I thought it was interesting. I haven't decided on a photgrapher yet, but this opened my eyes a little... I might post this on the Photographers Board too, but I don't want to get flamed or anything. Wowzers! Why does wedding photography cost so much? Well, let’s look at the cost of being a wedding photographer. If I shoot your wedding for 6 hours, at a fee of $1500, and include only the DVD of files for you (referred to in the industry as a “Shoot & Burn”), then that means I made ($1500/6) or $250 per hour right? That’s great money! But wait, let’s look deeper at the cost, and account for these things (not all inclusive and in no particular order other than when they entered my mind)- 1. Taxes, including sales tax, income tax, self-employment tax, property tax, and others. (Approximately 55% of the gross income) 2. Insurance, including liability, equipment, Omissions and Errors (Malpractice), Medical, Disability, Property, Auto, and others. (Approximately $2500 per year) 3. Licenses, including business license, occupancy, and others as required by locale. (Approximately $75 per year) 4. Professional memberships, and education, including on-going and initial training. (Approximately $1500 per year) 5. Equipment, including cameras and assorted image capture gear (back up gear, batteries, cables, bags, and a ton of misc. stuff), computers/printers, image storage and backup system, lighting,, proofing system, projector, software, etc. (Approximately $15000 to get started, and $4000 per year to maintain and upgrade) 6. Office equipment and space, including utilities (water, electricity, gas, cable, internet, etc.). (Approximately $15000 per year) Home office may be less. Mine is, but not by a lot. 7. Travel costs including fuel, wear and tear on the automobile, and also time to and from the wedding. (Approximately $2500 per year) 8. Advertising/Marketing costs including website design and maintenance, business cards, logo/branding costs (graphic designer, printing, distribution), bridal shows, etc. (Approximately $1500 per year) 9. Clothing suitable for wear at your wedding, including comfortable shoes. Especially comfortable shoes. (Approximately $300 per year) 10. Post wedding day processing of the images, including gallery design, slideshow design, web hosting, proof printing, and any albums or other design needed. (Approximately 20-30 hours per wedding) 11. Hard costs of materials printed or produced from the wedding including albums, DVD, proofs, wall portraits, frames, “Save the Date” cards, packaging for these and other products, shipping costs? (Varies by wedding, but usually around $700) 12. Appointment times to meet and discuss your wedding including the initial consultation on the phone, meeting at the studio/Starbucks/wherever, the engagement session time, the initial unveiling of your wedding images, album consultation, delivery appointment? (Approximately 4 hours per wedding) So you begin to see that what looks like very good money on the surface is quickly reduced by a ton when the costs are factored in, and in fact, that example of a $1500 “Shoot & Burn” will not in fact even support a middle class family. So let’s say you shoot a $1500 wedding every weekend, 52 weeks a year. That’s booked solid with zero time off. In this example it is reduced to -- $148 profit from the wedding. That’s 52 weeks a year x $148 for a whopping $7696 a year.