Previous news story    Next news story

Wedding photographer explains the reasons behind 'unrealistic' prices

By dpreview staff on Jan 27, 2012 at 02:31 GMT

PetaPixel has published an excellent response from a photographer to a Seattle-area bride criticizing the pricing of wedding photographers. In a remarkably calm response, Nikki Wagner details the expenses connected to her wedding photography business, dismissing the idea that wedding photographers set their prices high simply because they can. After reading Wagner's response it's understandable why the bride is having so much trouble finding an 'exceptional, amazingly talented, fun photographer' that she also deems 'decently priced.' The post also acts as a reminder that there can be good reasons why there's a gap between what a product or service costs and how much you think it should be priced. (From PetaPixel)

The poster 'has yet to find a decently priced, exceptional, amazingly talented, fun photographer.'

Comments

Total comments: 784
4567
georgec
By georgec (Jan 27, 2012)

There are people advertising $500/wedding if she can trust him. The cheapest way is to find some quality hobbyists who do not do it for a living and use spare time to make some extra cash and for fun. Only competition can bring the price down. Eventually, it may kill part of the wedding photography business if it no longer make sense to some photographers.

2 upvotes
wlachan
By wlachan (Jan 27, 2012)

Wedding itself is a HUGE waste of resource & money. HUGE!!

12 upvotes
DioCanon
By DioCanon (Jan 27, 2012)

this tight-ass-Bride can hire a student photographer and just SHUT UP!!!

7 upvotes
Dave Weinstein
By Dave Weinstein (Jan 30, 2012)

this is exactly the attitude that gives your whole industry a BAD REPUTATION!

just because you can't make the economics work for your business doesn't mean that you should BLAME your customers!

1 upvote
Poss
By Poss (Jan 27, 2012)

As a wedding photog, no matter what you do and how nicely you try to explain your pricing structure, you will still come across as pontificating and defensive while still failing to educate the client. Nikki's response is no different I'm afraid.

I would never go into this sort of trap. Someone ranting like that would simply never be my client. I never deal with tire kickers. They are a huge waste of time as they never buy anything.

I fabricate a polite excuse and I move on to clients that pay. As simple as that.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Jan 27, 2012)

And somebody with that attitude probably have few if any clients :-)

1 upvote
Poss
By Poss (Jan 28, 2012)

Fewer, better paying clients are better than lots of cheap ones. It helps a photographer maintain his sanity :-). I value that more than my bottom line :-) . Speaking of bottom line, that could be pretty decent if one's not greedy.

0 upvotes
ric63
By ric63 (Jan 27, 2012)

I feel sorry for the future husband LOL

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
9 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Jan 27, 2012)

I feel happy for the future husband, he got a wife with working brains.

3 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (Jan 27, 2012)

I guess next we'll have the lawyers justifying their $100 per page photocopy fees. Anyway if you get married you deserve to be ripped off even if you aren't being ripped off. The most moronic waste of money I've ever seen.

5 upvotes
DaddyG
By DaddyG (Jan 27, 2012)

Not to mention the tone, but any letter that uses capitalisation for emphasis is hard to take seriously. Why on earth did the photographer bother to spend, what must have been at least half an hour, to craft up a response?

Having said that, it is completely irrelevant to the customer what the service providers costs are. Does a business' costs or revenue command a certain asking price? No way. Only the end product does (and market forces).

I'd expect the wedding photographers results justify her price though.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Taikonaut
By Taikonaut (Jan 27, 2012)

I use to think wedding photographers like anything to do with weddings charges way too much. When my friends ask me to shoot their weddings (I've done 3 so far) we agreed to do cut price and I now understand why wedding photographers charges so much and fully justify the asking price. You are not just paying for the photos but hiriing someone to do an aweful lot of organising and managing a lot of strangers to pose who arent photographic models and still pretend to be polite.
If an escort can charge her client hundreds of S for an hour of pretence attention why cant a photographer charge a few thousand dealing with fifty or more guests at a wedding?

