Wedding Photography costs appear quite high - but they are in fact, not. It isn't because a wedding photographer is over-charging for a special day - it is simple business costs.
If you think, regardless of what you read below that you are determined to get the cheapest wedding photographer because you want metallic balloons or think the money for the band is more important that your photographs - feel free to close your browser window and look for cheap weddings. It is your choice - but before you do, you may want to consider how a wedding photographer runs a business and what it costs to run that business and how that will affect the photographs you would receive.
Now I wont go into too much detail because I will bore you - plus I will bore myself explaining all the in's and out's of costs applied to a working, thriving business model, but I will explain the basics just so you may understand why some things cost the way they do. No one is trying to rip you off - I have a mortgage, just like you, I have a couple of kids (maybe you haven't yet or maybe you have your own tribe) - we all have to live and we all have to pay bills.
Imagine you are running a wedding photography business and charging £350 - or £600 per wedding - for all day - thats from Bridal preparation, covering the ceremony, wedding breakfast and speeches, cutting the cake, first dance and photos of your guests enjoying themselves until around 9pm/9.30pm (approx 10 hours of photography).
The £350 sounds a bargain and £600 sounds mid-range (some wedding photographers charge £2k and that still isn't too much, if the quality equals value) so £650 does not seem too bad - but what is involved in photographing a wedding that deems higher charges.
If you were running your own wedding business, how many weddings would you have to photograph a year charging £350?
To make £20k a year (which is a fair low-average wage in 2016) - not forgetting this is before tax and equipment expenditure taken into account) you would have to shoot 57 weddings a year.
That is more than 1 a week - baring in mind, a good wedding photographer will spend 5 to 10 days working on wedding images after the initial day spent shooting the wedding. A full day of wedding shots may take 3,000 + images throughout the day and deliver 250-400 amazing photographs that have detailed the complete day and all of the most amazing moments.
You wouldn't want all 3,000 images - simply because there will be heads popping into view, or the moment is repeated due to burst-shooting, so the wedding photographer will pick all the best, individual shots from the day. You won't be missing any of the other images, I can promise you.
So, shooting wedding after wedding, every 4 days or so, without breaks (a day or two off) - the quality would be poor and the work rushed so that you could get more than 1 wedding per week and get the images to the clients before starting the next wedding.
Baring in mind, you, as the wedding photographer would be taxed, pay insurance, equipment, dry-cleaning (I wear a suit to a wedding as turning up in a T-shirt and jeans is just not professional), accounts and bills, travelling costs and at least deserves a couple of weeks off a year, especially around Christmas to be with the family otherwise the wedding photographer will be literally burned out.
Does not seem like an attractive job now does it? Ok, well, lets increase your wedding photography charges to £650 per wedding - you would still have to shoot 30+ weddings a year, all year around to make the 20k.
This allows you 3 to 4 days after the wedding shoot to get those beautiful images off to your clients - remembering these are the most important photographs possibly, of their lives - no pressure there - so still spending 5 days a week on 1 wedding event (but at least you get a couple of days off a week now).
Again, this is before considering any costs that a real business has to take into account. Work will still be hard going, its never ending, especially if you have managed to take in 30 weddings per year, thankfully getting a couple of days off per week (equivalent of a weekend) and a couple of weeks off around Christmas (thats providing you have bookings all through winter and spring).
A professional wedding photographer would not want to be shooting more than 30 weddings a year.
This means that wedding photographer can concentrate on the current job, take their time, make sure the service and quality of the end-product is going to exceed the client's expectations. It also means they wont be burned out - which means you will get the quality that you expect.
But you cannot run a business on £20k a year before tax and costs. Not for working constantly and still delivering a high quality, consistent service to your clients.
A bride will spend upwards of £1,000 for a dress - no disrespect to the bride - the dress will be truly amazing and she will look like an angel in that dress- the most beautiful woman in the world - that, I have no doubt about - but that dress will most likely be worn once and placed on a hanger and kept in a wardrobe for many years. Unfortunately, due to most people's lifestyles, that dress may not fit years down the line - so its basically worn once and then never to be seen again.
Your wedding photographs are the most important part of your wedding (aside from your partner of course!) - you may not realise that, but your wedding photographs will be looked at many times over decades. By you, your partner, your friends - your children and your grand children.
You can certainly re-new your vows and even get re-married to the same person - but you will never capture those first magic moments that you experienced when getting married to your partner for that magic first time. Those butterflies in the stomach moments. That tearful mum and dad watching proudly over their child (you) walking down the aisle, declaring your absolute love for the person you are going to spend the rest of your life wife.
Moments can never be repeated. This is why it is so important to get it right, the first time around.
Would you rather hire someone for £350 to capture your wedding, knowing the images may not be the best, but you have saved a small fortune to buy additional balloons for your evening or additional bouquets ? Or would you prefer to spend it on something that will last you for the rest of your lives?. It is simple economics and the answer is not always obvious - but believe me, go down the road of cheapening your wedding with gimmicks to get a cheaper wedding photographer and you will regret it. Possibly straight away due to poor quality phoographs (you cannot even blame the photographer, if you have gone "cheap" - you cannot expect top quality imagery. There is no repeating those moments, they will be gone.
It is true - you get what you pay for.
Do yourself a favour and hire a professional.
Book your wedding with CDHPIX. 07854 083389 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org