I've been feeling recently that I have to justify myself and my prices. It can be a bit difficult doing it individually without causing offense or sounding patronising or condescending or argumentative. So here it is. Please don't take offense...
£1100 for a wedding album?!
Well yes. But also no. What many people don't understand is the time it takes to get to delivering your wedding album. Before you've even booked me I've probably spent an hour or 2 talking to you at your house or in my studio. Before the wedding I've been to see you again, usually at the venue(s). On the day itself I might be with the bride from 10am and won't leave until the speeches are over which can be 7 or 8pm. For those not counting we're up to 12 hours already! After the day (while you're on honeymoon) I then edit the pictures. Every single picture has some work done to it even if it's a little bit of cropping. That can be another 5 or 6 hours. When you've chosen your photos I then have the album and thank you cards to design and order. There goes another 4 hours! Totalling all that a wedding can take me between 20 and 24 hours. Factor in the cost of the preview book, album and cards as well and it's easy to see why wedding photographers charge what they do. In fact I might put my prices up!
Yes you can. So why do I charge £15? Your photo, whether framed or not realistically doesn't cost me what I sell it for. But what business out there doesn't make a profit? None. None that are still trading anyway... Retailers typically sell items for 3 times what they buy them for. Restaurants generally quadruple the cost of the ingredients. Why? There are many more costs than just the product. A (good, professional, legal, responsible) photographer has a lot of expenses not directly associated with your pictures. For example - studio costs, equipment, insurance, advertising, travel, etc... Then there's the time again. Including the shoot, the editing, the presentation, the re-editing, the ordering and finally the delivery, there can be 6 hours of work involved in your photos!
So please don't be offended by any of this, but please don't tell me (or any other photographers) that we're expensive. We're just trying to make a living and it ain't easy sometimes!