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Client Education Series –Why Photographers charge so much?

I feel compelled to share my thoughts on this matter. Conversations about expenses with clients are a frequent occurrence for me. The subject of costs is recurrent, and I completely understand. Hailing from the UK, managing a single income, being pregnant, and desiring newborn pictures, it simply didn't align with our financial plan. Consequently, I took on the task myself. Reflecting on it now, I wonder if the outcome could have been better with a professional, but I still hold those self-captured moments dear.

Let me emphasize that there is a multitude of photographers in this industry, and there is undoubtedly one that fits your budget. A quick search for Milton photographers alone yields over 65 results. Perhaps you could consider working with someone who is just starting out and looking to expand their portfolio. I can relate to this, as I initially did photo sessions for friends, engaging in a mutually beneficial exchange where we swapped cake-making for photo-taking. This was particularly significant for me, given my lack of culinary skills—my family can attest to this fact.

So back to the question, why do we charge so much?

Photographers, like any professionals, need to earn a sustainable income to support their livelihoods. The rising cost of living is a universal challenge affecting individuals across various industries, including ours. As artists and creators, we invest not only in our passion but also in the equipment, skills, and time necessary to deliver quality work.

Consider a typical Newborn session, a meticulous process lasting 2 to 4 hours, dedicated to ensuring the safety and comfort of the baby.

The environment plays a crucial role; my house is carefully heated to maintain warmth throughout the session.

Behind the scenes, professional photographers invest significantly in their craft. This includes extensive training through courses and workshops, often costing thousands of dollars.

Moreover, essential tools of the trade, such as high-quality cameras and lenses, can amount to a substantial financial investment.

Outfits, props, and backdrops, collectively amounting to thousands of dollars, are carefully curated to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the session.

For those utilizing studio space, additional costs like rent fees further contribute to the financial considerations.

Lighting, whether natural or artificial, is a critical aspect that may require financial investment. Comprehensive insurance coverage is imperative to protect both the photographer and the clients.

Financial responsibilities extend to taxes, website maintenance, editing software, gallery hosting, and backup systems for safeguarding precious photos.

Marketing efforts also play a crucial role in sustaining a photography business.

Post-session, the commitment continues with extensive editing, often taking 5 to 6 hours to craft a beautiful gallery.

This is followed by an additional hour for uploading photos to an online gallery, delivering them to the client, awaiting their decisions, and ultimately delivering the final products.

While this list may not capture every expense involved, it provides a glimpse into the multifaceted financial aspects that photographers navigate to deliver exceptional services and products.

I might not be the bearer of universally pleasing news, but the saying "you get what you pay for" holds in photography. I've been in the realm of super affordable photography, and the growth in my work, evident in the image below, attests to the evolution of my skills. As photographers, we all embark on our journeys, often self-taught, and it's crucial to recognize that everyone starts somewhere.

I want to reiterate that there is always a photographer out there to fit your budget. Does it bother me when someone expresses that my services are too expensive for them? Not at all. I've been in their shoes; before becoming a photographer, I was precisely in their position.

This is, in fact, one of the reasons why I established my business. Unable to afford the photographers I admired, I took matters into my own hands and became a photographer myself.

Here's a reminder of the difference in my growth from when I started to now.

When selecting a photographer, it's crucial to ensure that you appreciate their portfolio and are confident in their skills—it's a top priority for me!

This is particularly important when dealing with newborns. I've encountered novice photographers who overlook the safety precautions necessary for these delicate subjects. Their lack of understanding about composites leads them to pose newborns on precarious objects, which is genuinely alarming!

Remember, prioritizing safety is more critical than opting for a cheaper option. In Canada, there's no governing body for photographers, and there's no concept of licensed photographers. So, exercise caution and make your choice wisely.

For numerous families and couples I work with, professional photographs become a cherished time capsule capturing unique moments that won't occur again. Whether it's an engagement, the arrival of the first baby, a fifth anniversary, or a tribute to departed loved ones, these images remain a source of immense gratitude. Years later, be it two, ten, or twenty, clients express profound appreciation for having stunning, vivid photos that they can revisit, share, and relish throughout their lives. Drawing from personal experience, the significance of these images becomes even more apparent when they stand as the only tangible remnant of a person or event. It truly makes a difference!

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