1 upvote
A Schamber
By A Schamber (Jan 27, 2012)

I had already seen this kind of argument, at least in Argentina. It's even harder here, since we have to pay for the equipment in US dollars, but we charge everything in our own currency. And here, there's even lot's of students and photographers that are willing to work and do everything, including 100 copies and an album, for less than 3000 pesos, which are less than US$ 750, and in case of students, for less than US$ 400. And... there's the problem that people don't even go and look to portfolios of photographers, because they think it's almost the same.
Really, really sad.

0 upvotes
Boris
By Boris (Jan 27, 2012)

He only works 4 months out of the year...

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
5inchfloppy
By 5inchfloppy (Jan 27, 2012)

So apparently you did not read this:
"All of that being said, I’m usually in the hole at the end of the year, and take on many family portraits, senior portraits and corporate jobs in order to make ends meet."

0 upvotes
William Kuo
By William Kuo (Jan 27, 2012)

The way he wrote is using 4 months of income (as wedding photographer) then minus one year of expenses..

1 upvote
LJohnK2
By LJohnK2 (Jan 27, 2012)

So using the Photographers figures Avg. cost $ 2,500/(8+22.5 hrs)=
$ 82/hr....so it appears the Bride is young and has never hired a Plumber, Electrician or paid a car repair bill.....but then again who can fault here deductive reasoning as it is embraced by "educated" political and business leaders in her culture....she has learned well....she considers the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
MikeNeufeld30
By MikeNeufeld30 (Jan 27, 2012)

Exactly. Being a renovation contractor, my plumber and electrician charge out at 75 an hour labour only. no materials or nothing on them and if they do supply for me, they up charge at the HomeOwners Expense.

0 upvotes
laueddy
By laueddy (Jan 27, 2012)

And an IT Consultant can easily charge over $100/hr just by talking before any real works are started.

Comment edited 13 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
smallcams
By smallcams (Jan 27, 2012)

A young guy from my camera club (a really good photographer himself) gave cameras to several of the kids who attended his wedding with a few basic instructions on how to cover/shoot the event. These were P&S cameras, both film and digital, and a couple of DSLRs. He collected the cameras after the event and processed the images for an album after the honeymoon. I got to see the album and to say it was a bit "different" is an understatement. It was also very good. I was astonished by how good it was! The only thing is cost him was his time.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Jan 27, 2012)

so, what's the point ? He spent most of the time post processing and creating something good looking out of the shots ? Did he spent 50 hours doing that with nothing in return ? This must be a serious hobby and a loving person.
I did such things as well.
But you know what,
Time is money. especially for an artist, and smiles from friends wont last long.

0 upvotes
theo_photo
By theo_photo (Jan 27, 2012)

Exactly. Try paying your rent or electric bill with a nice smile.

0 upvotes
smallcams
By smallcams (Jan 27, 2012)

The point is there are ways to get around using a wedding photographer if money is a concern. Even if money is not a concern there are creative alternatives to saving your wedding memories that will differentiate from the same old "professional" wedding album. The businessmen photographers are not all they're cracked up to be.

0 upvotes
smallcams
By smallcams (Jan 27, 2012)

And in more cases than not they produce a rather stale, uninspired product. Kids can potentially do better.

0 upvotes
smallcams
By smallcams (Jan 27, 2012)

@FTH...It's hard to decipher the meaning of your post to me. The guy from my camera club I'm speaking about...it was his wedding. HE got married. He let some of the kids who were attending HIS wedding have some fun by taking pictures. The post-processing and prints he created, and the time he spent doing it all, were for HIS wedding album.

0 upvotes
nhf7170
By nhf7170 (Jan 27, 2012)

When my sister got married, the wedding photographer fleeced her for $5000 and only sent her proofs and jpegs in which the highlights on her dress (which cost more than the photographer, but unlike the photos was an exquisite piece of work) were completely blown out, on a cloudy day. The photographer was using a 5d mark ii, and he blew out the highlights. He did throw in a picture of his assistant wearing inappropriately tight pants though. He apparently skipped town, or the village (it was Calabria in Italy). So much went wrong that day my sister almost dehydrated herself crying. The maid of honor took some really nice shots, and besides she's divorced now, so it's not like she's going to be looking at the pictures again.

