This was a question I always wondered… sometimes I still wonder. As far as cost goes, our wedding photography and videography is one of the cheapest QUALITY options. There are quite a few rookie people out there who will do it for cheaper or free, but it’s usually because they aren’t any good and can’t get anyone to hire them. So here are 4 reasons wedding photography costs what it does.
Wedding photography is incredibly stressful
Not just for you two. A good wedding photographer or wedding videographer will take his or her job very seriously, and that involves a lot of stress. If we don’t get that moment, if we don’t capture that smile, there’s no going back. You can’t ask for a redo of an entire wedding. On something like an engagement shoot, the environment is controlled, and you can ask for things or rearrange flashes. Not at a wedding.
Wedding photography in Los Angeles requires EXPERIENCE
Going off of number 1, weddings are NOT a good place to practice if you’re an amateur, unless you’re just a second shooter and not responsible to get the right shot the first time. So every time you hire a good wedding photographer, you have the benefit of years of practice. A good photographer knows what to do, where to stand, what to say, what settings to use, how to effectively use light in flattering ways, etc. That’s something you get from experience and education. You don’t just wake up one day and decide to pick up a camera and shoot a wedding.
It’s not just a good camera. You can get crappy photos out of a $10,000 camera, just like you can get decent photos off a less-quality camera if you’re a good photographer. Believe me, I teach photography, haha.
It requires preparation (and work afterwards)
When you hire a good photographer, they’ve usually already spent time promoting their business to the point where you can find them. They’ve spent hours quoting on jobs and fine-tuning their portfolio. And after you hire them, they spend time planning with you, checking out the location, etc. We’ve already mentioned weddings are super stressful. I am on my feet the whole day. I triple-check equipment, because there is NO re-shooting a wedding. I set up lights, change lenses based on the situation, move people to get the best light, and do my very best to create the best images possible, art, out of an event. And after the wedding, I spend a lot of time in the editing room.
It requires an investment to be a wedding photographer in Los Angeles
Our last camera cost over $3,000, and that was without any lenses. Good lenses can cost around $1,000 each. And that doesn’t even count the investment of time and energy a photographer takes to learn their craft well and educate themselves.
Hope this helps you understand a little more! One of the reasons we are a little cheaper than most is that, as professional freelancers, this is just one of many streams of revenue we have. We do weddings because we like them, they aren’t our primary source of income.
Mercy Hasselblad is a freelancer and wedding photographer in Los Angeles, CA. She loves to help people and capture their special moments. Her motto is: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.