By Tarisha Beniprashad
Wedding photography pricing is a hotly debated subject. If you’ve never planned an event before, hiring a professional photographer for your wedding day can be one of the most shockingly priced items that you encounter. It may seem like your photographer just has to collect some snaps on your big day, print them out, and slap them in an album but there’s a ton of work behind the scenes that needs to happen in order for your photos to come out as flawless as your wedding day. We’ve done some research and spoken to professional photographer Nirvanie Srikishun and got all the dirty details, so if you’re wondering why wedding photography is so expensive, just keep on reading.
Here’s a sampling of shots that Nirvanie has done with our team!
Why is Wedding Photography so Expensive?
Typically, photographers need to travel to at least 3-4 different locations on your wedding day. From capturing the moments while you’re getting ready before you say you I dos, to snapping pictures of your first kiss and first dance, your photographer needs to make their way around in a timely manner on your big day. With public transportation being out of the question with all of the bulky equipment they’ve got to carry around, gas, insurance, and car payments need to be factored into their rate.
Many photographers generate business by marketing themselves online. From purchasing advertisement space on a popular website to paying the monthly instalments to maintain their own website, marketing their services can get pricey. Professionals sometimes include their online portfolio and create galleries on their website of your photos so your guests have access as well. Because of all the traffic to their site, some opt to hire services to design the layout, which is another additional cost.
Photographers are equipped with more than just one camera. Different lenses, batteries, memory cards, filters, lightboxes, light stands, and umbrellas all need to be used to get those perfect snapshots of your big day. Not to mention the backups of all of these items, just in case something breaks or malfunctions. As if buying all of this gear isn’t expensive enough, it also needs to be insured. Chances are, if a wedding photographer is charging too-good-to-be-true prices, they likely aren’t up to date with great equipment. Or even worse – what happens if their camera malfunctions at the wedding? A true professional has backups and extra equipment, and it costs money to maintain it all.
Unless your wedding is an intimate affair, you’ll probably see more than one photographer making their way around your event. An assistant and/or second shooter may be need to be hired by your primary photographer, in order for them to collect a wide variety of pictures, so that you can remember every last detail!
Your photographer will likely be with your from the time you get dressed until the population of the dance floor starts to thin out. Spending from 8-14 hours with you on your wedding day alone, (excluding the pre and post wedding festivities in the days before and following) your photographer will spend an additional 20-25 hours just editing your pictures afterwards. That $300/hour rate on the day of is starting to seem a little less outrageous, isn’t it? That rate also has to account for the time it takes to edit and compile your photos afterwards.
But the work isn’t over once your images are edited. Your photographer must design your wedding album and order any additional prints that you request. Paying for shipping and picking them up from the post office are a few more additional costs.
Chances are, the person you hire to capture the magical moments of your wedding day didn’t just buy a camera one day and decide to be a photographer. Many are still paying off their student loans from when they were initially trained how to create the beautiful images you’ll be admiring for years to come. It’s also important for photographer to regularly attend different workshops and seminars to keep up with new techniques and trends, which can also cost a pretty penny! We swear by professional wedding photography companies who believe in continuous education and self-improvement.
We realize that dishing out thousands of dollars for a photographer can seem a little excessive at first, but we hope this post has helped you understand why their rates are anything but excessive. With all the work you’ve been putting in to plan every detail of your big day, you’ll want to remember it in all of its glory, for years to come! You don’t have to splurge on the most expensive and extravagant package, but don’t be afraid to drop some coin on a professional you believe will do a great job.
Another super, super important point to consider is, if the price is too low – how are they sustaining themselves? If equipment fails the week before your wedding, how will a very low budget photographer replace expensive pieces? Be real with yourself, and we promise, you won’t regret it!
A huge thank you to Nirvanie Srikishun Photography for speaking with us about her industry! Drop us a line and let us know what you think about wedding photography pricing.
5 Critical Questions to Ask Prospective Wedding Photographers
Clients constantly ask us how to choose a wedding photographer. With so many photographers in Toronto, it’s tough to pick the right one! Take the time to judge photographers not only on their style of photography, but on their overall professionalism. You’ll be meeting several photographers before selecting the one. Here are five questions to help identify the right professional wedding photographer for you.
1) How long have you been in the wedding photography business?
This is an important one, even if you are open to newer photogs. Be sure to define what you mean by ‘in the business.’ For example, some wedding photographers include training and education years as part of their years of experience, but you may mean the number of years they’ve photographed wedding specifically.
2) What is your backup plan if your camera fails, or if you are unable to photograph my wedding in the case of an emergency?
As a wedding planner, I know that contingency plans are critical. Michelle and I have witnessed all sorts of unplanned items pop up before and during the wedding day. It is important to have a contingency plan with all vendors – especially your photographer. Many vendors will provide a full refund if they are unable to perform their duties on the wedding day. That’s great, but it won’t help much when you don’t have pro photography on the most important day of your life. Your photographer should have a wide network to ensure they can guarantee quality photography if an emergency comes up – and make sure it’s in the contract!
3) Do you use lighting or off camera flash at weddings?
A professional photographer will have the appropriate equipment for your venue and outdoor photography settings. If you have a vision for specific shots, like light painting, you need a wedding photographer who uses more than basic lighting. Sometimes these extra lighting options come at an additional cost – so double check what the specific equipment inclusions are with your selected package to make sure you’re still on budget.
4) What is the turnaround time on my photos and online gallery?
A professional photographer will guarantee a delivery date in writing, and will honour that date. This timeline can vary depending on the time of year, the calibre of photographer, and style of photography. If turnaround time is a deal breaker, ensure that delivery dates are explicitly stated in the contract.
5) Will you hold my wedding date until we have made a decision?
Quality wedding photographers, have full schedules, which is why we recommend booking this service early in the planning process. While you are meeting with and evaluating your favourites, your photographer will be meeting with other couples who are getting married around the same time as you. Ask for a ‘first right of refusal,’ in case any other inquiries for your wedding date come in.
Did you enjoy this post? We’d love to help you with your wedding planning! Contact us today!