How much is your Photographer worth?

Thoughts before the Wedding

There has been a recent survey asking newly married couples what they thought of their wedding photographers and where things went wrong and where right.

It was an interesting read as was the comments made by photographers and none photographers.

Ultimately the problem now is one of worth.  How much is your photographer worth to you?

Too many people today see the cost of photography as the cost of the print.  You engage a photographer to produce a portrait.  You can get a nice 10 x 8 print for £1.27 from the top listing in my search engine when I checked.  So much should a portrait cost?

Get married and the photographer is with you most of the day, so a days time.  A wedding album can be got from a stationary store for under £10.  Lets say 60 prints in it at £1.27 so not including the photographers the material cost could be under £100.  Assuming a salary of £32000 a day rate comes in at £123, so a wedding should cost £250.

Well this figure is a joke as I hope most people realise.  Your paying a skilled artist and craftsman for his time and experience.  There were several days prep for this wedding, and several days after sorting photographs and post production.

Then there are the photographers costs.  A high end PC capable of processing modern RAW files for the next three years and running Photoshop will cost £2000, thats £2000 every three years.  A wedding photographer needs a good low light camera so if a Nikon user a D4 at £4700, this needs replacing every five years.  A high resolution camera say a D800 £2400, also replaced every five years.  Two high quality standard zooms, £1000 each replaced every ten years.  Wide Angle zoom and telephoto plus a fast portrait.  Little change out of £5000 for them.

Problems happen, so equipment and public liability insurance.  Lets not forget vehicle  costs.  Lets say the photographer want an income of £32000 a year, Weddings general are only shot between May and September, thats five months of weekends to earn that morning plus enough to cover the costs.

Now see why the wedding photographers charge anything from £2000 upwards?  Yes there are people doing it for £300, I know one doing it for £150.  Its cash in hand, he does not pay tax and to be honest if he did the math he is not actually making any money out of it.

So next time you book a photographer remember, your paying for his artistic skill which is hard to price plus he also has some very high costs to cover.

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