Why do Photographer’s charge so much?

April 11, 2018

 

 

  “How much do charge for a photography session” my client asked. “They start at 200.00 dollars for your session fee and then you would order images 2 weeks after that” I emailed back. “And what exactly do I get for that?” she responded. “A pre-session consultation, our session time and a finished gallery of your images to order from” I answered. She wrote back to politely say that that didn’t seem like “enough” for that kind of investment, she wanted to cancel her consultation. My Heart Sank.

 

  She didn’t say it, outright, but her actions spoke clearly. She didn’t see the value in what I provide as an artist and a photographer. And you know what? That’s not her fault. It’s my own. Because I have never clearly articulated what goes into producing those photos, or what they signify, represent, or create for my clients.

 

That changes today.

 

Ever wonder why professional photographers, like me, charge what they charge?

 

This is why.

 

  Because in order to produce gorgeous photos of you (photos for you and your family, whether they be maternity, baby, kids, or family photos, for announcements, and or walls in your home) it requires…

 

-At least 3 hours of preparation. (emailing back and forth with my client, arranging a consultation date and time, meeting for your consultation to get to know one another and clarify your vision for the shoot, getting and giving feedback on a sense of the style, décor, location and outfit for inspiration, as well as picking out the props, backdrops, and wraps to use to convey the perfect vision for your shoot)

 

-One hour {give or take} of location scouting to find the perfect setting, book the venue and plan travel arrangements.

 

-One hour {or more} to drive to and from the session location, plus parking and unloading my gear.

 

-Half an hour to set up the camera gear, hunt for the best lighting, meet and greet my client, hold one last conversation about my client’s intention and vision for the shoot, and possibly work through any last minute nerves or anxiety.(my clients are not professional models. Many have never experienced a professional photo session before. It’s important to go meet them where they are and sometimes this means slowing things way down. This is important so we get natural, fully embodied photos.)

 

-Two to four hours {or more} to do the actual photo shoot. Maternity sessions usually take around 2 hours, sometimes they can take more depending on the situation and the client. Newborn sessions usually take 4 hours, due to baby needing to be changed and fed multiple times during the session. Family sessions usually take 2, but can take longer depending on what mood the kids and dad(yes I said dad, things go better and smoother when dad is in a good mood and wanting to participate and help.)

 

-One to Three hours to comb through over a hundred of raw photos to pluck out twenty-thirty photos that are completely terrific (eyes open, not squinting closed, no stray hairs or strange angles, lovely smiles, the right vibe and attitude, everything coming together to express just what it is we were going for.)

 

- About 8 hours to lightly and artfully edit/color correct/retouch baby’s skin, mom’s baby bump, and pimples, jaundice or wrinkles that may need to go!

 

-Another hour to upload the photos to my client cloud on my website for grandparents to see.

 

- 1 hour driving time back and forth to client’s house and another hour{give or take} to do an ordering session, where we go over all your images, find the perfect spot for them in your home and pick the perfect frame or canvas size to match your perfect décor.

 

- 1 hour to place your order online to my professional photo lab.

 

- And finally the last hour is to drive to my client’s house hand deliver your images and make sure everything is perfectly up to your standards.

 

  That is not including, my camera, lights, editing software, taxes and fees for uncle sam and my website, plus all the cutesy props everyone loves!

All together:

 

  We’re looking at about a twenty four hour production timeline (and that’s a lowball estimate) in order to deliver a set of beautiful photos.

 

  200.00 session fee plus what you spend on your images. So say you spend 500.00 on images (my clients usually spend anywhere from 500-1200 on images) that’s $700. Divided by twenty four. That’s $29 an hour (not including the cost of your prints). That’s less than you pay your manicurist, less that you pay your hair stylist or therapist or car mechanic or housekeeper.

 

  But hours and dollars aside, what do those photos actually “do” for you?

 

  On a spiritual or emotional level what can professional photos “provide”?That’s trickier to quantify, but here’s what I know for sure:

 

  For many of my clients, professional photos serve as a precious time capsule of a particular moment that will never be repeated. First baby. Second baby. Last baby, haha. Two, ten, or twenty years later, these clients are going to be infinitely grateful to have gorgeous, clear, vibrant photos that they can reflect on, share, and enjoy for the rest of their lives.

  Having radiant, gorgeous, professional photos can be a life changing confidence booster and transformational experience. I’ve had mom’s cry during their session, hug me during their ordering session, and scream at excitement when I’ve delivered their images to their home. Is it even possible to put a price tag on that kind of experience? For me, I don’t think so! I know I walk away feeling like I have forever changed someone’s life just by experiencing that with them, I can only imagine how they feel.

Am I biased about all of this? Absolutely and un-shamefully. I love photography. I think everyone on earth should experience a professional photo session at least once. Hopefully many more times than that. We live in a world where anybody can snap a selfie with a smart phone- and that’s an wonderful thing. I love Instagram just as much as anybody else. It’s a valuable tool.

But there is a difference between snapping a quick shot with your phone…

 

 

 

 

…. And allowing yourself to be seen, witnessed and captured by a professional photographer.

 

 

 

 

 

That’s why professional photographers, like me, charge what they charge. I invite you to fiercely, unabashedly and with a whole lot of love come experience a true professional photo session…

 

 

…It’s worth it.

 

 

 

                        -Jessie Anne

 

 

 

 

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