Why do photographers charge so much?

January 18, 2013  •  1 Comment

When you only see a photographer for only a short session or full day, you may think that a photographer working that many hours should only be paid a certain amount. So why am I paying them so much?

What customers don't see is the hours of scheduling the hours of prepping the hours of working on your photos.  There's consultations, there's 10-30 minutes of image perfection multiplied by the number of files or photos you get.  As well as delivery charges and product costs. 

Add to this schooling as well as expensive software, expensive equipment and all those amazing props and backgrounds that were used to create your images.  That's thousands of dollars, just on props, equipment and software.  And the cost of a diploma, business licensing and taxes are another chunk.  That's right I pay taxes, I'm a registered business who pays for a license and pays taxes as a business.

The point is that hour long shoot had set up time, consultation time, planning time, editing time and delivery time that you never saw.  A full day wedding has me shooting for 15 hours. Had an hour plus of consultation time with you. And there will be 7+ hours of editing, product set up and design and then more time for delivery.  When you pay me, your paying for 24+ hours of my time and covering the costs of travel and product costs.  Anyone charging you less then $1000 for your wedding day is either robbing themselves, or you. 

 

Would you go hire a plumber who didn't go to school?  That chef who's training was cooking for his wife?  Or how about having your taxes done by your 5 year old niece?  She can add.

There's more to a good photographer then the ability to push a button.  A good photographer takes good photographs.  A great photographer understands that  "Photography is a study in light and form. The composition of an image, is in essence, the representation and the interplay of light and form within the frame.".  A great photographer captures more then just the picture, but also the emotions and truth of the moment. 

 

Next time you hire a photographer, remember to ask questions, see their work and pay them what they are worth.

Not all "pros" are professionals. 


Comments

1.Natasha Bencharsky(non-registered)
AMEN Sista!!! I am extremely privileged to have been able to walk along side you during your photography diploma. And I will certainly be the first to admit that your photography is NOT the same as the Walmart or Sears Photo Center. I have been able to be your assistant, and although together we have been in a few very interesting places, just setting up and taking down lights can be exhausting!! And I wasn't even doing the HARD stuff!
I have been the guinea pig in school projects, held flashing light on long exposure shots (in the dark...with mice!!) and carried extra cameras at weddings. At the end of the day, Michelle's unique eye for the unique and unusual has always blown me away. Those wedding shots of our wedding rings...be sure to order a print! If not for the unique way she displayed them, but also for insurance purposes. Lol I have seen the endless hours she spends editing your photos. Cutting and pasting smiles, eyes and faces from one photo to that awesome family photo that has everyone smiling, looking beautiful...except for Aunt Bertha. But you would never know that when you look through your beautiful photo album she has prepared for you. And having helped her put those wedding photo albums together...that's not an easy job either! Picking and choosing the order in which the pictures are displayed in that wedding album, takes talent as well.
So be sure to give Michelle a great big hug and a thank you the next time she completes those photos. Don't be impatient cause it takes a while to receive your photos with edits back. Just know that the longer it takes for Michelle to return your cherished memories...the more amazing they are!
THANK YOU Michelle for being amazing at what you do and for capturing the most important moments of our lives on film.
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