Duy and Nichole are finally married after two years of engagement and planning! And you can definitely see it all in the way the everything went down – oh so smoothly. Having every desired detail nailed down helps tremendously in reducing the stress of the wedding day off of the couple. And it totally shows in the pictures! I love it!
I’ve been meaning to write something about this since forever. From among the couples who decide to not book me for their wedding, most, if not all, of them decided to go with another photographer due to lower price. I always refuse, however, to get sucked into that competition. I have always been told that no matter how low I take my rates, there is always someone whose rate is lower.
Why does wedding photography have to cost so much? Does a 5-hour wedding coverage involve just that – 5 hours of work? Let’s take a look at what goes into a 5-hour wedding coverage, shall we?
Every business, not just photography, has what is called the “Cost of Doing Business” or CDB. Simply put, this is what it costs for you to operate for an hour. As such, it is an average cost composed of your operational expenses – time, rent, utilities, depreciation, etc. Ok, so to start with, let’s say our fictional CDB is $30/hour.
As an example let’s take a fictional $2000 wedding package that also includes some products. So theoretically, the photographer is making $400/hour, right? Well, I wish. Actually, let’s take a closer look…
First, let’s take a look at what goes into an initial consult meeting with a potential client. Before we can book a wedding for a particular date, we’ll have to meet with 2-3 couples for about a couple of hours each. Add to that an hour for travel time, an hour of prep time for each meeting (including phone calls and email time to set up the meeting), and another hour of work after each meeting to followup with the client. At the end of the day, this adds up to 12 hours already.
Now comes time to shoot the wedding. You’ll probably spend an hour planning the shoot, plus an hour preparing your gear the day before. Let’s not forget a couple of hours for scouting the venue/s. On the day of, let’s just say you travel a total of an hour, then shoot for 5 hours. After you get back, take an hour to download and backup all the images. If you’re super efficient in post-processing, let’s just say you spend an hour to post-process for each hour of shooting, but usually, it takes more than that. And then add to that a couple of hours for designing the album, an hour for revisions and getting the album design approved.
So here’s what we have so far:
Booking – 12
Plan shoot – 1
Prep gear – 1
Scout venues – 2
Travel to event – 1
Wedding – 5
Download and backup – 1
Post-processing – 5
Album design – 2
Revisions and approval – 1
Total: 31 hours
Now a thing to remember here is that these hours are all conservative estimates. For example, the events we shoot are almost always more than just a half hour away. So this means a 5-hour wedding is most likely more than just 31 hours of work.
So our fictional $2000 wedding coverage for a 5-hour wedding means the photographer is getting paid $64/hour. Now let’s say that the products included cost the photographer $500, that further translates the effective photographer rate down to $48/hour.
Remember our fictional CDB? That’s right – after taking away the cost of doing business, how much do we have left? Now that’s not much of a profit left after expenses, isn’t it?
This news literally makes me sick to my stomach.
Though I don’t support abortion, I do understand why some women would want the right to have it if they wish. However, when a baby is born alive, that makes it a totally different story. I’m sorry to say, this is just totally inhuman.
It’s just crazy to think that while some people fiercely fight for humane treatment of animals and a lot of people applaud them for what they do, you also hear stories like this where people treat human babies a million times worse than animals. These people now don’t even seem to consider a baby born alive to be human?! What in the world?!
I’m sorry, but if the baby comes out of the womb alive, that’s a living, breathing person. And from what I have learned on human rights, our rights stop where another person’s rights start.