(Closed) Please help me understand why photography is so expensive

posted 12 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: Can I get this for $1000?

    Yes, I would think so.

    Yes, I did for my wedding/

    No, you need to up your wedding budget.

  • Post # 3
    409 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: January 2010

    try finding a newly professional photographer who is building their portfolio

    Post # 4
    4566 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    Contact your local university with an art department… you can probably get recommendations or find out where to post a flyer with what you want!

    Post # 5
    239 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    Have you tried looking into student photography? Go to a college near to where you’re getting married, and ask some of the professors to recommend someone, letting them know your budget and what you’re looking for. The professors should be able to recommend one or two of their top students, and it will give a young, budding photographer a chance to build their portfolio 🙂

    Post # 6
    10216 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 2010

    also put an ad in the classified’s section. i know that quite a few illinois photographers frequent the board… perhaps you will have someone who would love to photograph your wedding.

    Post # 7
    54 posts
    Worker bee

    I would recommend trying Craigslist, if you haven’t.  I’m a photographer in Nashville, and I keep an ad on there myself  usually. It’s a great place for bargain hunters like yourself to connect with just such photographer as you seek.

      I would personally not use a student or new photo grad or such. Weddings are too important, and an inexperienced photographer will usually not be able to handle a wedding. Weddings are the hardest thing to shoot. Often there are low light situations, time crunches, changing light brightness from indoors to outdoors, etc etc.  It’s not a job for a noob. Your wedding photos are too important. It’s all you have left after the wedding  : )

     You can find a photographer who has shot several weddings, and has his own style, and doesn’t charge that much. It’s possible. Very possible.  Again, I would try Craigslist.  You probably won’t find that low cost photographer you want by doing a Google search or anything, because their website will not rank high enough to find, more than likely. That doesn’t mean they aren’t there. 

    Post # 8
    389 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: March 2010

    You can totally get this for under $1000!! I’m a graphic designer and he’s a photographer so we’re REALLY getting a deal since we’re using one of his friends, but I know her regular rates and they are well under $1000. Since she just graduated in May she normally only charges between $500 and $750 for a full day of shooting. I would DEFINITELY reach out to local art schools (preferably NOT any of the Art Institutes) and make sure you see their portfolios before you decide. Most art schools require that their students do internships, so you may even get lucky and find someone that interned with a wedding photographer!

    Good luck!

    Post # 9
    4122 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    Just out of curiosity, are you actually wondering WHY photography is expensive or how to find one for cheap?

    Post # 10
    162 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: March 2012 - Marie Gabrielle

    I think you can find someone for under $1,000 but it would have to be someone just starting out and who is building their portfolio.  I would be EXTREMELY wary of a supposedly established photog that charges less than $2,000, as an established photog should be able to command 2k at a bare minimum.  Be careful though, sometimes you find a jewel in the rough, and sometimes you find someone who doesn’t do such a great job.  I’d do a whole lot of interviewing to find the best fit, even more than if you were looking for a more high-priced photographer!  Good luck!!

    Post # 11
    4122 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    Established photogs should charge more than $1000 just because there is no way to make a living if that’s your rate. For instance, I have to pay my bills, save for $10,000 of software, equipment, and business expenditures I have a year, contribute to a 401k, pay a mortgage and for some photogs give their kids and spouse a christmas gift. There’s also the cost of business insurance, professional organization fees, and by giving a disc I stand to make no other money in the back end from you.  

    From the time I meet with you to discuss your wedding the first time to giving you a disc I will have spent over 50 hours on your wedding for a full day of coverage.  For $1000 that breaks down to $25/hr. Good, right?  Well, about half of that goes to the government so that leaves me at $12.50/hr.  Minus 401k contributions, insurance costs, overhead, website fees, internet fees, credit card fees, gas to get to your wedding, etc… it adds up and that rate goes down.  So I might as well work the fryer at McDonalds if I was to charge $1000 for a full day.

    NOW, it can be found, but you may not get the experience of a seasoned pro.  If they are a seasoned pro charging that little I’d be very concerned about the state of their business and wouldn’t rec hiring them.

    Post # 12
    54 posts
    Worker bee

    KLP articulated it very well.  The time, the biz expenses, everything.

    Post # 13
    14181 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2009

    A shoot and burn is pretty inexpensive and yes you should be able to get that for around $1,000. Maybe $1,200. My friend got hers for $1500 with an album but i have to admit the photographer wasn’t very good. A friend of mine in texas does 6 hours/shoot and burn for $800 so keep looking! Maybe send someone an email and they can direct you to other photographers or newer ones who may be willing to do your wedding for that price. However, don’t expect 5 star photography for that price…sometimes it comes AT a price, like my friend’s. THey’re just very traditional.

    Post # 14
    2186 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    yeah i am having the same problem – i actually do photography myself as well as a friend of mine and dont need any of the fancy editing or albums since i can do all that myself – all i really needed is someone who can shoot the wedding since i cant – then send me the disk of raw pics. i can do the rest ya know???

    still, i think its gonna end up running me about 1200? which i guess since pics are all you will have after the day is worth it…

    Post # 15
    1565 posts
    Bumble bee

    I’ve seen some basic packages for $1200-ish if you’re willing to just have the photographer work 4 hours rather than the entire day. That’s here in the NYC area, where everything is more expensive, so I’m sure you can get a comparable deal where you are. I had success finding potential photographers from Craigslist.

    I think, though, that $2,000 could be a reasonable amount to spend if your budget is $12,000, unless it’s one of the less important aspects of the day for you personally.

    Post # 16
    2633 posts
    Sugar bee

    I think you’re going to have to re-think what you’re going to get for $1k.  You’re either going to have to take the plunge and try to find someone who is starting out and just building their portfolio or hire someone more experienced but who will probably only be there 4 hours or so.  If you do the latter, 4 hours SHOULD be enough time to get the vital shots.

    I agree with checking Craigslist – you WILL find someone in your budget on there.  Good luck.

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