Have you ever wondered why a photographer charges what they charge?
Before I become a photographer, I always wondered why some photographers set their prices a certain way. And not just in the photography realm, but I used to question the prices of certain services. However, it was until I became a professional that I realized what goes into a business owner's price. For photography, many people may not realize what those overhead costs entail. In a quick breakdown, this includes: equipment costs, pre-production (setting up your equipment, ensuring you have what you need for the shoot), office/studio costs, time, experience, labor and post-production.
Speaking for myself, most of my work takes place in post-production, this means the day(s) after someone's photoshoot editing their pictures. Post-production consists of many special touches, such as smoothing skin, teeth whitening, blemish removal, stray hair reduction, background edits, and many more. This all takes time, skill and experience, and what goes into delivering beautiful images.
This hard work in post-production is the reason my prices are based on more than the actual photoshoot itself. You will find that my rates include the time that I spend editing and doing the behind the scenes work.
For most photographers, there are hours in prepping, hours that go into shooting, the time spent per picture/per session and hours that may go into driving, ordering, setting up and taking down equipment, uploading and delivering photos. The investment that goes into a photography business can also turn into thousands from equipment to software to props to spending hours in post-production or learning how to produce beautiful photos.
It's important to keep in mind that as a freelance photographer, you don't get paid vacations or sick days. You don't get bonuses. You don't get holiday pay. There aren't employer benefits either. However, there are taxes among other businesses.
Freelancers are paid based on the quality of their work and their business, and those who are willing to support their craft. Freelance photography is a career that lets you enjoy your creative freedom while investing in your business and making a profit on your knowledge, experience, craft and support. I hope this helps anyone who may wonder why my prices are set the way they are or anyone who may wonder what goes into a photographer's business.