Booking a professional photographer is not always cheap and depending on what type of session you are looking for will determine the price you may pay for your session.
Each photographer has different pricing for their services and if you want a photographer who knows what they are doing you may pay more. This post is not to encourage you to find the most expensive photographer you can and throw your money at them. I am giving you a first hand look into what photographers have to account for when pricing their services. When it comes to photography a lot of times people want the Walmart pricing, but the Target experience. You know what I’m talking about don’t you? Okay let me put it like this. Many people look at us photographers and want cheap sessions and products, but want us to go all out and pull out the fireworks when it comes to the experience you receive. While this may be true for some photographers, not all photographers can do that and here’s why.
Professional photographers spend their time at the session making sure everything is running smooth. We have to juggle making sure our settings are correct on our cameras, the lighting is just right (whether in studio or outdoors), posing the client, what’s going on in the background and surrounding areas of the client, props to be used in a particular photo, and making sure the client feels comfortable in front of the camera. We do this for the entire time that is reserved for that session. Depending on what session package your photographer offers, you may be at a location for an hour or two and multiple locations. All of this is factored into the pricing of your session. Professional photographers dedicate their time in order to take your photos and provide you with great customer service that makes you, the client, feel like you were born to be in front of the camera.
Once the session is over you go home with a great experience. Telling everyone you know how the session went and how you can’t wait to see your photos. For us photographers our work is just beginning. Depending on the type of session and how many times we pressed the shutter button we must sift through countless images in order to find the right ones. Once we have found those perfect images we have to go through the task of editing the photos. Editing is not some quick process where we spend thirty minutes of our time fixing the exposure, contrast, the vibrance and color tones. True editing takes time and can take multiple days or even a month (depending on what type of session you had). Factoring in editing while pricing sessions is very important to a photographer because that is the time we are away from our family and friends. Yes we chose to do this as a business, but we also want to be realistic and incorporate the time it takes to edit photos to perfection.
Improving Skills and Equipment:
In order for professional photographers to stay on top of our game we have to improve our skills and equipment. We have to factor this in when pricing our session and products in order to have money for this. Improving skills may include classes that cover a particular topic, one on one mentoring, classes at a local community college or university, group workshops, and the list goes on. I know I don’t want to be the same photographer I was a year ago and you should want the same from the photographer you choose.
Equipment is another thing professional photographers have to think about when running a photography business. Let me ask you this. If I dropped my lens and it broke and we are two days out from your session, would you want me to cancel our session? I’m sure your answer is no. That is why it is important for photographers to include equipment when pricing our sessions and products. We have to have money for the unknown disasters that happen to our equipment and also new equipment we can use during shoots.
Bills, Bills, Bills:
I promise I’m not about to start singing the Destiny Child’s song, even though they are one of my favorite groups. Just like everyone else who has to work and pay bills so does your photographer. We have to price our sessions and products in order to continue to pay our monthly bills and live. For me, I still have a family I have to provide for and I cannot do that if I am offering sessions and products for little to nothing. Let’s get even more honest. There is a certain way of life I want to live in order for me to be comfortable. Each professional photographer has a different view and expectation when it comes to living and each has different bills to pay. So just remember, like you we too have to continue to work in order to provide for ourselves and our families.
Professional photographers are just like everyone else. We run a business in order to make money but also provide a service that creates memories. Remember this when you are booking a session with your photographer and think their pricing is a bit expensive. One thing you can ask for is a pre-payment plan in order to pay on your session. Not all photographers offer this so if your photographer says no please respect how they run their business.
Photography is not a cheap business to run and on top of running the business, professional photographers also have the same requirements everyone else does when it comes to living in this world.