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costs for albums

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janinegirly

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since we''re talking about costs (in other threads), i''m curious what others think is standard for a wedding album. On the east coast it seems to be $1-2k!!

thankfully that''s one thing that comes after the wedding so i don''t have to take all the hits at once! Is there a way to reduce this---have someone other than the photog do the album (since I have the negatives)?
 

basil

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Do it yourself with one of those iPhoto books or Kodak books, if you get digital negatives. They start at $40.

A lot of wedding costs I can understand, but I''m not sure what in a wedding album could be worth $1-2k.
 

janinegirly

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well they are beautifully presented when done professionally. leather bound album,etc. Mattings all take time and care. also includes development of photos which i''m guessing has different quailty when printed professionally.

i agree it''s v. v. high, but i''ve seen it from all photog''s i''ve looked into in my area
 

strmrdr

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They wholesale for between $400 and $1800 for a reasonable high quality book and that doesnt include the several hours it takes to lay them out and design them which the phtographer has to do. Add the usual outragous profit in the bizz and you hit 2k+ in a hurry.
Outsourced albums where the photographer justs send them the pictures and they do the layout start out around $1000 wholesale for a med. quality book: $600 book $400 layout.
Which is then sold for 2k+ out the door.
Its one of the few industries left where 100% to 300% profits are the norm.
The main reason for that is a photographer often needs to earn a years income in 6 months with 1 wedding a week thats only 24 weddings to earn the majority of a years income.
Which is one reason its becoming a second job with the cost of health insurance being the biggest reason more people dont do it full time.
 

basil

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I''ve seen those costs too. In most cases, it seems to be a way for the photographer to justify charging a certain amount for his/her services (i.e. package deal for $$$$ which includes album "worth $").

You can get professional quality prints at a number of places online, if you have a good quality negative and a basic understanding of digital photo processing. Arranging photos in a book can take some trial and error, but it''s not something that takes a professional, in my opinion. There''s a limited number of layouts one can create. It''s not like the photography itself or flower arrangements where there''s a big artistic component.

I''m sure a leather bound book is expensive, but I would not pay $1-2k for a leather bound book. If you really want a leather bound book, I''m sure you could purchase one and mat the photos and put them in youself, and it would be much cheaper than paying the photographer to do it.
 

Pandora II

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I often use photobox for prints for photography competitions and I''m really pleased with the quality - can''t see the difference between them and what my ex (professional, award-winning photographer turned out.).

You will need to spend plenty of time editing your shots before sending for printing. I reckon on spending around 10-15 minutes average on editing per shot.
 

Fancy605

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$1-2000 + seems to be the rate here for an album. Although I have seen some traditional, simple albums for $800ish.

I think using photo programs one could easily make an album that looks professional. But, who has time to do that? My matsers required me to take a computer class, where we spent a good deal of time working with photoshop, I-movie, etc and learned to make books and such. My trouble is that I am SUCH a perfectionist about things that it was taking me an hour to get just one page the way I wanted it. I would LOVE to do my own wedding album if I had time, but I would never have thetime to get it just right. So, to me it is worth it to pay the photographer to do it for me. My photographer is great in that the album price includes an album design meeting, where I will get to look at a bunch of her work and go over what I would like to see in my own book, pull the photos we want to use, etc.
 

Cehrabehra

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a friend of mine who is a wedding photographer in missouri told me that she earns every cent of her sitting fee with the many hours at the wedding, prep, and getting it all ready to show, showing it, pre-interviews etc. All of that.

Where she made her profit was in albums and printing. Markup to have photos printed is like *outrageous*. She would make hundreds and thousands off of what people ordered. The 1-2k fee to *take* the pictures was hard earned.... the album is what gets ya!!!
 

monarch64

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Yup, our album ended up being $1800 (Chicago area). Our photographer did have some other options besides the leather bound album, though, which were cheaper...like a photo box, and a couple other things I can''t remember. The drawback to them was that they were just smaller and didn''t hold as many pictures. Honestly, we were able to pay a portion of our photog fee up front and then after the wedding we chose our pics and album and paid for that when they were ready.
 

strmrdr

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The biggest problem with albums is no one looks at them, all the married folks i know put them in the box on the shelf and they never get looked at.
Most of them couldnt even find them without hunting for them.

They might get dug out at major anniversaries but that''s about it.
 

wifey2b

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Date: 3/11/2007 11:11:21 AM
Author: strmrdr
The biggest problem with albums is no one looks at them, all the married folks i know put them in the box on the shelf and they never get looked at.
Most of them couldnt even find them without hunting for them.

