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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Why do photographers charge so much?!

"Why do photographers charge so much?!" I hear this question a lot and that's good. People want to know where their money is going to. Here's an article I found online that explains everything almost perfectly for me. I hope this sheds light on why the cost is what it is.

The average one-hour portrait session

First, let's look at the actual work involved:

Travel to the session
Setup, preparation, talking to the client, etc.
Shoot the photos
Travel from the session
Load images onto a computer
Back up the files on an external drive
2 - 4 hours of Adobe® Photoshop® time, including cropping, contrast, color, sharpening, and backing up edited photographs. Proof photos are also ordered.
2 - 3 hours to talk to the client, answer questions, receive order and payment, order their prints, receive and verify prints, package prints, schedule shipment, and ship.
Possibly meet clients at the studio to review photos and place order. Meeting and travel time average 2 hours.
You can see how a one-hour session easily turns into an eight-hour day or more from start to finish. So when you see a personal photographer charging a $200 session fee for a one-hour photo shoot, the client is NOT paying them $200 per hour.

The eight-hour wedding

A wedding photographer typically meets with the bride and groom several times before and after the wedding. And it’s not uncommon to end up with 1,000 - 2,000 photos, much more than a portrait session. Many photographers spend 40-60 hours working on one eight-hour wedding if you look at the time that is truly involved. Again, when a wedding photographer charges $4,000 for eight hours of coverage, clients are NOT paying them $500 an hour!

(Don’t forget that the photographer runs the wedding day to some extent. A comfortable, confident wedding photographer can make a wedding day go more smoothly.)

The expertise and cost of doing business

Shooting professional photography is a skill acquired through years of experience. Even though a DSLR now costs under $1,000, taking professional portraits involves much more than a nice camera.

Most personal photographers take years to go from buying their first camera to making money with photography. In addition to learning how to use the camera, there is a mountain of other equipment and software programs used to edit and print photographs, run a website, etc. And don’t forget backdrops, props, rent, utilities, insurance, etc!

In addition to the financial investment, photographers actually have to have people skills to make subjects comfortable in front of the camera. Posing people to look their best is a skill by itself. You could argue that posing is a more important skill than actually knowing how to use the camera. A poorly exposed photo can be saved, but a badly posed photo cannot.

The chain store photo studio

Chain stores do have their place. For a very cheap price you can run in, shoot some quick photos, and be done with it. But you get what you pay for.

Consider the time and effort that a personal photographer puts into photographs, compared to a chain store. Store sessions last just a few minutes, while a personal photographer takes the time to get to know the people, makes them comfortable, makes them laugh. If a baby is crying at a chain store, they often don’t have the time (or the patience) to wait because everyone is in a hurry.

The truth is that many chain store studios lose money. In fact, Wal-Mart closed 500 of their portrait studios in 2007 because of the financial drain. What the chain stores bank on is a client coming in for quick, cheap photos…and while there, spending $200 on other items. They are there to get you in the door.

The real deal

Professional, personal photographers are just that—professionals. No different than a mechanic, dentist, doctor, or electrician. But a personal photographer often becomes a friend, someone who documents a family for generations with professional, personal photographs of cherished memories.

Maybe we need to help clients look at it this way: A pair of scissors costs $1.50 at the drugstore. Still, most people will gladly pay a lot more to hire a professional hair dresser to cut their hair.

The added attention and quality that a personal photographer gives is worth every penny.


We hope that those who have taken the time to read this page will have a better understanding of why professional photographs, created by a Personal Photographer are so expensive.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Shawn, Pamela and Gavin Richter - cofphoto@aol.com

Our website - Caught on Film Photography

Our photography forum - Learning Digital Photography Together

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What to Wear Wednesday

OK...I guess that it's technically Thursday, but things have been crazy busy at Chase Grace Photography. I am looking forward to all of the upcoming holiday sessions and can't wait to share the sneak peeks!

Anyways, back to the reason I am posting tonight. It's What to Wear Wednesday!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Free Mini-Session Giveaway

It was good to meet so many moms yesterday at the MOPS Fall Fest!  I enjoyed talking to each of you.  Below is the list of moms that signed up (in the order in which you signed up).  Using Random.org, I have chosen the winner of the Free Mini-Session.  Remember that this is only for the session.  Prints and/or Christmas cards will have to be purchased separately.

List of Moms
1.  Tami Roach
2.  Julie Malott
3.  Christa Checki
4.  Molly Gent
5.  Laura Panto
6.  Lynnae Kucera
7.  Kristie Kahlden
8.  Connie Chow
9.  Amy Byrd
10.  Chelsea Geissen
11.  Dana Arnett
12.  Kari Cabrera
13.  Kerri Westmoreland
14.  Maggie Butterfield

And the winner is...

Congratulations Amy Byrd!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mr. K turns 5!

I took the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to photograph my own son.  His birthday is on Halloween and every year, we take a trip to visit my parents for a week right before his birthday.  I took the chance to scope out some great spots while also getting to enjoy photographing one of my favorite subjects.  We spent the afternoon just hanging out and talking about whatever came to mind.

Here are some of my favorites!