Wedding photographer defends ‘expensive’ fees

Wedding photo copyright Tanya.K cc2

Anybody who is planning to get married will be only too aware of how easy it is for costs to spiral out of control as you prepare for your big day.

Weddings are big business and it seems that everybody wants as big a piece of the pie as they can possibly get.
How can people possibly charge so much for things such as wedding flowers, a wedding band or even a wedding photographer. Surely they’re all trying to fleece us right?
Wedding photo copyright Tanya.K cc2
Well one brave photographer has written an open letter to explain why people are charged so much for their wedding photographs – and that the cost is not actually all that much, considering all the work that goes into producing them.
Ruth Medjber is a freelance wedding photographer. She is fed up with people looking so horrified when she quotes them a fee of around €1,500.
As she points out, there is a lot more to her job than simply turning up on the day, taking a few snaps and then heading off, laughing all the way to the bank.
Her day begins earlier than anybody’s and she is there throughout the ceremony in the church, at the venue for the wedding reception, all day and all night. She then has to go away and spend days doing the unseen work – editing and creating the perfect wedding albums.
She also has considerable expenses that she needs to cover and due to the real amount of work involved in every wedding, she can only do a few every month.
Have a look at what she had to say:
“Someone slightly had a bit of a go at me last night. They’re getting married and in the middle of pricing photographers. They’ve been getting quotes off a load of people and told me that they’re “disgusted” with how much photographers charge. When I told them I was a photographer, they asked how much I charge. And again, they were disgusted (almost comically). “How can you charge over a grand for one days work?” they shrieked at me. Well I figure a lot of people might be thinking the same thing so I’m going to publicly post my response.
“A wedding is NOT just one day. There’s the pre wedding emails, let’s say about 8 of them (all long and personally tailored) so an hours work minimum. There’s the cups of tea and wedding chats meetings, probably about two of these at an hour each. A wedding will normally start about 7am for me if I’m to be with bride at 9am. Then the ceremony, the photo session and the candid shots. I literally don’t sit down until the first dance is captured. That could be 10pm (so far I’m on 18hours). THEN comes the other bit that people forget, the editing! Even if I’m just sorting the images it takes ages. On average I’m spending 7 hours a day, over 3 days on one wedding. If they want an actual album I need to go buy it (add another hour) and then assemble it digitally (add another 4 hours) and physically (3 hours). Running total: 47 hours. So if I’m charging €1500 for a wedding, that’s €31 an hour. NOW, don’t forget to factor in my overheads. Parking for the day, €25, Petrol: average €50, Car insurance (€45 p/m), business insurance (public liability, otherwise your pretty venue won’t let me shoot) (€65), car tax (€35 p/m). Camera and Lenses Loan repayment (my gear needs updating every few years (€65 p/m). College tuition repayment and additional training (You want a qualified photographer right?) (€15 p/m). Lets take these monthly figures and divide by 3, as I could fit 3 weddings per month. So €150 overheads. Meaning I now get €28 per hour. Still not taking into account my food on the day, my time booking hotels, my advertising budget, my accountancy costs, tax (which is a chunk in itself) or any of that.
“So yea, I work my butt off. It might sound like a lot of money for “one days work”… but trust me, your photographer will be the hardest working person at your wedding, with the longest hours and the biggest stress level. But we’ll always be the happiest person in the room, who you can rely on to catch the little moments that you’ll treasure forever, long after the flowers have wilted and cocktails are downed! I love shooting weddings, they’re fun and challenging and you can really give a couple a great gift at the end of it all. I am most certainly not in it for the money…as id be better off working in any other industry if that were the case.
“And id just like to give a shout out to all the wedding bands. Last night the couple said to me that “the wedding band are only charging €1900”…lads, you guys need to fill me in, I have no idea how you can make that work for 4 or 5 of you!!!”