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  • Writer's pictureLisett Kruusimäe

What shapes the photographer's price?

*This post was first published in August 2020, but has since then gotten a little refresh.

**This post will be updated from time to time, in case I learn about more meaningful points of view that i'd like to share.


Photographer is like any other work, only partly more creative.


Photography is not just pushing a button.


One of the most important things that forms the photographer's price is the library of skills they've acquired. They've spent hours, weeks, months and years perfecting their art and they're always learning new things.


Besides that you have to keep in mind that the pricing also largely depends on their:


Equipment!

  • Photo instruments ⤀ cameras (4799€ + 1289€), lenses (2149€ + 3499€ + ...), lighting (247€), memory cards (439€ + 403€ and multiply that by two or three, because you always need a backup), tripods (around 400€) and other instruments

  • Hard Drives ⤀ because the files eat up a lot of space (about 500€ per year, depending on how much the photographer is shooting)

  • Computer and phone ⤀ a computer that can run all of the programs, a phone to use for marketing and all of the monthly payments

  • Editing software ⤀ from 10 to 70€ per month

  • A monthly cloud service fee to share your photos

  • Website costs ⤀ hosting and owning a site can go up to 200€ per year depending on the chosen package

And remember, sometimes you need to update your whole arsenal.


Time!

  • Preparations and communications with the client ⤀ understanding their needs and finding solutions. Communication during the process, to make sure that the final product is what the client is looking for.

  • Time allotted to taking the shots and also preparing for them.

  • Editing time ⤀ sorting and choosing the photos & editing and color correction


Besides that!

  • Renting an office or studio ⤀ either working from a studio or their home, a photographer will always have costs that come along with it. And if they're using an external studio, there's an added fee of 30-50€ per hour

  • Props

  • Transportation costs

  • Marketing and ads

  • Insurance

  • Taxes and accounting

  • Constant self improvement through classes or workshops



A photographer has to pay their own salary, just like an employer would. Keep their equipment in order, which means taking care of the cameras, lenses and machines used to edit photos and market themselves.


You can always get a cheap photographer, but then you should ask yourself what do they compromise to ask that price.


Quality is important in our lives as well as in photography.


Coverage is not the right price for a photographer's work!

It's as if you assume that a hairdresser, doctor, cook, electrician, realtor or an accountant would work for free. Sometimes you hear: "Oh that's such a good photo! What camera do you use?" and it's as good as saying "That food's so good, what pan do you use?"


 

So, how do you choose a good photographer?


Simple! Choose them by the style of their work!


Never reach out to a photographer saying "Hey, I'd love to come to shoot with you. I'd like photos like this other photographer does, but you're more affordable for me." I can tell you upfront that if that photographer takes the job, they must be critically underemployed and will unenthusiastically agree to shoot, which will then show in the photos. It's best if you save up for a bit and go to a photographer you really like. It's that simple!


 

Photographers are artists.

If you've found the one you like, then trust them.


That's all. Mic drop. Lisett is out.

Be kind!

Peace and love.




*** Hey photographer, if by reading this you got a few more ideas of what I could add to the list, leave them in the comments.

**** The prices displayed are general! Every photographer's technical park is built to their needs so prices can vary.

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