1 upvote
RunStrom
By RunStrom (Jan 27, 2012)

Very Sad that there are these photographers around. I used a professional photographer to shoot some products against a white background. I told him I just want the film to disc – (simple Kodak $24.00 conversion in year 2001). Make the background white! was my instruction - The idiot made them all 60% tone of black! I could of done better with a 1901 box brownie. I hope he is still not working in Vic Park – Idiota!

0 upvotes
exdeejjjaaaa
By exdeejjjaaaa (Jan 27, 2012)

that dude somehow forgot to mention that he is deducting his business expenses taxwise... so he is either stupid (not to deduct) or liar (in his calculations)

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
iampoch
By iampoch (Jan 27, 2012)

She's not a dude :)

1 upvote
smallcams
By smallcams (Jan 27, 2012)

I vote for stupid. Who else would waste their time writing such a response?

5 upvotes
Poss
By Poss (Jan 27, 2012)

This is always a coment from someone who never does business taxes. Not everything is deductible, most things are not even 100% deductible and finally, and most importantly deductible does not mean "free" or written off. You, because you're the business, pay from your own income for EVERYTHING. Some of those expenses are partially allowed to be deducted from that said income for tax purposes, better said to reduce the taxable income. There's no free ride my friend...

5 upvotes
DaveMarx
By DaveMarx (Jan 27, 2012)

Deductions in business taxation are simply the process of calculating a profit. You charged $5,000, You spent $4,000 to earn that $5,000, so you end up with $1,000 in your pocket. Should you be paying taxes on $5,000, or on $1,000?

Deductions don't put money into a businessperson's pocket unless they're fraudulent. Otherwise, deductions simply prevent the government from taking more than it decided it's entitled to - X% of the profit.

It's just plain foolish for a businessperson like this to spend money just to get a tax deduction. If you take all your profits and spend them on equipment, then you have lots of shiny equipment and no food on the table. Here's a choice: Pay 15% taxes on $7,000 ($1,050) and have $5,950 left to spend on groceries, or pay zero taxes and have no money for groceries.

That's all a deduction often means to a small business - money that the businessperson might have been better off not spending.

0 upvotes
unlearny
By unlearny (Jan 27, 2012)

1099 ain't what it used to be.

0 upvotes
hassannabeel
By hassannabeel (Jan 27, 2012)

The writer only mentions of earnings for 4 months whereas expenses of a full year. Maybe a 4 to 4 month earnings vs expenses will show the true picture.

The remaining 8 months, you must be doing photography for some corporate companies, fashion magazines, free lance etc which is not included in your earnings. At least be honest when you write facts.

4 upvotes
iampoch
By iampoch (Jan 27, 2012)

She did mention it:

"All of that being said, I’m usually in the hole at the end of the year, and take on many family portraits, senior portraits and corporate jobs in order to make ends meet."

But yeah, I do get what you mean. On the other hand, she may be pointing out that her wedding stints is what she uses to cover her annual expenses, so the other stints become the profit-earners. Perhaps the reason why she did the explanation that way is because the complainant was only interested in wedding photography.

0 upvotes
chekist
By chekist (Jan 27, 2012)

On one hand I do not think there is nothing wrong with charging $3000 or $10,000 for a wedding. I am aware of the expenses of photography, and I think there is no reason why person doing photography should not be able to make end meet, or even live well if his skill allows.

But I find the case that the photographer makes incredibly weak. Basically he proves that it is impossible to be a pro photographer working 20 days a year. I understand that photographer's income is not uniform and weddings pay a bit more than kind of work one can find on any given Monday morning; but I think it goes without saying that you should be able to occupy yourself a bit more than some 20-40 days a year. And if you skills do not allow you to do that much photography then it should be something else.

