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The costs of wedding photography

Wedding photography costs vary

You may wonder why wedding photography costs are what they are. Why do wedding photographers charge what they charge? Why do some charge several thousand dollars. Hopefully after reading this you may have a better understanding.

I listen to classes from photographers across the United States. I am amazed that some charge upwards of $10,000 for wedding photography. There may be no photographers in the Omaha and Lincoln areas or across Nebraska that charge that much, but some charge several thousand.

Since it seems like so many brides don’t want to pay high prices for photography, I thought a blog post would be appropriate on the topic of wedding photography costs.

So, here are my thoughts on this topic.

Photographers will charge what they think they are worth. A photographer who charges $10,000 for a wedding obviously thinks he or she is worth it. A photographer who charges $500 for a wedding does not think much of his or her photography skills.

My belief is that a photographer who charges $500 for a wedding is not real confident in being able to do a good job. Perhaps this is a person who has a decent camera with maybe a couple lenses. This person may have shot some photos for some friends and maybe even gotten paid for it. But don’t expect this $500 photographer to be a real professional.

Here’s why:

A real professional photographer, unlike this $500 photographer, will have professional grade equipment.

When I shot my first wedding about seven years ago, I used a Canon Rebel 2 along with a kit lens and a lower-end 50mm lens. At the time I thought the photos looked great. Now I look at them and notice how blurry and fuzzy they are. That’s because I was using lenses that didn’t promote sharpness.

Here is why photographers charge high prices: I have two full-frame camera bodies, each cost $2,500 to $3,000 just for the body without lenses. Before you ask what “full frame” means – just know that it’s a more advanced, more professional camera than what most people shoot with. A Canon Rebel costs a few hundred dollars. A lower-end photographer is more likely to shoot with a Canon Rebel.

I also shoot with L-series Canon lenses, which use higher quality glass than the cheaper versions. For example, you can buy a 50mm lens for $200 or you can get one for nearly $2,000. All my lenses are of the $2,000 variety.

Lower-end photographers will not have many lenses. I have seven lenses in my camera bag. The lowest I paid for one of them was about $700, and that was because it was used. The other lenses cost between $1,500 and $2,000.

In addition to the higher costs, pricier photographers generally have more experience, more confidence and more knowledge.

So the next time you wonder why wedding photography costs are what they are, I hope this answers some of your questions.

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