Why so Expensive?!
Wedding photographers come under a lot of flack regarding the prices we charge, you will see on many bridal forums there are the posts asking why when some photographers charge £400 for a days coverage, some are charging upwards of £3000?
There are many factors for this. The lower end price bracket are likely to be new wedding photographers looking to get a portfolio together, or those who do it as a part time job — nothing wrong with either of these, however you are unlikely to receive the same quality of image from a £400 photographer as you would a higher end one, due to many factors, one being equipment. Most professional level SLR camera bodies start around £1500+, and the professional level lenses are (dependant on the type of lens) around each around the same bracket. Then there is the cost of memory cards, backup storage units, flashguns etc, not to mention the fact that most professional wedding photographers will carry multiple camera bodies and lenses, and it all very quickly starts to add up. There is then the cost of insurance (which is another thing worth checking out about a potential photographer — professional indemnity insurance covers if anything should happen to the images and public liability ensures your guests are insured if they trip up over a tripod or walk in to the camera).
When you consider that the average 10 hour wedding will yield the photographer 500—1000 images or more, this is a lot of time spent developing each and every one.
Wedding photographers not only work tirelessly on your wedding day, but will also spend a lot of time after the wedding putting the images through a ‘digital darkroom’ process where they can process them to black and white, and develop the images. When you consider that the average 10 hour wedding will yield the photographer 500—1000 images or more, this is a lot of time spent developing each and every one.
You will find cheaper photographers will hand you the photos from the day, virtually unprocessed or batch processed (i.e. one click to change 100+ photos to a standard greyscale image), burn it on to a DVD and pop it in the post to you. It is also worth noting that some photographers have two photographers so you get shots of the bride and the groom getting ready independently which gives a great story of the day when looking back at them. This also means you get all the key moments captured from two different angles giving a great narrative of the day. Be aware if your chosen photographer operates in this way, as you may initially think they are more expensive than the other options, but you are getting twice the coverage.
Photography may seem as simple as pointing and clicking, but a professional wedding photographer will need to understand composition, lighting conditions and how best to use them, the correct exposures to use in every situation, thoroughly know and understand how to use their equipment inside and out, and manage all of this whilst anticipating who will be doing what next, and where they need to be to capture it.