Wedding Photography and Money

For all the talk about cheap cameras and everyone becoming a photographer, there certainly seems to be a fair amount of money still being spent on Weddings. Although judging from the success of WPPI and similar tradeshows there are probably more photographers out there than the market can support. However, if you can successfully carve out a niche the money seems to be there. (As with most business, you’re sales and marketing prowess needs to be as good as your photography prowess)

Why do I think that?

I was talking to a friend who had recently been to a wedding. Apparently the total cost of the thing was about $80,000 including about $10K for the photography. At first I thought, ‘well, ok, they must be pretty well off’, but not so. Apparently they took a home equity loan out to finance part of the thing. Never underestimate the need for social validation that comes about by spending money. Sometimes people WANT to spend money.

This is also borne out by stories I hear from my sister who runs a florist in Los Angeles that, among other things, does high-end weddings. (shameless plug: her company is LA Botanicals) There doesn’t seem to be a dearth of people willing to spend $10-15,ooo on flowers. Granted, that’s LA, but it does seem like folks are willing to spend money on weddings, recession or no. And that includes photography. So I think a lot of the fears that any family member with a Canon Rebel is going to displace real photographers is a bit overblown. I think most people understand that if they want memories of this expensive event to last a lifetime, a pro photographer is important.

4 thoughts on “Wedding Photography and Money”

  1. That was a great insight. However one thing is certain the comodification of the medium by the proliferation of great point and shoot SLRs has forced the prices down. Actually, almost everyone in creative production services has felt the hit of working for something below what we used to call market price 5 years ago. I recently sat in a meeting where a professional architectual model maker quoted $35,000 for a job he admitted would have been $80,000 5 years ago, stupifying really. I have shot weddings but am not a wedding photographer. My specialty has been 3D images for 35 years . Now after decads of evangelizing 3D in all its forms , it seems to be the buzz. 3D was done from the inception of photography. It’s nice to see whats old is new again. Really do enjoy sharing your insight .Cheers. Mark

  2. I wrote in a similar fashion in my blog “Professional Photographers Take Heart” ( and could not agree more. There are (2 types of photographers wishing to make a living “The quick and the dead.” I love the age old question “How many photographers does it take to screw in a light bulb?” A: 50. One who does it and 49 who said “I could have done that”

    If the fish are not biting look at your options. Move the boat, try a different bait, try a new lake, re-evaluate the lake, concentrate on one type of fish.

  3. I agree that anyone can take a picture with today’s cameras, but not everyone is a photographer. It takes a special eye to capture the right moments. And Baltimore wedding photographer is right…the photos are what you will keep to remember the day.
    By the way, this is a great blog.

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