Also most of the expenses listed are dual use: cars, shoes, cell phone, computer. Clearly photography is not their only use.

8 upvotes
AlexBakerPhotoz
By AlexBakerPhotoz (Jan 27, 2012)

Oh, and I shot a few weddings in my days as a working photographer. It's really hard, thankless work that takes real talent, great people and organizational skills and great patience.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
AlexBakerPhotoz
By AlexBakerPhotoz (Jan 27, 2012)

Everything about a wedding seems to cost a lot to people who are not wealthy and to the wealthy cost is no object.
The food, the WEDDING DRESS, the band, the HALL, limo rental, tux rentals, bridesmaid dresses and in the end all you have for the rest of marriage is memories and oh, right, the wonderful photographs that still make my 95 year old mother cry 70 years later.

2 upvotes
PeterO
By PeterO (Jan 27, 2012)

The fundamental issue with Nikki's post is that she expects to live for a year from 4 months of work. This is simply unreasonable - not many jobs out there would allow you to do that. If your season only lasts 4 months, go and find another assignments. The average working year is around 2000 hours - how does 150K per year sound?

5 upvotes
raincoat
By raincoat (Jan 27, 2012)

Can anyone explain why there is a wedding season there? Last time I looked, ppl get married every day of the year, and certainly every weekend.

Anyway, a cheap bride deserves the unforgettable experience of a cheap photographer.

3 upvotes
A Schamber
By A Schamber (Jan 27, 2012)

There are seasons for weddings, everywhere. Most are in the end of summer and first month of autumn, or two months of spring and one month of summer. Simply because of weather and temperature. You COULD extend it a little longer, but most people prefer not to marry on vacations, or in winter. It gives you 6 months at it's best for weddings.
Sixteen year old parties are different, or fifteen ones (the latter in many cultures or countries).

0 upvotes
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Jan 27, 2012)

People want everything , fast, for nothing.

Digital is even more complicated to master than film, because nowadays technology imposes to a real professional to be aware of the finest details regarding raw developing, lens correction, sharpness, tonal curves, white balance, batch processing, professional lighting, video, etc...

But people think that because you hit a button and an image shows up, anyone could do it. WRONG.

They are expecting MC Donald prices for a 5 Star meal !!!
The only thing they get is garbage results by hiring an in experimented photographer wannabee who will use slow lenses, bad gear and coming home, realize that he messed up the whole ceremony.

Then, a game of fight & wait will start between the bride and the NOOB.

This is the sad reality for lots of media & art work. Because people refuse to pay the price and rather spend their money into stupid expensive stuff.

4 upvotes
eppicphoto
By eppicphoto (Jan 27, 2012)

Give the world's top rated oven to a professional cook and taste what they make from it - fantastic, amazing, a piece of art!
Give that very same oven to an amateur cook and taste what they make - kraft dinner, bland, a piece of crap.
The professional spend years & years & lots of investment of time and money learning how to cook,the amateur just went out and bought a stove.
The professional cook charges $200 for their meal, the amateur charges $100.
One tastes fantastic, the other not-so-much and gives you gas.
Is a fantastic meal worth double what the amateur charges?
That all depends on your taste!
And that my friends is what this post is all about - a matter of taste.

You want a great meal? - you are going to pay more.
You want a cheap meal? - go to McWeddings.

3 upvotes
idbar
By idbar (Jan 27, 2012)

The budget described in his response is just too vague, and no different to anyone elses. Everyone needs shoes and not particularly $100 pairs. So the answer is quite useless.

But hey I'm not a photographer (I have a camera and I like to take pictures) and I know how hard it can be. I got a good photographer (I'd have spent more money if I had budget) because I wanted a good responsible and reliable person taking the pictures from my wedding,

So, the answer could have been "Get your self a $1000 photographer, and his equipment and results could probably show you why". She's probably going to spend hundreds on her hair, more than thousand in a dress, and probably spent a hell lot in a useless diamond.

