First of all, let me be honest: this subject makes my arm hairs rise (that’s, of course, if I haven’t shaved them arms in a while:P). It’s one of those annoying questions that you’d do anything to never ever hear again. Why? Because it’s tacky. Because it should be rhetorical. Because it should go without saying, wedding photography is expensive because it’s wedding photography.
Because it’s a luxury.
I’m not even gonna bother to fill your mind with numbers, to throw details at you about the thousands of euros that we gotta cough up in order for our business to work; I won’t be showing you my tax returns and will not cheapen my work by naming every single hour of work that goes into the services I’m providing.
So here’s my view on this:
Weddings are expensive. Of course, they are expensive because people make them so. They could always pay up a few hundred dollars to the marriage officiant and get their marriage certificate in a jiff. No fuss, no muss. But people want weddings, they want receptions, dresses, shoes and fancy dinners. And that’s gonna cost you. You’re gonna save up every cent so you can have those centerpieces you’ve been dreaming of and you’ll be pinning every picture of the Vera Wang’s new gown collection. Of course, you’ll dream of the perfect photographer to capture all those amazing moments and all the luxurious items that you’ve invested in your wedding.
And here’s the thing about all those luxurious items that you’ve invested every cent in: they will fade. Your makeup will be removed the morning after (cause, who’s gonna have the energy to do that after the party?), your hair will be slept on, the flowers will wilt in a few days, the food and drinks will be ingested greedily, the music will become an annoying ringing in your ears when you get to the quiet of your hotel room and your wedding dress will never be worn again. And you’ve spent a ton of money on all this, you’ve saved for months (or years) for something that will fade in a day.
This alone, makes the question “why is wedding photography so expensive?” absolutely nonsensical to me because, while everything else fades away, photography only gains. It’s the photographs that will remain and whose value will only increase in time. They’ll be reminding you of every detail of that day for years to come and this is what differentiates the true, necessary costs, from the impractical expenses. This is what should put photography on the top of your list, because this is what will stay with you forever, making this your best investment yet.
One other thing you pay for when you hire a wedding photographer? You pay for their brand. You might’ve heard the two styles that often define the way photographers run their business: supermarket or boutique style. You go to a supermarket, you’ll get in and out with what you went looking for, you’ll find almost everything you can possibly need AND for as little money as you’d like. But you won’t get dedication. You won’t get real, true interest. When you go to a boutique, however, you’re in for an experience. The customer service will be lovely and will make you feel special, they will show a real interest in you and you’ll not only be buying a product, but a whole story, exclusivity, and timeless design.
And this, paired with the practical reason of having good photographs for the rest of your life, is the real reason why you’re paying so much money on your wedding photographer. You pay for tangible memories, you pay for a luxury, you pay for an experience. And I hope you’ll make your choice based on that and not numbers!:)
p.s. If you’d like to read a photographer’s view on how and how NOT to choose your wedding photographer, I’ve written a blog post that might give you some insight! Check it out HERE!