(Closed) Rant about cost of wedding photography

posted 6 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
1405 posts
Bumble bee

Your budget is 15-20,000 and you are complaining?

Post # 4
Member
468 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I believe my friend found a up and coming photographer to do her wedding and it was only $1000. You can try that option. I can’t believe the required a album! That’s weird. Those things are super expensive and my moms looks HORRIBLE! I ended up making her a new one. Our photographer is 2,500 and we get all the rights to our photos with no album.

Good Luck! I know it’s hard I went through 10-15 photographers until I found one I liked

Post # 5
Member
2866 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Keep on looking and inquiring. Not everyone will make you order an album- they may swap it out with print credit. However of you don’t ask you will never know.  Finding a photographer you mesh with it tough. Good luck!

Post # 6
Member
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I know, I know – I feel you pain!  I have the same type of budget as you (~15-20K) and, accoring to most wedding budget breakdowns, Photography is supposed to cost ~10% of your budget (1.5 – 2k)  But good luck trying to find a good one for that cheap!!

But – word to the wise – first, decide how important photos were to you…..(i.e. would you be OK if “Uncle Jim” just took pics….or a photography student??).  If they are important enough to you, then you are (unfortunately) probably just going to have to figure out a way to pay for a good one.  

My experience (please learn from my mistakes) – we went with a guy we could afford – found him on craigslist.  As we are having a Destination Wedding, we signed a contract with him before we met him (but had scheduled a trip to FL to meet him in the next month…amongst other things).  Well, he bailed (last minute) on our meeting FIVE times.  Three times while we were in FL he kept (at he last minute) pushing our meeting back a day….then after he cancelled the third time (on the day we were leaving…we actualy pushed back our departure time by 3 hours to meet with him) he said he would be in our area in the next month and could meet with us then.  Again, cancelled at the last minute…and by cancelled I mean we were at the starbucks waiting for him and ne just never showed up.  He called the next day and rescheduled for the next time he would be in the area.  After the same thing happened (he was just a no-show), we decided to fire him and eat the 50% deposit.

Fiance and I sat down and figured out a way to come up with anouther 3K to get a reputable photog……(we ended up getting a roommate for a few months..not ideal, but we did save $$).  We now have a guy who has lots of good reviews online, was recommended by our DOC, and we feel much better about.

I am not a photog, and yes, I am pretty adapt at Photoshop and there are times I feel that I could do what they do, but the bottom line is I can’t take the photos that I want on my wedding day….ergo I will pay the price becuase I want nice photos.  

But it does suck…and you are totally not the only one who feels this way.  And sadly, yes, while the economy does suck, there are probably a lot of women like me who are just biting it and paying the $$…because when it comes down to it…..most problems can be fixed on the wedding day, but having your photog not show up….or show up and not have a memory card in their camera (yes, this is a true horrow story)….or just take shitty shots…..this is a one-shot opportunity and the ohotogs know it and therefore can charge what they charge.

And I will add…to their credit, I do know that the work a photog does is much more than the day….it is setting up pre-meetings, having back-up equipment, and hours of editing afterwards…..and that being said, I have heard (no experience here) but the photo albums the photogs create are supposed to be better quality and will last longer than the ones you can get online (FWIW).

Good luck! 

Post # 7
Member
1405 posts
Bumble bee

@Rock Hugger:  OP photography budget is 15-20K, not their wedding budget.  At least that is what they said in the OP.

Post # 8
Member
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Try posting on Craigslist you will be surprised who contacts you I lucked out and found an up and coming photographer who does amazing shots … And for only 650 and I’m getting everything that a friend who paid 1200 for… I can’t wait! 

Post # 9
Member
7 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@Natasliah:  Sorry you’re so frustrated with this! I understand how much sticker shock there can be when it comes to wedding photography but to be honest, most photographers are priced based on what they need to charge to make a living/do business in their area. There are a select few very wealthy “celebrity” wedding photographers but most of us are living quite modestly.

Some photographers just have the business model that albums go to all their clients regardless – it’s part of the service/experience they want to provide. If a client contacts them and doesn’t want the album they may very likely say “thanks so much for contacting me but it seems like we might not be the right fit for you.” That’s perfectly ok – there are plenty of other photographers who structure their business different and will offer the flexibility you need.

Post # 11
Member
1876 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@USER876:  You don’t honestly think she is complaining that she can’t find a good photgrapher for $15 – $20K. Don’t be dense. She obviously meant her wedding budget is between $15 – $20K.

Post # 12
Member
5296 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1993

@Natasliah:  I had about the same budget as you, and it was impossible to find a decent photographer in the 10%-15% that all the budget calculators recommend. It was almost a freaking quarter of my budget and I definitely feel I did not get my money’s worth.

Everything has to make a living, I get that…..but I come from one of the most notoriously underpaid professions, so it’s a hard pill to swallow that you need that much money to take pretty pictures of me and play around in photoshop, when what my family does is a 10000000000x more important than photography, and they are making the same now that they did in 1980.

Post # 13
Hostess
16213 posts
Honey Beekeeper

I found a few photographers that didn’t require an album and therfore were less costly. I also encountered some where their lead photographer was $3-5K, but if you went with a less-senior photographer, it was more like $2K. And with those, it didn’t seem like quality really suffered because they were still trained by the more senior photographer, just hadn’t shot as many weddings yet.

Post # 14
Member
5296 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1993

That does seem odd that they are requiring you to buy the album – everyone I talked with was willing to exclude the album if I didn’t want it – you definitely should be able to find someone willing to remove that from their package.

Post # 15
Member
7 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@hisgoosiegirl:  I’ll have to tell you it stings a little for a photographer to read what they do isn’t important and that all photographers do is take pretty pictures and play around in photoshop. It’s so much more than that.

I would encourage you to take a few minutes and read through this article:http://www.petapixel.com/2012/01/26/why-wedding-photographers-prices-are-wack/

We need “that much money” because what we do costs THAT much money. ESPECIALLY if you want a photographer who has not only pro equipment, but back up equipment. and liability insurance. and is paying taxes. and has a business license. I understand why most folks can’t wrap their heads around the cost of wedding photography because they do think they’re paying someone for a couple hours. I think that article breaks it down really well.

ETA: I think this is a big issue in the wedding industry right now because wedding photography prices span such a HUGE range. Back before digital took hold, photography prices were what they were, pretty across the board, so you chose based on your taste. A new photographer couldn’t afford everything he/she would need to buy to jump into business on their own before working for someone else and learning the trade because everything was studio/film based and that costs money. Digital changed all of that. Now anyone with a DSLR can be a photographer and there are so many charging below what’s actually profitable for them and it could be for any number of reasons – maybe they work a full time job and don’t need to charge a living wage. Maybe they aren’t paying taxes/aren’t registered as a business so they can charge much less than full time photographers who do pay taxes (in my area about 45% of what people pay me goes straight to taxes. If I’m a new photographer and not registered to pay, that 45% goes straight in my pocket so I can charge much less). Maybe they don’t have backup equipment, or use professional grade cameras, or pay memberships to professional organizations . . . the list goes on.

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