I have had it said to me before, “Why do photographers cost so much, all they do is click a button, they don’t even have to pay for film any more?”
had an Ally McBeal moment regained my composure and tried to explain:
What are you paying for?
Time and Experience, usually a good photographer has been doing it for a while, they most likely have taken courses and attended workshops.
Cost of Equipment and Depreciation, Digital SLR cameras are getting cheaper, but they are still not “cheap” both times I have purchased cameras using my tax refund, I have invested a lot. These cameras will not last forever, and they will get outdated, and upgrades will need to be made.
There is not just the cost of the camera body but lenses, a quality lense will be upwards of $600 – Thousands, and you need more than one lens for various types of photography. Then there are memory cards (several of them), batteries, battery packs, reflectors, flashes, tripods, the list goes on.
Computer and computer software. How much did you pay for your laptop or desktop? Then add on a basic editing program $300, and upgrades for the program when they become available. Lessons on how to use the editing software may be needed.
External Hard Drives, CD’s and Online Back-up. This is the way we store our “digital negatives” so that if your wedding or portrait photos that are on the laptop that just crashed can be recovered, not once, or twice but 3 times. All these cost money.
Editing time. As the saying goes, time is money, and your photographers time is worth something.
Quality Prints, not cheap, flimsy photos printed at Harvey Norman or K-Mart, but quality paper that will last a lifetime. I printed about 200 photos at K-Mart and took them all back and complained they were a disgrace!
Frames. Quality picture framing is not cheap, for the same reason photography isn’t cheap, frames are individually put together, glass cut to size and matting cut for the frame.
Packaging. When your photographs are delivered, I’m sure they will arrive in some kind of packaging, perhaps with their logo, or a personal touch.
Life long memories – Who can put a price on those?
Here are a couple of links I found that also refer to what a professional photographer does in their business: