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Sunday, 7 March 2010

Why is professional wedding photography so expensive…?

Why is professional wedding photography so expensive…?
This is a question that clients, friends and clients who have became friends often ask me. The initial enquiry from brides and grooms for their special day wedding photography often consists of looking for everything they dream of having but sometimes the reality of budget sconstraints change the reality and the final service request is significantly different. Somewere within this process is usually where this eternal question arises.
Obvously for me, knowing the 50+ hours that go into producing the wedding photographs from the first meeting to the image delivery, I feel that wedding photography, that’s Professional Wedding Photography is priced well and as the market dictates.
Aproximately 2 years ago I was approached by a couple about to begin with their wedding planning who wanted to contract my services. After some email and telephone communication we met for coffee and to talk about the finer points of the event and tie up all the details before the final price was presented to them.

In this case, as in all cases I used my trusted custom writen computer software to price the work. Using this computer program ensure consistency from client to client and accurate and fair price changes for clients who re-design there wedding photography package requirements. So….after presenting the price the grooms bottom jaw slid slowly in the direction of the floor… He said WHAT! And preceeded to inform me that they had spoken to 3 other photographers who were half and less than half my price. (YAWN …Heard it all before)..Anyhooo I was very intrested to hear more from the groom to assist me on getting the laymens view on this so I began to dig a little deeper.
After about 45 mins of explaining the difference between wedding photographers, professional wedding photographers and Qualified Professional Wedding Photographers with insurance for event restage incase of problems, liability insurance and blah blah blah he kinda got it, but could not swallow the price tag pill.
I thought…you know….if the amatuers and hobby photographers who step into the wedding photography business either by accident or by chance can charge minimum $1000 dollars then surely the Pros like myself with 20 years actual shooting experience and over 7 years of university education on the subject can surely justify the higher price. Maybe if the newbie and wannie-be wedding photographers of this planet charged their clients based on their experience then the price of professional wedding photography would come down.
In closing, My mind is set that the price of wedding photography is dictated by how much the underqualified and fly by night make shift “I’m a wedding photographer”types decide to charge…from this the true professonals decide how much more a client should pay to receive their work.
Now when a client tells me my price is X amount of times more expensive than another photographer, then I know I am that same X amount of times more qualified to provide that client with what they need to satisfy them with what they want and I thank them for the compliment.
SO… Why is professional wedding photography so expensive…? Ask the weekend wedding photographer…not the Pros!

Gardner Hamilton
Tel (0056-9) 9-992 9508
Facebook “Gardner WeddingPhotographer Hamilton”

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