This topic is a touchy one for most photographers and soon to be wed couples alike. When browsing through photography blogs and forums, the debate about pricing has intensified over the past few months. I can only guess at the reason for this, maybe the global economic crisis? Whatever the reason is, you as a bride or groom need to know what you pay for. So often I’ve heard couple’s complaining about their wedding photos, but then find out a “friend” or uncle captured their wedding day for them.
Good Professional photographers use professional equipment (camera, lenses, lighting, computers and software) to guarantee the highest possible quality product delivered to the client. You have to consider insurance on the equipment as well as the fact that equipment needs to be replaced and repaired at intervals because of wear and tear. Do not forget about the time spent on producing your final package! Although you might only see them for about 15 hours before and during the wedding day, they will also spend 30 to 40 hours producing your final package! What you really pay for is the photographers style, experience and expertise – not just for the time, materials and overheads!
It is not just one day of work. While he/she is at your wedding, he is wearing his “shooting” cap. The photographer’s other caps is the ones he wear as editor and business manager. These other two jobs take more of his time that the capturing of your photos and he needs to be paid for all three jobs, not just one. A guideline to calculate the time spent editing photos for a wedding is that for every hour capturing, you spend about 3 hours editing. That equates to 24 hours of editing for an eight hour wedding. But it does not stop there! Depending on your chosen package, you would expect the photographer to design your photobook, edit your video or publish your photos to an online gallery! Now one wedding is not just a 1 day job, but more like a full working week!
Good Professional photographers use good equipment. Professional equipment is expensive for a reason. Low light capabilities, maximum print size, colour accuracy, focusing speed, ease of use, creative lighting integration – all things that assist us in giving you the best quality photographs of your memories. This equipment needs to be insured, maintained and from time to time also upgraded. You should expect this from your photographer! Furthermore, once the image is capture it is still far from being ready for delivery! The RAW images we capture is not even view-able on a standard computer! Software adds another major cost to the overhead calculation. The software needs to run on a computer, and your run of the mill computer might just not cut it!
All of the photographer’s expenses and overheads are geared towards delivering the client with the best quality product in the shortest possible time. You can get a photographer at a budget price, but then you will have to wonder about what you are missing out on? Often you get what you did not bargain for – heartache every time you want to relive your memories.
Often people only realize this when it is too late. You’re going to be concerned with the price only one time – when you buy. You’re going to be concerned with quality, however, for the rest of your life!
There are photographers out there who are so much bigger than the photos they take. They’re friendly and organized, and because they’re spending the entire day with you, they help you feel calm and stress-free throughout your day. They take care of all the details before the wedding, so when the big day arrives, you’re already confident that they’ll take care of you. They have equipment that can handle every situation, backups for their equipment, and years of experience to know how to use it. They know exactly what to anticipate so that they can make the day flow smoothly. They make it fun, they don’t get in the way, and in the end, they deliver beautiful pieces of art to commemorate your wedding – something that will last much longer than the day itself. They love their work and it shows not only in their images, but also in the experience they give you all the way through. This is why good wedding photography costs what it does. And why, to many many happy married couples, it’s more than worth it. – Kevin – Prima Vera
All I want you to do is think about it. Only you will know what you want and what it is worth to you.
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