Hey, I’m Liz!
The most important part of what I do is telling your love story on your special day. I don’t just show up to your ceremony. I want to know the you beyond the camera so the photos I deliver are keepsakes that’ll be with you for decades. Your love story is the best inspiration for photos that last for decades.
Tips and Tricks
I thought today’s blog would be fun because I am going to debunk some popular photographer myths about wedding photographers! Like most jobs, there is a lot of behind the scenes action that goes on in a photographers world that most people don’t know about. So I decided to let you in on a few things you may not know about working as a professional photographer.
False! This one of those big photographer myths that I wanted to make sure I debunked for you guys! Whether we photograph a wedding for 8 or 10 hours, this is a false myth. The truth is that so many more hours and work goes into photographing a wedding than just showing up to photograph a wedding! Take into account the hours that go into responding to inquiry emails and phone calls to answer questions to potential clients. Prepping for, photographing, and editing engagement sessions. Prepping questionnaires to get to know the couple and their day more. Creating a wedding timeline for the couple and making sure they like it. Cleaning and organizing gear to prepare for the wedding and travel time. Photographing the wedding, backing up images, culling images, editing images, and delivering the images! All of this time accounts for much more than 8-10 hours.
False! While wedding galleries notoriously take longer than an engagement gallery for example, it’s not “just because”. Above I mentioned backing up wedding images, culling them, editing them, and then delivering them. But if you’re not a wedding professional you may not know what that means! After a wedding I will back up my clients photos to multiple hard drives to ensure their images are safe. This can take hours. After that I will spend time culling the images. What that means is I go through every photo that I took on the day of your wedding and inspect it! I make sure eyes are open, people aren’t talking in photos, and that they are in crisp and clear focus. The culling process is taking the photos out of the gallery that are undeliverable such as ones where people are sneezing or their eyes are closed.
After you cull a wedding you start to edit the wedding. This is a time consuming process because you want to make sure the gallery is cohesive and that takes time because weddings take place over many hours and often in a variety of locations. How a photo looks at 9 am in a hotel room will look vastly different than a photo at 6 pm on a lawn. So I go through and edit each photo to be consistent with my style and cohesive.
After this you have to do a process of exporting the photos from the editing software and then uploading them into your photo sharing software and THEN you get to share them with your clients! And just like any other job you are juggling time. Wedding photographers are also photographing other weddings, keeping up with day to day work, and editing multiple weddings. I always stick within the timeline I give you for when photos will be delivered. This just gives you an idea of how we come up with our timelines.
False! While wedding photography may look like a very lucrative career, there is so much more that goes on! Like any other business, we have business expenses and they are often fairly hefty. To photograph weddings professionally you are going to need the proper gear. This often includes 2-3 camera bodies that can range anywhere from $1,500-4,000 each, lenses that range from $800-$3,000, flashes, batteries, high quality memory cards (a LOT of these), memory card cases, backpacks, lens wipes, and tripods. Then most photographers also have additional items they bring to weddings such as styling kits for detail photos! That’s just the upfront cost. As a professional photographer gear is used very heavily and has to be serviced and cleaned at least once a year.
But then you also need to store and edit the photos and somehow get them to clients. Enter in your laptop, desktop, hard drives, and other backup solutions. Most photographers pay monthly or yearly for Adobe services to edit, online backup systems which have monthly or yearly fees, and pay for their photo delivery services which also have monthly or yearly fees. Along those lines, most photographers also pay monthly or yearly for an online content management system to send contracts, invoices, and emails from one source to make it easy for our clients!
We also need to have insurance as photographers and business licenses just like other businesses so those are typically yearly fees to pay as well. We also pay our website hosting fees and social media planning app fees. Plus any sort of social media ads or traditional marketing.
Last but certainly not least, comes education. A huge part of being a growing photographer is expanding your education. Most photographers spend a large portion of their income on education to become the best photographers they can be. We invest in educational workshops, styled shoots to stay creative, and online courses such as social media advertising, working on our lighting, or learning our camera bodies better. Think of it as professional development that you’d experience in any other job!
Finally, we also have to pay our bills and keep our families fed just like everyone! So when you see what we charge for our packages, it truly is not to just “make a bunch of money”. It’s to pay for our overhead and expenses and pay ourselves a living wage.
Now I don’t want you to take these “photographer myths” negatively because that’s not what this is meant to be! I truly love my job and wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. I just thought it would be interesting to dive into the behind the scenes of wedding photography. So what did you guys think? Did you learn anything new from these photographer myths being debunked?