Why are Photographers so Expensive?

Posted by posted by Kindra Monday, January 28, 2008 at

Kevin and I love what we do. The portraits we create for our clients go beyond normal portraits. The wall portraits we create are beautifully enhanced and we put the care and love into them that a painter would if he or she painted a portrait especially for your home. We hope that our clients' portraits become treasured family heirlooms.

That being said, most people wonder why photographers are so expensive. What separates a fine art studio from a chain studio in the mall? This article originally published on
www.caughtonfilm.com helps shed light onto that question. The author says. . .

"In this digital age where everyone has digital cameras, scanners and home "photo printers", when people upload their photos to a local drug store website and pick them up a few hours later, we hear this all the time - How in the world do Professional Photographers charge $55 for an 8x10 when they cost just $1.50 at the drug store?

Here's why. Simply put, you're not just paying for the actual photograph, you're paying for time and expertise. First, let's look at the actual time involved. If you don't read this entire page,
at least read this first part.

For a two hour portrait session:
-one hour of travel to and from the session
- two hours of shooting
- 30 minutes of setup, preparation, talking to the client etc.
- 30 minutes to load the photos onto a computer (2 - 4 Gb of data)
- 30 minutes to back up the files on an external drive
- 3 - 4 hours of Photoshop time including cropping, contrast, color, sharpening, saving a copy for print and a copy for the internet and backing up the edited photographs
- 2 - 3 hours to talk to the client, answer questions, receive their order and payment, order their prints, receive and verify prints, package prints, schedule shipment and drop package
off at Fed Ex.
- For local customers, we also print a set of all of their photos, and meet them at our studio to review the photos and place their order. Meeting and travel time averages 2 hours.

You can see how one two hour session easily turns into more than ten hours of work from start to finish. So when you see a Photographer charging a $200 session fee for a two hour photo shoot, you are not paying them $100 / hour.

For an eight hour wedding:
- I won't bore you with the details, but an eight hour wedding typically amounts to at least two to three full 40 hour work weeks worth of time. Again, if they are charging you $4,000 for an eight hour wedding, you are not paying them $500 / hour. . ."


Read the full article here.

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