Wedding photographers – too expensive?

I just read a post by a bride-to-be on a website, and in it she lambastes wedding photographers for charging too much for a wedding. That prompted me to write something for all those people who think wedding photographers charge too much.

This is how it goes:

We start working early, when the bride has her hair and make up done. We finish late, sometimes only leaving at midnight. During that time, we quite often skip breakfast and lunch, working right through to get those arty pics you brides love so much. We take photos of the bride, the bridesmaids, flower girls, dresses and jewelry. The flowers, the shoes, anything that remotely has anything to do with your special day, because we don’t want to miss a thing.

From there we take posed photos of the bride and the bridesmaids, at home, on the road, basically stopping wherever we find a really cool background on the way to the church. All this in order to give you, the bride, really amazing photos that you’ll cherish and enjoy for a long time.

After the trip, in the church, we work quietly in the background, taking photos of the ceremony. Quite often stumbling over and into guests who have taken it upon themselves to take photos of the wedding, totally ignoring the fact that the official, paid photographer is trying to his/her job. Nevertheless, we diplomatically avoid any confrontation with these guests and continue to work at your amazing photos. Sometimes this lasts up to two hours, including the signing of the documents and some posed family photos outside the building.

We then take the bride and groom out for about an hour or so, diligently working at getting those perfect photos you show to your friends, family and colleagues.

Off to the reception. There we work tirelessly to get photos of the guests and the bridal couple, every smile and laugh and embrace. We work through the speeches and the toasts, the entre├ęs, dinner and dessert. We take photos of the first dance, the parents and bridal party dancing. All the while accommodating your inebriated guests who insist on having their photos taken with numerous people.

We take photos of the cake being cut, the garter and the bouquet being tossed. People eating, laughing and joking. We take photos during the reception, outside in the moonlight or wherever we think we can find another beautiful photo.

After the wedding, we drive home from wherever the ceremony was. More often than not, somewhere in the sticks.
I takes an hour or longer to get home.

We spend hours going through the +/- 2000 photos we took on the day, narrowing it down to the 200 most beautiful photos. After that, we start editing those photos, spending about 30 minutes per photo, getting it just right. 200 photos at 30 minutes per photo, equals 100 hours.

We take these photos on equipment we pay a lot of money for, edit them on computers and with software that cost a small fortune. All this to ensure that you, the bride, gets the perfect photos of your wonderful day. We go on courses and attend workshops, we upgrade memory cards and other equipment. We forgo a social life to get you your photos on time. Spend hours posting the photos to Facebook, our websites and other social media. All of which costs money in terms of data. We go the printers and drop off all your photos at your home.

Consider this: Of everything you spend money on for your wedding, your wedding photos will last the longest. The cake will be forgotten. The venue and the food and the flowers a distant memory. All you’ll have left of that day are your photos.

Do you still think we charge too much?

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