We get it. From the outside, it looks like all we do is take a few photographs, and then charge hundreds of pounds for it. To be honest, I personally used to be one of those people that just couldn't wrap my head around how a photographer could charge so much for a photo. That is, until I started doing it myself, and I learned that actually, there is a whole lot more involved than you might think! Just to be clear, this isn't intended as a post to have a moan - it is a post to educate others and let them know why we are priced the way we are (and trust me - it's not to rip you off or get rich!)
Photography isn't the kind of process that requires the same level of training, the same equipment and the same amount of time for every person that completes the job. It's an art form, and where there is a creative process, every photographer will have their own approach and experience levels, different equipment and expenses, and spend different amounts of time to come to their end result. For example, there are some studios that don't do any editing work to their photos, whereas we spend a lot of time ensuring our photos are of the highest quality before they reach our customers. Because of this, just because one photographer charges X, doesn't mean we can charge X too - it's not interchangeable.
So the time element is a large part of it - we value our integrity and aim to produce the best possible outcome for our customers. Equipment is another aspect - hobbyist photographers may be able to charge less because they have limited equipment without backups or insurance, which could be very problematic should they experience problems on a wedding or event. We also have a studio which is a great base for people to drop by and see us in a city centre location, which adds to our professionalism rather than operating from our homes. It does mean we have to pay rent, but as full time professional photographers, it's important that customers can see we are serious about what we do. Part time photographers that work around other jobs simply can't offer the same level of experience or availability, as they have other commitments doing other things. We are fully committed to providing our customers with the best service possible.
There are various other aspects that we photographers have to cover in order to run our businesses too - different types of insurance, suppliers, bills, transport, backup photographers on standby just in case we were ill on your wedding day (which thankfully hasn't happened yet!), marketing, accountancy and book-keeping, general administrative tasks... And a whole lot more we do automatically week-in, week-out that we don't even register, because it's what we need to do to run our business. At the end of the day, we take home very little money - it's something you have to do for the love, because if you were doing it for the money - well, you wouldn't!
So I hope this has helped you to understand why it is that photography costs what it does, and why we charge what we do. Ultimately, we charge competitive rates and we are proud of our prices and our products. We are never going to be the absolutely cheapest option, as we are never going to be able to charge what a part time hobbyist with just a camera and no editing charges - however we are happy in the knowledge that we provide a comprehensive professional level of service and are committed to creating beautiful photographs for our customers.