All wedding collections include 4-12 hours of wedding day coverage, ongoing consultation, timeline assistance, one or two photographers, ready-to-print edited images, private online gallery, wedding sneak-peeks, a custom wedding book and a complimentary “get-to-know-you” engagement session.
I truly believe wedding photography is an investment, as years after the wedding, these photographs will help you relive your once-in-a-lifetime day. I take a limited number of weddings per year as your wedding is deserved the best attention.
Why are wedding prices so expensive? A tale you need to read to believe:
If a plumber comes into your home, it makes sense how much his bill is: $XX for consult, $XXX for hourly rate of work, $XX for parts = total cost. But with photographers, 90% of the works is done far away from you so it can feel like you're getting ripped off.
So here is a basic breakdown of where your money goes: Bear with me, money can be boring. These are also approximate numbers. But if you like to understand things, this will help!
Cost of doing business. Sounds important, and it kind of is. This would be all the stuff I need to serve your well. Everything from website fees, marketing costs, equipment maintenance, education and all manner of little things all falls in this category. This total number is the minimum amount I need to make just to pay the bills so to speak.
For my business, that number is roughly $5000. So that means that the first $5000 I make isn't even paying ME. It's paying business costs. Things like
- Camera Gear
- Computer/Editing Programs
- Education (for me! so I can get better for you!)
- Internet Cell Service
- Gallery Services (to get you your photos)
- Website hosting maintenance
I divide that number up using some fancy math and break it down to an hourly rate so that a set portion of everything I shoot (wedding, family etc..) goes towards this number.
Then I want to make an hourly wage right? I mean, who doesn't!! It's not super helpful to only pay for a business and not even pay myself. And, unfortunately, I have to pay taxes. Say I want to make about $40/hour doing what I do. Awesome. But that means I have to charge $50/hour to cover taxes.
So here is my formula for calculating what to charge you: hourly cost of business hourly wage = Total hourly amount = approx $60
Doesn't sound too bad does it?
BEFORE: Straight out of the camera
ISO: 100 F: 2.8 S: 1/100 60mm lens
AFTER: Final Image delivered to client
Total Edit time 10 minutes
Now comes the behind the scenes (Hey, you're still here!)
Breakdown of Cost Time:
let's do a 10 hour wedding day
Before the day: 12 Hours
- initial meeting/coffee date,
- site scouting
- countless texts/emails
- engagement session (2 hours)
- culling editing engagement (8 hours)
On the day: 11 Hours
- driving to location shooting time
After the wedding: 50 Hours
1) Import Culling: 3500 images down to 700-1000 4 Hours
2) Editing 1000 images: 35 /- Hours of work
3) Finishing Touches: Creating USB, adding to website etc 1 Hour
4) Discussing, creating from scratch, editing and ordering photobook 8-10 hours
Total Hours Worked for a 8 Hour wedding: 73 Hours $60 Hour = $4380
Taxes = ~$300-$400
Business Expenses (Paying my assistant, paying my second photographer, buying the photobook and shipping etc.): $750
Take Home: $3330
Hourly Wage; $45.61
So my 10 Hour wedding package is $4000.
My prices reflect a successful business practice: paying taxes, paying bills, and accounting for the time and care required to give my people the experience they deserve as well as paying myself. It's also important to note that photography is predominantly a seasonal job (most of the work falls in May-September) and with a set number of weekends available for weddings, it also means a limited amount of money to be made. For full time photographers who depend on their income, they're calculating their expenses for the entire year and pricing so they can work enough in the summer to pay for the entire year. Just like other seasonal jobs!
Photography comes with all price tags and budgets but at the end of the day, you're going to want someone who demonstrates to you why they are worth your hard earned dollars. You get to decide how much and who.
So be kind. Be smart. Pay your photographer what they're worth.
~ Cortney XO