HOME BIO CONTACT + PRICING BLOG REVIEWS CLIENTS

Why Is Wedding Photography So Expensive?

Why is Wedding Photography So Expensive?

 

The first thing I hear from newly engaged couples is “Weddings are so expensive!” usually followed by rants on how much money photographers charge for their services. Because the bulk of the work is behind the scenes, most couples assume if we’re shooting an 8-hour wedding for $2,500 we’re making over $300 an hour. As great as that would be for me, it's not true at all. 

 

As wedding photographers we give up all of our summer weekends and work 60-80 hours a week editing, emailing, making albums, etc. Even in what most people consider our winter ‘downtime’ we still work on updating websites, social media, accounting, continuing our education, and the list goes on. It can be quite stressful and very tiring at times but the best photographers keep doing this because we love our job!

 

I want to go through and explain the amount of time photographers spend on each couple. Hopefully, it will be an eye-opener for you. Here is a general breakdown of the time, effort, and costs that go into wedding photography businesses. 

 

BOOKING: 2-3 HOURS

  • Initial emails
  • In-person consultation or Phone call
  • Processing deposit, typing and signing contracts

 

ENGAGEMENT SESSION: 13-16 HOURS

  • Researching engagement photo locations
  • Prepping equipment and driving time
  • Engagement photo shoot
  • Downloading, culling, and editing
  • Uploading full gallery
  • Prepping and mailing USB

 

WEDDING PLANNING AND WEDDING DAY: 50-60 HOURS

  • Answering questions, timeline planning, etc.
  • Cleaning and packing gear, preparing CF cards, reviewing details with wedding team and/or your other vendors
  • Travel times
  • Photographing the wedding
  • Downloading, culling, editing
  • Uploading full gallery and emailing client links
  • Ordering, prepping, and shipping USB

 

ALBUM: 9-11 HOURS

  • Fully retouch images for the album
  • Design the first version of the album and send to the client
  • Make requested changes to the album and send the second draft to the client
  • Export final design and order
  • Inspect and mail to client

 

That 8-hour wedding package translates into roughly 80 hours of work for your wedding photographer.

 

We also have a lot of other work and business expenses to consider. These things benefit your wedding but may not be directly related to it. 

 

Other time:

Updating Social Media

Accounting

Continuing education

Sharing images with vendors

Blogging

Updating websites

Updating advertising sites like The Knot and WeddingWire

 

Other Expenses:

Accounting

Advertising

Second photographers (when applicable)

Continuing Education

Professional Organization Memberships

Insurance

Camera equipment and accessories

Editing software

 

Hopefully, this post gave you a more educated perspective of the work and time wedding photographers spend on each couple. 80 hours is way more time than just the 8 hours of shooting on the wedding day. Keep this in mind when searching for and hiring your wedding photographer!

 

 

×
×