How Long Have You Been A Photographer?
My interest in photography began after finding a box full of long exposure cityscape photos my dad had taken in college. From there my curiosity grew and I picked up my first camera when I was 11 years old, it was a $20 Nikon from a flea market. I have been hooked ever since.
In High school my passion pushed me into a dark room, where the cacophony of chemicals, red lightbulbs and magic of developing an image before my eyes turned this passion into a lifelong love. It's nearly been 20 years and I don't plan to stop anytime soon.
Do You Own Business Insurance?
Absolutely, I carry a $2,000,000 liability policy which protects myself and my clients. Most venues will require a Certificate of Insurance be delivered, so I highly recommend you check with any photographer/vendor if they are insured.
Do You Own Backup Equipment?
This is one of the most important distinguishing characteristics of a Professional VS Amateur Wedding Photographer in my opinion. Although we spend untold thousands of dollars on our equipment, things can go wrong. When it comes to a wedding, the only professional option is to carry backups, meaning extra cameras, batteries, flashes, memory cards and such. I bring 3 full frame professional cameras, so I backup my backup, heck I even bring extra shirt and pants just in case. The truth is, I know how important these images are to you, and as a professional, I cannot afford to cut any corners to insure that at the end of the day, even with possible equipment issues I can deliver consistent results.
I can not simply match another photographers rates or package offerings blindly. Although I take your budget into consideration, and often am willing to shuffle pieces around to make sure you get what you want, I simply can't lower my rates to match. When I encounter this I usually am told, "X photographer will shoot for 8 hours for this price." what I can't know or is failed to be mentioned is the quality of their work, their years of experience, if they are full time professionals, carry insurance, use equipment of equal quality or if they are local and have the same cost of business and living.
I always tell people that if i wanted to be rich I would be doing something else with my University degree. This is an art form, it's my love and I am incredibly lucky to be able to make a living at it. So, while I am intent on paying my bills on time, putting food in my families bellies & keeping a roof over my head, I am not in this to be rich. Aside from the day spent photographing your wedding, the rates also covers all the time invested in mastering this craft, the backend hours of marketing, outreach, editing and administration. My rates reflect a living wage, I hope you can appreciate that.