Why is professional photography so expensive?!
I'm sure everyone can agree that good, quality, professional photography... can be expensive. But what most people don't know, is the why - why is it so expensive?
I remember many years ago (before I ever picked up a camera) my mom talked about how expensive the photography was going to be for my older sister's wedding. I remember her saying that the prices just seemed ridiculous, that all they did was take a picture with their fancy camera. Well I'll have you know, she definitely understands it now that she has a professional photographer as a daughter lol!
So lets start at the beginning - the equipment! Your average photographers main gear set up can cost anywhere from $3,000 - $4,500. And that's just ONE camera body and ONE lens. As a wedding photographer, I have two camera bodies and 4 lenses. This may seem like a lot but it's all needed in order to capture someone's wedding day in the best possible way. I also have my laptop and desktop that we use to edit and several hard drives for backing up all of our client images. Also keep in mind that these items don't last forever. Equipment needs to be upgraded regularly to ensure you're producing the best possible products for your clients.
On top of all of our gear that we use, we also have many types of software that we've purchased and monthly subscriptions that we must pay for regularly. I have monthly subscriptions for my editing software, my online cloud system I use to backup my client images, the online system I use for client management (sending contracts, receiving payments, etc), and the online service that I use to deliver images to my clients. These are just the main things we spend our money on regularly, not even mentioning all of those little purchases made throughout the year. So basically, we are spending LOTS of money just to keep the business up and running smoothly!
Now for the big one... TIME! Not only do we spend the hour-hour and a half hanging out and having an awesome time taking the photos, but we also have to take into account the time we spend communicating back and forth with all of our clients. The countless hours posting content on our social media pages, responding to emails and messages, the sending of contracts and invoices - it takes up more time than people realize. Then there are the countless hours it takes for us to cull through (picking out the best images and getting rid of duplicates, eyes closed, and blurry shots) and then edit all of the images. I'm a perfectionist and spend a lot of time editing each and every image that gets delivered.
And last but certainly not least... HEART. I can't tell you guys how much time and effort and HEART I put into perfecting my craft and creating the most enjoyable experience for my clients. In the beginning I spent SO much time on youtube - watching videos on editing, how to use my camera in manual mode, how to use lighting, etc. Nowadays, I spend my time and energy (and more money! lol) on learning through workshops and then even more youtube! I think it's SO important for photographers to always keep learning and striving to be better for their clients. I'm actually about to start an online workshop next month geared toward family photography that I'm super excited about!
So the next time you get a quote from a photographer and you think it's way too expensive and silly that they charge so much, just know that there is so much more to it than "having a fancy camera and pressing a button." Professional photography is a luxury, it's not something you have to have at the end of the day. But, at the end of the day, when all you have to remember past experiences and important milestones are your photographs... I can guarantee you won't regret having saved up that extra money to capture those special moments in the most beautiful and special way <3
Thank you all so much for reading and I can't wait to continue this blog! If you found this post enlightening or interesting, feel free to share with others! :)