@Sapphire-Dreamer: Alright, here we are:
^^^ The first post in this thread is particularly enlightening. It is long, but please read it.
Both of these threads were active on this board within the past month. I’ll post a few quotes for you:
“Your budget is whatever your budget is. I never judge anyone for that. But as a full time photographer posts like these are a bit irksome because you don’t seem to realize how insanely expensive it is to run a photography business, how much work is involved, and how little the profit is on all of it. So you can say you’re not paying $2000 for a wedding photographer, and that’s totally fine. But you need to understand that you are NOT going to get someone who is a legit professional. Heck $2000 probably isn’t even going to get you a professional if you were going to spend that. Why would anyone have exceptional work and charges hundreds of dollars less than the average starting prices of other photographers? At best you are playing the photography roulette wheel and trying to get lucky finding someone starting out who may not be charging to their full potential yet. Good luck with that! They aren’t going to be be insured, have top of the line gear and backups, be able to provide you organized service, bring any experience to the table, or have a well thought out data management system to protect the images they take.”
“Honestly, before i started shooting weddings I had no idea how people could charge so much for wedding photography. Then I found out how much work and investment is involved. The OP did a great job of outlining it. When I charged $2500 for a wedding, after costs, taxes, etc – I made like $13 an hour on them. In Australia, that’s $7 below minimum wage.”
“Having a photography business is NOT the same as just taking pictures. I take my business seriously. Also, the photographers who charge $6000 per wedding probably deliver the most amazing photos you can think off. They have spent years and years perfecting their craft. If you work in an office, don’t you want a raise every year? a bonus? paid vacation? paid sick leave? They charge what they do to stay in business. If you think $1850 is a lot of money, put it into perspective. If I was to do this full time, and let’s say I get an average of 2 weddings per month in one year, that’s $1850×24=44.400
44,400 minus 1/3 that goes to takes: 29,599. Minus the expenses I explained at the top… do you get the point? and the 30 hours explained above don’t cover: blogging, studying new techniques, advertising your site, shopping for equipment, updating your website, facebook, etc.”
“I agree with the other photographers on this. Even if you were lucky enough to find someone with raw talent just starting out you’ll still run into the things the previous posters mentioned: illegal businesses, poor customer service, no pro grade equipment or backup gear, batched editing, and depending how long it takes the person to figure out what they actually need to charge to make any money at all you might have a very bitter photographer at your wedding, or they may just cancel the contract on you all together when they realize how severely they undercharged.
Sorry to be blunt, but reading a post like this to photographers is like saying “I am looking for some poor sap to take advantage of because they dont know the cost of doing business.” Then you’re also insulting the real pros who run legit businesses by implying that they are all OVERcharging.”
I could go on and on… and on.