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Why Do Photography Sessions Cost So Much?

I'm going to take a moment here to address a topic that I feel most clients would really like to know the answer to, but don't want to ask. I know that as a client, before becoming a full time photographer, I wanted to know this answer. Because I was thoroughly stumped as to why and how photographers could ask such high prices. Now, I understand. It is a business. Whether set up in a brick and mortar studio or out of the home, it has to be run as a business that is profitable.

Every photographer has their own method of doing things. Every photographer has different costs to run their business. I am not a math whiz, but I will do what I can to break some of this down for you. So that as a paying customer, you truly understand what your money is going towards.

*I will use a general one hour family session to keep things on a smaller scale. Keep in mind, the time invested in a wedding package increases the cost exponentially.

Let's talk time. There is the time the photographer took to answer your questions via email, phone call or text message and set up a date. There is potentially scouting for a new location option. There is the drive time it takes to get to the location. There is the one hour session. And finally there is the editing of the images. Again, every photographer takes a different amount of time to edit. Some take several weeks, some may only take a few days. But every moment of time spent on creating a beautiful session for your family has a cost and a value.

Now let's talk business. There are so many components to this side. There is a cost for a website that is user friendly and functional for clients. There is a cost for all the gear a photographer has and possibly insurance for that gear. There is a cost for editing programs. The pictures your photographer takes at a session become full pieces of art once they are finished editing. There is a cost for marketing. While social media is handy and primarily free, there are always tangible marketing materials that are essential for business owners to have. Maybe there are props required for a session that need to be purchased or a fee for the location you would like to shoot at. There are the people and programs that help the photographer run their business smoothly behind the scenes. Maybe the photographer has a studio, which involves a lot more costs to keep it running. Image delivery is also important. Did you receive a tangible USB, prints, or an online gallery? Each one is a service that you are paying for. Each element increases the value of your experience with the photographer.

Finally, education. Photography is an art. And in the digital world, it is one that is continuously evolving. For me, I want to stay up to date on the latest techniques and equipment for my business. This requires time for me to learn and grow. It also allows me to give you a satisfactory experience. Whether it's a workshop or an online class, these services provide me with the tools to be a better photographer for you.

I don't want this to be a lecture. I simply want as a business owner, for you the paying customer, to understand what it truly takes to provide you with art on your walls. I love what I do. And every single time someone tells me how thrilled they are with their pictures, I literally do a happy dance. No seriously, you can ask my husband. If you have chosen the right photographer for your needs, then you will be glad you invested every penny for it.

xo, Lauren

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