I just saw this Craigslist link on my Facebook feed. Although I do not charge $3000 dollars for wedding photography I wanted to address the point of view from a wedding photographer:
Wedding photographers do not “just hang out and take a bunch of pictures and edit them”. I take the time to plan. I meet with the couple months before, we talk, I see what their needs are. We draw up a timeline for the wedding day. There is a contract. This is a business!
The actually wedding day is very stressful. If I don’t account for my time, I’ll miss opportunities for key photographic moments. As the couple entrusts me to capture their wedding day, I need to make sure I know the timeline, ensure my equipment is working, have back-ups, have energy, smile and be focused all day. I have to be administrative when it comes to taking family photos, bridal party photos, and photos of the couple. Administrative in a genuine, kind way. And that’s hard. It’s hard to not come off as a cold, bossy photographer. Because caring takes effort.
I shoot well over 1000 photos at most weddings. Most weddings I shoot are 8-12 hour days. I look through all of them. Multiple times. I narrow down the few hundred I want to spend my time editing. The editing process is tedious and also probably my favorite part. It takes me weeks to get through it all. I choose shots for specific reasons. This is why people hire me! Couples like how I see things. I carefully craft the story of the wedding day.
Just because your cousin’s boyfriend has a DSLR does not mean you are going to have quality wedding photos. It is not the camera. It is the craft and the vision.
It is such a shame that people will diminish and belittle any profession. Wedding photographers work hard. We work hard to care for others. We work hard to run our business. Many of us don’t have 401K’s, medical insurance, or consistant paychecks. We have to pay out taxes, rent, food, bills, just like everyone else. Please remember that before you become outraged in how expensive wedding photography is.
I love shooting weddings. I love people. I love, love.