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Why Do Photographer's Charge SO MUCH?!

This topic is brought up with me so much. Even friends and family will say to me, "I just don't understand why you have to charge so much, it's just pictures." In this blog post I will be going over why we charge what we charge and what that even looks like. I will be trying to give you an inside look into what I do for my business. I hope this post can offer some guidance when looking for any photographer for any reason whether that be for a wedding, or family pictures and everything in between.

When I first started this business, I was convinced I was never going to be that photographer that charged over $1,000 for wedding day pictures. It just didn't make sense to me. Why charge so much for something you just show up, click a button, make the pictures look pretty, then send it to them. That's all you do right? Well I was very wrong. And found that out really fast. When I shot my first wedding doing photography, I didn't charge very much at all. That day I came home so tired. 6 hours of walking around taking pictures, thinking of poses, making sure the lighting in my camera looked perfect, making sure we have every family member in the picture, bending down and moving the whole time etc. It was EXHAUSTING! Then, as the nights went on editing and culling through the images. I found out that this is a lot more work than I realized. It took me hours to cull through those pictures. I was shocked. Then after spending days going through and picking the best pictures, I still wasn't done. I had to edit the pictures. This also took countless hours over multiple days. Finally I was done with the gallery! But how do I send it to my clients? I didn't even think about this. So I asked around and researched the best way to send galleries to clients, and found a website that will do it for me and still send the full quality of the images, but it was over $250 dollars a year. I was already paying $60 monthly for my editing services, and now this too. I was shocked. Already, I was paying more money than I had gotten paid for the wedding I shot.

I learned really quick, I am technically not making ANY MONEY....

Photographers and Videographers have to pay for subscriptions to help their business. I pay for subscriptions to help me keep track of my accounting, invoices, and contracts, another one to help me accept payments from clients online. I also pay for another subscription to send my clients galleries to, and I pay for adobe subscriptions to edit all my films and galleries. I also pay for a music subscription so I can get all my music I use on my films licensed.

On top of these subscriptions, I also have to pay taxes. I have to pay yearly taxes and have to set aside a certain percentage of what I make every month to pay for those yearly taxes. I have to pay yearly for my website as well.

And you can't forget, cameras and camera equipment is expensive! Each camera body I have is over $2,000. It takes a lot of money to invest in yourself! You have to buy lenses and flashes, SD cards, hard drives (to protect your clients images), gimbals, chargers, batteries, my list could go on and on. Not only this, but I had to pay for regular life expenses to! Like rent, gas and food.

All of this isn't even including the hours spent at the

event or the session and the countless hours spent editing and perfecting those pictures for you.

I also want to add, that most photographers and videographers will work with you and your budget. We understand that our prices might not fit in your budget, and that's okay! One thing I strive to do is help my prices fit into your budget. I try really hard to make it work for both of us! And if it doesn't work, that's OKAY! I understand and hope we can work together in the future.

Remember, this is how we make an income and support ourselves and our family

I think one thing that people often forget, is that yes we are artist and creatives, but we are also a business. For those doing this full time this is our only stream of income. We need to have enough of an income to support our business, ourselves and our family.

When inquiring for a photographer or videographer don't just put "looking for someone who doesn't cost an arm and leg."

Something I see often, is people inquiring and saying "looking for an affordable photographer for our wedding". And this can be a problem. Affordable looks different to everyone, maybe an affordable photographer to you is someone who charges less than $4,000 for a 6 hour wedding day. Or maybe it's more like $800 for 6 hour wedding day. When searching for a photographer don't be afraid to say what your budget is. And if you don't know what it is but have a number you want to keep it around, then put that number! It is important to share as much information when inquiring as possible. This will help you and the photographer know if you will be a good fit.

I hope this blog post has helped answer some of those thoughts or questions you have about spending and investing in a photographer, even if it's just for family photos. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please reach out I will be happy to chat with you.



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