Lake Cuyamaca :: Michelle and Nick :: Engagement

One of the most common complaints about wedding photography is that it’s too expensive. I’ve seen this sentiment uttered from all corners of the Web. I’ve also seen just as many photographers jump at the opportunity to defend their prices by writing articles that only an accountant could appreciate.

Three years ago, I stumbled upon one such article on PetaPixel. Penned by Nikki Wagner, Why Wedding Photographers’ Prices are “Wack”, was a public response to an anonymous woman’s frustrated Craigslist post asking about the high cost of hiring an “exceptional, amazingly talented, fun photographer”. Here you can find a wedding photographer contact link that is good and with great price.

Wagner went into great depth breaking down her cost of doing business, deliverables, and living expenses. Her conclusion was that she doesn’t really make that much money, despite what clients may think is a high per-wedding fee.

Her article quickly gained traction and spread throughout the online photography community. Although articles about the topic existed prior to Wagner’s — including articles using similar arguments — the virality of Why Wedding Photographers’ Prices are “Wack” had a watershed effect. Since then, many wedding photographers have written the compulsory “why is wedding photography so expensive” posts.

Unfortunately, this is a counterproductive and fruitless exercise that doesn’t address the issue head on. Quite frankly, I’m surprised that someone hasn’t yet included scans of their tax returns to make a point. Prepare for some real talk.

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