keithleeSTUDIOS » St. Louis, Missouri Area Portrait Photographer (Weddings, Engagements, Boudoir, Seniors)

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So you think $XXX is too expensive?! Read on…

So when you get a quote from me (or any other photographer), your knee jerker reaction might be “What?! He/she is crazy! That’s way too expensive!”. Well, there are A LOT of things you might not think of that goes into the photographers hourly rate or quote.

Keep the follow things in mind:

  • It typically takes me about 30 mins to drive + meet clients at the location for their session. The drive back home is about another 30 mins which brings the total to an hour.
  • Anybody who’s worked with me knows that my sessions tend to go longer than the scheduled 1 or 2 hour session (usually by 30 mins if not more).
  • I would say it takes me about 2-3 hours to edit 500 pictures and the software cost about $300 (Lightroom 3) and computers aren’t cheap either.
  • My camera gear that you see me lug around is expensive! Depending on what lens and body I’m shooting with, my right hand is worth about $2500-5000.
  • Don’t forget about the cost of marketing and supplies… DVDs, cases, labels, business cards, website, padded envelopes and postage all add up.
  • And oh yeah, the ‘man’ (aka government) wants their cut too.
  • So for a guy like me who currently charges $100 for an hour session (increasing for 2011), how much do you think I’m really making after everything is said and done? Don’t get me wrong… this is NOT a rant but more of an informational post to keep people informed on what goes behind the scenes for us photographers. The photographers who do charge an ‘arm and a leg’ are typically worth it (and more power to those who are charging their clients less than I am!) not to mention that they are doing this for a living. Keep in mind that I haven’t even added the most important factor of what you paying for… no, it’s not the camera or lens but the talent, experience and skills of the photographer. So before you think he/she is crazy for asking $XXX for a session, take this post in consideration. :)

    Thanks again to all my past, current and future clients for their business and support and thanks for taking the time to read!

    Keith

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