Maine wedding photographers Blossom & Pine Media capture amazing coastal Maine engagement session at sunset in Cape Elizabeth.

Hey lovelies! After chatting with some brides during consults and hearing feedback from other local wedding professionals, I’ve decided to write a short blog post that might help explain the cost of wedding photography. It’s not a secret, and I pinky swear we aren’t throwing random fees in there to go vacation in Cabo! So if you’re wondering just why wedding photography can seem expensive, here’s a peek into the mystical world of professional wedding photographers.

Let’s just get right to it…Here’s what factors into your wedding photography and why wedding photos are “so” expensive!

  1. Luxury

    A colleague of mine got a frustrated e-mail from a bride who didn’t understand why my friend wouldn’t budge on the price she has quoted for a wedding package. The bride asked why my friend would make it so expensive for something she NEEDED to have at her wedding.

    Here’s the thing, though. And I’m totally not being cynical here—I love weddings—but you don’t NEED a wedding. (Cue the angry mob with pitchforks.) You just need to get married. Anything beyond that is, technically, a luxury. A super cool, amazing, once-in-a-lifetime luxury. Having a qualified, experienced wedding photographer capture your day seamlessly…is definitely a luxury.

    I’m not trying to suggest that your wedding doesn’t need to happen. Like I said, I LOVE weddings! What I am suggesting is that you should be able to have a luxury experience, especially during this amazing time, but having a luxury experience comes with the luxury price tag.

  2. Equipment

    I’m sure you’ve scoured through Pinterest and drooled over some amazing wedding photos. Capturing amazing luxury images isn’t easy. It takes a lot of things including time, talent, and experience. But it also takes good equipment. As a professional wedding photographer, when I’m shooting a wedding solo, I bring the following, base-level things (and this doesn’t even compare to the list when I bring videography equipment, too):

    • Full-Frame camera body (x2)

    • 85mm lens

    • 70-200mm lens

    • 50mm lens

    • Macro lens

    • Batteries

    • CF cards

    • SD cards

    • Flashes

    • Light stands

      That list totals around $10,000 in just equipment. Yeah, you read that right. And like I said, that’s a simplified list. Holy moley!

  3. Time

    Photographing a wedding also takes a lot of time, but it’s not just the amount of time spent at the actual wedding itself. As a reputable photographer, I strive to give my clients the best possible experience. This involves a lot of pre-wedding consultation in order to make the day flow smoothly. We might meet at the coffee shop to talk about details, I’ll send questionnaires and other documents, we’ll correspond through email about multiple different things, we’ll work together to develop and strengthen timelines, I’ll get a feel for what you’re most excited about, etc. etc.

    Then comes the wedding day! I’m usually in a wedding for 6 to 10 hours, and then I go home and backup all of the images that I captured during that time. During the next several weeks, I comb through all of those images looking for the perfect ones to share with the bride & groom. The most amazing shots get edited and retouched, and then sent off in a curated, online gallery. By the time it’s all said and done, I probably have about 30 hours in the wedding total! That’s almost a full time job for just one wedding. But a lot of the costs go beyond just goes 30 hours spent with the wedding. A lot of behind-the-scenes factors pop up as well.

  4. Behind-the-Scenes

    Did I bring a second photographer to the wedding? Did I bring an assistant? Are there any deliverables after the wedding like albums, canvases, USB drives, prints, etc.? All of those factor into time, even though you might not see them happening on the wedding day itself.

    Additionally all photographers also have extra background costs that go into owning and operating a business. In the business world we call this overhead! A professional wedding photographer will usually have at least the following costs associated with their company…

    • Gear/Liability Insurance

    • Gallery Delivery

    • Website/Hosting

    • Computer/Phone

    • Client Management Software

    • Accounting Services

    • Taxes

    • Editing Software

    • Etc. Etc.

    If someone is claiming to be a professional wedding photographer and they don’t have any of those background costs, I highly recommend you search for someone else because chances are that person probably isn’t very credible and it could put your wedding at risk.

  5. Talent

    When you hire a photographer capture your wedding day, you’re not just paying someone to take pictures. You have commissioned an artist to capture your wedding date based on the parameters that you have personally designed. How cool is that!?

    As artists, when we are working at a wedding, we take a job seriously and try to capture authentic details of the day. We pay a lot of attention to what you’ve done to make your wedding special, and we really appreciate that you love our work enough to include us on your vendor team. We will, after all, be working really closely together all day long!

  6. Intensity

    I don’t mean intensity like you haven’t done cardio in six months and you just ran 5 miles intensity (anyone else with me on that one?), I mean intensity in terms of high-stakes. Wedding photography is very high-stakes. As wedding photographers, we can’t lose your photos, we can’t have anyone to steal our stuff (even though it’s beyond our control), we can’t have anyone break any of our gear, we have to deliver all the images that we possibly can, we have to make sure your day flows really smoothly, and we have to make sure that we get those must-have shots during very fleeting moments. There’s a lot riding on our experience and our talent as professionals and as artists!! And we do it because we love it! That’s why we are wedding photographers, but it does mean there is a lot of stress that goes into the day.

    Most photographers don’t enjoy that kind of stress or just aren’t interested in handling it at all. You are working with a very special person who knows exactly what it tastes to make your day go off without a hitch. We can handle that intensity and we can handle it well.


lexie1-2120.jpg

So, in a nutshell, that’s why your wedding photos cost so much. It’s not because wedding photography is ridiculously expensive, it’s because it actually costs a lot to get those fine-art, light and airy wedding photos of your dreams. I’m in the business of making those dreams come to life, and I can’t under-estimate the value of a quality wedding photographer for your wedding day.

I hope this helps!! Shoot me an e-mail if you have any questions.

Hugs,

Kay

Kay Cushman is the owner of Blossom & Pine Media, a Maine-based wedding photography and videography company. We strive to be one of the best Maine wedding photographers in coastal and northern areas of the state. We create fine-art images with bright colors and filmic skin tones. We are currently booking for the next wedding season and would love to chat with you about your wedding vision and how we might be able to bring that to life.

6 reasons why wedding photos so expensive

Comments +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Black and white editorial wedding photograph of bride and groom. Groom is wearing a black tuxedo and standing int he shadow. Bride is wearing a white wedding dress and standing in the sun. Yin and Yang wedding photos.

Napa Valley, California is famous for its rolling hills of lush grape vines, legacy vineyards, and, of course, some phenomenal wedding venues. Stanly Ranch, an Auberge Resort, is no exception to that list. Nestled just to the east of the Napa River, this beautiful resort is home to a variety of modern farmhouse-inspired suites and […]

As a wedding photographer, I am asked over and over how much film I shot at weddings, etc. Short answer? I wasn’t. But now I think this is a small joy I’ll continue granting myself.

Nestled back in the hillside of Santa Barbara lies a picturesque resort where Californian craftsman cottages fuse gently with mission-style casitas. El Encanto stays in harmony with the original design of the luxury resort while bringing modern interiors and contemporary cuisine. It’s the perfect location for an intimate Santa Barbara wedding.

Latest Posts

ready for the best day yet?

intentional days.
Relaxed emotions.

The human heart is an incredible thing. Sometimes  refined, sometimes messy.

We'll plan for the beautifully sophisticated wedding of your dreams, but we're firm believers in leaving room for a graceful tear, an unexpected escape to the balcony, and all the other moments of simple existence.