The value in hiring a professional photographer
I get it. It can be confusing trying to understand why photographers charge what they charge and how the pricing can vary so much from photographer to photographer in your area. With entry level dslr cameras becoming so inexpensive and abundant in the hand of amateurs, it has definitely made it tough for the average client to understand why the charges can be so drastically different.
I understand everyone starts somewhere and I am supportive of a new photographer that takes the time to learn and master the craft of photography. But there are times in your life that you shouldn't leave your memories to the non-professional. The important times that you cannot get a redo on. A newborn is only 7-10 days old once. If you chose a inexperienced photographer that doesn't understand the exposure triangle, you may not find out until your baby is a month old and the "newborn" phase is over that your images are blurry and look horrible.
Your wedding day cannot be captured again. Your images from that day will be the only thing you have after the church is cleared out, the alcohol is drank and the reception lights are turned off. On your 15 year anniversary you and your spouse will probably not be sitting around talking about the flowers you decorated the church with or the amazing steak dinner you had at your reception. Chances are if you did it right, you will probably pull out your wedding photos or album and reminisce every moment from start to finish of that amazing day....captured in beautiful images by a professional that knew what they were doing.
So what are you paying for when you are hiring a professional? Let me break it down as best as I can.
My prices reflect-
-My 10 years of experience in photography and all of the time and expenses that I have put into my business to make sure that I can capture a beautiful moment in an image that you will cherish forever.
-The training and knowledge I have invested in learning photography and that I will spend every year to continue to learn.
-The time I invest in your session before we book, the planning and setups, the time during the session and the many hours that I put in after the session is over with editing and post processing.
-My certification in newborn safety and for my assistant that I have at every newborn session to ensure that your baby is handled safely at all times and is comfortable in poses that I know how to create.
-My membership with the Better Business Bureau to show you that I care about my clients and my business so you don't have to worry that I won't show up on your wedding day.
-Al of my professional equipment, such as my backup cameras in case a camera decides to stop working during an event or my dual slot camera bodies that ensure I do not lose any of your images if a memory card goes corrupt, which will inevitably happen.
-Me being an insured, tax paying and legal business in the event that anything should happen during our session.
-The cost of my beautiful studio locations so that we can have our sessions no matter the time of day or what the weather is like.
-The customer service that I work hard to provide and the personalized service with every client that books me.
-All of the software, website and gallery expenses I incur monthly to maintain a professional business.
-The ability to make a living wage after all of the hours of work are put in and all of my previous expenses mentioned above have been met.
There are a wide range of choices in photographers and this also means that there will be a wide range of prices that they charge also. Every professional photographer has a "cost of doing business" amount that they need to meet before they even make a profit. Just remember, you simply cannot be a good, experienced, knowledgeable photographer with a legal business when you are only charging $50 a session. It is too expensive to BE a good photographer and this is why the bargain priced photographers will either fade out or invest in themselves to be better and start charging what they are worth. Be assured that while you will be paying more for a professional photographer, the value is way beyond the dollar amount. You get what you pay for.