I'm sure you've considered hiring a photographer for something at some point in your life. Whether it be a family portrait, a wedding or even just to update your LinkedIn profile, You also probably noticed that to get a good photographer that knows what goes into a quality image and how to pursue that, charges well over 100$. I myself have been assumed to charge 10 dollars? 20 dollars? by potential clients and even close relatives! They'd often follow up with "why do you charge so much?" Well, first off, it's really not that much, a fancy dinner would potentially cost you even more, but you wouldn't find that to be too spendy on New Years, right? So I often wonder why are people willing to spend that much on food that is a temporal satisfaction, but can't seem to understand why a high end image that will last you LIFETIMES would cost more? Then it hit me. Clients don't see the before-hand prep work that goes into researching your locations, planning out the shots one by one, hours of creating prep brochures so you're ready for your session. The setting up and tearing down of hundred dollar to thousand dollar lights and equipment. They don't see the 10 hours of editing that goes into touching up skin, equalizing out highlights and exposures, and about a million other details. On top of all of it, the photographer has got about an hour to compose, expose and capture everything you're expecting perfectly and on time. Keeping in mind sizing and cropping for specific platforms and how that will effect the image. Plus constantly thinking like this: "F2, highlight too bright, ISO 100, turn your chin up, SS 200, backlight, shadow too dark on the left side of the face, tilt your head to the right, hand chopped off, rule of thirds, move in closer, centre, grab focus ..." And so much more all stocked up in their mind. A photographer has to think like a well oiled machine in a lot of ways. It takes years of practice, time, creative effort and a few breakdowns along the way to even get to that point. But, nonetheless unless your a photographer, it kinda just looks like someone is pushing a button and then a little hand held machine develops an artistically and technically perfect portrait of you. Thankfully, it's not that easy because I love my work as an entrepreneur and I love the fact that I'm ever learning within this art. Yet, it still does sting a little every-time I get asked why my already low prices are so high.
Most of the time photographers are not working 8 hour days, it's more like a consecutive 4 days that are split up into various departments plus trouble shooting and a bit of improvising if the situation calls for it. One shoot may only be an hour long, but to make it go as smoothly as possible it takes hours of preparation and days to obtain the final product. Hopefully this post gave you a little insight into why photographers charge so much and now you can rest assured that you're not paying 200$ for someone to "push a button" but instead your actually hiring a qualified artisan to capture the timeless essence of you properly and the way you've always envisioned.