Why Does Custom Photography Cost More?

Custom photographers are often asked the same question… “Why do you charge so much for your disk of images?”  “Why do I have to pay $15 for a 4×6 print when I can buy 4×6 prints for 19 cents from my local drug store?” “Why do I have to meet the $250 minimum print requirement?”  Photographers have expenses and need to make a profit just like any other business. We have professional equipment, expensive software, websites to maintain, marketing materials, props for sessions, accountants, sample products, workshops that we attend to better ourselves, etc.  I can speak for myself, and on behalf of many other professional photographers when I say; we don’t invest thousands of dollars into our business to make less than minimum wage.

To simply answer the above questions, you’re not just paying for the “actual” photograph or disk, you’re paying for the time and talent of the photographer. Take a look at the time involved with a SINGLE newborn client;

1 hour of responding to inquiries and scheduling your session
30 minutes of preparing and sending information packets
3-4 hours for the newborn session itself
30 minutes of setting up for the session
30 minutes of clean up from session (not including laundry to bring home after a newborn session)
1 hour of driving to and from your session
1 hour to upload and sort thru images
3-6 hours of editing and enhancing images and getting them print ready
30 minutes of preparing sneak peaks for the web for you to show your friends and family
1 hour of preparing a slide show for your ordering session
1 hour of driving to and from your ordering session
1-2 hour ordering appointment
1 hour for preparing and placing the photo order
1 hour to deliver your photos

As you can see, it is more than just a 3 hour newborn session. From start to finish, I spend anywhere from 16-22 hours of work on a single client.

Minimum Print Order Requirement:  I have a la cart pricing available for clients who choose NOT to purchase a package. The client must meet the minimum print order of $250. WHY? Take $250 and divide that by 20 hours of work.  That equates to about $12/hour and a portion of this is applied towards purchasing the pictures you just ordered and 25%-30% off this total needs to be set aside for taxes!  You can see, that if there wasn’t a print minimum, then a client could purchase one 8×10 print for $25 (through me), which would mean my 20+ hours of work equates to MUCH less than minimum wage.

Professional photography is a skill that takes a lot of practice and experience.  I specialize in newborn posing. What does this mean?  I have invested a lot of time and have traveled across the United States to learn the art and safety of newborn posing! I have received the proper training and have learned the special tricks/tips for a newborn portraiture session! Yes, I understand that the price can be a factor, however you have to remember that “you get what you pay for.” The least expensive photographer may also mean the photographer with the least experience… and you have to keep in mind that this person will be handling and posing your precious baby… so choose wisely!

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  I strive to provide my clients with the very best and dedicate as much as I possibly can to perfect my work and give each client memories they can cherish for a lifetime. As a mother myself, I have found that capturing these special moments, is the only way to freeze my son in time!

I realize that not everyone can financially afford a custom photographer, and that is perfectly fine! Custom photography is an investment and should be planned for.