Why does wedding photography cost what it does? I'm going to try and tackle the question thats on the bride and grooms lips.
When booking us a wedding photographer the number one question that seems to be on your mind is the price. When it comes to price it has to be comparable to worth and what your photography is worth to you. As photographers we hope that you put a lot of worth into our services so we like to make sure we are worth that worth. So I'm going to try and break it down a little so it's a bit more unstandable that what looks like a days work can cost what it does.
Wedding days in a year
So when it comes to actual working wedding days in a year for a wedding photographer then we only really have weekends which is when the majority of people have their weddings. Theres 52 weeks in a year so generally we have 52 weekends and if its a church wedding they tend to be on *saturdays, so that narrows it down to 52 potential saturdays to have your wedding.
Then we take into account that most people don't want to get married in the winter months then we have even less than the 52 weekends and probably more like 40 and we still have to find corresponding weddings to theses days.
*Obviously there is the option to have mid week weddings these days and quite a lot of people will take this option but this is only a minority, the majority still tend to favour saturdays.
All your photos will be edited to an high level making them look their absolute best. Basically once we have taken our shots at your wedding day then we spend quite a lot of time editing depending on how long the coverage is. At some weddings we can take up to 2000 photos, we then take out the ones I'm not happy with or that just don't make the cut and we select the main ones which can bring it down to 3-500 depending again on the amount of coverage. Then each of these images will be colour corrected and adjusted for my style, which can be, bringing up the contrast and saturation, blacks and whites etc. So each image can take quite a bit of time, the extra special images can sometimes have up to 30 minutes work done on it.
So basically making your images look the best can be a matter of 10-30 hours again depending on the amount of images and the amount of coverage that we have taken.
Cost of equipment
Wedding photography camera equipment doesn't come cheap as we want to ensure we have the best equipment to help us take the most awesome pictures for your wedding day. We also always have to have back-ups of everything, so if you think two professional DSLR's or equivalent, speedlights, batteries, lenses, memory cards and everything else you can think of that we need for getting the best images on your wedding day. This can come into the thousands of pounds and new cameras are always coming out and we need to keep updating our equipment with the times so we have the right equipment to give you the best quality of images.
Cost of advertising
As wedding photographers we have to market ourselves and get ourselves out there so you ( the perfect couple) can find us. This can be no mean feat and marketing can be costly and sometimes not so rewarding. There can be adwords and facebook adverts as well as newspaper or yellow pages etc as well as doing shoots for local shops and alike to get our name around. Marketing can be fun don't get me wrong but is definitely not a waiting game. We have to get ourselves out there and be seen so the right people recommend us and book us.
Experience and Knowledge
Experience isn't something that can come overnight but is something that is of great importance to get you the best images possible. There's countless hours of practice and practice and practice until we feel like we should practice some more. As well as learning about using flash, natural light and of course all the camera settings and features. This can come through free weddings or photographing friends and family as much as you can. As well as taking online courses, practical courses and one on one courses. Learning new techniques for shooting as well as for editing and post-processing. Watching hundreds of how to videos and putting all these into practice. These all make up a photographers experience and can take a lot of time to build up and get good at what you want to. I also find that learning will never stop when it comes to photography. There's always new cameras and techniques as well as getting even better at the photography you already practice. So this is a very valuable part of your photographer and adds to the package price.
One restriction most don't consider, location can be quite a big deal and we only have so far we can travel or that brides and grooms will be able to afford to send us though we are worth every penny of that distance. This also restricts us on the amount of weddings that actually happen around our area especially in Cornwall as our population is lower than most other parts of the country. So the location of your special day is also a factor when coming up with the perfect price for your wedding day.
Meetings & rehearsals and admin
When planning your wedding day it's important to us to meet up with you beforehand to make sure we're the right fit for you or sometimes a rehearsal wedding and engagement shoots. As well as any exchange of emails and telephone calls and alike. These are usually added into package pricing but all this kind of stuff takes up time as well to make sure that you have the most perfect time with us as your wedding photographer.
Making of the photo book or album
This one isn't for every collection but when it is a photo book or album is something we like to get right and it can take a few hours selecting the best images and making sure that they go in the right order to show your wedding day as a great story. Documentary photography is all about the photo book or album as you can run through your day moment by moment or bit by bit seeing all the best bits and looking back through your day.
At the end of your wedding day once the food has been eaten the drink been drunk and the decorations taken down the one thing that is left are the pictures documenting your special day. As wedding photographers we get one shot on your wedding day to capture all the moments perfectly for you. If we miss this chance there is no re-take and that's what gives our job its extra special importance. You need to know that we think of your day as important as it is to you and hopefully that's of great importance. We capture your day and you will have those images for a lifetime, your dress may go in a closet with your wedding shoes, the cake eaten and all your stationery and everything else may be around but potentially sold on or alike so your pictures will be your one point of call left from the most epic day of your life. If it were me I would make it my top priority to get my wedding photos done by someone who knows what he's doing and someone who has the style I want and cares as much as I do about my special wedding day.
I think I have covered the majority of all of our worth to you as a wedding photographer and I'd like to think that we are worth all of our fee and we want you to know that we are worth our fee by providing you with the great service and make sure we have done all of these things that I have stated above. I think I have provided a fair statement to prove to you that we are worth what you pay.
There is always a couple more pointers I could of added as well for some or most of us and that is literally a living wage for us to pay our bills and our mortgage or rent payments as well as if we have a photography studio to work from then that needs paying for as well. The list can go on and on when it comes to household bills but I think I have given you the jist.
After all this I hope you think my prices are fair and that I am worth hiring for you on your special marriage or civil partnership wedding day.
Many thanks for reading and hope you look to me when thinking of booking a photographer for your wedding or portrait session.