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Photography Is a Small Business.
Besides the expense of actual photography equipment, photographers are paying for the same bills that your hairdresser and mechanic pay.
Self-employed tax, National insurance, liability and insurance, etc.
Unlike your mechanic, there are often “seasons” for photography. Wedding photographers are busiest during the warmer months, and often book very few, if any, jobs during the winter where outdoor portrait sessions are often limited by the weather.
The photographer that you thought was making a fortune is probably earning an average wage. Many of us work other jobs or work in different areas of photography to make ends meet, and the ones that don’t are charging well above my charge for a one-hour session.
Photography Is More Than Just the Camera
Yes, you can probably get photos for under my hourly charge by walking into a department store. But here’s the thing—I’ve seen the staff recruiting adverts for these types of businesses, it’s the same as the company who take the school photographs, they state no photography experience necessary in their adverts. Why? because every photo looks the same.
These companies don’t hire photographers, they hire people with sales experience; the idea is that you walk in the door for a £ special offer and walk out spending £200 in an up=sell of prints and extras.
When you hire a photographer, you hire an artist. Chances are, they’ve spent years perfecting their craft. They’ve invested a lot of money in learning how to take beautiful images, we are going to put time and effort into helping you relax and smile—not rushing you through a session and then spending twice as much time convincing you to buy the framed, super-deluxe matt print for only an extra £30.
What if you Don’t Hire a Professional Photographer?
I believe that everyone should take photos, whether it’s of their own children growing up or the places they travel too. I think you should carry a camera with you everywhere, and with mobile phones, we do. But, there’s a big difference between a casual snapshot and a professional image.
When you hire a professional photographer, you’re getting an artist who knows just how to light the scene, how to help you pose. You’re getting a photograph that, because it was taken with a professional camera and not your smartphone camera, can be reprinted onto a large canvas. And because you hired an artist, you’ll actually want to.
When you hire a professional wedding photographer, you get images that are just as beautiful as the memories you have of that day. You get a permanent record of all the elements you put into your day.
Memories you get are worth getting a pro.
Photography is expensive—but so is not hiring a professional.
I understand, when you are paying for caterers and bands and flowers, it’s hard to see that wedding photography price sheet. But you know what my wife and I still have left from my wedding day? The photos and our wedding rings. Her dress is collecting dust in the loft somewhere, a small box of the dried bouquet, an invitation and a cufflink; a cufflink.
Good photography is expensive—but it’s expensive on both sides. Photographers spend thousands on gear and expenses, often sacrifice their weekends and spend many more hours than the time you actually see them shooting. It’s easy to look at a photography price sheet and picture photographers around the world living in luxury mansions. But, in reality, much of that cost is going towards expenses.
I pride myself in not just taking photos of who is at your wedding; but of capturing the mood, the colours, the details and the flavour of your day. If I could do it for free I probably would… but those f2.8, 70-200mm lenses that provide that lovely shallow depth of field and swirly out of focus background you love just don’t grow on trees.