So this is a subject that I've been putting off writing about but I feel it's time as I get a lot of enquiries asking about price, etc. and asking why professional photographers charge so much.
With the advent of digital photography everyone seems to be a photographer these days. Professional photographers have a lot of training and experience. It takes years of hard work and education to hone their photography skills. A professional photographer understands composition, white balance, exposure, light and shadow, Photoshop, Lightroom, etc. and is always educating themselves to take the most beautiful photos for their clients that they will treasure for a lifetime. A smart digital camera does not an accomplished artist make. You wouldn't go and purchase a great pair of scissors to cut your child's hair and expect the same result a hairdresser could do?
You hire a professional photographer for their ability to make you and your family look awesome, using their artistic and technical talent. You hire them for their expertise in being able to bring to life your vision for your photos of your family. The time they spend working and getting to know you to really bring out your individual personalities and to capture memories in time.
Not only should you be in the photos with your family but you'll find that most children are more likely to be cooperative with a professional photographer than you directing them. Photographers have learnt through experience how to get children to give those natural smiles.
The actual photo shoot is only a small portion of what the photographer actually does. After the shoot the photos have to be culled and edited individually to give them their own unique look that fits with the Photographer's style. This is where the main work happens. They are then loaded to an online photography gallery for you to choose your images.
When you pay for a professional photographer you are investing money into pieces of artwork, high quality images that will be displayed on your walls and not left on your computer hard drive or in boxes packed away. They have the knowledge of quality printing for your photos and have their own specialist printers that they use. A high quality photo deserves to be printed on beautiful art paper that will withstand the years.
What am I paying a professional for?
When you pay a professional photographer to shoot for you, you are generally paying for the following things:
- The photographer will work closely with you in choosing your outfits, ideal location and time of day to get the most beautiful lighting, etc. All of these minor details can make a huge difference in your final photographs.
- Time and talent
- Knowledge of cameras, lenses and purchasing of equipment in order to achieve high quality images for you. Professional photographers have a great depth of knowledge about what types of equipment and what camera settings you need to produce a certain image. That beautiful bokeh (blurry background) and halo lighting cannot be reproduced in 'Auto' mode.
- Post production creating and editing each individual photo. This is a lengthy process where your photos are worked on individually to give them a polished, artistic and professional look.
- Printing and social media rights for usage of your photos.
I hope this helps you understand what you pay for by hiring a professional photographer. Life happens so quickly and photographs are timeless memories of who you and your family were that will be passed down through generations.