You might see it as a 2-hour assignment. That 2 hour session, in the case of a wedding, will actually be somewhere around 14-16 "Working" hours, and 30% of that goes to taxes. How about traveling time to reach the location. The setup time. Time spent talking to the clients at the venue (If you know me... this could get expensive if i charged for it!). The amount of time spent in consultations before the shoot. And we are not even going into time spent building relationships with the potential clients, marketing, and office hours. That is just he nature of the sales beast. Post-processing itself may take a day or more depending upon the number of photographs. Especially in the case of weddings. And learning all of the software? And poses? And Lighting? (Now my head hurts. Thanks)
Professional photographers don’t compromise the quality of their gear. We buy professional equipment. The best photographers spend thousands of dollars on a single camera body, and will have a primary and at LEAST one backup. That fancy lens on he camera? A 50mm 1.2 Canon lens costs around $1700. The 85mm 1.2? $2700. Now - two camera bodies... multiple lenses. How about flash equipment for every situation. Tripods, light stands, backdrops, props, carrying, and storage cases. Not only this, they buy professional licenses for software and different cloud backup storage solutions and many other things. (Don't tell my wife how much gear costs...)
Transferring and backing up the data. Post-processing. Reviewing with clients. Delivering the photos, or scheduling a pickup. We have to pay for our membership to different premium photography communities to handle those thing efficiently. Pro photographers pay for a premium account on photography services like Shoot Proof (Galleries), Unscripted (Contract, posing, CRM), Adobe (Cataloging and Editing) and others. I pay for the maintenance of this website. We even have need to consult with lawyers for contracts and licensing rights. Premium services may also include office and studio rent, electricity and phone bills, etc.
Apart from being a good photographer, I have to be CEO, software GURU, Copyright tech, marketing manager, financial manager, salesperson, production worker, buyer, negotiator, driver, networker, organizer, etc. That’s the kind of skill-set of a Professional Photographer.
Do you know who owns your photographs when they are done? The photographer does! Yes, you paid me for services - for example - your wedding. For the compensation provided, I deliver a final product for your PERSONAL use (Personal use license) That means you can view them, post them to YOUR social media, and if a print release is provided, you can print them wherever you like!
But - you can not edit them. No filters, no cropping. You can not transfer these images to a venue or another vendor for them to use! Now if your shoot is commercial in nature, there are even more rules and complications....
Experience is the one thing that may beat everything. As a photographers experience increases, so does the price tag associated with our time.
The truth is that you get what you pay for. Photos stand the test of time, and increase in value as the generations grow. You will get photographs worth the money involved. And you know that there are no second chances.
I love to talk, and to teach! Anyone that knows me can attest to that. I also LOVE to learn. I am a man of many skills....
Let's grab a coffee or lunch and talk about your ideas together!