What’s a wedding without wedding photography? It all seems so fun, frivolous, and flirty, doesn’t it? You might even think that seasoned, professional photographer you hired is living the life of Reilly.
But wait a minute . . . maybe appearances aren’t always what they seem.
Maybe, just maybe, the photographer has the toughest job in the room. They have to wear many hats . . .operate quickly and efficiently . . . and work under some major stress (can you say mother of the bride?)
The extent of these factors depends on the approach and style of the individual photographer. Some may approach wedding photography more traditionally . . . with classically posed images and more photographer control.
While others . . . may choose to approach the event more photojournalistic and take on a more random, editorial style using candid shots and less structured control by the photographer. Or, maybe a combination of the two approaches.
And still a third approach, might be called a contemporary style or fashion based approach – – where the idea is to capture the atmosphere of the celebration so the viewers can see the story of what the day was like.
Either way . . . Mama Wants what Mama Wants, Right?
And if Mama Ain’t Happy, Then Nobody’s Happy!
Of course there are some common duties and responsibilities with all styles . . . but in addition to the normal duties of taking photographs before, during, and after the wedding activities, the typical wedding photographer must do so while artistically composing the shots and later processing those images.
That’s a lot of work! And on the actual wedding day, the photographer must create and capture great images in a stressful and hectic environment. And not to mention the off site hours spent in editing, developing, and delivering the finished photos to the families.
Why is Wedding Photography So Darned Expensive?
Well most folks who have paid for wedding photography have probably asked that question a few times, right? And in fact, it is — usually ranging from $2000 to $4000 in most of the country. But wait a minute, let’s think about this complaint for a moment. . .
Isn’t most EVERYTHING about a wedding thought to be too expensive? Of course. But the wedding photo album has the longest, and most valuable, usage life of any of the wedding components. In fact, the wedding photos increase in value over time . . . and they continuously bring back memories of that eventful day . . . for years to come!
Long after the scraps from the “too much fake sugar” cake have been thrown away . . . long after Uncle Joe sleeps off that reception hangover . . . and long after you packed up that wedding dress and returned those rented tuxedos . . .
You are still going to enjoy showing those wedding photos to Aunt Minnie and Cousin Leroy, aren’t you? So, your wedding photos have become an asset that you are proud to own (in most cases!) But the real truth of why they are so expensive is . . .
Your Wedding Photos are a Luxury – – Not a Necessity!
Ouch — you know it’s true. Those photos are something that you want, and love to have, but they are not something you actually NEED. Let’s face it . . . people pay for what they want, especially if it considered a luxury.
And wedding photography is a desired luxury service. A well known wedding photographer once said “great wedding photography is a luxury service, for a luxury occasion, and it commands luxury prices”.
Would You Really Want to be a Wedding Photographer?
Truth be told . . . maybe not. But aren’t great wedding photographers well off? A few probably are. . . but most are not. You would be surprised to learn that the median salary for a wedding photographer in America is around $40, 000 per year!
The reason is because it is a seasonal industry. Most folks aren’t planning their wedding photography Baltimore for February, much less for Chicago or New York. The majority of wedding photography gigs happen between May and October each year. Seasonal feast or famine.
Don’t forget the pressure. Wedding days bring it. It’s a one time event that the photog has to capture quickly and perfectly. . . and they cannot miss any big moments throughout the day — and that’s a whole lot of responsibility!
If you don’t like long, tedious hours, then wedding photography is probably not for you. Including shooting, editing, uploading, and delivering those perfect memories . . . the wedding photographer might average 20 to 27 hours per wedding.
And finally, the wedding photographer can say goodbye to his or her own weekends during the wedding season. Most every weekend day or night will have to be booked in order to service their clients. Family and personal recreation will have to take a back seat to this job.
So now you know some truths concerning the wedding photography industry. Not as glamorous as it seems. . . hmmm . . . and as Paul Harvey used to say . . . now you know the rest of the story.