Why photographers charge what they do.

Today I thought I would just give everyone a bit of insight into why professional photographers charge what they do and how come some are so much cheaper than others. This is a very basic list and is just to give some idea of the reasons behind our prices. This is a very sensitive subject with a lot of people and many people make the mistake of hiring the cheapest photographer that they can find to capture memories that are supposed to last a lifetime.

One of the main reasons that photographers charge what they do for a photoshoot is because it is their business, and in order for a business to deliver the best results and thus succeed, you need to use the right equipment to get the best results. This equipment is by no means cheap and if you cut corners and use inferior equipment the results show it, literally straight away. Once that moment is past, especially in something like a wedding, you can never go back and repeat it to try capture a better photo than the one you got. This equipment needs fixing and replacing from time to time as well.

Next after the equipment comes the expertise or knowledge the pro photographer has, this is also something that is actually priceless because anybody can take a photo but to take the photo correctly and to capture the mood and part of the subjects character in a photo is not an easy task and can also be done incorrectly rendering what was supposed to be a moment frozen in time just a picture of some people with no mood or feeling. To gain the knowledge pro photographers have takes a lot of time, effort and money.

Then comes the planning of the whole photoshoot, how to pose people for the best results, where the best place will be to take the photos and as a lot of pros do, what props will be good and how to use them to achieve the results the client is looking for.

Next factor is the time factor, now this has to be broken down into a few different categories as you can never think they are all the same. First once again is the time it takes to plan the whole shoot, second is the time it takes to capture the photos, third is something that people tend to forget about once the shoot is complete is the time taken to edit the photos to get the best results out of the captures. (This is one of the main reasons a lot of photographers charge so much less than others, they simply don’t do any post processing or editing, I will elaborate at the end of the blog.)

Now to do that post processing you need computer programs and obviously the better the programs the better the overall results. Those programs cost money and require knowledge to use them to their maximum capacity.

So as you can see it’s not just a case of seeing how much money we can make it actually costs a lot just to be a photographer. And now for a small story to help you realise why some photographers charge so little, I personally have heard of a good few stories the same as this one so this is not a once off occurrence.

A friend of ours booked a wedding photographer to capture their most special day, they didn’t see why they should spend a lot of money for a photographer so they hired one that was a lot cheaper than most others but still not the cheapest. On the day of the wedding the photographer arrived late, missing the bride getting ready. Some of his equipment didn’t work and he wasn’t very polite. He rushed a lot of the photos so he could capture more and didn’t really pose them during their shoot after the ceremony leaving them wondering how to stand or what to do while he just shot away. Next they had barely arrived at the reception and the photographer disappeared, luckily their friends thought to take a lot of snapshots.  He walked into the reception about an hour later and handed them a disc of about 800 unedited mostly blurry snapshots he had taken and promptly walked out. They had paid him up front like you have to with all photographers and only saw what rubbish he had given them when they got back from their honeymoon. Thank goodness for them their friends took loads of snapshots that were of better quality than the photographer so they at least had some memories of their most special day.

And that is why it is not always the best or wisest move to hire the cheapest photographer you come across.


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  1. Angelica July 26, 2012 at 09:00 #

    Thank you for posting this. I shared it with a few people, hopefully reading this will bring understanding to those who don’t quite get the time and effort behind this craft. :)

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