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Tender Look Photography has rebranded and moved to a new website!  (I left this old site up because I'm sentimental that way and love to flip through old photos for a trip down memory lane!)  The new site has fresh look but the same love of natural photos - documenting wedding days,  capturing family relationships for gorgeous wall prints. . . Visit Joanna Joy Photography to view current pricing, recent weddings, and tons of helpful wedding planning advise on the new blog!

Can you explain the cost of wedding photography?

Written by Joanna on Wednesday, 02 February 2011. Posted in FAQs - Helpful Planning Tips

What am I paying for?

Photography is a wonderful hobby.  All of you know a friend or an uncle or a coworker who takes pictures.  Great digital cameras are available at reasonable prices and free editing software can transform photos.  So why hire a “professional”?  What do they do different?

A good photographer will:

  • Be creative in posing set ups. Many photographer spend time studying posing to ensure the more flattering photos.
  • Be spontaneous and capture those unplanned moments.  An experienced photographer is better able to anticipate those moments and capture them.
  • Spend time and money on technical education.
  • The best equipment is purchased and used to it's fullest, providing you with clarity and quality not found with photos shot from your Uncle Bob's camera.
  • Focus on staying up to date in new editing techniques and photography trends.
  • Be able to touch up photos in a way that is flattering to you.  A professional will spend time studying editing technique and will purchase the best photo editing tools.
  • Be likable and set you at ease – photos are personal.  You want to be comfortable with your photographer – awkwardness will show.

These skills, resources, and tools all come together to produce your final cherished print products.  It is not "2 hours of shooting" that produces your photos but hours and dollars invested into equipment, education, and experience.

The starting point of a photographer's pricing structure begins with the cost of quality equipment, the cost of professional editing software, and the costs of educational classes.   The second portion of pricing factors in time spent working with you and for you specifically.

Here is a little of Tender Look Photography’s process.  First we have a "meet and greet".  We chat about wedding details and contract details.  We’ll talk about your style and what you like.  If you know your location and ceremony time, we’ll create an aproximent wedding timeline together.  Depending on the location, I’ll either look it up online or visit it in person.  We like to know what we’ll be dealing with.  For a recent backyard wedding I took a drive around the neighborhood to find pretty spots for the romantic photos.  That extra leg work makes a huge difference in the end results.  Amber and I also like to attend the rehearsal.  Not all photographers do this.  The reason we go the rehearsal is to get a feel for the event.  Knowing who the key players are, where the events will take place and in what order, and what the location lighting is at that time of day helps the actual wedding day flow smoother.  Time is of essence on the wedding day.  Figuring out angles, camera settings, or prime background locations is already done.  Also the family and friends  get comfortable with us and are more relaxed in front of the camera the following day.

The wedding day unfolds incredibly quickly.  A chain of events interrupted by delays: the bridesmaid not ready, dad is MIA, the flowers are late, etc.  Adjusting to this and maintaining a good attitude is key.  Being flexible and helpful is so important.  I’ve bustled gowns, trimmed flower stems and helped with place settings all to help someone be ready for their photos.  We also continually check with each other and mark off our shot list.  We want to be sure nothing is missed.  Every detail, event, or guest is included.  Organization and experience will play a key role on your wedding day.

That is just the first half of our work.  The bulk of it comes after the wedding is shot.  The first step is to sort through all the photos and remove the wasted shots (lighting test shots, eyes closed, motion blur, if several are similar the best shot is chosen).  Next photos are sorted into categories.  Bridals, Ceremony, Reception, and Romantics.  They are organized in a way that will flow nicely in a slideshow and tell your wedding story.  The first round of edits will correct color, crop for interest, and do blemish touch ups.  Finally the fun part!  Effects.  Vintage, high contrast, black and white, sepia.  This is when we tailor our editing to suit your chosen print products.

Aprox. Time Breakdown spent on your session:

  • 1-2 hrs Inital consultation and travel time for meet and greet
  • 2-3 hrs Scouting locations - either searching for new ones or visiting planned locations
  • 1-2 hrs Rehearsal
  • 6 - 10 hrs Actual shooting by 2 photographers each plus travel time
  • 2-3 hrs Downloading, Sorting, and Archiving Files (generally thousands of files)
  • 8 - 12 hrs Editing all selected files for color correction, crop, etc. (hundreds of files)
  • 6 - 8 hrs Specialty editing for print products (labor intensive blemish Photoshop work)
  • 1 hr Follow up communication to ensure satisfaction
  • 2 hrs Preparing order and creating online gallery for viewing and purchase
  • 1 hr Preparing blog sneak peek
  • 2 hrs Ordering, packaging, and shipping order

Aproximate time spent dedicated to your wedding: 40-50 work hours

The final aspect of photography pricing is related to your print choices.  We do in home consultations if necessary to help you decide the best way to display your photos.  Professional labs are used to ensure great quality products.  Time is dedicated to ensure the best color and look.  Packaging and shipping are part of the timeline dedicated to your order.

At the end of the day, it takes a lot more expetise, cost, and time to achieve the beautiful photos we provide.  This is not an entry level job pushing a button in front of a blue backdrop at a discount store.  Hopefully, our efforts create images you will treasure, your children will treasure, and your grandchildren will treasure.  Contact us to meet and chat.

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