I was just sitting in my office this morning, looking around the world to see if I could find some interesting articles about what I love to do — shoot weddings — and I came across an interesting article from NikkiMayDay Photography. In the article, Nikki wrote of a woman in the Puget Sound area who “was upset because she thought that $3000 for a wedding photographer was “wack” because all we do “is hang out at a wedding taking tons of photos and editing them” and that we are “making so much money its crazy.” This isn’t the first time my glances through Spokane wedding blogs has brought such concerns to my attention, but never have I responded. Since I am positive that many people feel this way in the Spokane wedding region, I am finally going to address this concern as well. I think quite eloquently too, as a matter of fact. If Spokane brides look through the listings for a Spokane wedding photographer, they will find that spending $3,000 for a good one is quite average. Nikki posted all of the expenses we, as wedding photographers, have to pay each year, which makes $3,000 per wedding seem ridiculously inexpensive when one looks at the big picture. While this is certainly one way to justify what good Spokane wedding photographers charge, from my viewpoint there is a much better way to justify our rates. Here is what I posted on Nikki’s blog:
“All of what you wrote is true. There is also another angle to look at this from. A talented, sought-after painter can paint a beautiful piece of art in a day and sell it for $50,000. It isn’t the time and effort people are paying $50,000 for. They aren’t expecting to take $10,000 off because of the type of canvas that was used. People won’t pass over the painter’s creation because they’ve learned how “easy” it was to create. They are looking at what the painter created as valuable. What he has created has artistic and emotional value, regardless of how much time and effort it took him. In fact, many painters would probably argue that creating great artwork is easy for them — it comes naturally. That makes them even more amazing. As wedding photographers, people aren’t paying us to work hard (although I know I certainly do!). They aren’t paying us because we have expenses that need paid. If you are good at what you do, you are being paid because you can give them something that they value; something that most people can’t give them. You are capturing their memories as art. That is a product that has potentially limitless value, and it certainly doesn’t depend on how expensive your monitor or your insurance is. If you’re just “hanging out at a wedding taking tons of photos and editing them,” then yeah, I would say that even $1,000 is too much. If you’re there creating magic, then $1,000 should be approaching the cost of the retainer.”
Interested in seeing the original posting? Click here: http://blog.nikkimaydayphotography.com/2012/01/26/why-wedding-photographers-prices-are-wack-erie-pa-wedding-photographer-response/#comment-1121
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