Finding A Perfect Wedding Photographer – Part 3: Working Expense Into Your Budget And Why

Congratulations on identifying your perfect match as your wedding photographer!

Your primary focus now is to hire a great photographer to get great shots of your big day!  As the patron of these services, you will need to get out of the following mind set.  What a photographer charges is what they earn.  That would be great if it was true; but it is not! 


Why photography is expensive?

First and foremost, there is much more involved than what you see during your wedding.  A professional photographer spends an average of 40 hours uploading, processing and editing the raw files.  An additional 5 hours is spent doing everything else (posting, ordering, driving, packaging and delivery).  That is an additional 45 hours before you receive your wedding photos!

Running a photography business, even on a small scale, is expensive.  Cameras and backup cameras.  Computers and software.  Hard drives and backup drives.  Web hosting and marketing.  Administrative costs, insurance, and business registration.  Oh and then finally, paying themselves!   Just like our personal budget, a photographer’s income has to be stretched and stretched.

A photographer invests thousands of dollars in equipment, software, and props.   A professional spends countless hours learning to produce quality images.  As a business owner, they don’t receive paid holidays and vacations, sick days, insurance plans or year-end bonuses.  Don’t forget that self-employment tax, equaling 35% of their profit, needs to be paid. 

If a professional photographer charges a low rate, they must cut costs in other places.  Lack of backup systems (cameras and drives), software (using pirated copies), insurance coverage, or their own salary.  Undercharging a photographer’s worth results in sale of their equipment to begin a different job.  A love for photography doesn’t pay the bills.


Previous: Part 2: Have Consultations To Compare Choices
Next: Part 4:  Contract? Definitely And Why

P.S.  This will be my continuous mantra during this series.  A good photographer should be present but not the center of attention or obtrusive! The most important thing to remember at the end of your wedding day is that “You married your soul mate!”


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