Mar 23

Why Is Professional Wedding Photography So Expensive?

Corinthian San Jose Catholic WeddingWhy Is Professional Wedding Photography So Expensive?
Many people ask why wedding photography is so expensive? The most common misconception is that it’s just a days work. There is a lot more that goes into it than most people realize. I’m going to try to break it down and explain why wedding photographers charge as much as they do.

Equipment Cost:
The cost of professional cameras, lenses, flashes, computers, software, media cards, etc. is very high.  Photographers are constantly repairing and upgrading their equipment and computers.  Image editing software is expensive and has to be upgraded when new versions become available.

Many photographers have formal photography training and photography degrees.  Some spend years assisting other photographers and learning from them before working on their own.  They may spend years developing and mastering their craft.  Many belong to photo associations that have yearly dues.  Seminars, classes, and conferences are available to keep-up with the latest and greatest styles and techniques in the industry.

Commitment to the client:
When a wedding photographer books with the client, there is a lot of planning and preparing for the wedding day. They don’t just show up and hope for the best.

Most times, if the ceremony and reception site can be viewed beforehand (and if it’s local), the photographer will visit the location(s).  This helps to plan where they could do the family formals, and couples portraits. They will decide what lenses and lighting they will need, as well as any other preparations needed to create the best images possible. Time is spent communicating with other vendors and coordinators as well.

The photographer will meet with the client(s) several times before the wedding day to discuss details and planning. They will take the time to answer questions and discuss any concerns.  Much time is allocated to phone calls, emails, texting, etc. to maintain good communication and expectations.

On the wedding day the photographer may have to travel to multiple locations if the Bridal Prep/Getting-Ready, Ceremony and Reception are in different places.  Great wedding photographers are “on-their-toes” anticipating constantly. We have to know and be “in-tune” to the right “timing” of those many fleeting moments and expressions.

Post Production:
Back-up of your images are crucial.  An experienced photographer will back up all the files into at least two different locations.  This may take several hours  and requires costly hard drives and/or services that provide remote backup.

Editing can take two to four hours, depending on the wedding.  After editing is digital post production. This includes digital processing, color correcting each and every image and any retouching if necessary.  Quality post production takes a minimum of 5 hours for the smallest wedding, up to 40 + hours!

Album designs take an additional 5-10 hours and are designed custom for each client.

There is time involved if client chooses  hand delivery of product(s).

Cost of Running a Business:
There are standard costs to successfully run a business.  General Overhead-storage space, electricity, etc.

Websites have to be designed and constantly updated.  Listing  services in online directories and advertising, marketing materials, taxes (that is a big one), accounting costs, and computer repairs.

Based on an article by Sara Valenti
Adapted by Maureen Sifuentes

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