A wedding photographer’s budget breakdown
Whether you’re lovers on the hunt for the best wedding photographer for your budget or a fellow snapper doing some market research, you’re probably noticing a vast difference in quotes across NSW.
We’re talking anywhere from $1500-$7500. The lower end of the scale are likely the peeps you find on Gumtree or Airtasker who are usually just starting out and trying to build their portfolio. The rates keep going up until you reach the top-enders who are often charging a premium thanks to their recognisable brand.
We strongly believe every couple should get beautiful wedding photos at a reasonable price. And that’s why we charge between $3500-$4500 per wedding.
We’re also big on transparency, so we wanted to break down exactly how we worked out our rates. Because money doesn’t have to be an awkward topic, lovers. We want you to be confident you’re getting everything you pay for - and then some - and also discover a little more about what goes on behind the admin scenes of our business. (Spoiler alert: a lot of hours of hard work.)
Three weddings per month doesn’t equal $10,000+ in our pockets. (Dammit.)
Let’s say we average this per month, with each couple spending approximately $3500. $10,500 isn’t bad, right? We wish. This may be the revenue that comes in, but it’s far from our profit. Read on for a few important income and budget factors.
We can usually only shoot one day a week.
While some people get hitched during the week, most weddings are still on weekends, meaning we can generally only work one day versus the standard five. Our work ebbs and flows with the seasons, too, so we’re not booking weddings every month. When we are busy, we also need to buffer in time for life stuff - unpaid sick days, appointments, time with our beautiful growing baby girl.
There’s more than a week’s worth of work per wedding.
Our fees are all inclusive. Even though you only see us for a few hours beforehand and on your big day, there’s a lot that goes into your finished product including:
1 day of photographing the wedding,
3+ days of culling/editing (studio time),
1 day for handover (first preview images, slideshow creation, final gallery upload and deliverables, and
1 day for admin (meetings, invoicing, client communication).
We immediately lose 10% to GST and 30% to income tax.
We also spend a minimum of $130 for personal touches for each client including a gift, custom USB, print box and prints, business cards, wrapping paper etc. So that brings the monthly profit down to $6300.
Then there's the monthly costs of running your own business, like:
Studio rent - $350
Studio Ninja (Client management software) - $25
Pic-time (Online gallery software) - $34
Xero - $65
Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Lightroom and InDesign) - $45
Pixellu (Slideshow and album software) - $45
Internet - $90
Phone - $120
Laptop - $120
Car - $400
Car insurance - $120
Petrol - $200
Bank account fee - $10
Credit card payment fees - $120
Tolls - $30
Google emails - $10
Calendly (Calendar software) - $12
Squarespace - $18
Canon Professional Services - $10
Public liability - $40
Equipment insurance - $50
Dropbox - $16
iCloud - $5
Vimeo - $10
Postage & Office supplies - $50
Equipment repairs and upkeep - $100
Website & Marketing - $300
Camera upgrades - $100
And, exhale. So, after $2465 in monthly running costs, we’re left with $3835 profit per month or $882.55 a week. Some of this needs to go to our super fund, too.
That equals about 40 weddings a year.
We take pride in showing up and giving our clients our all. They get our energy, our enthusiasm, our skills and our passion. To keep giving them this attentive service as well as strike some kind of work/life balance, we would need to book about 40 weddings per year as full-time wedding photographers.
We make sure we’ve got the best gear to get the shot.
We’re capturing one of the most memorable days of your lives. So we’re investing in the industry’s best cameras, lenses, lights, computers and hard-drives to ensure we can produce the goods. Paying our rate unlocks access to these premium services.
We totally understand budgets.
We’re happy residents of the real world. If you need to cut costs, we can tweak our packages so you can still afford our services. A shorter amount of coverage means a shorter workload at our end.
As you can see, we don’t really make a whole lot of money.
But geez we love what we do! This isn’t a weekend gig, it’s our family’s primary source of income. It’s our passion, and after more than a decade in the photography industry we know there’s no way we’d want to be doing anything else. We find people don’t mind paying fees as long as they’re getting value for money. Instead of increasing our rates, we’re constantly working hard to bring our monthly costs down, book more weddings and sell extras like albums and video to bring our profits up.
We hope our openness can show you how we’ve determined what we’re worth, and how we work hard behind the scenes to capture your big day. And if you’ve got a budget question you’ve been too shy to ask - send it on over, lovers! We’re all ears.