Some people think that because cameras can take fairly good pictures, anyone can take pictures. I'll tell you, I have a good equipment, and understand how hard is to get good shots, because it's not only the equipment but how the professional accommodates to the changing conditions.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Rick Knepper
By Rick Knepper (Jan 27, 2012)

She can't understand $3000 for Photogs, I don't understand the spectacle of weddings in general. At least the photos will outlast many (her) marriages. :)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
11 upvotes
WT21
By WT21 (Jan 27, 2012)

The response is not that relevant. We all have expenses, and my employer doesn't care how much my shoes cost or that I commute.

The relevant facts are these: $50K a year in income, 20 weddings at 35 hours labor per wedding (10 hours shooting, 25 hours editing) = 700 hours. 50K divided by 700 hours = $71.42 per hour. That's a fairly low labor rate for a professional anything. Try to hire a lawyer or mechanic for $71 per hour. THEN you can factor in the direct expenses (like depreciation of equipment, 2nd photog, insurance, etc.) and it collapses pretty quickly.

The math still points to the photog not making much, and the numbers are very helpful, but the cost of their apartment and shoes is irrelevant, a red herring and confusing.

6 upvotes
Photohobbyfun
By Photohobbyfun (Jan 27, 2012)

Probably isn't easy to make it as a photographer but 50k in 4 months is pretty damn good.

Filling in the rest of 8 months with more work is probably what really hurts.

The math for this article is "whack" though.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Jan 27, 2012)

I think the choice of expenses may not be good but what they are trying to illustrate is that the photographer (like all sole proprietors) has to pay for all their business expenses AND their salary. A good analogy would be expecting an employee with a large corporation to pay for their desk, computer and a portion of the rent and utilities out of their paycheck. An employee does not have those expenses the photographer does.

3 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Jan 27, 2012)

Come on people, this is such an obvious troll. I can't believe that a professional photographer and DPR really fell for this. It's just some goofball trolling craigslist trying to get people on sites like this up in arms.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Jan 27, 2012)

It's not so much the Craigslist post that's interesting, it's the response. A lot of people decode how much something should cost because that's what they're happy to pay, regardless of the costs involved.

1 upvote
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Jan 27, 2012)

Ultimately those people's opinions are irrelevant though, the only way for consumers to have a voice is with their wallet. Anyone who thinks they can change the price of something by complaining about it should just be ignored.

0 upvotes
laueddy
By laueddy (Jan 27, 2012)

Yet, I enjoy reply these post every so often..! A way to kill time and write a few comments...

0 upvotes
a1shot
By a1shot (Jan 27, 2012)

Woweee...Professionals have to cover insurance-experience-equipment and a whole host of other expenses..
When I lived in WA I advertised "Wedding Photography" at a set cost ($750.00) with the media cards immediately being given to the wedding couple to edit and print as they wished = minimal response!! Weddings @ $2750 a sell out..
Blame the buyers not the seller.........................

0 upvotes
chrswggl
By chrswggl (Jan 27, 2012)

That could be due to your skill level, your target market, and where you were placing ads.

0 upvotes
Peter v.d Werf
By Peter v.d Werf (Jan 27, 2012)

"with the media cards immediately being given to the wedding couple to edit and print as they wished = minimal response!! "

And that honestly surprises you? That's like offering the bride the wedding dress for $300 but that she has to do the sowing herself...
I think there are 2 market's here, one is where the customer knows that there is more to a wedding photog besides just taking a few pictures on that day. They just want good and editing images/book afterwards and know that kind of services comes with a price.
The other market is couples who can't afford the professional services or don't see why a pro with good equipment and skills sould be any better then the unexperienced friend with the entry level dslr and kitlens..Meaning free of charge or a good bottle of wine....

It's not realistic for the second kind of buyers to expect a pro seller quality service for friend/kitlens pricing.

0 upvotes
Fullframer
By Fullframer (Jan 27, 2012)

The others have to spend hours editing because they couldnt' get their settings right the first time... If they learned better skills, they could avoid a lot of the post processing. I've seen of these photos, some of them are way over-processed/fake.

