Admit it. You've heard it. We've all heard it. Photographers jack up their prices the moment you utter the word "wedding".
Well guess what, kids? I'm here to drop truth bombs and spill some serious tea.
This so called Wedding Tax is a myth. Yup, it's total bullshit. Let me explain.
Wedding photography is expensive. But not why you might think. I don't hear the word "wedding" and randomly throw a few extra dollar signs onto my quote... there is a lot more to it than that.
It's easy to assume that wedding photographers are so expensive because of their gear. And yes, that is part of it. If I've shot your wedding you've absolutely seen me double fisting cameras, sporting rad and expensive looking lenses. Not to mention the sheer number of memory cards, hard drives and batteries I go thru on an annual basis annnnnd the top notch insurance I need to cover it all! It costs a ton of money to be a photographer.
But guess what? That's still only part of it.
My favorite kind of double-fisting. Two Nikons and I'm golden. Photo shot by Alice Tsui.
Being a wedding photographer is an incredibly physically demanding job. A typical wedding will have me on my feet pretty much non-stop for 8-12 hours straight. I'll do 500 squats easily throughout the day and I've been known to belly slide across a dance floor so I can NAIL THAT PERFECT SHOT. The "wedding photography hangover" is a real thing that is well known in the photography community. Weddings are a workout but we also have to go easy on water throughout the day because we don't have a ton of opportunities to use the restroom. The next day our bodies feel like they've been through a hard night of drinking but we haven't had a drop. It's just a glorious combination of dehydration and sore muscles.
But guess what? That's not all.
During weddings both emotions and expectations are at their absolute highest. You can't redo your wedding, so you're counting on your photographer to capture everything perfectly. As your photographer, I'm also the only person (besides your spouse) who will literally be with you ALL. DAY. LONG. Even those life-saving wedding planners who helped take all that stress off of you during wedding planning won't be with you because they're off running the show! I'm privy to some of the most beautiful moments of your life and some of the most stressful and emotional as well. Once I consoled (did I say console? I meant twerked my ass off) to get a crying bride to laugh. I've hugged and comforted a Mother of the Groom as she wept because she wished her husband had been alive to see their son get married. Another time, I scrubbed blood out of the back of a bride's dress minutes before she was supposed to walk down the aisle (and it wasn't even her blood). All of this while still taking gorgeous images that capture the beautiful moments that are happening amidst the chaos.
AND THAT'S STILL NOT ALL.
Me absolutely MURDERING that bloodstain out of a wedding dress. Photo by the incredible Casey Brodley.
Of course, when your wedding is over my work has barely begun. I spend hours choosing the perfect collection of images and hand editing each one of them. This is when I get to turn those raw images into art. And honestly, that's one of the most rewarding parts of this job. My art becomes your memories... I freaking LOVE that.
Which brings me to the final reason why the Wedding Tax is a hot load of crap.
It is a literal investment in your memories!!! You are paying for the preservation and documentation of one of the most important days of your life. These photos won't just be enjoyed by you but by your children and your grandchildren. Those captured memories are one of the only things you'll have left when your beautiful wedding is over. You'll never wear (or possibly fit into) that wedding dress again. Your flowers will fade and die, all that delicious food and drink will be consumed and the songs you danced to will one day be oldies that you hardly ever hear anymore. But your photographs? Your photographs capture and preserve all of those elements that fade. Your photographs are forever.
When you hire me as a photographer, you're not just hiring someone to stand there and click a button. You're paying for artistry, stamina, compassion and ninja-like reflexes. And even more than that, you're investing in a gift for yourself that will last a lifetime.
And damnit, I'm worth it.