"This depends on so many factors. Experience, how many shooters and team members, how many images are delivered, do they edit every image and deliver those with no additional fees or just select a certain amount to edit and deliver, do they include Bridals and Engagements, are they shooting with gear capable of capturing images of great quality in low light??? So many variables!
I shoot with no less than 3 on my team for Photo, and no less than 5 for Photo and Video. 14 years experience, Bridals, and Engagements included in all packages and NO trashed images. Every image fully edited and delivered.
I legitimately can not do what I do and to the extent that I do it and work for less money than what I charge. Many would be surprised at how little an hour I make when you factor in all my time that goes into every wedding. Client Consultations, creating their timelines, shot list, vision boards for their weddings, hours on the wedding day, and after. This does not include all the overhead going out paying for my team of professionals, investing in professional gear, marketing, printed product displays, expos and more.
This is my full-time job and has to be in order to be able to do it to deliver the services and product that I deliver to my clients. I can not shoot weddings, put all the time into each and every client, editing them and do everything for my clients that I do if I had a separate full-time job to support me.
This all is very important to understand when booking services. ANY SERVICE.
Are there those that do Photography for less? Yes! Are there those out there that are ridiculously priced? YES! You have to determine what is important to you and better yet understand what and why you are paying for that service.
There are people who have full-time jobs and shoot on the side. They therefore edit and take care of their clients “on the side". They don't have the experience shooting events and low light weddings consistently, nor have investments in the proper professional team or gear to do so. There are some that don’t pay out to have 2 professional shooters or people to help them to be able to capture literally events moment of the day. I don't pay for amateurs. That's a risk some are willing to take to get a cheaper service.
I hire professionals and pay them a professional wage. I invest in professional gear that is capable of shooting in low light or no light environments. Let me put this in perspective. On a Wedding day, the gear I literally have on my body alone (Flashes, batteries, lenses, and cameras) cost me about $13,000. That doesn't include all the backup cameras, batteries, lights, and gear in my bag. The average life of a Professional camera is 100,000 clicks before it starts lagging and working as quickly and proficiently as it should. For me, that is about every 3 years. There are also some cheaper photographers that just put in a smaller amount of time editing and either trash or just don’t deliver all the images. this saves time in the post process but also results in delivering far fewer images to the client, or worse, in my opinion, images that are not finished. I guarantee in a contract that you will get all your images, fully edited and delivered to perfection.
This is the client's choice. Are all of those things important to you and therefore worth the price?
I am honest with my pricing. I’m not out to price gouge anyone but I also know what I have to make to do what I do. I also understand everyone has "a budget". I get that! That is why I have a payment plan specifically designed for each client's budget. This is a monthly plan. My "monthly" paycheck, if you will. I do not charge more than I myself and middle-income citizen of America would be able to afford and that's why I work for far less money per hour than most do. Simply because I myself could not afford more than what I am charging but certainly can't work for less.
In the end, my clients see my value and at the end of the day are so appreciative of everything I do for them for their price point. They see my work ethic, the amount I pour into their wedding and how hard we work capturing their wedding day. This shows by my rate of return clients and clients that consistently refer all their friends and family. I still have clients that regularly see me from that very first year I went "Professional" back in 2006. That means the world to me! I truly love and appreciate all those that can see past the "sticker price" and understand the value of what I am giving them and why I am priced where I am. No, I am not the cheapest, but I am honest, and fair in my price points and go above and beyond anyone I know in my service of business."- Brittney Wesley