Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What Do Professional Wedding Photographers Do?

It is easy to think your photographer shows up at your engagement session and wedding, takes some pictures by pushing a button on their camera, then goes home and uploads them for the world to see.  While, perhaps, there are some budget photographers out there who do not invest their time, energy, and creative vision into your wedding day, that is most certainly not the case for my studio.

I feel that each and every bride and groom who select me to capture their love story deserve the best.  I only take on a select number of weddings each year so I can give each wedding I photograph the time and creative energy it deserves.  This includes a lot of work behind the scenes.  To give you an idea of the time investment I give to each wedding I photograph:

  • Meeting with the couple before the wedding (initial consultation, follow up before wedding, etc):  1-3hours
  • Answering emails, calls, texts:  1-3 hours
  • Capturing engagement portraits: 1-2 hours
  • Culling and editing engagement portraits: 5-8 hours
  • Processing engagement products (prints, disks): 1-2 hours
  • Capturing the wedding day:  7-14 hours
  • Culling wedding portraits: 6-8 hours
  • Editing wedding portraits: 25-40 hours
  • Designing wedding album: 8-10 hours
  • Making client revisions to album: 1-3 hours
  • Processing wedding products (prints, disks, albums): 1-2 hours
  • Travel to engagement session/wedding: 2-6 hours
Each wedding, I invest anywhere up to 100+ hours of time and creative talents.

I love my job and am extremely passionate about what I do.  I feel it is important to educate couples who are looking into wedding photography services so they understand they're not just buying a few hours of time on their wedding day and someone who can push a button on a camera.  Instead, they are investing in a photographer, their skill, and their dedication to your wedding day.  They are investing in someone who will go the extra mile and devote their time and energy to creating stunning imagery of the engagement and wedding. 

My collection prices reflect my time as well as the products and services I provide.  As much as I would love to offer my time for free, this is my job.  You wouldn't ask your wedding dress designer to give you your gown for the cost of fabric, nor would you ask your florist to give you beautiful arrangements at wholesale cost, so would you really ask your photographer to capture your day without being paid for their labor?

In addition to labor fees, there are product costs.  I use professional labs to produce the photographic prints, albums, books, canvases, and other products I offer.  I want to provide my brides and grooms with quality products.  The albums I offer have beautiful, lay-flat pages mounted on heavy stock and are all custom designed.  They are beyond compare to the Shutterfly and Walgreens books some price-shopping couples have mentioned using instead.  Yes, you can print a book through Walgreens, but it will not be of heirloom quality.  Isn't that what wedding portraits are about, creating lasting memories to treasure and hand down from one generation to the next?

There are other expenses in wedding collection prices, I have to make sure I collect the correct amount to cover taxes.  Just as taxes are taken out of your paycheck, they have to be taken out of mine as well.  I pay for liability insurance to protect the people I photograph and myself.  My insurance also protects the very expensive equipment (and back up equipment) I use as tools to capture the engagement session and wedding day.  I also have to pay my assistant for their time and talents.  

My wedding collection prices are not the least expensive you may see, but look at what you are investing in.  When you hire me, I invest my time, skills, and passion to create amazing images and products. I capture moments you will treasure forever.

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