Why Does My Photographer Charge So Much?

Oh my…the question of the year!!! Often I scroll through social media and see people asking for suggestions on photographers who “don’t cost an arm and a leg”. You can find prices for a session ranging anywhere from $50 for an hour for up to $1,000 or more. So why the big price discrepancy? What makes one photographer more expensive than another?

When a photographer charges $250 for an hour long session they aren’t really “making” $250. There are so many hidden costs that go into running a legitimate business. What the client sees is the time invested in the initial contact, the session itself, and the delivery of the products. So what doesn’t the client see?

Many photographers work multiple jobs or work in different genres of photography to make ends meet, and the ones that don’t are charging well above that $250 for a one-hour session.

  1. Education. While there are a lot of photographers who are self-taught there are also a lot with formal educations in art, photography, business and everything in-between. We also invest in ongoing education to keep up with new technology, trending techniques, newborn safety and business. Online workshops can run a few hundred dollars an in-person workshops can run several thousand. Last year alone I attended 2 workshops with well known photographers to learn newborn posing and safety, maternity trends, children’s posing and editing. These workshops combined were well over $5000 and did not include travel and hotel fees.

  2. Photography Gear. Gear includes soooo much more than the camera body. It also includes a variety of lenses for different types of sessions, tripods, SD cards, 2nd or 3rd cameras for backups, & flashes to name a few. Beginner cameras can run few hundred whereas professional grade cameras are several thousand. Lenses also run the gamut of a few hundred to several thousand. The better quality the camera and lens the better quality the photo. When I started out I had a beginner camera. While the cost of the camera or lens doesn’t determine the creativity of the photographer it does determine the overall quality of the photo.

  3. We ARE a small business. That means yes, we pay taxes, have insurance, own a studio and pay all of the expenses that come with that (electricity, cell, internet, upkeep, etc.). Sometimes we hire assistants or 2nd photographers, have time keeping and booking software, and subscriptions to various sites for resources.

  4. Editing. Editing software can cost a few hundred a year for a subscription or a few thousand to buy. Computer equipment fast enough to handle large photo files is a must and can easily run $3-5,000.

“When you hire a photographer you hire an artist. Someone who has spent years perfecting their craft. Their vision, their eye for details and their creativity are all priceless commodities.”

What happens when you DON’T hire a professional photographer?

I believe that everyone should take photos, whether it’s of their own kids growing up or the places they travel too. But, there’s a big difference between a casual snapshot and a professional image. 

When you hire a professional photographer, you’re getting an artist who knows just how to light the shot, how to pose, how to set up the photo. You’re getting a photograph that, because it was taken with a professional camera and not your smartphone camera, can be reprinted onto a large canvas. And because you hired an artist, you’ll actually want to.

When you hire a professional wedding photographer, you get images that are just as beautiful as the memories you have of that day. When you just let guests take pictures, you end up with dark and blurry photos.  Everyone starts somewhere, and hiring a new photographer is a good way to save some cash, but be sure to really look at that photographer’s samples, so you don’t end up regretting it after the day has passed and the memories have faded.

When you hire a newborn photographer you are getting all of those adorable poses which took hours to perfect in training, super cute props and outfits, safety training, a photographer with safe and clean practices, and a professional environment.

No matter the cost of the photographer, it is important to do your research prior to hiring. Check out their portfolio to see if their styles lines up with what you’re looking for, ask questions on safety, training and education. We’ll be MORE than happy to answer ANY questions you may have.

“Cheap photos aren’t good and good photos aren’t cheap.”

Interested in booking with a pro? Check out my portfolio or contact me with questions!!

Are you a budding photographer looking to learn more or a seasoned photographer looking to hone in on your skills? I offering mentoring in just those areas!!!

One response to “Why Does My Photographer Charge So Much?”

  1. Extremely well said.

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