Let’s face it, if you’re newly engaged and shopping for wedding photographers you’ve probably come to the conclusion that wedding photography costs a pretty penny. Go on, you can admit it because it is absolutely true. I mean we are talking about once-in-a-lifetime memories here.
However, the reason why wedding photography costs some coin isn’t just because “the industry says it does”. It’s because your wedding photos are an investment. An investment that is completely and 100% worth it in my opinion. So if you’re looking to see why wedding photography is an investment, I’ve got ya covered.
Experience In The Field
First and foremost, when you pay for wedding photography you are also paying for the wedding photographer’s experience. Your wedding photographer’s pricing should reflect how much experience they have. The more experience a wedding photographer has means that they have photographed a great number of weddings/engagements and have developed their own systems and processes.
They are much more likely to have an established clientele and provide a cohesive and consistent experience. As well as provide a level of expertise that is 100% worth the higher price tag. Newer wedding photographers are more likely to charge less in the beginning as they are still learning and building up their portfolios and clients. Always use your best judgment when it comes to this and always ask!
Important Questions To Ask
- On a wedding day, what’s most important for you to capture? Will your wedding day experience be about taking the time to tweak every moment/pose to be perfect or do they value capturing your wedding day experience in a more candid and authentic way? Is it about capturing just you two or also about capturing all of your guests as well?
- What’s your image backup process like after you shoot my wedding? Make sure they keep the files in at least 2-3 locations so they don’t lose the images in case of tragedy!
- Can I see a full gallery of your previous wedding work? Bonus points if they can provide a gallery with a similar location to your wedding! It’s important to see their editing style across various lighting situations to make sure that you like more than just the “perfect” lighting editing style.
- What’s your cancellation policy in case we need to move our wedding date? (Hopefully not for a COVID-related reason but as we all know, anything can happen)
Keep in mind that just because someone is “newer” in the industry, that does not mean they are not qualified to take your wedding photos. There are plenty of talented beginner photographers out there, it all depends on what you feel comfortable in investing and with who.
Time is another factor in why wedding photography is an investment. Time is so precious and is one of the many things that we can’t get back.
Wedding photographers dedicate so much of their time to helping their couples and making sure everything is ready for the wedding day. Not just the day of, but the months (and even years) leading up to the actual wedding day. This can include:
Client Meetings & Check-ins
From the moment you inquire to your actual wedding day, wedding photographers will set up client meetings as “check-ins” for their couples. These meetings can be from discussing wedding timelines to answering any questions that clients have to plan their engagement session. These meetings are basically to help our couples along the way so you don’t feel so lost in the sea of wedding planning!
Pre-Wedding Day Prep
Not only are wedding photographers meeting with our couples, but we’re also prepping for the actual wedding day. This can include building out your wedding timeline and location scouting so you get the perfect photos on your day. It also means coordinating with other vendors to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Dedicating time out of our schedule is something that we wedding photographers LOVE to do, but of course, does take time, attention to detail, and passion for our craft.
Pre-wedding day prep can also include sending emails & questionnaires, client guides on what to wear for your engagement session, wedding prep guides, and coordinating a time to shoot your engagement session. While not as long as the wedding day, couples who choose to have an engagement session with their wedding photographer means you need to carve out time to schedule that as well.
Your Wedding Day
So, aside from all of the pre-wedding day prep, then comes the actual wedding day. Depending on what type of package you have chosen, your wedding photographer is out there shooting your wedding for anywhere between 6-12 hours. This is a long time on our feet!
We’re not just photographing your wedding day, but we are also being a helping hand throughout the day. We’re helping you fix that loose thread, making sure we’re staying on time with our pre-planned timeline and wrangling up the kiddos for family portraits. We also have to think on the spot and be able to improvise just in case something goes wrong, we’re running late or there is a turn in events with the weather.
Culling Through Your Images
Now that your wedding day is over and you’re riding on cloud nine, we’ll be editing away your precious day. We’ve now uploaded thousands of photos (sometimes even between 7,000-10,000 images) and have to narrow down to only the best of the best. This process can take many hours to do! The last thing you want is for half of your wedding photos to have guests with their eyes closed or hair in their faces.
Editing Your Wedding Gallery
After going through those images, your wedding photographer will then edit each one to perfection. This time frame can be different depending on who you decide to work with. Some wedding galleries take up to 8 weeks to complete, depending on how intense of an edit your wedding photographer needs to make. This can also depend if your wedding photographer needs to do any slight photoshopping as well!
When your wedding photographer takes the time to edit, it’s with purpose. We want you to love your wedding photos just as much if not more than we do.
Education & Expanding Our Craft
A good wedding photographer will always invest in education. Learning, growing, and improving is the key to owning a successful business and any business owner will tell you that. In order to further learn and perfect our craft, investing in educational programs and events is so important. Many wedding photographers will invest in courses, workshops, styled shoots, and content days. All of these educational resources are for photographers to build their portfolios, expand their creativity and further perfect their craft.
Software & Programs
We also need to invest in specific software and programs in order to run our business. That secure online link you receive in order to get your wedding photographs? A program that your wedding photographer invests in. That software we use in order to edit your wedding photos? Yeah, that costs some money too. How about all of those emails going back and forth and keeping track of expenses? That is how they keep the business running! Everything that your wedding photographer invests in costs money. It’s all in service of keeping their business running smoothly and you have a seamless experience.
Gear & Equipment
Wedding photographers also invest a ton of money in their gear and equipment. Oftentimes upwards of $15,000 for everything they need to shoot your wedding day! The only way they can get those beautiful photos is also in part to the kind of gear they use. This can include items like their: camera, flash, camera straps, camera bags, external lighting, harness, SD cards, external hard drives, backup cameras, and the list goes on forever. Photography gear is not cheap, but let me tell you that the results are 100% worth it.
Why Wedding Photography Is An Investment
From the outside looking in, you may think that wedding photography is “overpriced”. However, your memories and legacy have no price. These memories and moments that are documented can be passed on for generations and deserve to have their spotlight moment.
So for those of you who were wondering why wedding photography is an investment, hopefully, this blog has helped laid it out a bit better. You’re not only investing in the time, equipment, software, and experience of your wedding photographer but into your memories.
Helpful Tips & Wedding Resources
If you loved reading this blog all about why wedding photography is an investment, check out some more helpful wedding planning tips and resources below!