They might get dug out at major anniversaries but that''s about it.
giggle - but Strm knows that won''t happen with wifey2b...she will be wondering how to scrapbook this one and that one - giggle...and then it will be left in the coffee table where it can be looked at at any time - giggle....so I love my photos...
Strm and I are thinking of doing some of our own wedding pics....like of each other - and then getting one of those frames where the photos will do a slide show in them - I think that is one of the coolest ideas when you can''t decide which wedding pics you want displayed - giggle :}
 

diamondfan

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Many photogs work differently. Some sell you all the proofs, and then you make the album at an additional cost, and there are different price levels for how many photos the album contains.
 

sarie_j

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Our photographer is $1400 and that incluse proofs, engagement shots, and the wedding album -- Actually, the album is what ran the cost up from $900. He puts a lot of work into his though, and I get to choose different backgrounds etc because I chose an album with standard 4x6 pics as opposed to the 8x10''s - I''ve seen several examples of his work though, and I can''t even begin to imagine how much time and effort goes into cropping and arranging and all that -
 

curlygirl

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Date: 3/11/2007 11:11:21 AM
Author: strmrdr
The biggest problem with albums is no one looks at them, all the married folks i know put them in the box on the shelf and they never get looked at.
Most of them couldnt even find them without hunting for them.

They might get dug out at major anniversaries but that''s about it.
I couldn''t agree more!! We opted not to spend the money on having an album made. We got all the negatives from our photographer and I did my own album. I haven''t looked at it or shown it to anyone--I think it''s in my closet! It''s great that some people want to display theirs and show them off to the world but I''ve honestly never asked to look at anyone''s wedding album, nor has anyone ever volunteered to show theirs to me!
 

janinegirly

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i know that couples don''t look at their albums often, but it''s still a keepsake, and some day, maybe on your 10th, 20th,50th anniversary, you will pull it out. or your kids will. we are not having a videographer so it has extra special significance.

i think making one''s own album is a great idea if you have the skill and patience. i''m wondering--does the photographer''s talent come out in the production of the photos (photo effects etc) or is it when taking the actual photo? meaning if i have the photo developed, will it look the same as if she did it in her studio?
 

cara

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Date: 3/9/2007 4:35:30 PM
Author: basil
I''ve seen those costs too. In most cases, it seems to be a way for the photographer to justify charging a certain amount for his/her services (i.e. package deal for $$$$ which includes album ''worth $'').


You can get professional quality prints at a number of places online, if you have a good quality negative and a basic understanding of digital photo processing. Arranging photos in a book can take some trial and error, but it''s not something that takes a professional, in my opinion. There''s a limited number of layouts one can create. It''s not like the photography itself or flower arrangements where there''s a big artistic component.


I''m sure a leather bound book is expensive, but I would not pay $1-2k for a leather bound book. If you really want a leather bound book, I''m sure you could purchase one and mat the photos and put them in youself, and it would be much cheaper than paying the photographer to do it.
I guess I disagree that layout is not a professional talent. Isn''t that what layout editors/graphic designers do? Seems like it involves a lot of cropping and retouching of the photographs themselves in addition to a lot of layout. Also what is the mounting method? That can be labor intensive and I''ve seen form layout albums and really nice layouts that clearly took a lot of work. Sure you can do it yourself, like a lot of things with huge markup that are wedding related. But to do it really well, IMO, takes some professional software (if your layout is digital) and some talent in addition to all the actual printing/mounting materials required.

I totally agree that albums often sit on the shelf and only you can decide if its a product that you are interested in purchasing at that price. The cost of wedding photography in general seems like an absurd amount to pay for "8 hours worth of work" but as others have said, its not really 8 hours worth of work, they are artistic professionals that must support themselves with 1-2 weeks of salary per wedding in addition to paying overhead, equipment, assistants, etc. If all you want is someone to snap pictures for 8 hrs and hand you a CD at the end without looking at the contents, there are people out there that provide that service at a (more) appropriate price.
 

cara

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Date: 3/12/2007 1:51:11 PM
Author: janinegirly
i think making one''s own album is a great idea if you have the skill and patience. i''m wondering--does the photographer''s talent come out in the production of the photos (photo effects etc) or is it when taking the actual photo? meaning if i have the photo developed, will it look the same as if she did it in her studio?
A good photographer will do a lot in the camera - ie. taking the picture right in the first place - and a lot of postprocessing that will affect the result as well. All number of effects for both digital and film can be done after taking the picture, but of course the quality of the starting material will affect what you have to work with. For film, this is done in the darkroom, for digital in the computer. And printing quality matters too - I would hope that the print quality would be different from what you would get at your corner drug store, but many photogs probably do send their work out for printing at professional labs. Good B&W film might be done in house by the photog, but film is getting less common in the industry. As someone said above, you can pay higher quality labs to print your pictures, but the photographer probably has a relationship with a specific printer and knows the properties of the prints they produce and can specify certain things.

