Why is professional photography so expensive when you just take a few pictures? Why does a print cost £35 when they're much cheaper to print? Why do you charge a sitting fee?
These are some of the questions that photographers like me get asked from time to time, and that customers have every right to ask, so I thought I would take the time to answer them all in a blog post.
Before you invest in photography it's important to make sure you understand the costs involved
Professional portraiture should be viewed as an investment; these are the memories that will be reflected upon in decades and generations to come. Particularly for families - children grow so fast and knowing that you have captured the love and precious memories of a moment in time for your family is priceless.
Professional photographers are like any other professional services, with costly pro-equipment to buy and replace to keep up with technology. The investment required runs in to many thousands of pounds, plus all the usual overheads and behind the scenes stuff associated with running a business. There's also travel, insurance, advertising, training, taxes, media storage, packaging and much more... the list is a long one.
When you commission me, you are also paying for my time, talent and experience, as well as the unique style that first drew you to me.
I work with professional print laboratories, hand framing businesses etc., so the prices I charge for my products reflect all of these things, and actually for time invested, puts me below the minimum wage! I'm not looking for sympathy here though - I can wholeheartedly assure you that this is a business I mostly do for the sheer love of it!
For each client I work with there's :
Emails, meetings and/or telephone consultations before your shoot
Planning locations / shoot themes
Preparing my kit and any props
Travel to location or setting up studio backgrounds
The shoot itself, which I never rush or do less than my best for you
Uploading the images afterwards
A considerable amount of time spent picking the best 30 or so images from an average of approximately 300 taken, then individually editing the selected images from RAW files. (Hours spend working with the photos afterwards; on average 2 days)
Uploading your personal gallery
Processing/arranging and preparing your ordered items
Delivery of products or creating online sharing access such as Dropbox files.
If you shop around I'm sure you will find photographers more expensive than me and cheaper than me.
I hope you will agree that my images rival more expensive photographers, as I have strived to be competitive.
Also, if you look through the images of much cheaper photographers, then hopefully the differences between the quality that we offer, and my value, will be clear.
It's not easy having confidence in yourself as a creative, there are always moments of self-doubt and obsessing over small details in images that the client will probably never notice! However on the subject of value for money, and the love and effort I put in to my time with you and your family, I can be absolutely confident.