Wedding Pictures, Why do they cost so much?
As I get ready to photograph Alex and Ellie next week at their wedding, I started to think about why people may be confused as to why it costs so much to get their wedding pictures.
After-all, anyone can take wedding pictures… right?
Next time you think a wedding photographer is charging too much and go for the cheaper option. Just ask yourself, do you think the cheaper alternative is doing all of this..?
I like to visit the venue first, and I love to meet with the couple to talk about what images they want. On top of this I usually spend anywhere from 10-20 hours worth of time doing sketches of lighting set ups, checking out what’s new in the wedding photography world, making sure my equipment (which is plentiful) is clean and functioning to it’s full potential, as well as producing detailed shot lists and organizing my time.
Wedding photography Equipment
Above is a snapshot of the gear that I take to get a full set of wedding pictures.
- A DSLR with a fast 85mm prime lens for good low light images without flash
- A backup DSLR for insurance and speed that has a wideangle lens and a flash on it
- A 3rd fast short lightweight lens
- 72gb of Memory cards for shooting and backing up
- 20x AA batteries
- 2x chargers
- a laptop for backing up and initial selection
- 2x Light stands
- 2x light modifiers (either an umbrella or softbox and lightbender)
- An expensive tripod to make sure your wedding pictures are tack sharp
- A selection of flash triggers and remotes for the cameras
- Emergency cable ties and ductape
- 3x flashes
- Straps to hold on to it all
- And finally 2x decent bags to carry it all around!
That lot alone costs a wedding photographer a lot, but it is essentially superficial..
What happens at 11pm when the party starts die down? A decent wedding photographer will go back home to start backing up (yes that’s two lots of backing up!) which can take anywhere from 1-3 hours. Then they will have the delightful task of sifting through the thousands of images to get rid of people picking their nose/with their eyes shut/generally looking ‘unfortunate’. Once they are reduced down to a sensible number, it is editing time. The editing can be minimal or extensive, that depends on the couple and the photographer, but either way you can see that many many hours go in to perfecting your wedding pictures.
The finishing touches
Putting all those images into an album ain’t easy peeps! Think how meticulous press advertising is and yet there are still mistakes there (trust me, I do this as well). When compiling the wedding pictures for a couple, perfection is the only way. Mistakes cannot be tolerated so everything has to be checked, checked, checked and probably checked again.
Then we as wedding photographers have to get the wedding pictures to your front door. So compiling, packaging and posting also takes time, but we like to make sure they get to you in pristine condition!
Like I said at the beginning, when you question the fees that the decent wedding photographer is quoting, just consider the fact that a cheaper and less experienced photographer or student probably isn’t preparing to the same extent, doesn’t have the same amount of equipment or insurance and frankly might not produce as beautiful images. I wouldn’t call myself a professional wedding photographer. There are people out there who are relying on this industry to pay their mortgages, so just think about what your are getting, not what you are paying for!