I hear a lot of people complaining about Photographers being too expensive and then going to the photographer who charges $50-$100 and you get the sessions, and CD of all your images, and prints… that really does not help anyone. First let me start with I am not trying to diss any other photographers or their work. I am trying to explain why you need to be investing in a professional photographer. This may end up being a bit of a rant… but this issue really does get under my skin.
as you can see in the image below there is a lot more that goes into a photography session than just the 1-3 hours you are at the studio, heck that is the fun and easy part (in my opinion)
1. find a photographer who values their work enough to charge an appropriate market price for your session.
2. make sure the photographer you are going to is running a legal business, that means they have a business license, Tax ID, DBA, and preferably insurance.
3. if you can’t afford their prices see if they have a payment plan (a lot of higher end photographers will have payment plans and contracts)
4. Research! Research! Research!! what kind of photos do you want? is there someone in your area who specializes in those photos? when you choose someone who specializes you are choosing someone who spends their time learning, studying, perfecting their skills in that area, instead of being a jack of all and a master of none they are a master of that area, they may charge more, but this is an investment in your memories!
here is a quick breakdown of what I would be making per hour if I charged $100 for a 3 hour newborn session with a CD with 30 images based on the info above!
1 hour pre-shoot setup, messages, etc.
3 hour Newborn shoot
30 min X 30 images= 15 hours of editing5 hours for the rest of the post session work
(I am not including what I have paid for school, equipment, props, addition training etc, but these things are worked into MY prices)
so that is a total of 24 hours of work, $100 divided by 24 hours= $4.16/ hour less than minimum wage, that still does not include the taxes that have to come out either.
I don’t know many people these days that can survive on $4.16/hour
yes, my prices are much higher as I specialize in New Life Photography (taking a mom through the journey of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum with my emphasis being on Newborn photography) and I have a family that I like to spend time with so I need to make enough to be able to afford time off to spend with my family.
so to end this, again I am not bashing anyone, but I want my clients to understand that just like any business we as professional photographers are here to make not only make beautiful images for our clients but we are here to make a living and to make money.
“If you don’t value your time, neither will others. Stop giving away your time and talents. Value what you know and start charging for it”. ~ Kim Garst