I've got to imagine you guys have made this type of face before.
While I have professionally shot hundreds of weddings over my lifetime I don’t do a lot of weddings per se. Before last year I averaged 17.6 per year. Then last year I shot 19 as we spun up Eleven 11. This year I’ll do 38 or so. That probably seems like a lot to a laymen but I know wedding photographers banging out 45 or 50 weddings a year so its small potatoes in the industry. But even with the small number of weddings we do take on it happens that at least once a month someone says something like this to me:
I can’t answer that question universally, for every photographer. I can tell you why we charge what we charge and why we think its a fair number.
We are a bit of a stickler for process and we record and measure everything. So while I could tell you exactly what we spend on advertising, suppliers, etc I’d rather keep this as a generic conversation. So before we even get to your wedding there is some cost to keep the lights on and the trains running as my grandfather used to say. The cost of making you aware of us if you will. Ads, a website, wedding shows, wedding promotions, etc. Let’s just say that we spend $150 for each of the 38 weddings we’ll book this year just making couples aware that we are a choice. And thats a cost that is specific to weddings, we use different methods to reach commercial customers.
There is also the thousands of dollars of equipment we use to shot your wedding. Specifically $56,500 in equipment according to our insurance policy. Some of which get's replaced on a yearly basis due to wear and tear and accidents and the like. Then the cost of several offices, electricity, water, etc for those locations. You get the picture. Running a business has a a number of sunk costs and those costs influence how you set your prices.
I could take you through a silly exercise of how much time it takes to book a wedding couple, see their venues, discuss their plans, have staff meetings, prepare the equipment, shoot the wedding and deliver the photos and video. Step by excruciating step. But since I happen to know it's 52 hours of effort invested in each wedding at a minimum it's easier to just share that with you. So no it's not just the 8 hours during your wedding. There is the preparation before the big day so that we are ready to give you a fantastic result. There is also the dedication to doing the work afterward to the achieve thequickest turn around times in the industry (all 38 couples from this year will get their photos in 72 hours or less!!!).
In any event we think we charge a very fair price for a spectacular service and we'd love to be your wedding photographer. Until next time.