Why are wedding photographers so expensive?

So, pricing. It’s the biggest question for not just couples booking their wedding photographer, but also when a wedding photographer is deciding how much they would like to charge. It’s often commented that wedding photography is expensive for one day’s work. If only it was one day’s work! So, in this little blog, I’ll run through a few things around the costs that go into your wedding photos and how a wedding photographer decides on their price.

Firstly, it’s so much more than just one day. It’s everything that’s led you to that day! Did you meet them at the wedding show that they had to pay for? Did you see their advert in a magazine? Or a Google advert? Or targeted advertising on social media? Most marketing costs, and photographers won’t get bookings without getting their photos in front of you. The website alone is a big chunk of money for photographers too, as well as all of the time they spend maintaining it and working on their SEO. Then there’s all the time spent on emailing you and meeting you before you book, and then their booking system isn’t free either! Then once you’re booked in, there’s a whole load more to add on top.

Obviously, the day is pretty important too! Your payment will cover insurance (equipment, liability, indemnity), fuel, transport (more insurance…), equipment, batteries, maintenance of all of this, and so much more. This is all before a single photo has been taken. 

Once the day is done, the photos need to be backed up, and they should be definitely getting backed up on more than one hard drive, not just the computer! They should also be backed up onto a cloud/off-site server, which is another expense, often paid for on a subscription. Then there’s the editing, on the computer that needs to be updated and maintained, and the software that is used too.

So, it’s a few weeks after your wedding, your photos are edited and ready. How do you get them?! An online gallery? That’s paid for (and they’re not cheap!). USB? Presentation box? Prints? They were all expensive. Are you getting an album? Albums aren’t cheap! And the software to organise the layout of your photos isn’t either.

This is just scratching the surface, but it might give you an idea of some of the costs that go into wedding photography that you might not have thought about. 

How does a photographer decide their price? There’s so much that goes into it. Experience is of course quite a big factor, but also how in demand that photographer may be. There will always be a wedding photographer that charges significantly less than the standard average. Still, you have to consider their work and their experience, whether they’re full-time, whether they’re taking on 200 bookings a year to make up for the shortfall in their income (they’ll be exhausted on your wedding day! And who knows when you’ll get your edited images).

There’s so much to consider, maybe more than you first thought!