What you have to consider when you hire a photographer
The story went something like this: after a romantic dinner your he made you the fateful question. And you answered “YES“.
From that moment a grueling search on Pinterest began to find ideas and ideas for your wedding. The set-up, the ideal color palette, the bouquet and, more generally, the mood you would like to give to your Big Day.
Then, after a quick round of estimates, you have realized how expensive a wedding can be!
Even photography does not escape this logic.
But how much does a wedding photographer can costs? What is the average cost of a Wedding Photographer in Italy?
I often hear this question. I thought it would be useful for future couples to have an idea of what are the important aspects to consider when you’re addressing a professional photographer.
With this article I hope to help you to value the investment that you decide to support.
ALL THE INFORMATION THAT FOLLOWS IS THE RESULT OF 10 YEARS OF PERSONAL ACTIVITY IN THIS SECTOR.
The first useful thing to define, after the photographic style of course, is the duration of the photo shoot.
Usually the photographer begins his service with the getting ready of the spouses. This will be at least a couple of hours before the ceremony. This in order to have the time to tell all aspects in detail and without rush.
Very often he has to move several times during the day. Typically: house of the groom, the bride, ceremony, romantic portraits and reception are often in different locations.
An average photo shoot during 8 to 10 hours but may even exceed 12 hours.
In this regard, the offer is varied. Who offer packages for eight hours and then add hours according to need, who offers a flat rate of 12 hours maximum and who does not set time limits.
When asking for a quote, make sure you know these conditions. Sometimes adding two hours can be more expensive than taking a flat-rate hourly cover.
This is because the wedding season in Italy is concentrated in a few months. It is essential for the photographer to know in advance the time coverage of each job. A 12-hour photo shoot often prevents the photographer from considering a job for the next day. Indeed the distances to be covered sometimes are too long to be covered in one night.
Having to add additional unanticipated hours could complicate the organization of travel arrangements for the following day.
THE DELIVERY OF THE PHOTOS
Another fundamental aspect is to understand how the photographs will be delivered. Very often today, the basic package includes the delivery of photographs in digital format. Usually it includes also the relative rights of printing and personal use.
Also here, the offer is very varied. Some photographers haven’t problems to deliver even the raw files. There is who, instead, delivers a predefined number of post-produced photographs with an additional cost for the delivery of all remaining unedited photographs.
Often the albums are provided as an optional.
THE SECOND SHOOTER
An high number of guests, the distance between the spouses during the preparations, the need to have different angles of recovery during the wedding day are all factors that influence the choice of having or not a second shooter at your wedding.
Very often, the second photographer is considered an optional but, just as often, he can make a difference in the “Head” photographer’s work. Personally, I always recommend the presence of a second shooter. There are anyway exceptions such as Elopements and weddings with less than 30 guests.
So far we have talked about the wedding shooting, hours of hard work concentrated in a single day. Probably the most physically exhausting but professionally fulfilling wall.
Then there is all the back-office work. Invisible to the client, it is necessary to have photographs so fascinating and aesthetically involving. This is the management and post-production of the images.
You have followed me up to here, try to follow me also for the next 10 lines! I will explain quickly how to raw calculate the costs for the photographer with a few figures ?
AVERAGE COST OF A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER IN ITALY
An average photographer invests about 50 hours of work between the first contact with the couple until the finished work is delivered.
Here we finally arrive at the average cost that a wedding photographer could/should have in Italy.
Consider a minimum profit of € 26.50/hour gross (€ 15/hour after tax). The cost of a photographer with a minimum experience should be € 1325 (€ 750 net).
Now consider the hourly cost of the labor of a qualified workshop mechanic. He costs approx € 55/hour gross. Wanting to earn as a mechanic therefore, an average photographer should ask for a “full day” package (single photographer and with the delivery of only files) about 2750 € VAT included.
If you want to include a second photographer, his cost is generally not less than € 300/service (€ 30/hour gross).
To all this must be added the options, such as prints or album or travel expenses, if the service is out of the usual operating area of the photographer.
Now you will be thinking that, all in all, your friend or acquaintance has spent much less than our “Average Photographer”.
The factors that determine the final cost of a photo shoot are many and difficult to list. One of the most important factors in Italy is the framing of the photographer at the fiscal level, but this is not the place to talk about it: it’s a very long and thorny theme.
SOME USEFUL TIPS TO DO THE BEST CHOICE
Let me give you some useful tips to know if you have received package offers (with two or more photographers, full days and albums included for example) at a lower cost than our “Average Photographer”:
– Ask if the photographer is the sole holder or he has the opportunity to offer multiple photo shoots a day by sending a trusted team. In the latter case, be sure to know the photographer in charge of your service and ask to see some of his full works to assess his real capacity and experience;
– Ask to see the photographs taken by the second photographer offered, in order to evaluate his real experience and the harmony with the head photographer’s work;
– You could ask how many weddings the photographer shoots every year. Too many jobs concentrated in a few months will cause a physiological lowering of the photographer’s level of quality ? Just to have an idea, an English 2017 statistic notes that London photographers make, on average, 25 services each year.
– The package includes a quality album or could you do it yourself online? There are several sites that offer digital albums at low cost… and quality of course.
– Lastly, the taxation regime of the individual photographer is a crucial point (here in Italy we have 3 different type of taxation depending of the annual final revenue). This without directly calling into question the tax evasion… Someone that usually shoot a large number of weddings per year hardly fits in the lower taxation level… ?
As you have understood, is not as easy task to determine the average cost of a Wedding Photographer in Italy. I sincerely hope I have not bored you with this long talk on the subject of the cost of the wedding photographer.
I hope instead to have provided you with something more useful to correctly evaluate the value of the photographer you decide to hire for your wedding.