Well everyone, the thing you have all been wondering. Why do photographers charge so much? And why does the pricing varies so much?
I have seen so many people opt out of an incredible photographer because they found a cheaper one offering the same package (or very very close). And as a photographer - how the heck do you compete with that? They may be charging a third of what you are for an entire day worth of coverage, editing & travel? HOW?
Recently on my podcast, Spilt Milk, Brittney and I were talking briefly about why vendors (specifically wedding) charge what we do. And it can be broken down to:
And of course, you have your outliers. The ones who either charge an insane amount and are not equally as incredibly and the ones who charge scraps and are stellar. But for the most part this is can be used for most vendors.
Brides, before you give into the cheap cheap option think about this. Why (and how) and they so cheap?
My first wedding I charged a couple hundred dollars - because I had NEVER done ANYTHING like this before. I had absolutely no qualifications or skill to be doing it truthfully. Just raw photo skills and that was literally it.
Does your photographer have references? A strong and complete portfolio? If they don't maybe consider they might not have the experience your more expensive option does.
And with experience you also are getting someone who has done and seen it all. Venue darker than expected? No problem for me. But I have even seen photographers who couldn't get a single good photo. They didn't know how to adapt to the surroundings, didn't know how to shoot in different lighting situations. And the price reflects that.
Which also goes into quality. I know how to shoot a wedding well, but also in a way that produces images I can edit and also can be printed with good quality. Of course - different printing services such as Snapfish or Walmart will play a slight part but my images are crisp, not grainy, and well produced.
An inexperienced photographer may get anxious with the speed and chaos of a wedding and I've seen produce grainy and off focused images.
You may also not get the quality of administration work as you may from a seasoned pro. As a photographer who does this full time - I spend a lot of that time working on contracts, emails, timelines, ext. But that quality and care of work may slip with the cheaper option.
And because I charge more, which allows me to do this full time, if I say I will be there then I'm there. I can communicate and adapt my schedule, work life, life, everything to be around your wedding date. In addition make sure I take care of myself and my business to assure I don't burnout.
If you are in any wedding Facebook group - you've seen the last minute cancellations from burnout or overbooking (or even bankruptcy). These are things vendors risk when they need to work 10 weddings to make any liveable money. And a lot of the times - they just can't keep up.
Again, this does NOT mean every vendor who is less expensive is bad. Or more expensive vendors are perfect - because that isn't 100% true.
This post is meant to just have you think about why someone might be charging what they are. A reminder that for a lot of people this is a full time gig and they completely rely on this in order to survive. And that the $200 vendor offering a crazy amazing package might be worth just asking a couple more questions to see if they are a good fit for you. And if they are - fantastic!
I hope this article is helpful to any of you who are planning a wedding and are overwhelmed or just flat out confused by the pricing. It is nuts! But you got this - and there are so many amazing vendors across so many price ranges!
For any vendors reading this - go check out my podcast Spilt Milk on how to book more weddings when you have no experience for more insight on how to navigate everything I just talked about!
Or check out my Vlog channel where I talk about how I handled this and booked 30 weddings my first year as a wedding photographer!