"they just take photos? My aunt has a camera she can do it"
HERE IS WHY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY CAN VARY SO MUCH IN PRICE
I bet the thought has run through your mind, how can they charge so much for one day?
There are my top 6 reasons why wedding photographers can charge as little as $500 up to $7,500
Here is the simple explanation
1. You get what you pay for
By this I don't mean that someone charging $500 is cheap and nasty however they will not have a lot of experience.
Someone with little expeince does not always have the appropriate gear needed to capture weddings
For instance, during the ceremony you don't want your photographer in the way of guests because their lens wont zoom in as far as they need to get the shot
During the ceremony you also dont want your photographer getting in the way of your guests because they feel that they will "miss the shot" and unfortunately this is one of the things that comes with experience.
2. It is not just one days work
You might think that a photographer is making so much money because of how much they charge right? WRONG
To choose out of the thousands of images, collect the favourites, edit, process, upload to gallery, print albums, contact the client, this all takes time. On average it takes a photographer about 3 weeks (working straight through on one gallery) to finish and hand over an album this doesn't include juggling other clients and marketing, client meetings, advertising and much more.
Let's for arguments sake say they are asking 2.5K for their standard wedding package
From that 2.5K you need to take out roughly 30% for tax
Another 200-300 for Marketing expenses that will come from getting this job booked.
Equipment (yes once it is bought it is bought) BUT not everyone owns their gear outright, some camera bodies alone are 6-10K without any lenses take the canon R5 it's current market value starts at 5.5K and goes up to 7K.
Lenses alone can be as little a s$150 up to 4K
It all comes down to what your photographer owns
If they use expensive equipment, chances are they will change more because they take pride in their work
3. You pay for EXPERIENCE/INSURANCE
This ties into the first point but not only does experience come at a cost it also comes along with all the reassurance that not everyone provides such as liability insurance, back up programming in that worst case scenario where the main camera breaks, gets lost or stolen. The photographers that have been through these scenarios before know that they need to plan for this - and guess what it's not a cheap way to do things photographer pay through the nose for it.
It isn't just buying a camera that costs money
Website creation / maintenance, SEO, editing programs, domains, apps for social media content, LENSES and MORE LENSES, back up equipment, CF cards, all these things cost money let alone the photographers travel expenses (if they charge you for it) all these things cost money and it really does add up
5. RUINING RELATIONSHIPS
What do I mean by this?
If you get one of your mates to come and help shoot for free not only does it put a strain on your relationship but it can also be quite disappointing if you don't get what you expect from them. Keep it simple - Hire a professional.
6. You can relax
Rest easy knowing that when you hire a professional wedding photographer you don't need to worry about them - they know what they are doing
A lot of the time they will end up helping you on the day with little thigs that event planners are paid for (does that wedding favour need to be handed out? of course I can do that for you!) It comes with experience and customer service
The key to knowing if you are hiring the right person - CALL them, Email them, DM them if they take a long time to respond their customer service is a good reference point to see how they work. If you don't hear from them... You know that they probably aren't worth that 7.5K
Just be reasonable, do your research and at the end of the day you are spending a lot of money on friends and family to enjoy your event, make sure you have the photos to remember it by. The champagne looses it bubbles, the lights go off, the music stops playing but you will always have the pictures to remember it by.