With the incredible digital technology we have at our fingertips it seems like everyone is a photographer or graphic designer these days. (And I have to say that I use my iPhone for 99% of my personal life photography!) ”You get what you pay for.” This statement is true in just about every aspect of life (expect for in some small corners of life like the cupcake lipgloss from Forever 21 that you dig out of the bin on the counter and costs a buck fifty and is in every way equivalent to my VS lipgloss that cost seven ninety5.) This stands true for photography as well and is exactly why you DON’T want to skimp on your wedding day or family reunion and spend $300 on Uncle Joe or your fiancee’s college roommate who happens to own a camera and promises to give you a disk of all of the images. (I can also guarantee that once you get the disk of images it will sit in your desk drawer after you have loaded a few photos to Facebook until disks are no longer a useable device because of our ever changing technology and then you will laugh at the fact that what you so desperately wanted (the prized disk of digital images) has become obsolete. (Ask your parents if they have a copy of the film negatives from their wedding…if they do…um, what are you going to do with them?) I also promise that an actual photo album or fabulous piece of wall art of you and your groom or children will never, ever ever become obsolete!))
I often find myself explaining to my clients the photographic process (which most find amazing especially if there is skin softening or body slimming) which gets a picture from point A (straight out of the camera) to point B (ready to hang on your wall).
This is a process. When most people think of being a photographer they think of great camera equipment with big lenses, glamorous photo shoots with assistants running around setting up lights, and the photographer constantly commenting on how gorgeous/fabulous/incredible/amazing the model/couple/wedding party is. In part this is all true except what people don’t know about is the endless hours spent staring at the computer screen late into the night. And when I say endless…I mean ENDLESS. It seems that my work is never done and there is alway one more photo to edit and one more shoot to post before I can go to sleep. That being said, my point is that when when you hire me (or any other photographer) you are not just paying for the hour and a half family shoot or the 8 hour wedding day. Here is my SHORT list of what goes into photographing your wedding and what you are paying me for:
initial emails/contact/phone calls
compiling and sending out the welcome packet and info
more emails/phone calls/answering questions
Engagement Photo Session
edit Engagement Session
FB Engagement Session
Blog Engagement Session
make & upload E session slideshow
upload E session proofs
more emails/phone calls about wedding day
possibly attend/shoot rehearsal dinner
Wedding Day shoot
edit Wedding Day photos
FB Wedding Day photos
blog Wedding Day photos
create/upload Wedding Day slideshow
cocktail viewing of photos
upload Wedding day proofs
process orders/albums etc
and the list goes on and on and on….
Of course I didn’t add in there all of the other stuff that it takes to run a business or the time spent in designing thank you’s, invitations, save-the-dates and a million other little things that goes into making your wedding photos fabulous. And naturally every wedding is slightly different but I figured it out one time and I think on one wedding I made like $6.56 an hour…but hey, I love what I do and I’d trade a fat paycheck for that any day!