I have a client that really inspired me to write this piece in addition to my continued frustration to really educate clients about why Photographer charge what we charge. I wish that people would understand what we do, what we give up to pursue our dreams, and how much time it really does take to truly call oneself a Professional Photographer.
1+ hours of prepping (emails, consult, etc.)
We spend time talking this out clients making sure that they are taken care of, answering their questions, and making sure that we are the right fit for each other. Personally, I want to make sure that your experience with me is pleasant and stress free. To help with that I talk with you and happily answer any questions that you have so that you are well prepared for your session.
1-3 hours photographing
Clearly we spend time photographing our clients, and this is an obvious factor that people are aware of.
5-20 minutes of editing per photo (4-12 hours)
Usually the first questions out of peoples mouths is, “Do you photoshop?” In this day, if a photographer is shooting digital, 99% of the time they retouch their images. Personally I’m taking the time to correct skin, color, contrast, density, and any other requests that clients want.
5+ hours of everything else (driving, posting, ordering, packaging, delivering, etc.) PER SESSION
People usually don’t take these thing into consideration when they think about a professional photographer, but it’s just as important as everything else. How would you know who we are if we aren’t taking the time to market ourselves? How would we get anywhere without driving to the session, or any other appointments?
We also invest thousands of dollars in equipment, software, and props and spend countless hours learning how to produce beautiful images, with conferences and continued education.
Yes, we choose to pay for these things, but to create images above the mom down the street’s images, we should purchase lighting equipment and software, and take more classes to learn about what is new and different that clients our responding too.
We don't get paid vacations or sick days. We don't get bonuses for outstanding performances or for holidays. We don't have insurance plans or any benefits and 35% of our profits goes straight to taxes.
This fact really hits hard. If we don’t work, we don’t get paid. We can produce this outstanding image, award winning even, but we don’t get a bonus check. Now think about all the changes with health insurance these days… we pay for everything ourselves. Then lets add more taxes on to the ever growing expenses that we have.
I came across these facts and found them interesting even being a photographer I didn’t put all of these factors into account. We spend time with your family on the weekends instead of our own.
Please understand that we are business owners and we have a LOVE for photography but that LOVE won't pay the bills.