We think one of the most common questions when anyone starts to look for a wedding photographer is "Why is it so expensive?". Fact is, especially nowadays, most people have at least a 6-8 megapixel camera or more on their phones, so why do you need a professional? As a married couple raising teenagers we definitely understand how budgets go, and as business owners we try are hardest to provide a fair, reasonable price for our services.
We consider our prices for all of our packages to be mid-range and an excellent value in comparison to other professional photographers. The biggest value we offer is that all of our costs are up-front and rather then entice you with a low price and then charge you higher prices for the individual pictures, we give you all rights to them so you can download them for free and print them wherever you want. If you have ever had images taken before by a studio only to find the only way you are going to get them is to pay outrageous prices for them, then you will know that this is something you definitely want to avoid with your wedding pictures!
In addition we edit all images and also do custom edits for no extra charges. For example, you see an image and you want it in black and white or another modification, no problem, just let us know and we will edit it for no extra charges.
In regards to how we set our prices, our largest expense is our equipment. We currently have invested over $26,000 in professional photography and video equipment (please see "Our Equipment" webpage for details). For example, the main camera with lens that Shel uses has a value of $6,000. What does our professional equipment get you?
- Crystal clear images, even when the lights dim, and all other cameras in the room are incapable of getting the shot, rest assured our cameras will.
- Speedlites to brighten the room so we can take great pictures even at a dark reception
- Quality backup equipment, because a wedding is a one-time event, and there are no second-takes
To us, one of the biggest differences between photographers and Professional Photographers is the amount of money invested in their equipment.
The next largest expense is advertising. Though we are a relatively small business, you would not be reading our site, unless we advertise. The fact is, a business, is not a business, unless your customers hear about you.
Below is a list of some of our other expenses we incur as business owners:
- Phone and internet
- Office space (in my case heating/cooling, homeowners insurance, mortgage)
- Vehicle costs (gas, maintenance, insurance, repairs)
- Business insurance
- Web hosting, website membership, and custom blog
- Client proofing and management systems
- Professional associations
- Business cards, brochures, other marketing materials and marketing costs
- Workshops, seminars, conventions, books, education
- Editing and photo management software
Then of course, there is our time invested in the business, these time expenses include:
- Initial inquiry, emailing and correspondence
- Meeting/consultation if necessary
- Filing paperwork, contracts, receipts, invoices, hiring a second photographer (weddings), other administrative duties
- Location scouting
- Prep, cleaning equipment, trip plans, session plans
- Travel to event
- Time shooting event
- Travel from event
- Image downloading and backup
- Image culling
- Image editing
- Image backup
- Uploading galleries or packaging and delivering products
- Arranging publication
So we hope this has explained our prices a little better for you. Our goal with this page is not to whine and complain about our job or our expenses...We love our job and consider it an honor to earn your business and to be a part of your most special day. Our goal, rather, is to educate brides and photography enthusiasts about the costs of running a business and how you could expect these costs to translate into what you will pay for wedding photography