What you’re paying for when you hire me (or any other professional photographer).
When you’re shopping around for a professional photographer the prices can sometimes seem quite daunting. You might think to yourself, “I can’t believe he wants to charge that much for snapping a few pictures!” But few people realize there’s a lot more to photography than just pressing a button at the right time.
So what are you paying for when hiring a professional photographer?
- Time is money. Just like any other professional, a photographer needs to put in the hours to get the job done. This includes the consultation to develop or clarify the story to be told through the images, traveling to and from the location (sometimes, just to get the layout and ideas), capturing the images, interpreting those images, and processing the orders. You may be surprised at the time and effort it takes to get the end result that’s delivered. Once I shoot the photos, it’s not as simple as downloading the images and delivering them to you. My team has to process the files, convert them to the correct file type, and make sizing and color adjustments to make each image special. If I’m also creating a book or album for you, I’ll need to spend time designing the layout and sequence of the pictures in the album, so that it flows.
- Equipment is expensive. Even though this is a very small part of a photographer’s commission or fee, it’s important to remember that high-quality equipment plays an important role in being able to produce your images. Professional equipment not only allows me to produce high quality images, it also allows me to work in areas with less than favorable lighting conditions, or even at venues and in situations where using a flash is prohibited.
- We spend years acquiring a very specific skill. Photography, like any other profession, requires experience and specific skills. These skills range from knowing what lighting and camera settings to use, to knowing how to pose people and help them feel comfortable in front of the camera. Great photographers don’t rush the editing process either, it takes time to produce the desired result and turn your photo into a work of art that you’ll proudly want to display in your home.
- It’s still a business. A professional photographer is still running a business, which means they will more than likely have overhead costs such as rental fees for their studio and the upkeep of equipment. Photographers like me also need to budget for professional association fees, equipment insurance, liability insurance, photo conventions to refine and learn techniques, and fees for courses that will allow them to stay ahead by continuously honing their craft. I have to pay for all of these, including the website you’ve visited, and the time it took to write this blog post!
As a professional portrait photographer, I’m dedicated to the art I produce for you. I’m always willing to go the extra mile for my clients because they understand that they are commissioning an artist to create works of art from their likeness. For example, take the image at the beginning of this post; it’s the result of consultation, developing a concept, capturing the image, and creating an artful story. That it was captured in 30° weather during a sunless sunrise is beside the point. From me to you, the epic shot is, and always will be, the ultimate goal. A world-famous photographer once said to me, “we capture moments for others at the expense of our own.” I want to thank you for taking a moment to read and understand.