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.
The “We don’t…” and “We do…” of Blue Maple Photography – A Must Read for Anyone Looking to Hire a Professional Photographer
We don’t charge an exceedingly low price.
- You’ve heard the saying, “If something is worth having, it is usually worth something.” Shouldn’t that also be true for the portraits hanging on your wall? If you just wanted digital or printed images you would have just used the camera app on your mobile phone. You know, these days almost everyone now has a digital camera. After all you want a top notch quality product and superior customer service. Isn’t this exactly why you are looking for a professional photographer?
We do not “take pictures for some extra spending cash.”
- This is our profession. This is what pays the bills and mortgage. It takes a lot of time, education, and experience to become truly proficient and able to produce a cohesive portrait session for a client. We are not in it just to make a couple hundred bucks for a couple hours of shooting. Our focus is not to make images that are “good enough”, but images that are fantastic. Notice how I said “a couple hundred bucks?” That’s because that’s what is what you are seeing out there. That is what the Shoot & Burners (a.k.a. Mom With A Camera [MWAC] or Guy With A Full Time Job [GWFTJ]) charges. That is them just wanting to take pictures for some extra spending cash.
We don’t print our images at the local big box or drug store.
- For our prints, we use professional photography print labs. Professional labs use professional paper and ink that are archival quality. Just for a giggles, see for yourself the next time you are shopping in a big box or drug store. Look at their sample images. Do they look yellowed or discolored – already? Is that what you want to happen to your portrait that will be hanging in your home?
We don’t hand you your prints in a plain white envelope.
- All of our prints, under 11×14, are delivered to you in a keepsake boutique packaging.
We don’t shoot and burn a CD handing it to you in a paper sleeve with no keepsake or protective packaging following a session.
- We take pride in our work and our images have to look spectacular. We spend about 3-4 times the amount of time of your session time meticulous editing to provide you with the best of the best images. For digital customers we provide top quality American made eco-friendly keepsake packaging. All our digital packages include the a high definition (720p) slide show, two 2 GB USB flash drive with all final professionally edited images and the high definition (720p) slide show, a 4×6 archival print of all final images, Yes! We include prints of every image. Think about it, I’m sure this has happened to you how many times – when life itself gets in the way and you know, that CD or USB drive just sits in the drawer or file cabinet waiting and waiting for prints to be made. You’ll always have prints to show when friends and family want to see them. Then the digital package comes in an American made eco-friendly keepsake storage box that is handcrafted out of unvarnished blond maple with compartments for your USD flash drive and 4×6 archival prints. You also get full printing and usage rights on all images and 75% discount on our professional printing if you wish for us to handle that.
We don’t give you files in bizarre sizes and file types.
- We’ll give you files in .jpg format in both a high resolution and web resolution file size. That way you can immediately load you images up to your favorite social media site. If you need something different, just ask. Customer support and satisfaction is our primary objective.
We don’t claim to be a natural light photographer of use an on-camera.
- When you use solely natural light, the camera works to properly expose everything you have framed, the sky, background, model, foreground, etc…. The typical result, an overexposed sky or background and darken face on the model or the opposite.Hey, isn’t the model the reason why you are looking for a photographer?On-camera light produces a harsh flat look with no dimension, not to mention strong visible shadows.Off-camera lighting (e. g., remote controlled strobes in umbrellas or softboxes) is a much softer and flattering. With this you get the studio look with great highlights, soft shadows, and lots of defining contrast. Here the model pops out of the image! We use a mixture of both natural light and flash to give you great images. Yes, shouldn’t the item wanting to be photographed be the visual key in the image.
We don’t meet at high noon.
- We prefer to meet in the morning or evening when the light is more flattering and less harsh. Why? Because you will not get dark shadows or over exposed hotspot in your images. Don’t laugh; you know you’ve seen images when you were searching for a photographer.
We don’t arrive to a session alone.
- Almost all of our session we have an accompanying photo assistant. Not only is this for everyone’s safety but it is also necessary to the additional help with making you look great. You want to look great; right?
We don’t ask you to make checks payable to an individual.
- Checks are payable to Blue Maple Photography – we are a legitimate business and pay taxes.
We don’t show up to a session without being insured.
- We are a professional business and are fully insured.
We don’t show up to a session with just a single camera around our neck.
- We come prepared. We have multiple cameras in case of a malfunction. Do you know how many working parts and circuit boards there are in a modern camera? Don’t forget batteries and memory cards, we carry extra of those as well. Additionally we carry plenty of light gear and stands all to make you look your best.