Have you ever wondered why photographers charge so much? I'm sure most of you have thought it was insane to pay so much for something as easy as pressing a button. But I am here to tell you that it's not as easy as pressing a button. Though, I do challenge you to stop what you are doing and get out your phone. Now, aim it at something and press that button. Tell me, how did that turn out?
A lot more goes into taking a photo session than most realize. As photographers, we have to keep in mind angles, exposure, focus, and a few other things to just ensure that your photos turn out perfect. But that's not all.
If you've found yourself saying the following, then this blog post is for you!
“You charge how much?! That has to be a mistake.”
“Wow, I wish I made $250/hr for something as easy as this.”
“I was hoping to only spend $50 for something as easy as pressing a button”
“Well I need to quit my job and be a photographer!”
Photographers “hourly” rate includes way more time behind the scenes.
My 1-hour session with you isn’t including the time I’ve spent researching locations, ideas, and my time editing once the session is over, my time uploading the gallery, presenting, printing images, etc. For some photographers, it may take them 3 hours to do a full session between planning to present the final images. For weddings, it can take over 10+ to edit a full wedding. Every photographer is different depending on their own workflow & experience, but please keep in mind it’s not just our time shooting you. It’s a lot more behind the scenes.
Photography Gear is Not Cheap!
And I am not talking about those entry-level cameras either. Sure, you could probably get by establishing your portfolio with an entry-level camera but you won't achieve high-level photos with it. Professional advanced cameras cost anywhere from $2k to $3500 depending on your needs. And that's not including lens. Lens are often our money makers and those can cost anywhere from $500 to $5k!
Other gear we use are things like batteries, SD Cards, Lighting, Reflectors, and so much more. And we can't forget programs that we use – Lightroom and Photoshop which is a monthly fee up to $50/mo. The cost of running a website and hosting. Studio expenses. Legal fees. Most people who are charging below $100 likely aren't a legal business. It's not cheap to run your own business!
We aren't making $200 an hour, by the time you strip everything down for the cost of business. We are only making $12-$15 an hour. And that can all depend on how long each photographer takes to edit and work with the client after the session has finished.
So the next time you want to hire a photographer and you happen to think their price is outrageous, consider this: