Why are Professional Photographers expensive?
the customer is not just paying for the actual photograph; they’re paying for time, expertise and investment that photographer has put into their business to create a successful business.
First, let’s look at the actual work involved:
- Travel to the session
- Setup, preparation, talking to the client, etc.
- Shoot the photos
- Travel from the session
- Load images onto a computer
- Back up the files on an external drive
- 2 – 4 hours of Adobe® Photoshop® time, including cropping, contrast, color, sharpening, and backing up edited photographs. Proof photos are also ordered.
- 2 – 3 hours to talk to the client to create session plans, answer questions, receive order and payment, order their prints, receive and verify prints, package prints, schedule deliveries, and post.
- You can see how a one-hour session easily turns into an eight-hour day or more from start to finish. So when you see a personal photographer charging an expensive session fee for a two-hour photo shoot, the client is not paying them that set amount per hour.
Offering a professional photography service is a skill acquired through years of experience. Even though a DSLR now costs under £500, taking professional portraits involves much more than a nice camera.
In addition to learning how to use the camera, there is a mountain of other equipment and software programs used to edit and print photographs, run a website, etc. photographers actually have to have people skills to make subjects comfortable in front of the camera. Posing people to look their best is a skill by itself. You could argue that posing is a more important skill than actually knowing how to use the camera. A poorly exposed photo can be saved, but a badly posed photo cannot.
Consider the time and effort that a professional on-location photographer puts into photographs, compared to a chain store. Store sessions last just a few minutes, while a personal photographer takes the time to get to know the people, makes them comfortable, makes them laugh. If a baby is crying at a chain store, they often don’t have the time (or the patience) to wait because everyone is in a hurry.
Professional Photographers are just that— professional. A personal photographer often becomes a friend, someone who documents a family for generations with professional, personal photographs of cherished memories.
Maybe we need to help clients look at it this way: A pair of scissors costs £1.50 at the supermarket. Still, most people will gladly pay a lot more to hire a professional hair dresser to cut their hair. The added attention and quality that a personal photographer gives is worth every penny.