If you are a recently engaged couple working on planning your dream wedding you may be surprised by how expensive some wedding vendors are, especially wedding photographers. So why is wedding photography so expensive?
There are many expenses in running a successful wedding photography business. Probably the most significant expense is all the professional camera gear needed to successfully photograph a wedding beautifully and artfully. Did you know that the average professional grade digital camera costs five thousand dollars or more? Reliable photographers will have at least two pro-grade camera bodies at any given event. Many carry a third for backup incase one camera fails on location. Those camera bodies do not come with lenses so a photographer has to purchase them separately. Most photographers will have close to a dozen lenses with them in different focal lengths to give a variety of looks and to capture both tight and wide angles of your wedding day. Again, they have to make sure they have back-up lenses in case any fail during the day. Each lens ranges in price to a couple hundred dollars up to thousands of dollars. It is not uncommon for a professional wedding photographer to carry tens of thousand of dollars worth of equipment at any given event. Crazy right? But the equipment costs don’t stop there.
Once the photos are taken the real work begins. Your photographer will have to upload and store your photographs on their computer and use expensive software such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom to adjust and retouch your photos so they look amazing. Post-processing costs for a photographer include a fast and reliable computer workstation, many large hard drives to back-up and store your files, and costly editing software. Now you’ve easily added several thousand dollars of equipment need just to process one wedding on top of the costly camera equipment.
So what are the other costs involved in running a wedding photography business? They include the cost of professionals to maintain their accounting books, website, and contracts. Photographers also pay for advertising on wedding websites to attract new customers. Don’t forget about the cost of their training too! Most photographers either went to college to learn their trade or attend pricy workshops to learn new skills from industry leaders. Also, a self-employed photographer has to cover costs of the studio and pay their staff including providing insurance for themselves and their business.
I’m sure you are beginning to understand why photography can be expensive. So much more goes into running a photography business outside of the few hours your hire them to photograph your event. Also take in account that most weddings happen on Saturdays in the summer and you’ve seriously limited the amount of events a photographer can realistically shoot in a year. It’s no surprise that the average wedding photographer charges three thousand dollars or above for each wedding. If they don’t, they may not make ends meet. If a photographer is inexpensive, it is likely because they are cutting corners on quality. That might be in the type of equipment they use, a lack of backup equipment, lack of proper training, or low or no liability insurance. Most brides do not want to sacrifice quality on their wedding day so if a wedding photographer’s price seems too good to be true; it probably is and your photographs may suffer the consequences.
Stephen is a wedding photographer based out of Phoenix & Scottsdale, Arizona and available for destination weddings. Check out some of Stephen’s wedding photography at http://shef1.com/wedding-photos-phoenix