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Why wedding photographers are so expensive?

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

The following article will give you an insight as to why wedding photograhers charge a lot of money. I will try my best to do justice to the reader and present it as honestly as I can without any exaggeration.

Hiring a wedding photographer is like buying a car. You can either choose to buy a Toyota or you could choose to buy a Mercedes Benz or anything in between. It's a matter of choice. Both are great cars to drive Both will take you home if you drive responsibly.Then why do people buy a Mercedes Benz? Why do people buy a Toyota. Because there's a thin line and it matters.

I get asked often as to why wedding photographers are so expensive and the answer is may be they are not. There are part time photograhers who have a steady job who charge less for wedding photography. The choice is yours. But again I repeat there's a thin line and that matters. I am not here to downgrade the part time photographer because everyone one has a reason to do what he /she is doing. Every one including myself was a part timer once.

Every business has an investment and let us see how much investment there is in the wedding photography business. A wedding photography team consists of minimum of 5 team members if you have chosen a package with both photography and video. So that means 5 camera bodies worth 10,000 dollars in total.This is the minimum. Sometimes photographers shoot with 2 cameras so as to minimise the time spent on switching lenses.

Let's say each photograher has about 4 lenses of various focal leangth on an average. That makes it 20 lenses in all. The Cost is a minimum of 20,000.00 dollars considering an average cost of 1000 dollars each lens.

Post production: Every wedding is a minimum of 10 days of post production. That means a total of 50 days of work apart from the 2 days at the wedding and location scouting.(I shoot Indian weddings and that's why I have calculated 2 days)

Post production Equipment: Post production demands 50 days of high end computers and editing software,plus the cost of electricity,food and tons of coffee.

Sacrificing family time to get the job done: Once you have a few weddings that are shot it becomes really difficult to balance your social life as the stress to deliver on time hits you. You tend to skip family functions and socials to get your post production done on time. This is a price all photograhers and their families have to pay. Most wedding photographers do not get to ever eat on time and this a big price to pay as most photographers have health issues by the time they hit 40. These are some of the costs every photograher has to pay.

Other Costs:When we take up wedding photography as a full time profession we need to make enough money from the business to run the show . This means covering basic cost of living (rent, food,kids education, utilities, car,fuel, health insurance, etc.), the cost of equipment (cameras, lenses, batteries, memory cards, hard drives, lighting equipment) and the cost of everything else associated with running the business (service tax, wages to freelancers,marketing and advertising, website maintenance, business and equipment insurance, professional association memberships)

Moral of the story: when you pay for wedding photography you pay not only for the time spent by the team at the wedding but also for the hours of post production involved to make your pictures look beautiful so that you can relive your wedding memories for times to come.

This write-up was for the benefit of readers/fellow photograhers / clients to get a glimpse of why wedding photography seems expensive and whether it makes sense to pay so much. I hope I was able to do justice. Please feel free to comment if you want to add something here.

About the Author : Sudhir Nair is the founder of My Shaadi Story and Chasingdreams Films.

Copyright@My Shaadi Story

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