Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m Stephanie, a wedding photographer and educator based in Columbus, Ohio! I love sharing all of my recent shoots as well as wedding planning advice, tips and tricks for photographers, my handsome hubby, my fluffy puppy, and some of the behind the scenes of my business. I'm SO glad you're here! Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to take a look around!
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My one hope in sharing this post is this: I want to humbly share why wedding photographers charge what they do without tearing ANYONE down. I want to say all of this with so much grace and also explain that I TOTALLY understand budgets. Guys, I just got married in 2017… I know it’s HARD! I totally get it! There is nothing wrong with not having the budget to hire a certain photographer!
If you’re planning a wedding, I am not wanting to put you down – at ALL – for having a low budget or not being able to invest in any certain wedding photographer. I get it. Honestly, that is totally and completely FINE and I understand! Really, I do!! If you email me and I’m out of budget, I will happily send you on to some amazing photographers I know who are in budget! :) Even if you don’t become my client, I see every inquiry as an opportunity to serve. I’ve done this many times! I’m sincerely not offended when a couple doesn’t book because of pricing.
Yes, it is a huge investment. However, I think it’s one that you won’t regret making if you invest in someone who is amazing at what they do… coming from someone who is a photographer + a recent bride! I TREASURE my own wedding day photographs so much, and it was definitely the best (and biggest) investment of our wedding day! We made wedding photos a priority for our wedding and invested a lot compared to our overall budget (we invested nearly 1/3rd of our entire wedding budget on photography), but I don’t regret that one bit! It’s completely fine if photography isn’t a priority – maybe your DJ or florals or venue is more of a priority and that’s OKAY. Do what’s best for you and your fiancé!
This is totally directed at anyone who is genuinely curious as to why (experienced and thriving) wedding photographers have the price tag they do… all of the blood, sweat, tears, and costs that go into running one wedding photography business, and how we don’t really make 100% of what you’re paying us, and when you break it down, it’s not easy money! My hope is this blog post gives you some insight and understanding you didn’t have before! :)
There it is, all laid out! That’s all for one couple. Multiply that by 20-25 (depending on how many couples I have booked), and that’s the average work load of wedding photographers, just on the client side of things! I’ve never gone through and figured out exactly how many hours I spend with each couple, but without editing and shooting, I would guess it’s easily at least 20-25 hours!
Alright, so besides serving each of our clients with the above process, we also have a huge list of things that are a part of our day-to-day work that need to be done weekly, monthly, or yearly. Here are a few things I can think of off the top of my head:
The list is endless, but these are a few big things that happen on the daily.
Okay, so expenses with wedding photography are really in two broad categories: fixed and variable (does this take you back to your accounting or finance class? Ha!) Fixed are things that need to be paid for regardless of how many weddings we photograph, and variable costs are associated with every wedding we shoot.
For every wedding we book, these are the additional costs we incur:
There’s one more big cost that we also have to take into account: buying all of the camera gear! When starting out, you usually have nothing and have to build it up! This is the typical bag of most wedding photographers:
Those are pretty much the basics!! And we are typically upgrading/replacing our camera gear at least every 2-3 years to ensure great quality and reliability!
At the end of the day, I am usually profiting (money I get to spend for my personal finances that is not a write off) anywhere from 50-70% of what I charge for my services after expenses + taxes, from what I am earning photographing weddings alone (totally depends on where I’ve been at in my business/how much I’m charging/how many weddings & sessions I decided to book). This totally fluctuates and is different for every photographer, but just as an estimate!
There ya go!! There’s a glimpse into the life of a wedding photographer and everything that goes into a wedding photography business! :)
All of this isn’t to say that our jobs are JUST hard and expensive to run… while that’s true, it’s truly such a career that brings so much JOY. It’s so INCREDIBLY rewarding, which is why so many of us love serving couples SO MUCH!! I truly believe that photographers either LOVE weddings or hate them. There’s not much in-between because it does take a LOT of hustle to build a business that is sustainable.
But in my opinion, it’s totally WORTH IT. I am incredibly grateful for what I do and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m Stephanie, a wedding photographer and educator based in Columbus, Ohio. I love sharing all of my recent shoots as well as wedding planning advice, tips and tricks for photographers, my handsome hubby, and some of the behind the scenes of my business. Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to take a look around!
join the sk tribe