Below is a link to an advert aimed at wedding photographers that another photographer pointed out.  Check it out, then read the rest of my post…

Attn: Wedding Photographers 🙂.

So, this article has caused me to create a new post category – “Rants” 🙂

What the writer of this ad is failing to do is look at the whole picture. It’s really amazing to hear (or in this case see) people’s opinions on subjects when they haven’t taken a step back to look at everything involved in the given situation.

Now I understand this lady is doesn’t like the idea of spending $3000 on a photographer for her wedding although she wants a photographer with the talent to produce images like the $3000 photographers are charging. What she is not seeing is why the photographer is charging so much.

My wedding prices are not quite at $3000, but I know many are, and there are plenty above that range too. We also see plenty of “shoot & burn” people charging $500 to photograph a wedding – something that only hurts them by under-charging and the industry as a whole by setting false standards in the minds of clients about pricing.

Let’s take a quick look at what goes into photographing a wedding. From a labour standpoint the day starts bright and early getting all equipment ready, making sure there are fresh batteries, lenses are clean, everything is functioning correctly. Then we meet with the clients and “hang out at the wedding and take tons of photos”. The typical day will involve anywhere from 8-12 hours by the time all is said and done, plus travel time.

At this point, the real work begins! While some “shoot and burn” photographers will just put all the photos on a DVD and be done, any photographer with some credibility will take the time to cull, crop and edit the images before presenting them to the newlywed couple. You know all that really awesome, fun looking, amazingly talented, creative photography the bride to be in the article was looking for – this is where a lot of that happens. First of course is excellent image capture during the event, but the creative editing add that “touch of magic” that makes photos stand out. This process can take anywhere from 4-8 days to complete! So the photographer could have anywhere from 40-72 hours invested (never mind paying a second shooter).

Add to this the cost of overhead – professional equipment is NOT CHEAP, then there is advertising, insurance, phone bills, etc…. I think you are probably getting the idea. Running a business has a lot of expenses and businesses need to charge for that.

Hopefully I’ve been able to show you that in general, photographers who charge 2000-3000 or more for a wedding are really not trying to rip any one off – they are just trying to run a decent business to feed their families! I can guarantee someone who charges $500 to do a wedding is either:

  1.   Going to deliver overall low quality pictures which generally leave the clients unhappy. Or
  2. are going to put themselves out of business before too long which does no one any good.

As for the bride-to-be who posted the above ad I say this:  I can’t afford a Mercedes, that doesn’t mean that Mercedes are just trying to rip everyone off. I buy a GM and I am happy with it because  I get what I am expecting and paying for. You can’t get Champagne for beer money!

I’d love to hear any thoughts on this! 🙂

Rant done….thanks for “listening”