Why Are Photoshoots SO Expensive?

Ah, money talk. Probably one of the most awkward things to talk about right? Well, this blog is going to be dedicated to just that. Photoshoots are expensive, some more than others. So let's talk about the dirty details why....

Cost Expenses: Below are ROUGH estimates of cost expenses for photographers. Not everything is included. Every photographer is different, but this is the jist. PHOTOGRAPHY IS EXPENSIVE.

**These are not my personal expenses. After doing research I averaged out my personal expenses and other photographer's expenses to create the numbers below. These numbers also have to do with experience. New and aspiring photographers will not have these expenses, which is why their session fees aren't typically that expensive. The more expensive the session typically means the more experience the photographer has, but not always.

  • $10k + worth of camera equipment (back ups, memory cards, cameras [1 of my cameras is $5,000 alone without the lens!], flashes, batteries, etc.)

  • $500+ yearly insurance and liability

  • $5k-$10k worth of computer equipment and software (lap top, editing software, etc.)

  • $500/year of management software

  • $300/year for office supplies/tools

  • $250/year continuing education (workshops, guides, etc.)

  • $1k/year for work clothing and travel meals

  • $500-$2k/year for subcontracted wedding assistants (second shooters)

  • $3-5k/year for traveling to and from sessions and weddings (gas, car expenses, etc.)

  • $1-3k/year for marketing, advertising and branding

...just a tad expensive, right?!

Time: Let's talk time now. These don't have a price tag to them, but rather value. These are the "behind the scenes" activities that photographers have to do. They don't cost me money, but they cost me my time I could be with my husband, with my family, etc. It is part of the job, not complaining, but it does have a cost. Again, these aren't even all of them.

  • Time prepping and packing gear before each session

  • Drive time

  • Time shooting

  • Time editing (this is the longest for me)

  • Time downloading, exporting, etc.

  • Time spent maintaining and updating website

  • Time spent posting of social media

  • Time spent book keeping

  • Time spent consulting with clients

  • Time spent making wedding day timelines

  • Time spent cleaning equipment

  • Time spent writing blogs

Profit: This is a big one. Some photographers have photography as their full time job. They need to pay their bills, take care of their family, etc. They need to make some type of profit from shoots to make a living. Now, personally, this is not my full time job. I rarely pay myself (photographers and business owners will probably cringe reading this...). Making my clients happy is the main reason I do it. I do it for those goosebump worthy testimonials. I have another job to pay the bills. Yes, I make a profit, but right now I save it all to continue to purchase equipment that I want and need.

PHOTOGRAPHY IS EXPENSIVE. That is why photographers charge "so much money" for photoshoots. However, paying this cost is worth it. You will have pictures that will last you a lifetime. If money is an issue, find a photographer that is in you budget. Don't stop looking because the first two photographers you researched were out of your budget.

Please feel free to leave any comments and or questions below!

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Central PA/Harrisburg Photographer