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Thread: Why Photographers are so expensive

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    Why Photographers are so expensive

    i found this article interesting, i hope you do to

    http://www.petapixel.com/2012/01/26/...ices-are-wack/

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    $3,000 for just hanging about taking tons of photos.....sheesh anyone can do that!!!

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    That photographer's answer is so twee he should get another jb.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    I think photographers are playing the human psychological game. You wouldn't want a cheap lawyer to defend your murder trailer, or a cheap hairdresser to cut your hair for your upcoming date. The same applies to photographers, people don't want their wedding photos to be taken by some cheap amateur photogs.
    Last edited by FinancialWar; 31-01-2012 at 12:22pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by warakawa View Post
    The same applies to photographers, people don't want their wedding photos to be taken by some cheap amateur photogs.
    It seems that plenty of people DO want exactly that.

    That is what the point of the linked post was all about ( did you read it? ) where many people are constantly stating that they want cheaper wedding photography and NOT properly priced professional images.
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    And to add to Andrew's reply ...

    Of course no one wants cheap anything, do they? .. such as cheaper electricity, food, housing or general living costs .... nor for that matter does anybody search for cheaper photography gear prices!

    We're all just happy to pay full retail prices for everything, and the popularity of online international based general consumer goods is a testament to the fact.

    If we are to compare the cost of legal services against the cost of photography, then you could easily get high quality photography services absolutely free!
    ..... at least I would, as my experience with legal aid has been excellent.

    I also get my hair cuts for free too!
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    Nice stat, 80% of couples 5 years later when asked what they would cahnge about the wedding apparently said that they would get a better photographer :-)
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    When peolpe don't have a lot, some amounts can seem astronomical, until they've been 'educated'. His response was appropriate and enlightening (to those that may not have a clue about this sort of thing). How many people here have groaned about the price of something outside of their experience.
    Yes Arthur, most people do want everything cheaper, but then they complain Australia no longer makes anything, blah, blah, blah. We're killing ourselves only looking for the cheapest. Most people don't consider what might be a 'fair price' for both parties to walk away happy.

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    Her response*
    http://nikkimaydayphotography.com/in...a-photography/

    I think she's exaggerated a lot of the costs to help emphasise the point a bit more. I furrowed my brows at the thought of 100 dollars per season for new shoes, if it was a male it'd be 100 dollars for every 5 years for new shoes. But adding the costs of gear, both camera and PC gear was a bit much.

    In my opinion, a wedding photographer earns their money for providing good results. And to get good results I understand that they put in a very long day of shooting, and a hell of a lot of editing, along with making up galleries, blogs and albums. That alone is enough for me.

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    And it's a good story for budding professional photographers that doing weddings as their single source of income is generally not viable. As Rick so often says, spend a day on your business plan and you won't get into this hole in the first place.
    I really don't know of any other business where your capital investment is so high and you only use your assets on Saturday (so to speak). Have camera will travel and make some money with it. Thousands of things you can do to supplement your wedding income.
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    I found the article interesting but not as a insightful piece on the lot of the wedding photographer.
    I found it interesting that Americans have strange accounting practises!!

    What the photographers reply hints too is that they pay taxes on their entire income amount and not on the amount after expenditure.

    She's claimed that she makes X amount per year and then pays takes, and THEN started to disclose the break up of her costs.

    Unless I've been doing something wrong for the past 24 years, you're income is $ X for the year, minus $ Y that you spent to operate the business and you reach a different figure as your taxable income.
    You then can't claim the cost of operating the business again as she seems to have done.

    If she's paying $15K per year on $50K, then if she moves to Australia, taking her expenses into account her tax bill will be more like $2-5K ... possibly even less going by her final figure of $7K, as this is approximately the tax free threshold.

    Maybe she needs an accountant to do her financials for the year, or maybe the US accounting laws are just different for small businesses

    Either way .. some of her figures seem to be whack in themselves .... 20 weddings and $300 per year for DVD costs = $15 DVD costs per wedding.
    Average price of a DVD is about 0.25c, so she's supplying about 60 DVDs per wedding to the customer!!
    Then the cost of printing the DVD .. why? mark it nicely with a texta and be happy!!


    I think her arguments are more fuel to the fire against the high prices of wedding photography .. it highlights an urgency for the photographer to understand how to run a business more efficiently!

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    Ta AK. 4 a while I thought I was the only 1 who thought it ddo dod dd

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    In business you make money(or profit) from being efficient.
    By being efficient, you then have the power(or option) to charge accordingly(lower), or as you wish.
    If you're unwilling to think laterally and make efficiencies in business, and have to charge what potential customers think are high or exorbitant prices, then you will lose out on potential sales.

