Wedding Photography: How Hard Could It Be?

It seems like all a wedding photographer should need to do throughout a wedding day is pay attention to what’s going on, know how to pose people, and click the shutter button at the right moments, right? 7 years ago I would have thought the same thing!
But in reality, wedding photographers (who shoot in manual) must constantly be assessing all of the following things…
– The sources of light in a given space
– The direction of the light
– The type of light
– Whether there are mixed types of light
– Whether the light can be manipulated & made more lovely
– Whether there are harsh shadows or bright highlights in the shot
– The number of subjects in the shot
– Whether the subject(s) are moving
– How fast the subject(s) are moving
– Whether there are eyesores in the background (there’s always an Exit sign!)
– The most strategic way to avoid the eyesores
– The most effective way to frame the shot (Center it? Rule of thirds?)
– The most attractive angle to shoot from
– Which lens to shoot with
– Whether flash or no flash looks better
– The best direction to bounce the flash
– Whether to use on-camera or off-camera flash (or maybe both?)
– The focus point
– The most wowing portrait spot (p.s. It’s not always the bridge, gazebo, or fountain)
– The most flattering poses for each particular bride & groom
– Whether the expressions are genuine (those smiles get weary!)
– How the couple is feeling: Are they cold? Hot? Annoyed? Ready to move on? Is the bride about to collapse under all her layers of chiffon? Do they need a break? A bottle of water?
-The itinerary.  (One eye on the clock at all times!)
Sounds exhausting, right? This is why there are so many varying levels of expertise and execution when it comes to wedding photography (and why many of us don’t work on Mondays!)
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Why Does the Cost of Wedding Photography Vary So Much?

Ever wonder why wedding photographers vary so much in pricing?  Aren’t they all doing pretty much the same job?

We hope this helps…

1) Digital SLR cameras range from about $400 – $6,800. Compared to a point-and-shoot camera, they all look like a Benz, but when it comes to what the camera is actually capable of, there’s quite a difference in what’s under the hood. What your photographer’s camera is capable of is especially important in low-lit churches, reception venues, and night photography.


2) Some photographers have one primary camera and a backup camera (maybe), while others might carry two primary cameras, a secondary camera, and a backup to the backup (just in case).

3) Some photographers carry insurance on their equipment as well as liability insurance in case Uncle Joe accidentally takes down a light stand at the reception. Other photographers take their chances and don’t have the insurance expense.

4) Camera lenses typically used for weddings range from about $125 – $6,900. Ever wonder how the pros get that nice blurry background while the subject of the photo is beautifully crisp? That’s the lens. Higher quality lenses more closely replicate human vision, which is amazing… but you gotta pay for it.


5) Some photographers keep their previous clients’ images on an external hard drive, while other photographers keep their previous clients’ images on two or more backup systems that are kept both on and off site, in case of a fire or other disaster.

6) Some photographers are fairly new to the business and are still building their portfolio while other photographers are more seasoned and their weekends are in higher demand.

7) Some photographers offer what they call “shoot and burn” photography services. This is when you get images directly out of camera put on a flash drive, and there is no post-processing work at all….no touch ups, no lighting or color correction, no creative editing. Other photographers see editing as an integral part of the product they offer, but it’s quite time-consuming and therefore quite costly.TravisKelsey-0211

The point here is not to call out one wedding photographer as being better than or worse than another. It’s to help brides and grooms more fully understand what they’re paying for (or not paying for) when they choose a professional to capture their wedding day.