So Why Does Wedding Photography Cost A lot?

Wedding Ceremony Photography Cost

This is a usual question that is questioned a lot. Below are a few points to consider when putting a value of Wedding photography.Skilled prints are a tear off; I can have a print for 0. 19 cents at Xmart! That’s correct you can and all it charges you is a small time. You were at the Wedding ceremony having a great time; you pulled your digital camera and snapped off a photo, easy. How about the Wedding photographer isn’t it that simple for him too?

Wedding photographers (the good ones) truly care about the lovely couple. We want to take the finest picture possible for the assigned situation and to be able to do so it involves us to be ready and place some thought into every single shot.


Firstly it is the tools.

 You need to have good quality equipment and you must have backup. At any assigned Wedding ceremony, we bring Five digital camera bodies, Six flashes, four power packs, Eight lenses, lots of AA batteries, FIFTY GB of memory chips, extra batteries for the digital cameras, tools to clean and fix cameras or lenses, extra cables and wires. Light stands, reflectors, a white balance target, light meters, EIGHT HUNDRED watt strobes for formals (Three of these), umbrellas, flash bracket, diffusers, and well you get the idea.

A good digital camera and tools (gear) will not make one a great photographer. An experienced photographer can make great pictures along with even average equipment. The main reason to get costly equipment is because it can create good work great; however it won’t preserve a poor photo no matter how much money you have invested. Pro digital cameras focus more effectively, track moving items better, totally focus in little light conditions faster and much better, they are more durable, weather sealed, shutters possess a life of 250, 000 frames. They have bigger buffers so that you can take more photos with decreasing your camera down. The digital camera is only part of the equation. Your lenses can perform an even bigger role than your digital camera body in the quality of the pictures. In other terms if you own an $8000. 00 DLSR and put an affordable $300. 00 lens on it you just squandered $7000. 00.

Why is it that we need all of that equipment? Well it is Easy, for backup, stability, quality, and to make pictures that can’t be produced without the proper tools. We want to create pictures that have a third dimension to them.


It’s known as the WOW factor.

Yes anybody can buy a camera, flash, flash group and run around and give us a call at themselves a photographer. It is also a fact that anyone can get a pair of scissors and reduces hair, but I will wager you are going to have a skilled individual cut YOUR hair. The same holds true for photography, there are abilities, technical learning, people abilities, posing skills and things can’t learn like possessing a vision, seeing the light and searching beyond the obvious to create something great from something other people see as common.

Anybody can purchase brushes and color and take art classes, but not everybody will become an artist.

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No it’s correct there are individuals out there that take a whole wedding ceremony with one camera, one flash and call themselves by different popular names (photo journalists). Now I don’t want to begin any arguments but a lot of experts feel that the most of PJ photographers and people, who don’t know how to light, pose or frame their subjects. Don’t misunderstand me there are some that are really good, but I do feel that lots of people whom only one to make an extra buck hide behind the reputation of the great PJ shooters so as to take advantage of their customers. These are usually the guys who at one time recognized that anybody can snap a photo, so why not get paid for it? The photojournalist wedding photographers that are extremely good are in a group of their own. They have special skills, and have got one Benefit over the desire to be photojournalists and that is why they truly have been photojournalists before getting into Weddings.

Okay. I am off that soapbox for the time being. Covered work and time worked but not found.

There is a lot of time used after the wedding ceremony for the last production of the images and record that will be produced. But before we go in to that let us examine and the hidden time as well as costs that you would never learn about except you did wedding photography for a living.

At the first meeting of a bride and groom we are going to spend about TWO TO THREE hours talking about their day, giving them suggestions and jotting down details. We offer forms to help them arrange their day (and their own ideas) and to enable them plan. Our task is not just to photograph the day but to get stress off the wedding couple by giving advice and assisting them plan the wedding ceremony. The photographer you select will be responsible for a wonderful part of your day. In case your photographer just wants to talk with you to in order to check and then ask you what time do you want them to appear you might want to consider a photographer that desires to actually get engaged with the wedding day.

The regular bride and groom will spend about 2-4 hours on the mobile phone with us asking questions and also planning for the day. Add more time in case there is an engagement session. Let’s also keep in mind that all of the email’s that will be mailed back and for.


The wedding day photography schedule.

