What to Consider Before Hiring a Photographer?
Have you ever heard that old saying, “you get what you pay for?” In some instances this is true while others it is debatable. I hear so many brides and grooms that come to our studio without having first educated themselves on the process of planning a wedding. Especially, what they should expect to pay for a wedding photographer and or crew. Here are a few considerations before you might say, “hey that is way to expensive to pay for a photographer.”
Let’s get this notion out of the way first, “I am just paying for someone who can take pictures.” Hey these days everyone seems to have a camera, heck your friends brother would probably shoot your wedding for free. But let’s break down what you truly are paying for when hiring a professional photography studio and a team.
- Years of experience
- Hundreds of hours of education by some of the most prestigious photographers in the industry
- Thousands of dollars in camera equipment, lenses, batteries, lighting, memory cards and backup equipment
- Backup drives to house all your precious wedding files
- Insurance in case and God forbid that something terrible takes place on your wedding day
- Computers and needed software to process your images and store them
- Online private photo ordering systems
- Wedding photography consultations – meeting with clients and getting to know them personally so we can deliver the best final product to them
- Helping our clients feel relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera
- Coordinating wedding day timelines, activities, family formals, first looks or reveals
- Possible conflict management with assorted vendors, bridal party or family issues – we always want to make sure everyone has an amazing experience
- Studio expenses
- Advertising costs
- Internet and telecommunications
- Website – hosting costs
- Income and sales tax
- Transportation fees
- Hotel accommodations if needed
- Business License
- Equipment replacement fund
- Equipment maintenance, repairs and cleaning
- Wages for second shooter, videographer and any assistances as required
- Photography guild association fees
- Wedding products such as: albums, canvas, photo memory boxes, fine art books, metal prints, USB flash drives for digital files, photo montage DVD’s
- Wedding album design
- Photoshop touch ups
- Studio management
- Writing contracts and proposal
- Planning business marketing strategies
- Location scouting or pre-inspection of wedding day venues
- Permit or permission approval for certain locations
- Crew member staffing and scheduling
- Not to mention: a living wage so the photographer can pay for food, housing and all other living expenses
- Also an eye for art in mandatory
- They don’t get paid for vacation or sick leave. No bonuses for outstanding performances or for holidays. They don’t have insurance plans or any benefits and 35% of their profit goes straight to taxes.
Do you still think that hiring a professional photographer is still too expensive? Or would you appreciate the ease of mind knowing that your precious memories are in safe and capable hands. The moral of the story: If you hire a family friend with a camera and no experience or a cheap photographer who is not established in the industry, don’t be surprised when they deliver terrible photos that you can’t use! My motto is better for your memories to be safe then for you to be sorry and sad about a day that can never be repeated!
To any other photographers out there you are welcome to add to this list in comments below.