Showing respect for the hidden work that I do
At one of my meetings with a couple last Sunday, I got asked, why do I charge the amount that I charge for wedding photography services? As soon as I heard that question I got so excited that I said I wish everyone asked that question. It was as if someone was finally acknowledging my work and the effort that goes into it. Hoooraaay I thought to myself and was excited explain why wedding photography prices vary on average in Ireland between €1000 and €2000.
It's not just about the coverage of the day. It's not just about 6-11 hours. It's way more than that.
Reason no. 1
Meeting the couple for the first time. (3hrs) Travel time that requires to meet the couple half way plus an hour for the meeting. This is the most nerve-wracking process as I get to meet my potential clients and it really feels like a first date. I gotta be natural and I gotta make sure we are a good fit which is quite hard at times when I'm not booking as much as I'd like to.
Reason no. 2
When the meeting is finally over and the couple books me, there is the time management process. (1.5hrs) I create a personal timeline of the day so that we have the same expectations of what is to be covered and the importance of being on time in the morning. The correspondence between me and the client on that subject can go on more than one occasion.
Reason no. 3
The engagement shoot. (3hrs+2hrs+1hr) I stress the importance of the engagement shoot because it really makes a difference on the day of the wedding. It'll be easier for my couples to work with me as it will be for me to work with my couples since we'll be more acquainted by that time. So the preparation tips for the shoot will take 1hr of my time. The shoot itself will take 3hrs including travel time and shooting time. The editing time will include 2hrs.
Reason no. 4
Location scouting. (2.5hrs+1.5hrs +....) I always, always, always check the location of the church and the venue. Usually the venues are around 1-2 hours away from where I'm based and the church is about 30mins away from the venue. So I check out the church first, then I travel from the church to the venue so that I'm familiar with the route and that I'm not stressed out about getting lost on my way to the venue on the day of the wedding. When I get to the venue I create a shot map for the pictures considering the time of the year, sunlight and other details that can affect the natural light photography. So it ads up to another 4hrs sometimes more.
Reason no. 5
The post production. (5hrs + ) Post production is all about going through the images and colour correcting them according to my shooting style.
Reason no. 6
My daily 9 - 5 job. Social media, marketing, networking, education, taxes, accounts, SEO and more... Everyday 9.30am - 5pm. (7.5hrs) That's the result of us sitting down for a coffee with my clients and talk about their wedding!
3hrs (meeting) + 1.5hrs (post meeting) + 6hrs (engagement shoot) + 4hrs (location scouting) + 5hrs (post production) = 20.5hrs
20.5hrs plus the wedding coverage 8hrs = 28.5hrs
20.5hrs plus the wedding coverage 11hrs = 31.5hrs + (extra time for post production)
On average a wedding photographer should spend 30hrs of their time per wedding (now some spend 20hrs and there can be various reasons for that). If a photographer is unable to explain the algorithm of their process and how they calculate their time, it's a reason for concern as you should know exactly where you are investing your wedding budget in the long run!
And thank you again, my dear couple, for asking me about what makes up my price!