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August 2, 2011

Why Is Wedding Photography So Expensive?

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Why Is Wedding Photography So Expensive?

Great question! It sure does seem like wedding photography is expensive. To help answer this question, let’s take a look “behind-the-scenes” at what goes into editing a single wedding image at Joshua Jobst Photography.

 

HereĀ is a wedding image straight out of the camera with no editing. This is what I call a “proof image.”

 

This image has now been edited with basic “touch-ups” or adjustments of exposure, color, contrast, sharpening, etc. Every single image you receive (typically 500-1000) will have this basic editing done. I will spend approximately 5 minutes on each image. (That’s around 40 hours for 500 images.)

 

Now I have gone beyond basic editing for this image into the realm of “artistic Photoshop work.” This is where I really make an image “pop” and come to life with such technqiues as curves and levels, local contrast, smooth skin, color saturation, etc. This sort of work adds an additional 30 minutes per image. Each collection comes with a select number of these “artistic Photoshop work” images.

 

Finally, there is “advanced Photoshop work.” This is ultimate Photoshop bling where I push it to the max. Depending on my vision, yours, or both, this makes for some amazing artistry! To quantify this work, I simply look at the clock. If it takes me an hour to complete the work, that’s equal to 2 regular “artistic Photoshop work” images. In this case, I have gone all-out with masked layer techniques and vintage effects to create this modern, editorial, and edgy masterpiece. From start to finish this 1 image took me over 2 hours – equal to 4 “artistic Photoshop work” images. (I hope this makes sense.)

 

I decided to included a few more examples of Black & White and Sepia images to explain why I consider these to be “artistic Photoshop work.” Here we have image #1 again only I have done a straight B&W conversion. This is not difficult. Anyone can do this at their local or online printing lab with the press of a button and get a similar look. Now to me this B&W is hideous. It looks like a gray goopy mess. Let’s bring it back from the dead.

 

Ahhh…now this is a B&W! I’ve touched it up and used curves and contrast in Photoshop to really make it pop. (The stark contrast between black and white is what makes a fine B&W photograph.)

 

Here’s another example of a goopy mess only with some “fools gold” thrown in and masquerading as Sepia. Ick. Again, this is a straight Sepia conversion you can do at any lab.

 

Now here is my version of Sepia after some Photoshop work. Love the chocolate flavor!

 

Finally, here’s one more example atop the Detroit Athletic Club of some super Photoshop bling.
This 1 image also took me over 2 hours to complete.
Michigan Wedding Photographer
Hopefully this article has shed a little light on the inner-workings of a wedding photographer and what goes into a single image to create an artistic photograph. But if it’s still a little hard to justify the cost, let’s quantify it this way: Wedding coverage = 10 hours; 600 edited images x 5 min/each = 3000 minutes = 50 hours; 60 Photoshop images x 30 min/each = 1800 minutes = 30 hours; add-ons like engagement pictures, slideshows, albums, etc. I think it’s fair to say we’re somewhere in the 100 hour ballpark for a single wedding (and this is only photography…videography editing requires 2x as much work!). So then, let’s simply divide $5000 by 100 hours. That’s…$50 an hour. Not a bad deal IMHO for an investment that will last a lifetime. Besides, how much did the ring cost? :)

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Why Is Wedding Photography So Expensive? expert Joshua Jobst is a professional photographer and videographer who founded Joshua Jobst Photography and Jobst Media Videography. He and his wife Jennifer are a husband and wife team who love shooting wedding photos, pictures, and video. They offer a modern and cutting-edge style of artistic wedding photojournalism, wedding film and cinematic videography, lifestyle portraiture, family portraits, senior pictures, and photo booth services. Josh and Jenn are great at explaining Why Is Wedding Photography So Expensive?

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