The short answer to this question is that we don't think we are expensive - but we would say that wouldn't we! When we send out a quotation, our prices are usually based on an hourly, half day, or full day's time and they take into consideration the experience of the photographer and the kit they are using. In my own case, I have been a commercial photographer for 32 years and I have approximately £250,000 worth of kit at my disposal and a very well equipped studio.
However, it's the experience that you are really paying for and I would be the first to admit that I might be too expensive for a simple PR shot, but very reasonable when your need a full day in the food studio or a stunning aerial photograph of your new premises.
I always try and emphasise that good quality photography is an investment, that should pay for itself many times over - otherwise, you are wasting your money. People are becoming very 'image aware' these days and are constantly taking their own photographs for social media ect.
One mistake that a number of people make, is avoiding commissioning professional photography by using cheap stock images instead. I was recently shown a website by a colleague that had cost several hundreds of thousands of pounds to create. In this case, you would think that the design agency would have told my friend that they needed to personalise his site with his own photography and video. Unfortunately, they took the easy route and purchased cheap American stock, which spoilt the site in my opinion.
I did notice a wonderful article recently where the photographer listed 10 reasons why photographers are expensive. Copyright acknowddged to http://pixelpluck.com/
You might see it as a 2 hour assignment. But what you may ignore is the Travelling time to reach the location, the set up time, time spent talking to the clients at venue, time spent in negotiations before the shoot, the actual shoot, transferring and backing up the data, post processing, reviewing with clients, delivering the photos or scheduling a pick up. And we are not even going into time spent building relationship with client, marketing and office hours. Post processing itself may take over a day or many depending upon the number of photographs. Especially in case of wedding Photographers.
Professional photographers don’t compromise with the quality of their gear. They buy professional equipment. They spend thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars getting multiple camera bodies, the finest lenses, flash equipment for every situation, tripods, light stands, backdrops, props, carrying and storage cases. Not only this, they buy professional licenses for software and different cloud back-up storage solutions and many other things.
3. Premium Services
Pro Photographers join communities to further learn and explore new dimensions. They have to pay for their membership to different premium photography communities. They pay for a premium account on photography services like Flickr, 500px and others. They pay for maintenance of website. They even need consultation with lawyer sometimes. Premium services may also include office and studio rent, electricity and phone bills etc.
Apart from being a good photographer, they have to be CEO, marketing manager, financial manager, salesperson, production worker, buyer, negotiator, driver, networker, organizer etc. That’s the kind of skill-set of Professional Photographer.
Professional Photographers don’t compromise. They will give you the best they can. They don’t back off from tough assignments. They would travel to any possible location and will shoot to the best of their ability. They give you their valuable time. They don’t run for multiple assignments within a day. They would rather do one quality assignment.
Pro Photographers keep themselves and their gears up to date with the rapidly evolving technology.They find things that perfectly match their clients taste. Their equipment are not of a hobbyist. They will be using the best technology available.
Experience is the one thing that may beat everything. And the Professionals are vastly experienced. They can advice you over a number of thing which you would not be able to decide. They know whats right and what could go wrong.
8. Uniqueness & Quality
Professionals have their unique style yet every shoot will look different. They know how to infuse freshness. The quality of photos are supreme.
The truth is that you get what you pay for. You will get photographs worth the money involved. And you know that there are no second chances.
10. Assistants and Help
They may have a small team working with them either on location or back in studio. The Photographer pays them for their work from his income.
What do your think?