    But on the other hand, charging exorbitant high prices is very much possible, and some people won't batter an eye lid about this .... as long as you have a product or name brand that allows you to do so.

    Arguing for what some folks seem to think are high prices, using weird accounting logic is a flawed tactic.

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    Good to see you back kiwi
    Last edited by atky; 01-02-2012 at 8:15pm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Nice stat, 80% of couples 5 years later when asked what they would cahnge about the wedding apparently said that they would get a better photographer :-)
    Honestly, who the hell sits around looking at their wedding photos?

    I feel really sorry for people who say "My wedding was the happiest day of my life".......honestly.....get a life!

    Your wedding day is the start of your wedding bliss, not the be all and end all.
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    We have friends who were both the poorest of the poor when they got married, as they were both students trying to support themselves totally. The entire wedding was done for just a few hundred dollars, with family and friends providing the catering, everyone raiding their own gardens for the flowers, a friend making the cake (was as good or better than any wedding cake I've ever seen/tasted) , etc, etc.
    But it was what they did for the photography that blew me away. They went out and bought dozens and dozens of disposable cameras and gave them to every person attending the wedding, and asked them to snap away at anything and everything as they saw fit. Everyone then handed back in the cameras at the end of the day and the bride and groom got all the pictures developed.
    It might make some professionals here cringe, but it had surprisingly good results.
    Firstly with so many people taking photos there were some amazingly great candid moments captured simply because there were eyes everywhere, so nothing was missed.
    Secondly there are some people out there who have at least a bit of a concept of composition, and a reasonable skill with a camera, so some of the shots were good enough to make into wall prints.
    Thirdly, it got everyone involved, so the whole atmosphere was amazing - fun, carefree, relaxed.

    No, they don't have any of those iconic - more like ART than a photo, heavily PP'ed "artsy" images - that you see professionals produce, but to be honest I can't say they have lost out in the whole thing. There were even some shots that with a bit of PP could do a pretty good impersonation of a professional's image. No doubt they had to throw a lot of failed shots away, but with the sheer number of shots taken, they were bound to get enough "keepers" to make a reasonable album of wedding memories. Not a professional album, but there wasn't a chance in hell they'd have been able to afford a professional, and the albums are certainly representative of the "memories' of the event.
    Last edited by Ezookiel; 28-02-2012 at 7:20pm.
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    As a person who has just done a wedding. (I was talked into by a couple of friends who also took photos at the wedding)
    Even though there was 3 of us, it's a hell of a lot of hard work. I certainly wouldn't do it on my own. Even then I'd tell the couple that they are not getting professional photos, they are just getting what I take on a CD.
    I agree with Ezookiel. My brother did the same thing with the E-Bay disposable cameras and were quite happy with the result. (It was his second wedding. Now he is going for his third)
    But the old saying goes. "You get what you pay for"
    My wife and I had a pro TOG, and a pro video as well. We never look at the photos or the video. (Hell who wants to be reminded of the dumb things we did 24 years ago)

    Another friend is about to get married, and wanted the all the trimmings. Until she seen that it was going to cost her around $30,000. The cheapest TOG she could get around here was about $1,300.
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    I've never looked much at my own wedding photos either. 22 years ago we were also pretty poor. Not as bad as our friends, but I was a student working 3 hours a night, and my wife was a nurse. But we didn't have to go the disposable cameras route, we had a good friend who is also a pretty gifted amateur enthusiast with some reasonable equipment take all the photos and then just hand us the rolls of film. They were more than good enough to make a few wall prints, and those are the only photos from the wedding we ever look at - we see them every day on the wall, but actually we probably never really look at them even so, and the rest of the wedding photos haven't seen the light of day since our kids were at the age where they go through all the old albums, asking about family history etc. I doubt that we'd look at them any more often even if they were done by the world's most famous wedding tog.
    But I don't doubt for two seconds that a good tog, is worth every cent of $3000. Irrespective of the costs that the respondent listed in her response to the complainant - which broke the argument down to just sheer numbers and figures - in her reply there was little to no value placed on the SKILL of the tog. The cost of the equipment is no different for a professional, than it is for any rich yuppie's spoiled kid, but the value of the photos coming out of that equipment aren't determined by the cost of the equipment - I can probably buy the same, or very similar paint, to that used by Picasso, but I'm sure as hell not going to get the same results, and my paintings sure aren't going to be worth as much as his. Some of the examples of photos I've seen posted on this forum are just spectacular. There are some seriously skilled people out there. That skill is worth way more than the numbers and figures bandied about regarding insurance, tax, equipment cost, etc.
    Last edited by Ezookiel; 28-02-2012 at 10:01pm.

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