Why photographers can be expensive?
Why are Professional Photographers so expensive? In this digital age where everyone has digital cameras, scanners and home “photo printers”, when people upload their photos to a local drug store website and pick them up a few hours later, we hear this all the time – Why in the world do Professional Photographers charge so much for their work?
Simply put, you’re not just paying for the actual photographs; you’re paying for time and expertise. First, let’s look at the actual time involved. If you don’t read this entire page, at least read this first part.
For a two hour portrait session:
– you have travel to and from the session
– two hours of shooting
– there is the setup, preparation, discussion of the shoot
– delivering the photos onto a computer (2 – 4 Gb of data)
– backing up files on an external drive
– 3 – 4 hours of Photoshop time including cropping, contrast, color, sharpening, saving a copy for print and a copy for the internet and backing up the edited photographs
– discussion of the shoot with the client, answer questions, receive their order and payment, order their prints, receive and verify prints, package prints, schedule shipment
You can see how one two hour session easily turns into more than 5 hours of work from start to finish. So when you see a Photographer charging a $200 session fee for a two hour photo shoot, you are not paying them $100 / hour.
And let’s not forget that you actually have to have people skills, be able to communicate, make people comfortable in front of the camera – and posing people to make them look their best in a photograph is a skill all by itself.
Think of it this way – the next time you pay $X to get your hair done, a pair of scissors only costs $1.50. But you gladly pay a lot more to hire a Professional.
What about the cheap studios at the mall?
Please don’t compare us to the chain store studios. But if you must, consider all of the time and work that we put into our photographs, compared to what they do. Good luck getting a two hour photo shoot at a chain store. Not to mention they won’t come to the beach! And of course, look at our work compared to theirs. You get what you pay for.
The truth is, most of the mall and chain store studios lose money. In fact, in 2007 Wal-Mart closed 500 of their portrait studios because of the financial drain they were putting on the company. What the chain stores bet on is that you’ll come in for some quick and cheap photos, and while you’re there, you’ll also spend $200 on other things. They don’t have to make money, they are just there to get you in the door.
We hope that those who have taken the time to read this page will have a better understanding of why professional photographs cost so much more than the ones that you get from your local drug store.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.