So, what are you actually paying your photographer for?
Photographers don't just simply "snap" a photo for you. Many do not realize the extent of what Photographers really do for their clients. Here is a list things you get when you hire a Professional Photographer. (Though I know there are more I’ve forgotten!) 😊
- Professional Camera equipment (Lens, flash, batteries, Polarizers, upkeep, sensor cleaning, etc. )
- Professional Lighting equipment (professional grade lightbulbs, lightstands, generators, lithium batteries, etc.)
- Professional Computer equipment
- Professional Image editing software
- Hundreds of hours of education and training required to operate effectively
- An assistant to help carry and set-up equipment (Some professionals use assistants, while others prefer to work on their own)
- Data storage and back-ups
- Studio space or location fees
- Transportation costs
- Office rent or photo prop storage expenses
- Promotion and website costs
- Telephone and internet services
- Income and sales tax
- Business insurance
Please understand that you are not just actually paying for the photograph itself, but you are also paying for the expertise and time of the one who is creating your photos!
For a clearer picture of what is actually being explained here, an example would be the typical 1 hour portrait session:
- The actual travel to and from the session
- Shooting for at least one hour
- Setting-up, preparing, and talking to the client which takes at least 30 minutes
- Loading the images to the computer with two to four GB data, 60- 120 minutes (Shooting RAW format and condensing them to JPEG)
- Backing-up the files on multiple drives plus flash drives for 30 minutes
- Photoshop time for three to four hours or more (depending on number of images taken at shoot)
- Another three to four hours of time talking to the client for questions, receiving the order and payment, prints order, receiving and verifying prints, shipment schedule and dealing with packages.
As you may know, affordable digital cameras have brought self-proclaimed, unlicensed, amateur photographers. In fact, bad photography is a lot more expensive than good photography. You see, bad photography wastes your money as well as your most precious time and memories. The fact is, you can never re-do your wedding day or those tender newborn moments. So, doing your homework and choosing the best photographer for you is a lot better than taking a chance at memories!
I like to explain it to my Wedding Clients this way: "You spend hundreds of dollars or more on a Venue, Flowers, Hair, Makeup, & DJ services, but do these things last more than a day? No. Photographs last a lifetime. So, the question is, why wouldn't you spend the money for one of the most important items for your special day?
Keep in mind that when you are hiring a photographer, you are not just hiring someone an expensive camera. You are actually hiring someone who deeply knows what s/he is doing and how to create a usable and presentable product. Pictures that look awesome are products of artistic vision and years of experience!
As the famous saying goes, “you get what you pay for” and paying for a good photographer should bring well-crafted photos that you’ll be proud to display and share with others for years to come!