Since I started getting inquiries for smaller weddings (around 30 people) I started wondering, should I really be charging less, because obviously people expect me to? Earlier in my blogs I have already spoken about the hidden work that goes on in Wedding Photography, and the reasons why wedding photography pricing is so high. When it comes down to it, it really is about the work that goes on behind the scenes.
However, when it comes down to smaller weddings, you DO have smaller family photographs to take, and you do have less candid photography to conduct, there is also less stress and less running around. As a result, it takes up less time for editing. So how much less does it really cost?
I honestly tried to do my best to do the math and I decided that if the average wedding for an Irish couple is between 80 people and 150, that pricing should really only be 10%-15% less expensive. If you read my previous blogs on the hidden work you will see that most of the work and time put into the preparation goes on before the wedding:
3hrs (meeting the couple for the first time including travel time) + 1.5hrs (post meeting work, preparing the timeline, inquiring relevant information via email) + 6hrs (engagement shoot including travel and editing) + 4hrs (location scouting including travel to and from the venue) + 5hrs (post production plus extra time if the wedding is bigger than the average) = 20.5hrs
20.5hrs plus the average wedding coverage (till dinner) 8hrs = 28.5hrs
20.5hrs plus the wedding average coverage 11hrs (till the first dance) = 31.5hrs + (extra time for post production)
That is a week's worth of work for a normal full timer. (plus blogging, accounts, networking, upskilling every day 9-5!)
So as you can see from an average wedding on an average cover the work amounts to 28.5hrs. If the wedding is smaller, the only thing that is being cut down on time, is the editing time at most by 1hr. I agree that on the acutal wedding day it is less stressful and more relaxed and as a result you can get a shorter coverage (by 1hr or 2hrs at most). Therefore a photographer in actual reality SHOULD charge less but not by much. You wouldn't expect a half price for a small wedding, not from a full time professional anyway!
I hope this helps to put things into perspective and really think about the work that goes into your wedding to really make the most of it.
And if you are a professional, please share the article with others, because people are looking for discounts not solely because they want to save money, but because they don't really know the reality of our jobs. Sure, no one has ever told them, why should they?