Why do wedding photographers cost so much?

So it occurred to me (on many occasions) that many people don't really know what it costs to be a wedding photographer. People just see the rate and assume that it's all going into the photographer's pocket. As a wedding photographer I only wish that was true. I've been putting together numbers for some things and I thought some people might find this interesting. If you do, leave a comment because otherwise I may just delete it. *A little disclaimer, these numbers are rounded and approximations. Equipment costs are based on one day rentals. Yearly costs are split by 12, which assumes I would do one wedding a month.

I'll start with my rate for a wedding... $3000 (which includes prints, a book, digital negatives on DVD, backdrop at the reception, etc. See CalvinEngel.com for everything).

$3000 photographer cost -$500 second photographer -$100 camera (2x 5d Mark II) -$156 lenses (assorted) -$100 flashes (strobes and flashes) -$25 gas -$20 clothes/shoes ($250/12 weddings) =$2009 after expenses just to shoot the wedding -$400 book -$50 prints -$100 Software (Adobe CS4, Lightroom, Book Keeping Software, MS Office, etc) -$10 custom website (bride and grooms name.com) -$30 Website/hosting (for my website) -$50 Business insurance (approx since there are a ton of things that affect that) =$1369 after costs for book, prints, website, software

Now I'll divide that by hours... $1369 รท 92hrs (12 hrs shooting the wedding, approx 40 hrs editing the wedding, approx 40 hrs designing book, cropping, printing, stretching, delivering, etc = 92 hrs)

= $14.88/hr

HanselmanDavis_116