it is very important for your photographer to have insurance. Not only to protect them, but to protect you in case of emergency. Insurance will also cover their equipment if it is damaged or stolen.
I hope this helps shed light on the expenses a professional wedding photographer faces. They do not pocket thousands of dollars, rather, they price their services based on the cost of doing business, and doing it well for you!
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