ooooh, i heartily agree with Jed on this one. $1200 for 8 hours work is too much? i know folks (and i mean local guys, not overseas photogs or celebrity photogs) who get $2-3K per wedding day shoot. so that's too much? not to the couple who got the fantastic wedding album which captured their once-in-a-lifetime occasion perfectly. if you're seen a really good wedding album, you'll know what i'm talking about. i myself wouldn't mind paying $2k for that kinda standard if i had the need/occasion and i could afford it. like what ydanz said "one cent worth, one cent's stock" (meaning you get what you pay for).Originally Posted by Jed
skills - it's very sad but photography is a strange animal. i can't remember who said it, but photography is probably the most technical form of art around. no other artform requires so much knowledge and expertise, so it's not hard to see why there's a common misconception that any Tom, Dick or Larry (hahaha) can take great photos with a expensive camera. but IMHO, photography is a skill, and no piece of expensive gear can help you if you suck at it. in other words, you're not paying for someone with a camera to come trigger the shutter @ your event (be it wedding or corporate). you're paying for someone's keen judgment, understanding of exposure, eye for details and composition and a gazillion other intangibles to come capture the moment, and oh btw this person is using XXX type of equipment. Jed's analogy about accountants, doctors, lawyers and other professional fields is very apt. you're not paying for a joker who can type to write a letter, you're paying for years of training, legal experience, knowledge and the backing of a professional firm.
equipment - there's no escaping it, but photography IS a very expensive skill. for those long-time shooters, think of all the money burnt on film, prints and darkroom stuff. and then digital came along, and hey, the price of photography has just tripled! but when you hire a event photographer, you're not only paying for his capital costs, but his backups as well. e.g. if you pay $500 for some guy with a camera and 2 lens, fine and dandy. but when his camera fails or CF crashes, there's little you can do about it except rant and rave. sue him? for a measly $500 fee? that's kinda pointless. but when you pay $2k for someone else, that person better be prepared with backup cameras, lenses, flashes, a gazillion gigs of storage cards, even an assistant/backup photog if the need is there. and that, everyone, costs money.
there are horror stories of people screwing up couples' actual day photogy. my own family was a victim - the photog for my sis's wedding (part of the studio package) actually dropped/lost one single roll of film at the ballroom and that roll happen to be the most impt roll - the grand entrance of the bride and groom. i'm not saying that top pros don't screw up, of course they do, but the chances of that is soooo much smaller and they're prepared to answer for the boo-boos.
just my 2 f-stops worth of comments.