If you're like me, you've definitely wondered why certain occupations like hair stylists, tattoo artists or massage therapists charge as much as they do. Why would you go to get some color in your hair, a butterfly permanently drawn on your body, or a knot rubbed out of your back and drop $200, easily?
Often times, we don't always see what all goes into these jobs. I know a lot of people have questions about that regarding photographers as well-- because I've gotten multiple asked to me ever since I started.
In your mind, you probably wonder what could possibly go into taking a camera you've already paid for, to an event and pushing a button to take some pretty pictures, that would cost so much money. Well, you hit the jackpot! I'm here to explain why in the world it's worth it to invest in a wedding photographer, and what goes into the whole process that makes it just that- an investment.
Let's jump into it first with the cost of being a photographer.
Photographers spend a lot of time and energy into many aspects of the job. From creating content to market and reach clients, to setting up meetings, sending emails, traveling to their booked events + wear and tear on their car (if driving), shooting the event, and editing. Hours upon hours of preparation, planning and organizing. Your photographer wants to make sure they can be the best for your job, and they will put a lot of effort into doing so.
GEAR, SOFTWARE + INSURANCE
In another blog I wrote, I briefly touched on how expensive photography equipment is. Technology is always evolving, and to ensure that we are doing the very best we can, photographers are constantly upgrading to stay up to date with the best there is, so they can give you the best there is. That being said, it's never just a buy it once, and you're done type of deal. Apart from the camera body and lenses, photographers need to purchase tonssss of SD/ CF cards, additional hard drives, batteries, chargers, camera cleaning equipment, a good laptop/ computer to edit on, all the devices that transfer photos, etc. Once something breaks, it needs to be replaced/ repaired. Once hard drives fill up, new ones need to be purchased. You get the idea!
In addition to the hardware, there are multiple service charges. Editing software, marketing, websites, templates, domains, managers, etc.
There is also business insurance as well as equipment insurance to think about.
In addition to their time, your photographer is very skilled at what they do. A lot of details go into working camera equipment, learning editing tools, managing social media, their website and client strategy. They have a lot of knowledge about running their tight ship to make sure your booking and overall experience goes smoothly and efficiently, and that came with a lot of practice.
After all of the expenses, this is the part where your photographer makes his/ her living off of.
Editing is often the most time consuming part about the photography job. The process is tedious and takes a lot of concentration and attention to detail to deliver photos to you that will be high quality. Once the memory cards are transferred to the hard drive + laptop to the editing software, the photographer needs to "cull" through the photos to get anywhere from 600-900 photos that they will then go on to edit. Once their preset is applied to the photo, all of the little details come into play. Cropping, coloring, removing any distractions or imperfections from the photo- getting it just right. Sometimes the photos are even brought into Photoshop to make other changes. Depending on the photographers work load and how many other shoots they have to edit and deliver, editing a single wedding typically will take up to at least a full 40 hour week, give and take. Usually your photographer will have your wedding photos back to you by a month or two, because they had other weddings or photoshoots to edit and deliver before yours.
Okay, so now you have a little bit of a better grasp on why photographers charge as much as they do. Now let's talk about why it's worth your investment for your love story!
once in a lifetime
Your wedding doesn't happen every year like a holiday. It happens once. You spend months and months prepping and planning for your wedding day that typically lasts 8 hours from start to end. And the first half of that is bridal prep and last minute touches!
That leaves us with only a few short hours of pure bliss and thorough enjoyment. The day where all of your friends and family, the most important and special people in your life come together to celebrate you and your new spouse, and the joy that that brings.
When you invest in a skilled wedding photographer, it will allow you to relive the most important day in your life, for the rest of your life. It will leave you with hundreds of gorgeous photos to look at as often as you want, and you will never once regret it or say "I wish I didn't pay a high end photographer to get these stunning pictures of our day!", I promise.
Apart from having these photos to look at for yourself, your kids + grandkids will have them as a legacy to look and think of fondly. They'll tell a unique story-- your love story. Your story only happens once, and quite frankly, I think that in and of itself is worth investing in.
takes the stress away
When you look back on the photos from this day, you don't want to look back and think about how stressful and chaotic it was to get everything organized and structured, and have that reflect on the photos. Hiring a skilled photographer will relieve any stress off of you so you can just sit back and enjoy your day. They will immediately put you at ease and calm all nerves as they get your Great Aunt Susan to stay in place and stop talking to your second cousin Jim Bob. They will gracefully snatch the film camera from Uncle Stuart and remove him from the premises completely. Just kidding, but.. you see my point. Photographers will double as your right hand man on your wedding day and do everything in their power to keep you happy and enjoying the moment.
In addition to those reasons, with Covid happening this past year, all small businesses really are in need of support and encouragement! Most photographers really struggled this year as they had to postpone most of their weddings, and the business that would be coming in for 2021 is now filled with 2020 postponed dates (which, I have to include so no one gets the wrong idea- we are still SO very excited about!).
To end, my hope is that you are able to see the benefits in hiring a professional photographer for your wedding, and are able to understand more of what photographers put into their business that makes it worth the investment!
As always, thank you so much for supporting me, and continuing to be a part of my business as it grows!