Wedding photography cost
Erin Morrison Photography, Leah Moyers Photography
Editorial Category: 
Thursday, July 2, 2020

Why Are Photographers So Expensive?

Why Are Photographers So Expensive?

Have you been shopping around for a wedding photographer and been surprised by the price? Why is wedding photography so expensive? The cost of a wedding photographer can fluctuate from $500 to over $5000! The reason wedding photography costs so much can be attributed to a ton of reasons. We'll cover the reasons and give you ways to find a wedding photographer and why your relationship with them can't be priced! Join us this week as we discuss why it's so expensive and what goes into creating your stunning images and more wedding photography help! 

But first, score your FREE copy of our Clean-Up Fact Sheet to make post-wedding clean up a breeze! With every party comes the mess, and there are tons of things that a venue expects you to complete. Check out these tips to help ensure you get your whole deposit back.


Photo: Erin Morrison Photography

Their natural skill and accumulated experience.

Some people are just naturally creative and see photography as an art form rather than just a way to capture images. Combine with this with years of working experience and knowledge of industry trends to understand some prices for services. Very rarely can you suddenly become great at photography, period. Plus, event and wedding photography is a specialized segment! It takes a lot of training and practice to understand the technical aspects of photography in general, so that artistry skill can cost a pretty penny. Especially if you're looking for a photographer that has a great reputation and is well established. Expect to pay for that experience when they quote you. Photographers need to have technical knowledge of their equipment as well as various software programs and editing tools. All of which incur a cost and take time to learn and master.

The second reason why photographers are expensive is the equipment. 

They need to have professional-grade cameras and those don't come cheap! They're going to utilize multiple lenses, tripods, extra batteries, numerous filters, additional cameras, and sometimes the cost of a second shooter. All of these add on accessories...well add up and photographers use them quickly and efficiently capture their shots. Some photographers also keep backup equipment on-site in case their primary stops functioning. Depending on the size of your guest count, venue location, and other elements of your event will dictate what they'll need on hand. They need to be completely prepared because missing the shots that define a wedding just can't happen! 


Photo: Leah Moyers Photography

Another reason is due to the risk involved.  

Many clients put down a deposit and then for one reason or another the wedding gets canceled. The photographer loses out on the remainder of the balance and may not have enough time to backfill the date. Even worse, they may have already turned down other bookings for the same day! 

There is also the risk of no second chances. They must be prepared to expertly capture your wedding photos regardless of complications, special requests, and unexpected variables. Once the event is over, there is no going back! It is the photographer's responsibility to deliver the portfolio their clientele has entrusted them to create and document.

Photography is also a labor-intensive job.

They need to be at the right place and at the right time to make sure every shot is accounted for. A photographer once told me she wears a Fitbit on her wrist when she shoots and on average walks between seven and ten miles during a single event! To have a professional carry all of their equipment and follow you around for 10 hours in July heat is without a doubt very physically demanding task. Let's not forget any travel time to and from the venue, time spent scouting locations, client consultations, phone meetings, and time waiting for clients who arrive late for appointments.


Photo: Leah Moyers Photography

Editing your photos, the part no one ever sees.

All the images captured the day of an event can easily turn into a whole week of editing. Yet, they are still required to run their business and do everyday tasks like marketing, answering emails, general office hours, and equipment maintenance. Running a business cost money and since most photographers are self-employed, they must cover all their expenses themselves. They still need to pay for services like accounting help to file their taxes, insurances (health and business), certifications, permits, and membership costs to associations that help them build their business.

Lastly, there is a seasonality that is involved.

Wedding photographers that are popular during the wedding season usually see a drop in bookings for the rest of the year. Their pricing during the wedding season needs to compensate for that. Besides, they can only be in one place at one time. For example, a bartender or florist can do multiple events for premium and unique dates. If you want a specific wedding date that other brides also have in mind, expect demand to drive up the price.

I hope we've given you some insight into why photographers can be so expensive for booking weddings and other events. If you're considering booking a photographer, you should look for a style you like by exploring your options. The relationship you have with your photographer is not a good one, that can show in your images. You must select someone you trust, have a good rapport with, and genuinely want to share what will be a truly memorable experience!

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