How much does a Wedding Photographer cost? A lot of people think that prices of wedding photographer are to high. Yes, it’s right! I can’t say nothing to that. There is just really important to know, how much I spend to give you your final images and how much I really get. I’m pretty sure, you will be surprised.
1. Average wedding photographer shoot 20 weddings per year for an average of $2,500 / Wedding (which totals about $50,000/year).
2. I am a small business owner, so I pay all of my taxes, totaling about $15,000/year, which leaves me with a gross income of around $35,000
3. Of that $35,000 I pay $600/month in rent for a part of my small house which is where I would be editing your wedding images. $35,000 – $7,200 = $27,800
4. Then I have my car, which I would use to get me to and from your wedding, I pay $600/month for the lease, plus $200/month in car insurance. $27,800 – $9,600 = $18,200
5. To get to your (and my other brides) wedding consultation, second wedding pre-consultation, the wedding itself, and to and from the printers I spend at least $1,800/year in gas money. $18,200 – $1,800 = $16,400
6. I also have $500/year insurance in case you sue me, or if any of your guests would happen to break any of my equipment. $16,400 – $500 = $15,900
7. You also probably found me through my website, which I pay $30/month for hosting, and another $30/month so that you can view your photos online and share the images with your friends and family. $15,900 – $720 = $15,180
8. Or perhaps you found me through my advertisements that I have to pay. $15,180 – $2,500 = $12,680
9. I also pay $250/month for my own health insurance in case I were to get hurt at your wedding. $12,680 – $3,000 = $9,680
10. I also need to have a new pair of shoes ($100) every season because my shoes get worn out and dirty from season to season. $9,680 – $100 = $9,580
11. I need high speed internet so I can upload all of your images online, my phone for my business so I can communicate with you. $9,580 – $2,480 = $7,100
12. Oh yes, and I also pay a lawyer to make sure my contracts are iron clad and an accountant to make sure that I am paying all of the taxes I need. $7,100 – $500 = $6,600
13. Sometimes I attend workshops and seminars to teach me how to better my business, and make my client happier (that would be you), as well as keep up on the trends and learn new techniques so that I can make sure you have the best quality images available.
That would technically leave me with about $7,000/year to feed myself, buy groceries, pay for my A/C and electricity, clothe myself, etc. But, usually I end up reinvesting whatever I have left on upgrades and new equipment:
During your wedding, I bring my professional equipment that I use so that I can make sure you have the highest quality images.
I have 2 Nikon cameras (because you always need a backup in case of a camera malfunction, which would ruin your big day’s photographs) which cost $2,500/camera = $5,000
I also have quality lenses which can capture your special moments in low light situations = $5,000
…and I have speed lights to catch the fun moments at your reception: 2 x Nikon = $800
For high quality portraits I have whole battery pack flash kit = $2,900
Also multiple battery backups and memory cards, lens filters, light stands, umbrellas, light boxes, external battery packs and a bag to carry everything in = $1,500
Because this is equipment, sometimes I need to have it serviced or cleaned to make sure it is all working properly = $200
After spending 5-10 hours at your wedding, I then come home to my home office and spend about 15-25 hours just choosing best images and then 30-60 hours editing your images, creating your album.
I edit your photographs using a 27-inch MAC monitor and Mac computer = $2,900.
I edit your photographs on Adobe Lightroom ($200) and Adobe CS4 ($900).
I archive all of your photographs on 2 x 2TB external hard drives = $500.
I also back up all of my photographs online so if there was ever a fire in my office, you would never lose your photographs = $400/year.
I also have office expenses as far as buying paper, staples, envelopes, packaging, filing cabinets and files, etc…
All of that being said, I’m usually in the hole at the end of the year, and take on many family portraits, senior portraits and corporate jobs in order to make ends meet.
Photography is my passion and my livelihood, and it is also expensive. Yes, it seems like a lot of money for one day, but one day isn’t all we spend on your photographs or on our business. You will spend thousands of dollars on a wedding dress or flowers or a venue or on catering which you are going to have for only one day, but your photographs will be the only thing you have to remember that one day for the rest of your lives.
Yes, but I would love to work also for free. I have just one condition. You can read more here in my other blog about Negotiating wedding photography prices.
If you plan your wedding or engagement soon, visit our Wedding Meets Fashion web page and contact us.
All our 13 most important Q&A for hiring us as a wedding photographer you can find here.