Last week another wedding photographer thanked me for the work I had passed his way when I have been booked and let me know he’s stopping shooting weddings. It’s a real shame because he was one of a handful of local photographers I think do great work and have a great personality.
He’s still working as a photographer just in other areas. He found that shooting weddings simply wasn’t paying the bills. It’s something brides and grooms would probably be shocked to hear given that great wedding photographers tend to have packages that cost several thousand dollars.
Problem is the overheads can be pretty overwhelming when a photographer is fully professional and not just a weekend warrior with a day job. Insurance costs are enormous, cameras, computers and hard drives need constant upgrading – and most people would be gobsmacked at the cost price of custom made wedding albums. The AIPP recently published a breakdown of costs for a wedding photographer, who does no additional commercial work, and came to the conclusion that to make the average Australian wage, a wedding photographer needed to charge a minimum of $5000 per wedding. That’s without taking into account the years of experience and training of a professional wedding photographer. Basically, in relative terms, professional wedding photography tends to be the cheapest professional service you are likely to ever use.
So how do I feel about it. Well, it is in my blood. I thoroughly love shooting weddings. Since I started shooting weddings over 10 years ago, I’ve given up twice. But it just keeps drawing me back. My wife says if I haven’t shot a wedding for a couple of weeks I mope about the house on a Saturday afternoon. Shooting weddings is more than a job. For me it’s a passion and something I simply have to do.