A lot of the album skills, IMO, are beyond just the production of the images, though of course that is critical. There''s a lot of layout involved, a lot of storytelling, and someone has to physically put the album together or print it if it is one of those newfangled albums with flat printing onto the pages. The photography studio I hired has two primaries, one person is more photographer and the other does a lot of the album layout and postprocessing.
 

onedrop

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I noticed this with our photographer too! The cost to have th pcitures mounted in an album was crazy expensive IMO, but then I didn''t really shop around. FI was saying he could do it himself and use that money for something else. We''ll see if that happens.
Still even with the costs, I am trying to convince FI to spring for the album for the same reasons that everyone else mentioned. It''s nice to pull my parent''s wedding album off the shelf and compare the styles and looks from 40 years ago to now. I want the same chance for our wedding.
 

strmrdr

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In the old days it was 90% in the camera and 10% post processing because the lab did most of it with digital its more like 50/50 because the photographer does most of it.
ie: for every hour shooting one hour is spent in post processing.
Another reason is that 5 rolls of 24 was what most people had done in the old days.
110 shots where today the average is 250 shots for proofs out of 500-600 taken.
Then 50-60 in the album.
 

basil

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Author: cara
I guess I disagree that layout is not a professional talent. Isn''t that what layout editors/graphic designers do? Seems like it involves a lot of cropping and retouching of the photographs themselves in addition to a lot of layout. Also what is the mounting method? That can be labor intensive and I''ve seen form layout albums and really nice layouts that clearly took a lot of work. Sure you can do it yourself, like a lot of things with huge markup that are wedding related. But to do it really well, IMO, takes some professional software (if your layout is digital) and some talent in addition to all the actual printing/mounting materials required.


I totally agree that albums often sit on the shelf and only you can decide if its a product that you are interested in purchasing at that price. The cost of wedding photography in general seems like an absurd amount to pay for ''8 hours worth of work'' but as others have said, its not really 8 hours worth of work, they are artistic professionals that must support themselves with 1-2 weeks of salary per wedding in addition to paying overhead, equipment, assistants, etc. If all you want is someone to snap pictures for 8 hrs and hand you a CD at the end without looking at the contents, there are people out there that provide that service at a (more) appropriate price.
Well, I think that laying out an album is less of a talent than wedding photography. There are millions of ladies out there who do that scrapbooking stuff with stickers and construction paper, etc. Not that that''s what you want, but the principles of layout and cropping still apply.

I''m not an expert by any means, but I''ve done my share of amateur photography and digital printing. Learning to touch up a pic in photoshop is really not that hard, it just takes a little practice. And cropping is just a matter of looking at the composition of the photograph and a little bit of trial and error. I guess I have a bias because I really hate (hate hate hate!) "effects" that some photographers use to try to make their photos look better. I''d much rather have an expertly composed 5x7 B&W than a fancy border, funky processing, selective color, etc.

Anyway, we''re looking at photographers. Most are talented, and charge a certain price for a package including proofs, album, certain number of prints, etc. One is extremely talented and charges the same price for just proofs and a DVD of all the pics. I''d much rather go with the second girl, because I think my money is better spent on something I can''t do myself, than something I can do decently well myself. But that''s just my opinion based on my experience and the fact that I think making my own album would be kinda fun. So take it with a grain of salt.
 

cara

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I didn''t mean that you HAD to hire a professional to get suitable results, more that you and those millions of scrapbooking women have some skillz! And it takes time. People often pay for things that take skill and time. Cropping well is part of layout; doesn''t have to involve cheesy effects for it to have a big effect/take some skill. Aggressive feminist lightbulb in head says it sounds dangerously like you are undervaluing women''s work ;-) Photographers and design people come in all varieties of cheesy, amateur, etc. I agree that layout is a lot less sexy a title than photography. Its like film editor or something. Plus its not like photographing your own wedding is a good idea. Doing your own album however, much better idea. If you are game.
 

basil

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Haha. Saying that millions of ladies are doing it so it can''t really be all that hard was more to do with the millions than the fact that they are ladies
 

sarie_j

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That''s kind of what I was saying -- I have no doubt that anyone could do it and make it look fabulous, I have seen some scrapbookers who could do it quite easily. I just know that I simply have no patience or enough time to make it look the way I would want it to look -- If you''re scrapbook savvy and have time to spend on it then I say go for it!
 
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