You've got questions, yes you do.
- How long have you been in business, Emily? Oh my gosh, thanks so much for asking. I've been doing this for 4 years now.
- How'd you get started? Did you go to school for this? Aside from Mrs. Hicks' 11th grade film class, no school. When I had my firstborn, I decided to retire from being a personal banker to focus on stay at home mom-ing and supporting the family from home so that my husband could throw himself into his career without worrying about daycare schedules and all that stuff. It wasn't until a few months in when I thought about giving photography a shot. I've always loved and valued it (the most expensive part of my own wedding was my photographers, Jesse Leos and Ryan Ray. We flew Ryan to CO for my engagements and Jesse to Mexico for the wedding!) and thought that would be enough to translate that into my own talent and style. I decided to cash in all of my birthday money at Costco and got my first camera. After that, I learned REAL QUICK that you can't just pick up an expensive camera and become a photographer. I had no clue how little I actually knew about this craft. But, I stuck with it, hounded my friends to let me take photos of them, then gradually began charging. I had the help of supportive mentors and I threw 90% of my profits back into my education and equipment. This ain't a cheap hobby, let me tell you!
- OK, but why in God's green earth do you photographers charge SO DAMN MUCH?! I get it. Back in the day, I wouldn't have ever dreamed of charging $500 an hour to start. Now, I'm thinking about raising my prices again! Think about equipment for a second. That camera, without even a lens is AT LEAST $2,000. The lens is anywhere between $500-2,000 depending on which I'm using that day. Memory cards. Computer. Hard drives so I don't lose the photos you just shelled out hard earned cash for. Camera straps. Insurance. Accountants. Gas to get your shoot. Website. Online cloud services because wedding photos take up a LOT of space. Advertising. And all of that's just hard cost! Time is money as well. I like to tell my clients that for each hour of shooting to expect another 3-4 hours of editing at the very least. If I do an hour shoot that takes me 30 minutes to get to and 4 hours to edit, then that's really 6 hours of time right there. After taxes and cost of doing business, it doesn't shake out to as much you'd think! Bottom line is, I along with others like me, charge what we feel comfortable making. At the end of the day, that's all that matters.
- How long have you been shooting weddings specifically? This is important to a lot of people. I'm a wedding newb. I've been doing wedding since September 2017. That's when I FINALLY felt good and ready to make the jump. Now that I have, I LOVE it. The days are long but they fly by because they're full of excitement and things to take photos of. Weddings are amazing because you lovely people spend months and thousands planning these perfectly photographic days that I get to show up and marvel at. Seriously. The flowers, the cake, the dress. It's all right there for me!