Alright you guys, I need to vent! A friend of mine shared a craigslist ad with me that left me baffled. To be honest, I fought everything in me to not sit down and write this woman an email myself. However, I knew that would just be a waist of my time, so I am writing a post about it to educate readers and future clients. Before I explain why good wedding photography is expensive, please read this craigslist ad below:
If you are not a photographer, you may not see why this is bothersome and you may even agree with this woman. As a professional photographer though, I was pretty furious while reading this. A main reason I felt so frustrated was because this woman has NO idea what she is talking about. If you are going to try to take a stance about something, at least educate yourself on the topic first. If you read the ad above, this woman clearly thinks that a photographer pockets every dime they charge their client. However, that is 100% false. Never do I receive payment from a client and get to keep it all. Money from each check is put aside for taxes (we have to pay those too, craigslist lady), paying for the use/insurance of equipment, and paying an assistant/second photographer. What we are pocketing is money we pay ourselves for our TIME AND TALENT.
“All they’re are doing is hanging out and taking tons of photos and editing them”
Man, that sentence really sets me off. Yes, photographers show up on just that one wedding day, but the work really begins after a wedding. I think a lot of people forget that because they only ever physically see the photographer working on the actual wedding day. Photographers need to be paid for sitting behind their desks countless hours editing images and designing albums. Just like anyone else who works, we need to be paid for every hour that we are clocked in.
When you pay for a quality product/service, you are going to spend more money. It is that simple. You can buy running shoes from Payless and have them wear out on you very quickly, or you can spend more money on a top of the line running shoe and have them last you a significant amount of time. This is a perfect example of the phrase ,”you get what you pay for.” I have heard countless stories of people saying, “I wish I never hired an ametuer photographer to shoot my wedding. I should have paid for a PROFESSIONAL photographer because I only like 3 photos of the hundreds of images he/she gave me.” I feel terrible when I hear those stories, but that is a huge reason why I am in this field. I never want people to have to utter those words. I know I can/do deliver a high quality product and service to whomever hires me, which is why I am confident in where I price myself.
Referring back to this ad, why would this woman think she should be able to pay so little for an “exceptional, amazing, talented, and fun photographer.” Exceptional photography does not come cheap, honey! And you know what, craistlist lady? Good luck to the poor sap who takes on the job of being your wedding photographer. They have a long road ahead of them . . . (and probably months of extensive therapy afterward).