Photographers must be RICH charging over $100 for 15 minute Christmas mini sessions!
So I came across a post in a photography group that I am in about how people in a local garage sale group are bashing photographers that charge $125 for a 15 minute mini session and how it is ridiculous that they are charging that much. People are saying it's just crazy what professional photographers charge for just 15 minutes like that is all we put into it. The kids won't even be warmed up to them in that short amount of time. Well guess what?
I am THAT photographer! Well, not that specific one this lady is referring too, but I am a professional photographer that charges $125 for a 15 minute Christmas mini session. And you know what? I am on the cheaper side of what most professional photographers charge for their mini sessions. I have done my "Cost of Doing Business" calculations and this is the amount I NEED to charge. Now of course I do take into consideration that I need to book all of my spots on the designated mini session day and that I will book extra mini sessions during the 5 weeks before Christmas time and since I have done so in the last 5 years, I am confident I will be able to accomplish this without any problem. Thankfully I have super loyal clients and they are amazing at sharing my flyers and advertisements for me!
So WHY you ask do we charge what we charge for our sessions, whether they be mini sessions or regular sessions? We do a CODB analysis (cost of doing business) and this calculation takes all of our expenses (studio rent, photography equipment, training, website hosting, gallery hosting, editing software, computers, business insurance, bookkeeping/accountant, props, backgrounds and the TIME it takes to download, cull and edit the photos!) You didn't know about all this!? Did you just think we bought a nice camera during a Black Friday sale, opened a Facebook business page with "photography" added to our name and starting clicking the shutter button? Well unfortunately since it is so easy for a person to actually do this now a days many people think this is the case. Well it's not. You can get a $20 photographer that will give you 100 photos on a cd but I will tell you, they will not be good. No photographer that knows what they are doing and that can produce beautiful images will charge that little because they simply just can't! It will take that $20 photographer 15 months just to pay off their $3500 camera and that is not including the lens! $3500 CAMERA??? Yes, because quality matters to a professional photographer.
Yes I am an artist, but I am also a business woman. I pay good money to have an amazing studio with awesome Christmas mini sessions setups so that I can offer my clients a less expensive option to get just enough pictures for Christmas cards and presents during the year. I spend time going through their images one by one to pick out the best, load them into a choice gallery and let them choose which ones they love. I spend time editing those images, loading onto a cd and making labels. I spend time packaging up those images. My time is worth something and luckily my clients value my photography.
If it takes their kiddo longer than 15 minutes to warm up to a photographer to get a few images, then maybe they just need to consider having their sister's, mother's ,brother who just got a new camera take a few pictures of them for their Christmas cards. And just fyi, I have never in 5 years NOT been able to get a kiddo to warm up to me and every mini session I have ever done has resulted in amazing images that they will cherish forever. Hopefully I didn't just jinx myself