With all of the digital devices in the world today you find a lot of people claiming to be a photographer. As a Los Angeles Wedding Photographer
we have come into contact with a lot of clients over the years that say “my cousins got a camera and is a pretty good photographer so he’ll be shooting some photos at the event as well”. To this we say “We understand that your cousin has a camera but we prefer that they enjoy all that you have done for them on your wedding day and to not allow anyone who is either building a portfolio or competing in our market to photograph an event with us. We are the only Professional Photographers
to be shooting the event.” After dealing with this for so long we have come up with some tips in what to look for in a real professional wedding photographers portfolio.
When you look at the body of work for a wedding photographer try to look for seasonal change in the photos, most wedding photographers work all year long and in any climate.
Look for a depth of work. One or Two couples could mean that they staged the shoot for portfolio purposes. While this isn’t completely frowned upon in the pro-photo community, it is fake and could manipulate the client into thinking these images are possible on the fly.
If all of the photos look like instagram and snap-chat have their filters all over them, and you say to yourself “I could do that with my phone,” then someone probably did. A lot of first time shooters start out searching for an identity to their style by tossing out wide ranges of filters and editing an entire event with those filters.
Most professional photographers have figured out a style that helps them to be successful. These styles are seen throughout their portfolio and the weddings or events they capture. It’s all about consistency. There are some cases where the best wedding photographers in the world decide to change their style, but it is usually over a period of time; and its not very noticeable.
Being a professional photographer is a business, and businesses have overhead costs. When your looking for a real photographer you should expect to pay a little more than an amateur photographer that doesn’t have photography as their priority (owns a business).
SO WHY DOES IT COST SO MUCH?
We used to get this question everyday when we first started out or when we would tell people what we do. Its OK to ask this question, and we have shorter answers for this but, after years of shooting weddings and portraits we have come up with a clearly defined response. Our pricing starts with sessions and packages that are based off of what a clients wants and our overhead cost. As Professionals we are required to have all kinds of insurance, business licenses, memberships, advertising, update and upgrade gear to stay relevant, marketing materials, maintain their mode of transport, and pay personal bills. On average a professional photographer in California has an over head cost of $2000 or more a month, even in off-season months.
Then we look at the cost of bridal shows and expos. The Los Angeles Bridal Show costs $2,495 for a small booth, and the Bridal Salon cost $5000 for a small booth. All of these expo expenses usually have to be paid by the end of the previous year, not to mention the costs of supplies (sample albums, large prints, brochures, cards, etc.) So the total cost for a photographer just to operate during a year is $32,000+ before any profit is made. That’s why a REAL professional costs more.
Have any questions or think we missed something? TypO? Any feedback is welcome. Thank you for reading.