Why Do Professional Photographers Cost So Much ?

Why Do Professional Photographers Cost So Much?

Especially with such low cost for digital cameras, prints and scanners. Why should I pay a professional $55 for an 8×10 when I can get it for $5 at Wal-Mart. “Well”  Here’s Why.

Simply put you are not just paying for the actual print you are paying for the time and expertise in creating the image its self. First off lets look at the actual time involved for a 1 hour session.   Before I even begin with a client session there are phone consults, in person consults and multiple emails back and forth between client and photographer going over details.  If you were to add up the time it can take before I even begin a session it could be in the ball park of  2 hours. But people do not even regard this as a cost. But this is my time and it’s valuable just like your time is valuable at work. You want to get paid for the hours you put in and so do we. Also once a client is booked into a  session, I do research and prep time to make sure that I achieve the most memorable image possible for my client so they will have lasting memories for years to come.

Here is the rest of the hours broken down.

– 15 minutes of preparation before client arrives to studio

– 1 hour session at studio

– 15 minutes of clean up after session is complete

– 30 minutes to load photos to computer

– 30 minutes to back up the files in multiple external hard drives plus make a DVD’s copy

– 3 or 4 hours of Photoshop time

– 30 min to load a sneak peek to blog, facebook and social media site

– 2 hours in-studio ordering session answering question that clients may have.

– 2 hours on customizing greeting cards and albums

– 1 hour ordering their images

– 1 hour to package an order

*If I have a client not from my local area I will load an on-line gallery and this can take 2 hours of my time building and loading the gallery, then upwards of 2 hours for clients ordering via email or phone.

Now you can see a 1 hour session turns into 10+ hours. Now the session fee you payed for does cover some of our time but it does not cover the remaining hours.  I have not even added in rental fees, phones, fax, power, gas, debit machine, software,  internet, town business licenses, Studio equipment, props, insurance and so much more….   Expertise.  Shooting professional photography is a skill acquired through years of experience. Even though our camera’s average $4000 and our lenses are in the $2000 category, taking professional portraits involves much more than a nice camera it takes know how. Now we cannot ignore people skills, good communication skills and being able to pose people while making them look awesome in front of the camera.

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