What goes into a photographer's pricing

Everyone knows the "big ticket" items of wedding planning tend to be the venue, the photographer, and the catering. But what's with the elevated price tag anyway?


So you booked your wedding photographer for ten hours of wedding day coverage, with a complimentary engagement session! How exciting!!! The package price is $4,500, which for some people can be hard to swallow. You might be thinking, why are photographers earning $450/hour?


Continue reading to learn why its not really $450/hour.


Photography package prices aren't plucked out of thin air, they are determined with regards to the actual hours spent "doing the photography" and the cost of doing business. "Doing the photography" includes the wedding day photography coverage, the engagement photo session, driving to and from both of those, culling and editing the photos, client communication and meetings.


Cost of doing business is a key part of deciding how to price photography packages that most people don't think about.


Large investments photographers need to make include:

  • Camera bodies

  • Camera lenses

  • Desktop computer and/or laptop

  • Educational workshops


Some recurring costs that most photographers have are:

  • Editing software

  • Client communication software

  • Invoice software

  • Online document signing software

  • Cloud storage

  • Website hosting

  • Gallery delivery services


Other important costs photographers have include:

  • Memory cards

  • External hard drives

  • Camera straps

  • Equipment storage/backpacks

  • Lightroom presets

  • Flash equipment

  • Fire proof safe

  • Lens cleaning and calibrating

  • Client gifts


Costs of living are a whole 'nother thing:

  • Rent

  • Groceries

  • Gas/car

  • Bills


After all of these costs are taken care a photographer will decide how much they still want to reinvest in growing the business and serving their clients. Only after all of that can a photographer "take home" an income.


I can attest for ourselves and for many photographers we are friends with, that most of us are not in the business for the money. We are photographers for the art we create and the relationships we build! That being said, it is our career choice and how we are choosing to make a living! So before gasping at a photographer's pacakge price, remember what goes into it.