If you’re here because we were telling you to raise your photography budget then here’s the nitty gritty of it. There are a lot of costs that go into small businesses, especially ours. We are a full-service studio, meaning we handle everything. We don’t outsource your photos to other people to handle. We curate your shoots, design your albums, hand edit each and every single photo and video we deliver. It’s our gear to give you the best photos possible, our artisan albums that will last forever, even our office space so we can answer emails and prep for your wedding! To think that some people think that all we do is push a button baffles us sometimes, but hey, those people aren’t educated like you are about to be. Consider us doing you a favor! You get to learn about what goes on behind the scenes and can debate against the “push a button” naysayers!
Professional Experience and Education: $80k student loans combined for 4 years of college each, plus we like to spend an additional $1-2k on educational workshops each year. Why? To better serve our wonderful couples.
Pre-Production and Post-Production: If we only charged for the time we were actually at your wedding, then things might be a little different aka we wouldn’t be in business. We spend anywhere from 40-60 hours on each wedding. Before your wedding, this includes emailing and admin work like filing, signing contracts, bookkeeping, emailing back and forth, planning and consulting over coffee, creating your custom timeline, etc. This includes the work on your wedding day, which starts well before your coverage begins and goes through from the time we walk back through our door. We immediately back up your images in five different places until they are edited and delivered so we never lose files. Then after your wedding, this includes hand editing each and every photo that we deliver so it’s perfect, organizing your galleries so you can share with your families, designing your album and products and then delivering those albums and products.
Equipment: We shoot with three Nikon D750s ($1300 each), a Nikon 85mm 1.4 ($1600), a Nikon 35mm 1.4 ($1700), a Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 ($2400 ), a 105mm 2.8 ($900). Our lighting kit consists of 4 speedlights ($350 each), 2 triggers ($300 each), 4 lightstands ($50 each) so we can properly light your ceremony or reception. Our memory cards are $50 each and we shoot on one and back up on the other. We use about 10 cards per wedding! Our videography kit includes 2 microphones ($180 each), our beloved drone ($1600), our stabilizer ($700), our slider ($1000). Not to mention batteries at $60 each (we have too many to count), filters for our lenses, camera bags, straps, etc. Anyone bother to add all this up? No? We did it for you and rounded up because we are positive we are missing something. We use $25,000 worth of gear to cover your event.
Business Expenses: Postage to mail your welcome kits and products ($20), our phones ($150), our internet ($80), our computers built specifically for photo and video editing so we can deliver your images and video promptly ($5000), our software ($1000). We are definitely forgetting stuff here.
Taxes: 30% of every collection goes to the great Uncle Sam. *insert upside down smiley face here*
Insurance and Business Licenses: This one is important. We are LICENSED and INSURED. We carry $1,000,000 worth of coverage.
Living Expenses: Of course, this will vary from business to business, but we have rent, car payments, pet and grocery bills just like the next person.
We have priced our services at a fair price for our clients, but also one that will keep us afloat and allow us to continue doing what we love. You can copy this exact blog post and use it for any other business, too. The next time you think, “Wow, that plumber is really expensive”, maybe consider that he might be the best in the business and that he also has a family to take care of, as well as business expenses.
We’d love to chat more with you if you have any questions on what it takes to run a small business! Shoot us an email if you’d love to learn more.