(Closed) Rant about cost of wedding photography

posted 10 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 16
Member
419 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@Natasliah – Yep, but it does help to think about it not just as “one day” of work.  Its the pre-meetings you will have, and the post work editing…..look at it this way – Is the photog offering to get you your pics the day after your wedding?  If so, then hells, yeah I would be upset too.  But from what I have seen, most take 30 – 45 days (mininmum) to get the pics back to you.  While it may or may not be true, in my mind, I am assuming that the photog is working that whole month on my photos….so therefore I am paying him 3K for a month’s worth of work….which is easier to swallow than 3K for a day’s worth of work.

That being said…have not had the wedding yet…but it is how I was able to swallow the big bill.

Post # 17
Member
3282 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 1993

@anaapplejax:  I know it’s not just pictures and editing…….but photography =/= producing food. Sorry, it just doesn’t. And I highly doubt that you are making the same income as photographers in 1980. And don’t tell me it’s because cameras/technology are more expensive now. There is nothing that a dairy producer needs that has not drastically gone up in price since the 80’s. Because dairy farmers then made $12/hwt, and in 2009……it was $12/hwt. It’s on a slight upswing right now (about $20/hwt), but just based on inflation alone it should be $30/hwt.

I’m not really here to argue with photogs, I’m commiserating with the OP. Since my wedding is well past, I have no real desire to read more articles telling me how my paying damn near $4000 for 220 photos was worth it.

Post # 18
Member
6610 posts
Bee Keeper

No one is trying to bash professional photographers. We’re just trying to help an OP fit a professional photographer into her budget. The reason this post exists is because the OP and others value the work of pros. But not everyone can afford all of the add-ons, like albums.

Post # 19
Member
6 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@hisgoosiegirl:  I’m sorry you don’t feel like what you got was worth it. It seems like you might have actually been swindled, or didn’t have the right photographer for you. That’s the danger now with the photo market being so saturated now – folks who aren’t photographers don’t necessarily know the warning signs that we might see in someone’s work/business practices. $4000 for 220 images sounds a bit off but I don’t know the circumstances. That doesn’t mean that other couples don’t feel like photography was worth it for them. I hope you’ll read that article, or at least some of it. It might put that $4,000 in perspective.

Thank you for producing dairy. My father was a farmer. I know what that’s like.

I hope throughout the years you work with photographers who give you images you cherish and pass down to family. I think that’s important too.

And for what it’s worth, I probably make less than photographers in 1980 (inflation aside). There were a LOT more people getting married then, a lot less photographers to compete against, and a whole lot less work/images to process. 🙂

Post # 21
Member
6610 posts
Bee Keeper

@Natasliah:  If it helps, we went over the usual % in budget for photography and made up for it elsewhere pretty easily. We just prioritized based on what was important to us, and photography was definitely important.

Post # 22
Member
6 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@Natasliah:  You’re so right. The NJ market is incredibly high compared to where I live in the south. I see beginner photographers with questionable portfolios starting at $3500 in NJ where they would start around $1500 where I live. It’s the cost of doing business in that state/the average pricing being in the NJ/NY area. Have you considered looking out of state? There are a lot of states around you up there and you may find a photographer in another state who, even with travel fees for gas and a hotel might be less expensive than what you’re finding in NJ! Feel free to PM me if you’d like any help with that!

Post # 23
Member
3282 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 1993

@anaapplejax:  They’ve won awards and are well-established in their area. They weren’t fauxtographers,  but other photogs here had agreed with me I didn’t my whole money’s worth…..for two photogs, 8 hours and 220 edited photos on a CD.

I know it’s important to a lot of brides….it was important to me too and that’s why I was willing to pay more. I didn’t want someone who only did it part-time or wasn’t great at what they did.

But I paid 2200 for the two photogs for 8 hours. That’s essentially all I got for that. Then I had to either pay 1200 for the CD or 1400 for the images. I went with the images so I could at least do a cheaper album and prints.

I mostly want the OP to know that more $$ doesn’t always mean a better photog, and that if she keeps looking she should be able to find someone willing to do more ala carte packages in her price range.

Post # 24
Member
419 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Just out of curiosity then…but have you seriously talked with your Fiance about doing a JOP and a back-yard BBQ?

As brides, we are told we HAVE to have certain “things” at our wedding…but all we really need if our Fiance and someone to make it legal Smile  

And I went to a friends wedding last year in Redbank….she told me what she spent on it…and HOLY SHIT!  (and like your experience…it was …nice…but not over the top like I would have expected for that price)……..

Post # 25
Member
500 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

It’s weird that they are all requiring an album–I’ve never met with a business person who required me to purchase something that I did not want.  Are you speaking to all of them about this or just reading off the website?  Also check Yelp for your area.  

The photogs in my area run between $2000-$5000 on average.  My budget is under $10K (roughly half the OPs) and I am keeping other things simple so that I can have a decent photographer.  The photos are the only physical thing we leave that wedding with so the cost is worth it to me.  

Not only do photogs have overhead to pay, they have to deal with a lot of nonsense.  Women are super intense about their weddings, esp the photos and I would not be on the other end of that transaction if I could help it.  Working with brides is generally a pain in the butt and the photogs should be able to feed and house themselves if they have to deal with that.

Post # 26
Member
6 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@hisgoosiegirl:  Yikes! Did you happen to have a destination-type wedding? I think this comes down to not being fully aware of a photographer’s pricing structure before signing with them. Maybe they didn’t tell you, or they hid it away somewhere in the contract, but I can see how that’s a great source of resentment for you. That gives photography a bad rap and it’s the reason we pros hang out on message boards trying to steer people in the right direction so they can make fully informed decisions about their wedding photography.

Post # 28
Member
3282 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 1993

@anaapplejax:  Nope. They traveled 45 minutes. I didn’t know until after the wedding that that was all the images I would be getting. It was a question I didn’t ask, and didn’t even know to ask.I thought I had done my research calling lots of photogs, and different sites on the internet with what to ask and such.

Photogs on here tried to help me with asking them for more…but no luck. They didn’t seem to be too out of line from others in the area (who were unfortunately, all booked 14 months out) but I think others also give a lot more photos. The photos I do have are awesome – I have no issue with the quality…..just quantity. It’s a big regret of mine that I wasn’t on the Bee sooner and would have known what questions to ask.

After we signed and DH and I looked at it more (we were LDR at the time) we had some more questions and it kind of became apparent to us that we were going to pay more than we wanted (still not knowing how many images we’d get) but we didn’t want to forfeit our deposit, and most everyone else we had liked were already booked. Honestly, I expected to get 400-500 images for what we paid.

 

I’ll stop threadjacking now – I don’t mean to hate on photogs, I’m usually on their side on these boards….but hearing the ‘need to make a living, takes so much time to edit’ language really burns me because that’s all I heard when I called mine back to be a problem bride and ask for more pics.

Post # 29
Member
6414 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

I found a photographer out of Philly who is charging us $800 for the entire day unlimited photos and not charging us for driving distance or anything… she’s amazing and not new to the scene or anything. 

I found her by posting an ad on craigslist with a price cap of $800 and she said she would do it… when I went to her website and saw the amazing photos I was in shock… they were perfect! I saw her prices were usually a lot higher but she must have just been filling in empty spots in her calendar to let us book her for 1/3rd her usual cost. 

It’s always an option to post an ad. I heard back from a few other high end photographers willing to photograph our wedding for our price too. I think if they have the date available they would work for the price you can afford rather than making nothing. My date is pretty popular too so I don’t know if it was pure luck or just a really good ad I posted LOL.

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