Why is wedding photography so expensive (the never mentioned reason)

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on March 23, 2012

 

The least mentioned (or hidden) reason why wedding photography is so expensive is...

because there are people willing to pay the price

There are many valid reasons explaining the price of wedding photography. No sane wedding photographer would ever put this in writing, but one the seldom cited reason for the pricing is the effect from the law of supply and demand.


Knowing that no bride will want to go on the most important day of her life without a professional photographer immortalizing the moments, the wedding photography industry has self regulated to a point where their price represent a few weeks of salary for most people.  As long as photographers have a full scheduled agenda of work, they have no reason to lower their prices. In fact, they may actually raise their fees.




The real problem with wedding photography is that the price doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of the service and work of the photographer.

A photographer whose price is too high is not likely going to get much business anyways, forcing them to lower their prices.


Anyone can claim to be a wedding photographer. If you feel like it, you too can go and buy an expensive camera, sneak in a few weddings to take a few nice pictures, claim yourself to be a wedding photographer and charge for your services. If you feel particularly confident (or arrogant) you can even charge the same prices as an experienced photographer (often a small fortune).


Aside from unqualified people entering the industry, there are also a ton of professional photographers who do weddings only to make ends meet. Their real aspiration is to be hired by a big magazine like National Geographic or Sports Illustrated’s (presumably to work on the swimsuit edition ;) ). Without the proper attitude and motivation, most of their work is mediocre. Unfortunately for the customer, there are no price adjustments for missed shots, amateurish techniques and clumsy service. And there certainly is no chance for retakes.

Many inadequate wedding photographers compare themselves with the top ones and base their price on what the market rates are and purposely keep their prices high because demand exists to sustain their business. Why is demand there? Because in many case, the customer doesn’t know any better.



To make sure you get your money’s worth: Educate Yourself!

Most people have very little knowledge of photography in general, making it very difficult for potential customers to judge the value of what they are getting. To make things more difficult, there are intangibles factors to take into consideration, like the prestige, the services offered and artistic skills of the photographer.


It would certainly help the customer to make their choice if they knew what they should be looking for when searching for a suitable wedding photographer. Basic knowledge of photography can help people adequately compare prices between photographers, which in turn will hopefully force inadequate wedding photographers to increase skills levels and services offered in order to give a fair product for the amount of money asked...