(Closed) Why are Professional Photographers so Expensive…..

posted 9 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 17
1403 posts
Bumble bee

Also…..retouching is different than basic editing.  Just as film needs to be developed so do raw images.  They need to be sorted cropped, corrected, sharpened, backed up and burned to CD.   There is a chance that a photographer may not spend more than a work week total on a shoot and burn wedding, but 1200 minus their overhead (depreciation of equipment, storage space, media, fee’s for their website, hosting, business, insurance, etc), isn’t that impressive of a paycheck.

Post # 18
739 posts
Busy bee

@Rock Hugger:

I agree with what @USER876 and @LBPhotography have said. My husband and I run a full time photography business together. Just the basics of running our business we both work upwards of 60 hours a week and it cost us around 40k a year just in business expenses to keep us going. That doesn’t include what we need to pay rent on our modest apartment, put food on the table, pay our student loans, pay for health insurance and keep the car running. Like stated before usually the low-cost photogs even if talented soon realize they are running backwards and either start charging enough to make it worth it or drop out all together. 

As for the travel costs. Your photog will most likely be working for 8 hours with maybe a 10-20 min brake for some food. Initially they will start there day well before that, checking and packing their gear and making sure they have everything they need. When they get home they will spend another couple of hours uploading and backing up the photos from the day. You are asking them to add another 5 hours to their day. Yes, they are driving but they are not at home getting to relax they are working for you or they are wanting to stay in the area and pay for a hotel room. I personally get super tired after sitting in a car for 2+ hours and therefor wouldn’t be giving my absolute best, though I would try.

Why do we work so hard for so little? Because we both really love what we do and in the end that is what makes it worth it.

Here are some past bee posts where this topic was heavily discussed:





Post # 19
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Thank you guys for the comments!  I did not even think about things like insurance, or comparing me editing wedding photos to an editor editing my articles.  I do see your point here, and I appreciate your POVs!

Post # 20
1000 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Oh I’m so glad Rock Huggers comment was addressed by the other photo bees. I feel like if I had been the first to respond I would have filled up this whole page with typing, lol! Just FYI, you have to copy and paste those links into your browser for them to work, but they do work and all of those threads are great reads for anyone who share’s in Rock’s question or wants more information 🙂 Cheers!

Post # 21
1126 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I definitely am impressed by anyone that makes enough money as a photographer to do it full-time.  The choices in our small town are all photographers with side jobs, some related to their work (I know one guy works for a newspaper) and some not (our photographer does IT work for a resort).  It’s just the way it is in that town, everyone has a couple jobs.  But you’d have to shoot a lot of weddings to make a decent yearly salary, which is why I don’t begrudge the prices they charge.

Post # 22
2373 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

@Rock Hugger:  On a more practical note: Your photographer is putting approx 500 miles (there and back) of wear and tear on his/her vehicle, gas (I’m guessing 2 tanks), and the 5 hours of travel time there and back. $300 sounds pretty reasonable.


Post # 23
1403 posts
Bumble bee

Agree, the IRS milage rate is around ~50 cents a mile, and thats about what they are charging.

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