While meeting with a very nice couple recently to discuss their Wedding Photography needs, we were asked why wedding photography is so expensive. Many, many photographers are asked this question and many on-line forums discuss why someone who just comes to a wedding and takes a few photographs wants hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of pounds. In order to try to answer the question I’ve broken down what a typical wedding requires us to do, others will be different but the effort required to get you your pictures is more than just a few hours work on Your Wedding Day…
Reading emails and sending responses, sending out Wedding Photography Agreements, Booking forms and arranging consultations – 2 hours
Initial meeting to show you some albums, both hard copies and examples of on-line galleries, talk about the timeline of your day, your requirements in terms of photography requirement, and to see if we hit it off (this is important as you will have us in front of you for 10 – 12 hours on your wedding day, you need to make sure we get on!). An initial consultation typically lasts 90 minutes with both of us coming to meet both of you. Add to this perhaps 30 minutes travel each way that is another two and a half hours each, five hours in total.
So far including administration time we have together worked for seven hours, that’s a typical working day and we haven’t taken a single photograph yet! If you don’t book us that’s seven hours lost forever…
Pre-Wedding Photo Session
Assuming you choose to have one, a pre-wedding or engagement photography session is an ideal way for you to become accustomed to being photographed. It also gives us a feel for how you interact with each other, every couple are unique and behave differently in front of the camera. Some couples are naturally extrovert and pose for photos, some couples are more reserved and need guidance with posing, some couples just want to have a really fun time and are up for some comedy antics, others aren’t; none of these are wrong, just different.
Engagement Sessions typically last 90 minutes x 2 photographers plus two journeys for two people there and back at on average 30 minutes each, downloading and sorting through the images, selecting and editing the best ones and uploading these to a password protected online gallery for you to view, approximately seven hours for both of us. Running total so far – 2 days work prior to you Wedding Day.
Signature Mount and Frame
Assuming you have opted for the Engagement Session you receive a framed mounted image from the Engagement photo shoot for your guests to sign on your Wedding Day. Editing the chosen image and printing off, framing it ready for your big day – another hour (or two).
The Big Day
Leave home in plenty of time to be with you two hours before the ceremony. We will be with you almost all day (though we will leave you in peace to eat your Wedding Breakfast and we get hungry too) until the cake cutting and first dance, this is usually around 10 hours after we arrive. Return home, download all the images (typically 4000 – 7000 of them), back the images up (to two different places), collapse into bed! Typical Wedding Day we will be working for 15-18 hours each which equates to over 4 working days between us.
Review and Edit
I estimate it takes one hour to look through every 1000 images and decide which ones to chose and process further. For a typical wedding of 4000 – 7000 images that’s another 4 – 7 hours. Editing the images can then take another couple of days depending on the number selected and complexity of the editing process. The images are then uploaded to an online, password protected gallery for you to view and share with your family and friends. Wherever possible we will hand deliver images on USB drives, if you are too far away then these will be posted recorded delivery. Post Production 2 – 3 days.
The total time we commit to a wedding between us is then somewhere around 8 – 9 working days, not just a few hours on your Wedding Day!
And by the way, the couple who asked the question, they booked us – Thank You Natalie and Richard!