The topic of pricing comes up more and more often – not only when communicating with clients, but also in professional circles.

Sometimes photographers (and I mean specifically entrepreneurs, not hobby photographers) get the feedback that their prices are high, the wedding photographer services are expensive.

As I believe in transparency, I would like to share some thoughts in the following on how different factors affect our pricing.

Intimate Wedding Nomad Hotel Glamping Noszvaj © Fanni Hermán Photography I www.fanniherman.com

About priorities

I have no doubt that for every budget you can find a wedding vendor, in this case a photographer. In my opinion, the important question is how much value one gives to certain elements of the wedding (photos, dress, decor, food, etc.) and whether the distribution of the budget is in line with the already set priorities. Can the most important ingredient cost more? How flexible is the set framework for the given service? If your dream vendor is slightly out of your budget, is there still some room to reallocate?

If it's extremely important that your wedding day is faithfully captured, you should consider setting aside more for your photographer when planning your budget.

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Laid Back Berber Tent Wedding Hungary © Fanni Hermán Photography I www.fanniherman.com

About comparison

I think wedding photographers are very difficult to compare based solely on their packages, because many other factors play a role in the final decision. The contents of the packages are obviously the most striking: from the hours of coverage to the number of delivered images, many differences can be discovered. I think it’s also extremely important to consider how a particular photographer’s style works for you and your wedding – and here I’m thinking not only of their imagery, the color management, the mood of the photographs, but also the human factor. What is communication like? Are you on the same wavelength? Can you imagine working together and have your photographer with you and your guests for 8-12 hours, sharing quite intimate moments with them?

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About prices

It’s no secret that most people find the services of professional wedding photographers expensive, but fewer know what’s exactly behind a photographer’s business and what factors shape the amounts in their offer.

Of course, not everyone is expected to be aware of the prices of the wedding industry, as most people will first come across these services during their engagement season. Still, it’s important to make a good decision when it comes to choosing a photographer, as their wedding photos will accompany them for years, telling the story of the day across generations.

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"only after our own wedding did i realize

how priceless & significant wedding photos are in your life.

it really is not possible to tell this until you experience it on your own."

andrás, a wedding photographer as well. i shot their wedding in 2019.

behind the scenes

Is it possible to set a clear price for creativity, for individual artistic value? I think not. However, one thing is for sure: with their presence and work, professional photographers give a big piece of their creativity and unique vision bound to their visual sensitivity – and besides these they pour their heart and soul into what they do. It's this unique vision that adds value to the service, the technical knowledge and professional handling of the equipment are subject to it.

Creativity, artistic vision

A wedding is a complex event – in terms of both happenings and emotions. In my opinion, to preserve these special moments, there needs to be more than outstanding visual sensitivity and empathy. Years of experience is also required to capture a one-time and unrepeatable moment from a given angle in a way that bottles all the feelings of that very moment, yet to be able to improvise if the situation requires. These skills are extremely valuable.

Experience

Professional equipment is essential for smooth and efficient work. This includes not only cameras, lenses, flashes, memory cards, extra batteries, chargers, a bag or backpack, a high-performance computer, a calibrated, wide color gamut monitor, a comfortable, ergonomic chair, external hard drives, and the maintenance of these, but softwares (including Adobe), cloud backup system, website, domain and online gallery hosting subscriptions as well.

Gear: cameras, lenses, softwares, licences & subscriptions

The very first place where you can see the work of a photographer is most likely in the online space: on their website, on social media profiles, or on wedding blogs. Keeping these sites up-to-date and dealing with marketing activities take time and energy, maintaining and operating them in terms of subscriptions (website, domain, online gallery for clients) also mean further costs.

If you like the photographer's work, the next step is getting in touch with them via their contact form or e-mail. It often takes hours to reply to clients' messages on various platforms (Instagram, Facebook, email) every day.

Since the quality of communication is really important to me, I take a lot of time to give a personalized response to the couples who reach out to me.

Client communication not only consists of answering messages and questions, but also includes creating individual offers, issuing invoices, making video calls and meetings in person, and providing advice and suggestions.

Client communication, administrative tasks

Education, workshops

Whether it’s about optimizing the workflow, gathering inspiration, or developing a specific skill, education and diverse workshops are essential building blocks of the creative profession. We sacrifice money and time for our education, which is important for our development, as our goal is to provide the most professional service possible to the couples and clients who entrust us.

Self-employment means that we often don't have a secure background that an employee of a company has, so we have to take care of our own social and health insurance and savings for retirement.

As an entrepreneur officially registered in Germany with an EU tax number, I have to pay taxes and parafiscal contributions in addition to the above. This applies anywhere to any officially registered business. In addition to the above-mentioned contributions and individual income tax, this means 19% VAT, business tax and a chamber membership fee (Handwerkskammer Münster), among other things.

The finances of the business are managed by an accountant – this also has a set fee.

Preparations before a workday

Preparing for an all-day wedding isn’t just about all the batteries being charged and all the memory cards being formatted. A professional photographer also makes sure to drink enough water, not eat unfamiliar, heavy meals which could possibly cause digestive problems later (for example, to minimise any risk, they don't go to a restaurant) and rest. This will allow them to get the most out of your wedding day, both physically and mentally. These preparations sometimes involve sacrifices.

Many times, a trip to a (destination) wedding can take several days, which can include car, train or bus rides and flights. In addition to the obvious costs (e.g. flight tickets), it should also be taken into account that there is no possibility to work with other clients during the time spent traveling.

Travels

An average workday in case of a wedding means 10-12 + hours – from departure to arrival at home. In most cases, the coverage is 8-12 hours, which involves constant focused attention, flexibility, spontaneity, a lot of movement, problem solving, cooperation. There are not many professions where so much needs to be given in such diverse areas. After an intense wedding day, recovery usually takes 24 hours.

The workday

Post-production

The most time consuming part of our job. The post-production starts for me the moment I get home: securing the photos is an absolute priority. Images are copied and saved from the memory cards to a minimum of 3 different places. The entire image material (thousands of photographs) is then reviewed and culled, which usually takes 1-2 days. After that, I set the colors, lights and shadows individually on each photo, I retouch, export and optimize the images. For these I count 3-4 days depending on the amount of photos. The full gallery of the selected and edited photographs will then be uploaded to the password-protected online gallery and delivered to the clients.

Everyday life

These are the costs that affect us all – and an employee pays them from their net salary: housing, car maintenance, food and other necessary consumer goods, entertainment and vacations.

Everyday life also includes sacrifices stemming from the nature of the work of a professional wedding photographer, such as giving up a holiday in the summer months, or friends and family reunions on weekends.

your photo album, besides your rings, is

the only tangible memory of your wedding,