There’s a growing trend amongst brides and grooms and it’s rather frightening; most of these soon-to-be-wed couples often are completely oblivious to the value of the services they are receiving and quite often shop around based on price alone (and not quality).
When you’re unaware of the true value of a product (and have no idea what amount of work goes into it) it’s easy to then propogate rumours and false tales about “wedding markups” which creates a slippery slope and lowering of the bar of quality within the wedding industry.
My blog post today is about the cost of wedding photography; I want to show you what a professional photographer has to take into account when they are setting their prices for their services. I don’t expect anyone who is reading this to automatically change their budget – I simply want to throw this out there for people to read and gain a little perspective… this is my attempt as ridding the world of the “you charge how much for 1-day of work” statement!!
All of these things so into the cost of a photography package:
- HST (or whatever your state/province’s taxes are)
- Income tax (about 30% of the total amount goes to federal income tax in Ontario)
- Professional insurances (liability insurances, etc.)
- Camera Equipment (this includes upgrades, repairs and rentals)
- Computer Equipment (including upgrades and repairs)
- Web Hosting (it costs money to keep that pretty website up and running)
- Internet and Phone connections (being connected 24/7 comes at a cost)
- Travel expenses (gas to get to and from events and meetings, car payments, insurances)
- Office Equipment (paper, ink cartridges, postage, etc.)
- Bank Fees (monthly fees from the banks, although small, must be factored into a proper business plan!)
- Benefits (gotta buy your own plan if you’re working for yourself!)
For larger studios with multiple employees, they also need to factor in:
- Studio rental/mortgage
- Staff wages
Not into reading? No worries… here’s a graphic for you….
So after ALL of those things are considered…. then the photographer can keep what’s leftover as their profit! The portion they have chosen for their profit is based on their financial needs for sustainable living as well as their self-worth and this will vary from photographer to photographer but aside from a few who are outliers, it’s a pretty consistent ball park. Very few photographers drive around in Ferrari’s and sip on Dom Perignon simply because of what they are charging their clients. (I’m not dying that some might… I’m speaking of the average.)
So why do some photographers seem too ‘cheap’ compared to others?
It’s simple: they are not running a legitimate, legal or sustainable business. They are cutting corners simply to compete on price (instead of competing on quality). In my opinion, a bride and groom should never, ever, put their trust in someone to capture the one-time events of their wedding day to a person who isn’t running a legal and sustainable business. I can’t image how horrified a bride and groom would be if they found out that their photographer went out of business after their wedding and they never got their final images – and yes, it has happened… just Google it.
The cost of wedding photography varies based on a multitude of factors and ultimately, it’s the bride and groom’s choice as to whether or not they want to invest in quality or choose their photographer based on price alone. Your wedding photos shouldn’t have to cost you the equivalent of the cost of a small car but more often than not, quality does come at a slightly higher price point than those photographers who cut corners. When budgeting for your wedding, always keep in mind that your wedding photographs are the only investment you’ll make for your wedding day that will actually increase over time.