Why does professional photography cost more? | Wilmington NC Wedding and Family Photographer

I believe in the importance of photography. Lets look at the root word of photography… PHOTOGRAPH.

By definition:

photograph  (ˈfəʊtəˌɡrɑːf, -ˌɡræf) 
— n
1. Often shortened to: photo  an image of an object, person, scene, etc, in the form of a print or slide recorded by a camera on photosensitive material

Read that middle part again… ‘in the form of a print or slide’…. Which means a photo is tangible! We hold them, pass them around to show friends and family, we hang them on our wall and put them on our shelves. We make albums, to be looked at again and again. I love creating photographs – real photos – that you can hang on your wall! It is a piece of art that you and your family will cherish for a lifetime. Its a beautiful wall portrait or album that will remind you how quickly life changes. You will be reminded everyday when you pass it in your home, how exciting that time in your life was! Your investment isn’t for my undivided attention for your 2 hour session. It is for years of schooling and experience in photography and retouching. It is tens of thousands of dollars for the camera and lighting equipment as well as computers, software and all the fixed expenses of running a legitimate business.


When someone pays $1000.-$3000. on a family session, some may ask why is it so expensive when you only photograph for two hours. The short answer… there is a LOT more then just taking the photo that goes into a photography business. Lets take a look at a professional family portraiture business.


1. Business Expenses. The fact of the matter is running a successful photography business is expensive! Equipment is only one of the expenses… fact of the matter is, the camera body is thousands of dollars, then add on a plethora of lens and you’ve got at least $7000. in camera equipment alone, then add on maintenance and upgrades. I have a piece of equipment wear down on me at least once a year. With the hundred of hours of photographing on the same equipment, it breaks down. Don’t forget about lighting equipment, computers, software, color calibration, stacks and stacks of hard drives, retouching and editing software and this is not even the half of it! Don’t forget we haven’t even got to the government part of owning a business such as insurance, taxes, accounting, administration. Then there has to be a way for you to find me… website and website maintenance, advertising and marketing…. this list could go on forever!


2. Time. The time we spend photographing  you is only about 2% of the time we are actually working on your session. On average we spend 20 hours a client to insure they have a one of kind experience and a one of a kind piece or art to go with it! Emailing, consultations, sorting, editing and retouching images, charging and testing equipment, prep time, uploading and backing up images on multiple hard drives, creating online shopping cart and galleries, ordering and designing photography products such as albums and books, cards and DVD covers. And don’t forget I didn’t even get to the business related tasks yet. Whew! I am exhausted already! haha!



3. Skill and Schooling. When you purchase a wall portrait from me you are not just purchasing a piece of paper. You are purchasing years of skill and craft. I went to school and received my Bachelors of Fine Art in photography so that I could create beautiful pieces of art for your home. I’ve spent countless hours perfect my craft and building my portfolio. I’ve taken classes and trained/photographed with several professional photographers to learn my skill. I still take classes from some of the best photographers in the world and will continue to perfect my work. And speaking of that piece of paper…. professional photographers use professional labs. Professional labs use color calibrated monitors, professional printers and professional photo papers. Their expenses will be higher, which results for a more expensive product, which results in a more expensive products for you. It may be expensive but all that fancy equipment makes for high quality, gorgeous photos!


We seem to live in a world where material things become more important then family heirlooms. We can easily justify a fancy car or the newest iPhone, both of which lose their appeal and will need to be replaced with the newest technology. And, yet, the same people have a hard time justifying purchasing the greatest kind of art… one that captures them with their loved ones. It decorates your home, intrigues your guests and will forever remind you of that wonderful time in your family’s lives. A memory, beautifully photographed and kept in a frame on the wall will only grow more and more priceless with time.

lesleyWhy does professional photography cost more? | Wilmington NC Wedding and Family Photographer

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