Are you getting married soon and looking for a wedding photographer? If you have you are probably sitting with a few quotes that you need to decide on. Especially if you posted on social media for a wedding photographer.
Why is there such a big difference in wedding photography prices between professionals?
Well, to answer that I need to try and break down the different kinds of photographers that there are:
- Stay at home moms who were gifted a camera for her birthday who just started out in photography who would love to photograph weddings
- Uncle Sam who owns a fancy camera who takes some photos on the weekend and offers to do your wedding got free
- Full time working executives who do weddings and other photo shoots on weekends and in their spare time
- Qualified photographers who studied full time and are out in the world on their own now
- Full time photographers (their main source of income is photography)
If I have missed a category please forgive me, but most of the photographers fall in one or a few of these categories.
When trying to establish our pricing and packaging we need to take into account our business expenses:
- Website hosting costs
- Website design costs
- Camera equipment insurance (especially important if our equipment is stolen a week before your wedding)
- Battery costs
- Cell phone costs
- Internet and data costs
- Data storage costs (you won’t believe how many hard drives we go through)
- Car insurance
- Petrol costs and maintenance
- Camera costs (monthly installments and rental fees)
- Editing software costs
- Packaging costs (I include a USB and a small gift in all my wedding packages)
- Second/assistant photographer costs
- Workshop costs (we are continually growing in our fields)
- Tax and tax consultant fees
- Water and snacks for the 10 hour day
- Orthopedic shoes for the running around on the wedding day
The list goes on and on. Excluding business costs, we are also still just people who need to pay school fees, groceries, water and lights and try to live off the money we make from photography.
Not all of us have all of the expenses above, which would explain why all of our wedding prices are different. There is no right and wrong when it comes to what wedding photography costs – we simply have different expenses and some of us have different goals.
The most important thing to remember is that when you choose your wedding photography that you choose someone who knows what they are doing, they need to know when the right time is to capture that first kiss, the exchanging of the rings, the moments shared, cake cutting, garter toss, bouquet toss etc.
So before a wedding I am usually running around like a bit of a headless chicken… I have a mental checklist of everything I need to pack in and it looks a little something like this:
- Main camera body
- Back up camera body
- Back up for the back up body (often a rented camera)
- 2 portrait lenses, a wide angel and a macro lens (for the rings)
- Lens cleaner kit
- About 7 memory cards
- 2-4 speed light flashes
- Enough batteries to power a small country for a few days
- 3 reflectors (small, medium and HUGE)
- Softbox (for lighting)
- Light stand
- Needle and thread (in case of emergencies)
- 4 water bottles, snacks etc
- Back up list of poses in case I hit a total blank
9/10 times I arrange a second photographer (someone I can trust), in case I fall and break an ankle mid wedding someone will at-least be able to take over if I need it.
The night before a wedding I am usually up all night researching weddings (every time) just in case I forgot something, or if there is a new trend I don’t want to miss. I also give my husband a list of photographers I trust so that, in the unlikely event that I am in a car accident on the way to the venue, he can arrange a back up photographer short notice.
After the wedding I take out all the memory cards and make sure they are hidden on my person in case of hijackings, as soon as I am home I COPY the images to both my laptop and my PC and my external hard drive so that I have all the images in case of something terrible happening.
When choosing your photographer based on affordability always pay attention to the end result/image quality, and feel free to ask your photographer about back up plans and editing.
Have wonderful month of love!