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  • Kerry Paradis

Why Do Photographers Charge What They Do? (Wedding Edition)


Depending on the person, some think I am expensive and some think I am cheap. I like to pride myself on being the photographer who can deliver high quality pictures for a very reasonable price. I want to discuss what goes into the price you are paying because it is a lot more involved than what it seems. According to http://snapknot.com/wedding-photography-prices , I am below average on my pricing.

A typical conversation may go like this.

Potential client, “What do you charge for a Wedding?”

I reply, “My packages start at $2,500 and that is for 8 hours of time, excluding travel” (I attach my pricing brochure to the email that details what they receive)

The potential client responds, “I only need you for 4-6 hours. Is the price any cheaper? “

I reply, “You will need the whole 8 hours whether you realize it or not. From the getting ready pictures, bridal party pictures, family pictures, the ceremony and the reception, it will take about 8 hours.”

Potential client, “That seems expensive, let me talk to my fiancé and get back to you”

Sometimes they get back to me and sometimes they don’t. People don’t realize what goes into planning for a wedding and capturing that special day. On the brochure it tells them that this price includes an online gallery and digital high resolution images edited on a zip file. What it doesn’t portray or articulate is what actually goes into getting those pictures to the potential client. I am hoping this article helps give you a better understanding of what is involved on my side of things.

Before I book most of my weddings, I like to meet face-to-face with most of the couples. This normally lasts about an hour or so. If they decide to proceed with me, I need to do some research on the venue or church where the event will occur. Sometimes I may already be familiar, but not all the time. This can change too depending on the time of the year. If someone gets married outside in October at a venue vs. April, the sun may/will be in a different spot at that time of year. A picture that worked during one month may be too sunny to work another. There is a lot of planning that goes into this.

As the wedding approaches I need to work with the couple on their wedding day timeline. This is a mutual effort because only the photographer knows how much time they will need to get their pictures. I go above and beyond to make sure we are on the same page with the timeline for the day of. After each wedding, they have a better understanding of why I needed the full 8 hours. From a photographer’s standpoint, we know what pictures we need to get when the sun is going down, etc. We need to make sure a time window is open for pictures during sunset. You don’t have a lot of time and it is critical that time is allotted for these pictures. Some of the best pictures you will cherish forever happen during the sunset.

A few days before the wedding I sit down and write out all the poses that I want to capture on the wedding day.

On the wedding day I may spend 1 hour driving to the hotel or home to meet the bride, 8 hours of shooting and an hour or so to drive back home.

After the event I spend about two hours going through both cameras and getting rid of pictures that I know I won’t use. Example, maybe someone’s eyes were closed or weren’t ready (that is one of the reasons why I take so many pictures of the same thing). Once I am happy w