COST OF WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY IN INDIA
Finally, the dates are finalized and you are ready to plan your wedding to make it a beautiful one. You called up a few photographers whom you have been following for the last few months and noticed that the cost for hiring a good wedding photographer is way beyond your expectations… why so? And moreover.. it’s India! Things are cheaper in India.. isn’t it? Well unfortunately ‘NO’.
Most of us think that why a professional wedding photographer in India charge this much?.. Just for shooting your wedding for a few hours right? Well, let me tell you that in past few years, wedding photography has evolved by leaps and bounds. We have a more matured wedding photography industry and needless to say that a lot of time, effort and investment has been made by the Indian wedding photographers to achieve it!
Let me admit that I was one of you before I took a dive into the wedding photography industry and unfortunately I didn’t hire a good wedding photographer at my own wedding.
You may be thinking that as a wedding photographer I would be having some pretty amazing photographs of my own wedding day, right? Sadly, that’s not the case. My wife and I got married before I really found photography and before I decided I wanted to be a wedding photographer myself.
Ours was a large scale wedding with one of the best venues and vendors hired for the special day but the biggest mistake we did was holding ourselves back on spending much and hiring a photographer of our choice. Moreover, we ended up hiring 2 wedding photographers (One from the Bride's side and one from the Groom’s side) instead of hiring one good wedding photographer of our taste.
After our wedding, we realized that we had spent a decent percentage of our wedding budget on bridal wear / groom wear, makeup, décor, catering etc. but didn’t got those timeless moments captured the way we should have. I wish I could go back and get our wedding photos done once again by a photographer of our choice.
This is one of the major reasons which drive us to educate our clients in best possible way before they hire a wedding professional for their big day. We don’t want anyone else to feel the same way we did while flipping our wedding album.
In this post, we will help you understand that lot goes after the shoot to deliver those gorgeous images and what factors adds up to the final cost of wedding photography.
THE HIDDEN SIDE
Being a photographer doesn’t mean that they wake up in the morning, photograph a wedding for 8 hours and then go home and their job is done but you can multiply the time by 10 if you consider the post processing! That means importing all the cards, culling the images (narrowing the images down), editing, retouching, exporting, album design and printing etc. That’s around 80 hours on average!. They are also small business owners, which also comes with the job of doing all of their sales, marketing, accounting, scouting, art directing, managing their offices and studios, being their own webmasters, doing their own post production, designing, blogging, being students, being mentors, researching, etc.
Like other jobs (Engineers, Doctors, IT etc.), wedding photography is also a full time job for a wedding photographer and we should not forget that after investing in their business, they have to save for their current lifestyle and for their future. Yes, wedding photographers do retire like others.
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR
Images are made by the person behind the camera and not by the camera.. well, yes and no!
I agree that the images coming out of the camera are totally dependent on the creativity, skill and timing of the photographer and for that reason only we have so many different styles of photography available in India but in order to convert your creativity into a beautiful image we need those professional high end cameras & lenses and believe me they are not cheap!! High-end lenses and bodies average around 1.25 to 2.5 lakh each.
Considering that the cost of gear is almost same across the globe, how can photography be cheaper in India?
BACKUP & UPGRADE
There are no retakes in a wedding and top wedding photographers know that it is absolutely essential to have a backup in the event that something goes wrong with the primary camera. This adds to the cost of the wedding photography package prices.
Secondly, with technology improving every second, wedding photographers have to upgrade their gear in order to deliver the best possible to their clients.
COMPUTERS- THE PROCESSING MACHINES
Apart from how much cameras and lenses cost, wedding photographers need to also stay invested in the best computers, state-of-the-art backup systems, backup power so on.
IT’S NOT JUST THE HARDWARE
In the film era, photographers use to capture images on Films and use to develop the negatives in their “Darkroom” to create the final images. In this digital era, the process still remains the same but the tools differ.
Image Editing: Every image of yours is shot in RAW/ DNG (Digital Negative) format which is processed through various image editing software’s (Like Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, DXO optics etc) to achieve those professional quality gorgeous images.
Professional Album Design Software: Photoshop, Illustrator & InDesign are the album design software’s used by the wedding photographers to design your stunning albums.
Wedding photographers need to shell out substantial amount to get the license of these top photo editing software’s for professional use.
Like other professionals, photographers are in a continuous learning mode too. They read and study work of inspirational photographers across the globe. They keep pushing their skills and artwork to the next level through live workshops and online seminars, etc. The more educated a photographer is, the better techniques and specializations will be used while shooting a wedding. As everything else, that education comes at a cost!
I hope I was able to help you understand the importance of hiring a professional wedding photographer of your taste for your big day. All the best!