Discussion

Why Photographers Charge What They Charge

When you pay a professional photographer to photograph you and your loved ones, you are not just paying us to pick up the camera and click for the amount of contracted time. Being a photographer means more than just a camera – it’s an entire business that comes with all the associated costs.

Here’s a breakdown of photography business costs so you will have a little more understanding of what it’s like to run a business alone:

  • Reserving a spot just for you so we can’t book anyone else in that time slot, risking potential loss of business if you cancel
  • Driving to and from consultation meetings (we wish gas & vehicle maintenance were free)
  • Driving to and from event locations, often times multiple locations for a wedding
  • Our shooting time
  • Our creative photographic vision (ie. posing, lighting, composition, etc.)
  • Our time spent culling and editing images after the shoot which takes days
  • Thousands of dollars worth of resources we use to capture and deliver the final perfect photos that you can treasure forever, many of which require monthly fees:
    • Professional-level camera equipment
    • Computer equipment
    • Editing software
    • Professional-grade memory cards
    • Large external hard drives to store your precious photos
    • Cloud-based storage in case hard drives fail losing your precious photos
    • File & web hosting for online galleries
    • Branded photo boxes for physical prints
    • Branded USBs for digital prints
    • Packaging materials
    • Shipping & handling, and insurance, for when we ship your photos to you
  • Equipment insurance, for when we get splashed by beach waves during a shoot that might drown our cameras, or when our gear is stolen at an event, or when we accidentally drop our camera off a cliff – all of which would’ve cost us thousands to replace
  • Liability insurance for when we trip and injure ourselves during a shoot
  • Insurance policy to cover other people and property, as required by venues
  • Location permits (yes, it is not free to shoot everywhere as one might think)
  • Gas, vehicle maintenance
  • Parking & valet fees
  • Advertising
  • CRM systems

But perhaps the most valuable element of running a photography business is time. Any time we spend working on you is time away from our family, and time away from life in general. Time is not something we can get back. It is just as valuable to us as it is to you. An extra 15 minutes to you is not equal to 15 minutes on our end. More time spent at a shoot means more time and work for us, more images will be taken, more time spent afterwards to cull and edit the extra images, more space required to store these images, more space for online gallery and storage – just more of everything, which results in an increase of business costs. But sometimes we do it, anyway, because client happiness and satisfaction is our top priority.

So I hope that you will take all this into consideration the next time you want to hire a photographer but wonder why their price is so high. 🙂

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