In today’s world everyone has a digital camera. They can take a picture and have it printed at the local big box or drug store. So how come professional photographers charge X amount of dollars for an 8×10 when they cost just $1.50 at the t the local big box or drug store.
Simply put, the customer is not just paying for the actual photograph; they’re paying for time and expertise.
Take, for example, a typical one hour photo session.
Here is what all in involved:
- Travel to and from the session
- Business and equipment insurance
- Federal, state and local taxes.
- Setup, preparation, talking to the client, etc.
- Shoot the photos
- Travel from the session
- Load images onto a computer
- Back up the files on an external drive
- 2 – 4 hours of Adobe® Photoshop® time, including cropping, contrast, color, sharpening, and backing up edited photographs. Proof photos are also ordered.
- 2 – 3 hours to talk to the client, answer questions, receive order and payment, order their prints, receive and verify prints, package prints, schedule shipment, and ship.
- Possibly meet clients at the studio to review photos and place order. Meeting and travel time average 2 hours.
You can see how a one-hour session easily turns into an eight-hour day or more from start to finish. So when you see a personal photographer charging a $100 session fee for a one-hour photo shoot, the client is NOT paying them $100 per hour.
Owning a camera doesn’t make you a photographer, it makes you a camera owner.