When you only see a photographer for only a short session or full day, you may think that a photographer working that many hours should only be paid a certain amount. So why am I paying them so much?
What customers don't see is the hours of scheduling the hours of prepping the hours of working on your photos. There's consultations, there's 10-30 minutes of image perfection multiplied by the number of files or photos you get. As well as delivery charges and product costs.
Add to this schooling as well as expensive software, expensive equipment and all those amazing props and backgrounds that were used to create your images. That's thousands of dollars, just on props, equipment and software. And the cost of a diploma, business licensing and taxes are another chunk. That's right I pay taxes, I'm a registered business who pays for a license and pays taxes as a business.
The point is that hour long shoot had set up time, consultation time, planning time, editing time and delivery time that you never saw. A full day wedding has me shooting for 15 hours. Had an hour plus of consultation time with you. And there will be 7+ hours of editing, product set up and design and then more time for delivery. When you pay me, your paying for 24+ hours of my time and covering the costs of travel and product costs. Anyone charging you less then $1000 for your wedding day is either robbing themselves, or you.
Would you go hire a plumber who didn't go to school? That chef who's training was cooking for his wife? Or how about having your taxes done by your 5 year old niece? She can add.
There's more to a good photographer then the ability to push a button. A good photographer takes good photographs. A great photographer understands that "Photography is a study in light and form. The composition of an image, is in essence, the representation and the interplay of light and form within the frame.". A great photographer captures more then just the picture, but also the emotions and truth of the moment.
Next time you hire a photographer, remember to ask questions, see their work and pay them what they are worth.
Not all "pros" are professionals.