I do what I do because I want clients to have images that show without a doubt just how much their dog loves and adores them. That they truly love playing, hunting, working, or just hanging out on the couch with them.
When someone asks how I came up with my pricing I could wrap it up in one sentence...
My pricing is based on what I want to give my clients and the experience I want them to have throughout the session process.
Pricing is so multi-faceted no matter what business you're in. I'd like to break it down and try and explain pricing in the photography world so that you will understand a little better the next time you look at hiring a photographer, be it a wedding photographer, family, baby, pet or boudoir.
There are several pricing models that photographers will use depending on their own personal circumstances.
Some photographers want to schedule as many clients as possible and deliver digital images from an online gallery. These photographers are usually on the lower price end. The gallery might include every image taken at the session (up to a thousand images for a wedding) including images where people have their eyes closed, or kids doing something other than what you'd want them doing in a portrait for your wall. It's up to the client to weed through and decide what they want.
Higher end photographers photograph only a few clients a year, so they need to make sure that those clients are going to be willing to spend more to make sure that they can still make a living with their craft. Everything is personalized for the client, sometimes including traveling halfway around the world. They only show the client the best of the best images (And, there is usually champaign and expensive chocolate at the reveals. Love it!)
My business practice is somewhere in the middle.
First and foremost, when a photographer sells you a print, you're not paying just for the paper that it's printed on.
They're selling you the image that's printed on that paper along with everything that went into creating that image.
A photographer's camera and equipment, schooling, trade seminars, mentors, and online classes all cost money. After this there is:
- The photographer's time (before, during and after a session)
- The costs for a phone line, marketing, and insurance all go into the price of an image as well.
- Monthly subscriptions for websites, editing software, gallery sites, archives for client images
- If the photographer has a studio, then there is rent to pay and employee salaries.
After all of the obvious and not so obvious costs are added together, you can then add the cost of printing the products themselves. In the end, a photographer needs to pay their bills just like everyone else so we can't expect them to charge what the big box stores charge.