0 upvotes
Fullframer
By Fullframer (Jan 29, 2012)

Thats todays digital photographer (not all). They just keep snapping away in raw so they can be a slave to their computer for 50 hrs to edit to make up for their lack of correct framing, exposure , white balance etc. Some of the pictures are so over processed they look fake. Some of these so called pros with their self entitlement and outdated business models make me laugh. Dont expect educated consumers to fall for your silly over inflated
Prices that an avg wage earner would take 1 month to earn you are asking for in a 6 hr wedding and reception. another good bargaing chip the pros dont like is to ask them to take the pics and give the consumer to edit and or process themselves. Then there is no excuse of silly 25 to 50 hr post processing bs claims.

0 upvotes
rickpoole
By rickpoole (Jan 27, 2012)

Outstanding response Nikki! As I've upgraded my equipment to near professional quality and gotten much move involved in advanced post processing I can really understand and appreciate all the expenses and time involved in doing high quality professional work. I am a little surprised at the number of hours spent editing wedding photos - I would have expected a lot more, maybe even double the 25 hours or so (I guess I still have a lot to learn about automating PP). Being a part-time owner of a family business I can also really appreciate all the expenses of running a business. It's not easy, it's not cheap and it is getting harder and more expensive by the year as more regulations appear and prices continue upwards.

Hopefully your explanation will open a lot of eyes on how hard it is to make even a decent living as a small photography business and that current wedding photography prices are actually quite a bargain.

RPoole

7 upvotes
laueddy
By laueddy (Jan 27, 2012)

Exactly! My 5Dm2 can do ok, but when I start using my 85 1.8 or 135 f/2 lense with minmal DOP. I trust my 1-series, and no less.

0 upvotes
Dave Weinstein
By Dave Weinstein (Jan 27, 2012)

I don't understand why so many respondents feel slighted by the woman's objections.

It seems to me that the "professionals" leaving comments are clinging to an obsolete business model that dates back to the days where they were able to hold the negatives hostage!

I've got no problem with how anyone makes a living here, but the sense of ENTITLEMENT that's coming through is just irritating.

Nobody cares how much your gear costs, it's your problem. Customer's complaining about the costs is just part of the market adjusting the price that consumers will pay for photography services.

Patting each other on the back, cranking up the "LIKE" rating of the posts that support the PRO's pricing model, is just pointless, and doesn't accurately depict what's really happening in the market.

7 upvotes
Ryan Christensen
By Ryan Christensen (Jan 31, 2012)

I agree. But as a pro (and a capitalist), I feel that the "Wedding" Pros are entitled to have their say. Let the pro bitch, let the bride bitch; and let a mutually agreed upon price emerge!

0 upvotes
G10Rebel
By G10Rebel (Jan 27, 2012)

the generation of whiners, those generation 90's...

2 upvotes
laueddy
By laueddy (Jan 27, 2012)

Getting married can be cheap or expensive depends on what you want, but who cares if people stop giving up their marriage so easy, and get divorce then married 3 or 4 times (or more) in their life time...!

0 upvotes
Jonathan F/2
By Jonathan F/2 (Jan 27, 2012)

Wow!

0 upvotes
ianp5a
By ianp5a (Jan 27, 2012)

When you talk to the clients before the day (time not calculated by some here) and explain the options and costs, people always understand. You can always find a cheaper offer. But you pay for what you get. I'd hear horror stories from time to time about some of them who cut corners and everything had gone wrong. I used to know nearly all the other wedding photographers in my region. Some good. Some awful. None of the good ones could be called rich, like that bride seems to think. There isn't a cartel where prices are fixed. You can't overcharge, or someone else will take the business. She clearly wants someone special to do it. I doubt that she talked with one about her options.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
grant Harris
By grant Harris (Jan 27, 2012)

I am sure the same bride wouldn't complain about spending 3K on the food for the wedding, something that's flushed down the pan the next day.
What concerns me is some of the comments from professional photographers on here. Charging $1000 for a cd of images, can they not see that however much they charge per wedding that the expectations of their customers are changing. Customers want a cd of low res images for posting on social network sites. Any photographer who ignores this will be history. And the so called pro who says about giving away copyright by selling the CD, when did come into effect?
Pro photographers have got to start changing their business models to survive or they will be history.

