Inspired by a recent issue with a longstanding client over fees Susie Mackie, a professional wedding photographer felt the need to break down actually what was involved in capturing one of the most important days of your life in pictures.
Susie is a romantic, fairyale and timeless portrait and wedding photographer based on Cheltenham and covering the Cotswolds and further afield.
Over to you Susie:
Shared of course with love and goodwill <3
SO JUST WHAT ARE YOU PAYING FOR WHEN YOU HIRE A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER?
Much of the cost of a photographic image or print produced by a professional photographer has a lot to do with the time, equipment costs, artistic vision and reputation of the photographer not to mention expertise and the usual costs of running a legitimate business.
The cost of TIME:
Approaching it from a time standpoint, let’s imagine that you have hired a photographer who has work that you love. This photographer is traveling an hour to your destination to photograph your session.
Here is an example of a time break down:
• Booking time: 30 minutes to one hour (client contact time + emailing/paperwork)
• Pre-session prep time (30 mins – 1 hour, includes equipment and back up equipment checks)
• One hour travel time to session
• 15-30 minutes prep time at client’s home
• 90 minutes – 2 hours with client photographing subject
• 1 hour travel time from session
• 30 – 45 minutes uploading time from digital cards from camera to computer
• 30 – 45 minutes time spent backing up the original images
• 2 – 5 hours editing time to present you with a diverse gallery of edited images
• 1- 2 hours prep time getting ready/printing orders
• 30 minutes – 1 hour prep time for delivery/posting
• Any additional phone time or time needed for add on ordering, shipment issues, quality issues
• In this example, the time spent per client can range from 13 hours to 17 hours – dependent on the photographer’s level of service. This is time dedicated only to ONE session. When the photographer charges £140 – £370 for the photo shoot (aka SESSION FEE) you are not just paying for the two hours of session time, you are paying the photographer for 12 – 17 hours complete time for your session – that is, the SERVICE.
• The images resulting from the service are the PRODUCT, whether they are digital, prints, canvases, acrylic blocks or any other medium, each of which has a monetary value (notwithstanding the emotional value and the longevity of this – which some might say is priceless).
The COSTS of maintaining a PROFESSIONAL photography business:
• Regarding equipment costs, a good quality professional camera with a selection of good optical quality lenses and digital storage mediums and computer set up can run from £10,000 – £30,000 costs dependent on the photographer.
• Even though you can purchase a really good quality digital SLR for about £2000 there are still other costs related to photography. Most of us have at least 3 cameras.
• A good lens for portrait photography can run from £900 to £2500. Most of us have 5 or more lenses.
• A dependable computer system with software loaded for business and creative usage can run £2500 to £8000 dependent on the photographer. Then come lab costs for specialty products, and professional photo printing equipment, archival inks and paper. Back up costs – external hard drives, cloud computing – we back up our files three times for safety, so if the client loses their images, we DON’T, and can always replace.
• As with other business equipment, deterioration, damage, and replacement must also be factored in.
• Costs of running the business, insurance (not just for equipment, also for personal indemnity and public liability), studio rental/mortgage, vehicular costs, costs of advertising/marketing, costs of sample pieces – all add up and all have to be paid for, just like any other business.
Susie can be found at the following links, I also highly suggest you check out her My Sensuality, she will find the goddess in all of us in this luxurious yet personal shoot that will allow your confidence as well as your beauty to shine through.
Susie Mackie Photography
Website – http://www.susiemackie.com/
Facebook – www.facebook.cogm/susiemackiepics
Website – http://www.mysensuality.co.uk/
Facebook – www.facebook.com/mysen2