We will invest 1-2 hours with going through the series of the day and helping place in writing a time line of events. The function of this time line is to assist the couple get the pictures that they need. Also this is a major tension reliever for the bride due to the fact that the photographer becomes that bad guy and offers the wedding party a plan for the day. There is nothing more serious on the day of your wedding then having a wedding party member be a no display until 5 minutes before, especially if you preferred pre ceremony pictures. There is usually one bridesmaid that takes a long time to get ready and is well known for being late of forgetting things, the mean photographer that offers a plan to the bridesmaids is doing so to help the new bride so she won’t have to fear dealing with the extra drama that can be developed by slow and late bridesmaids, of course it’s her day.

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Searching the area.

If the events are at a region I have not shot at previously I am going to go to the wedding site and the wedding reception area and picture the places and meet the individuals who will be in command on the day of the wedding ceremony. I go back to the studio room and load up the pictures and prepare shot I want to get by using what is available in the location and then I organize the pictures and plan them all in a logical order. There is another 3-4 hours of preparing, plus travel period.


The rehearsal.

We go to the rehearsal. This is a very good way of knowing about last moment changes, getting to meet the family members and wedding ceremony and of course passing out the photography agenda. So generally there is another two hours on average.


The day just before the wedding ceremony.

All of the equipment is polished, examined and tested. Batteries are recharged. Equipment is organized. Cards are formatted, digital cameras have their clocks synchronized, lenses and receptors cleaned, I arrange my photo list, pack up the lighting tools, tripods, etc. Another Six hours of work.


The wedding ceremony.

 The average wedding ceremony for us is Eight to ELEVEN hours; yes we aren’t the Four hour wedding photographers. I usually wonder how they can escape with that.

Now it can nice to think that you can map out a wedding day and after that you simply execute the plan. Well right now it’s time for a reality check.


Weddings are organic.

They have a life of their own and not everything goes as planned. However that’s okay. Part of being a great Wedding photographer is being in a position to think on your feet, to become flexible and change all the plans in a moment notice and still get great photos and keep everyone smiling. You need a challenge try squeezing two hours of shooting in to 45 minutes. Oh yeah, the photos still need to be great.


After the wedding.

OK the Wedding ceremony is over we got home about 1: 00 am unload the gear; start reading through the images of the chips. Toss them on the web and wait for the cash to roll in!!! In my dreams.

Just by taking the pictures off the chips take about 3-5 hours. Then the pictures have to be prepared.

We do not photograph in jpg data file mode, we shoot in RAW. RAW is to digital what disadvantages are to film. The data files have to be filled into a RAW editing program. We use Capture One.

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Running the RAW files.

 The regular Wedding could have 1000-2000 photos. I will invest about 10-16 hours producing the RAW file to have the total best quality from each one. You can get shorts cut and not be so picky, but any kind of Wedding photographer worth their sodium will like to make the proofs look good.

It does take time to do correct color modification (actually correction and white balance starts before the pictures were taken, that is what the white balance target was for). Data files are saved on three different external hard drives for redundancy. The chips are not formatted till all of the data files are saved.


The album.

The RAWS are output as high quality jpg data files for making the photos and for posting on the Net. Right now we create the album. The regular album normally takes 40-60 hours. You could possibly buy software program that instantly dumps photos from a document into pre-made themes, and it takes about twenty minutes. But there is no creativity or choices involved. The shooter picks the images for the album and then the bride and groom get to make changes two times. Many photographers work this way because it is quicker. But if the bride and groom truly value good pictures and don’t want a cookie cutter album then it needs creativity, communication as well as time.


Using professional lab.

Professional shooters use high quality monitors and computer hardware gadgets that create a profile that changes their screen display so when we edit and color correctly, change the density and sharpen and picture the print arrive from the lab looking like the picture on our monitor. Skilled labs charge more due to the fact that they provide a level of quality and consistency and utilized calibrated devices that are tested daily.


So let’s total it up.

First meeting of a bride and groom 2-3 hours.

Time on mobile phone and writing email’s to iron out info and reply questions 2-4 hours.

The time line for the day 1-2 hours.

Searching the place, travel and investigate, planning shots. 3-4 hours.

The rehearsal 2 hours, plus travel time period.

The wedding ceremony 8-11 hours on average.

Posting data from chips. 3-5 hours.

Running the RAW files, creating web pages for the online buying cart, posting files and data back up 10-16 hours.

Build the wedding record pages 40-60 hours.

People who are talented make their own work look easy. Skills, hard work, patience, flexibility along with a good sense of humor are part of being a great Wedding photographer. You are inviting this person in your life for the day of your Wedding.

So , when you purchase a picture from the Wedding photographer you are not only purchasing a piece of paper with several printing, you are obtaining a part of the time, feelings and investment that the bride and groom put into their day, plus they relied on the photographer to be there for them.

This person they have put their own trust in has done a lot more than just take a few pictures.

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