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Why Wedding Photographers Charge So Much

Feb 13, 2019

 

Weddings are not cheap. And if you are planning a wedding you’ve already discovered this fact. If you are wise or not a millionaire you are trying to save money where ever you can. And if you’ve started to look into hiring a photographer you’ve probably asked yourself with a sigh of despair what is the reason why wedding photographers charge so much?!?

Here are three things you probably aren’t thinking about when you see that number on their website that will make that “so much” feel like a worthy investment.

  1. The amount you pay them isn’t the paycheck they take home

Photographers are normally a one-man show so unlike most 9 to 5 jobs, the income they make doesn’t go straight into their paycheck. It goes into their business. And businesses aren’t run for free. Wedding photographers have to save for taxes, purchase and maintain gear, pay for website domains and website platforms, for editing and design software, for Quickbooks, accountants, and bookkeepers, for client management software and social media planning apps! That’s not even including client gifts, marketing budgets, or furthering education.

  1. They aren’t just working the 8 hours

A lot of couples forget that wedding photographers work many more hours than the 8 on their wedding day. Just for your wedding alone theirs all the time they spend editing, corresponding to you and your vendors via email, researching your venue and location scouting and the time they spend getting to know you so you can feel comfortable. But photographers also spend time crafting a brand and experience that will serve you well. Not to mention other tasks like marketing and bookkeeping.

You aren’t just paying for 8 hours on a wedding day or the 20 odd hours they spend on your directly. But for a well functioning business that you can trust to serve you well on one of the most important days of your life.

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  1. This is a specialty field where experience is everything

Wedding photography is a specialty field where experience is everything. Typically, the more experience the wedding photographer the better they will be. This is because weddings are uncontrolled events where a photographer needs to be able to anticipate what will come next and how to adapt to changes. I could go into so many specific examples that I could list but the difference between the two could make or break your day. Tell me which you’d prefer:

Option 1:

A wedding day where you are rushing from one thing to the next, feeling awkward and unsure in front of the camera, so stressed you want to cry during family photos, hot and hungry during bridal party photos while being asked by your photographer where you think they should take these shots. The whole day goes by in a blur where you hardly even had any time alone to talk to your new spouse! You get your gallery back 6 months later from your photographer and your images were sort of anticlimactic. You post a couple portraits to Instagram and then never look at your gallery again.

Option 2:

Or a wedding day where you are at peace and in the moment. You know your photographer has it handled and you can just soak up the joy of the day. She has kept you on schedule but you’ve barely even noticed because you’ve been enjoying sweet time with the person you love most. Your photographer feels like she always belongs among your family and friends and took care of family formals and bridal party photos with efficiency but also made it fun. The day went by fast but you loved every moment of it. You were so excited by the sneak peeks and the highlight of your wedding day, that they made you cry with how beautiful they were. And when you got the gallery from your photographer only 5 weeks after your wedding day (just like she said you would) you relived the whole day over again.

Your wedding day only happens once. After the flowers have faded, the meal has been forgotten, and your memories start to fade, you’ll have two things. A beautiful marriage and the images that captured the heart of it.

Engaged? I’d love to tell your story!

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@christanormanphoto

Christa Norman is a wedding photographer based out of Orange County California and Nagoya Japan