I am friends with many photographers, we all have a different genre that we like to shoot but we all have one thing in common, but what is that you may ask?
When potential clients are looking for a photographer the first thing that they look at is the price!
"Oh, you are far too expensive" is something many of us are used to hearing, or "but it’s only taking pictures".
Many people blame the potential clients but the reality is that it is not the client’s fault, they aren't photographers, they do not know the time and effort that goes into running a photography business and they certainly don't know the cost!
So, what can we do about it? Educate our potential clients!
Don't get me wrong though even after explaining some people will still not see the value in our work but that is OK, they aren't our clients!
So why so we charge what we do?
Let's start with the basics, gear! camera equipment, it's expensive, most camera bodies are over £1000 some way over, take a Nikon D5 for example, expect to pay about £4000 for it! Then there are lenses, most photographers have more than one and we aren't taking about your standard kit lens here but professional prime glass (as we photographers call it) again most lenses are close to and over the £1000 mark and photographers have on average 3-4 lenses that they like to use for different shooting situations even though we all have our favourite "work horse"! My dream lens that I would love for example, A Nikon 200mm f2 prime that would set me back nearly £5000!
Then there is training and experience, many photographers take years to perfect their craft, training can also run into the thousands when you add it all up.
Lighting, most photographers work with lighting of some sort, be it flash guns, strobes, continuous light. Then you have reflectors, light modifiers, usually the big white boxes you see on the lights, lighting stands, back drops, lots of photographers work with props too all this adds up, costing thousands again.
We also have running costs, the cost of a website, email addresses, domains, different software that we use, studio running cost, insurances, fuel in our car, admin, computers the list goes on and on.
Each and every photographer will have a "Cost of doing Business" and everyone’s is different. Before we even get any clients, we are paying out money every month just to have our business up and running. We have to earn enough to cover those costs before we even begin to earn a wage for ourselves. So, when your photographer presents you with their price list you aren't just paying for them to come and click a button to take a few pictures you are paying for their experience, their knowledge, their artistic vision, their passion and their time!
Your session may only be an hour long but unlike some professions you don't get to see the full process, it’s always easier to justify an expense when you see what fully goes into but with photography you only see a fraction of what it took to produce your final images, it’s not an hours work for us but many many hours, evenings and weekends too away from our families.
So potential clients, we love you all and we would really LOVE it if you could take a step back and remember, when you see that price list that your photographer presents you, try and remind yourself that we are a working business just like any other, we have running costs and before we pay ourselves for our work these costs have to be covered, if they aren't then we no longer have a business, we are also just working people like yourself trying to keep a roof over our heads and put food on the table for our families and pay our bills.
We aren't just charging "stupid money" for a few pictures and pocketing the money and laughing all the way to the bank, we honesty make very little from what we do charge.
Thank you for reading.