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Why do Photographers/Videographer cost so much?

As a new Bride you may be wondering why photography and videography costs so much.  What many don’t understand is that there is a lot more then you see on the surface that goes into making your photographs look great.

First lets start with equipment, photography equipment is extremely expensive.  The cameras we hold can cost anywhere from $1000-$5000 each and we have to have 2-3 of them to get multiple angles and have one for back up just in case something happens during your wedding. Then we have to have lens. If you are a prime shooter like most wedding photographers you have to have a 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 135mm, 70-200mm, a macro, etc. the list can go on.  Each of these lens cots on average $2000-$3000 per lens and we will use them all at your wedding.  Then to have bright looking photographs we have to have flash equipment and a stand which costs around $600 per flash and we need at least 3-4 of them.  Then we have to have lots of memory cards which can cost around $300.

Second lets talk about editing and storing those images and video files.  To edit photographs and videos you need many different adobe products like lightroom, photoshop, after effects, etc. and also programs like aperture and final cut pro for mac users.  All of these cost money.  You also have to have a nice computer to be able to handle all of the work too.  Then there is storage.  We have to back up everything at least twice and put the back ups in different locations meaning that we have to purchase lots of external hard drives especially since raw footage takes up so much space.

Third lets talk about websites and client sites.  The main site can cost up to $100 a year and so can the client site.  then we have to pay for domain names on top of that and sot he list of expenses keeps growing. 

Forth lets talk about taxes.  We have to pay Federal, State, Social Security, Unemployment, VA Sales Taxes, and even property taxes on our equipment.  That’s a lot of taxes!

Fifth and lastly lets talk about the photographers/videographers and the time they put into editing everything.  When taxes come out we loose almost 40% of what you pay us to taxes.  So if we charge $1000 we are really only getting $600.  Now most people think we show up photograph a wedding for one day and that’s it. Well we end up spending another 40+ hours editing those images, posting them to the client site, and creating slideshows, etc.  Most of us only shoot with 2 photographers so then that money split by 2. 

So the next time you wonder why photography is so expensive think about this if they charge $1000-taxes=$600-expenses per wedding=$400/2 photographers=$200 each for 40-70 hours of work.

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