0 upvotes
EELinneman
By EELinneman (Jan 27, 2012)

I find it interesting that she, in her second sentence, is asking for someone who is "exceptional, amazingly talented" and then complains about the price of her own selection. Talent and proven experience command a higher fee.

This past fall, I had my 8th knee surgery. My surgeon charged $24K to insurance for the surgery. I'm sure I could have found someone cheaper. But, they wouldn't be of the level of talent and experience that my doctor has - he's the Bronco's team doctor and has worked on world class athletes for 20 years.

In my opinion, the bride is simply unrealistic here. She can find a cheaper photographer. But, her chances of meeting her stated high expectations for a low price simply are not realistic. She needs to fail to find what she is looking for and then adjust her expectations or price she is willing to pay.

0 upvotes
mariuss
By mariuss (Jan 27, 2012)

I've been asking sometimes to take photos by weddings (friends, relatives etc) and ... I hate it.
There is so much stress and so much responsibility. You must have everything double: cameras, lenses, flashes etc. You need an assistant too.
But the worst thing is to sit on the Monitor for Hours and edit the photos. I find 20-25 Hours unrealistic unless the wedding is small (> 40 Persons) and you are very good by editing.
And in the end maybe the bridal pair is not even happy with the results.
So, if the photos are really good, 3000 $ is OK.
"your photographs will be the only thing you have to remember that one day for the rest of your lives." - Indeed.

0 upvotes
FeedMe
By FeedMe (Jan 27, 2012)

I used to do weddings with Eos film camera. I'd never do it with digital, too much PP needed (digital is actually pretty poor, in truth).

We charged (in 2000) $500 to $1500 Australian.
We used a photojournalist 'story-of-the-day' style, 3-8 rolls of 36, they got an average of 20-28 shots per roll, 6x4 printed in an album.

Any enlargements were extra, available at any time, rates were reasonable too, $10 for a 6x8 unframed.

Of course Au and Usa can't be compared, but I do feel that there is both a "what the market can bear" factor AND this belief that photographers are something special, the elite so-to-speak.

There is, however , a lot of responsibility, often we were required to go past our remit of just taking pictures.. realistically, we did anything needed to speed and assist in their "great" day.

I'd say, when we were doing photos for a large 12 picture album style wedding, $2000 to $3000 was our price.

0 upvotes
jettyart
By jettyart (Jan 28, 2012)

undertakers,second hand car dealer, real estate agent and wedding photographers ..all of them are in my bad book!

0 upvotes
Douglas Boyd
By Douglas Boyd (Jan 28, 2012)

I think what the bride is getting at is the question of whether a professional photographer for the entire wedding is even needed today. These days wedding guests have P&S and cell phone cameras that will often capture candid images just as good as those the pro might take. However, the guests expect to see a professional photographer at a wedding. The solution is to hire the professional only for the formal group shots (someone already mentioned this). That would only use 1 hour or so of time. And there would only be 8-10 photos to edit, maybe an additional 2 hours work. At $150/hr (plumber's rates), that should be a $500-600 project. The rest of the pictures could be collected from guests. Printing, books, CDs, websites would all be extra. I think the Craig's List bride would be happy with such an arrangement.

1 upvote
Fullframer
By Fullframer (Jan 29, 2012)

Feedme
Sorry, but digital today (full frame dslr) has surpassed your old eos 35mm slr film camera , esp high iso low light. Is not the year 2000 anymore. BTW Anyone shooting a wedding with film shouldve been using medium format not crappy 35mm. If you were a pro you would have known that.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 784
4567