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Hiring a Photographer: What You Are Actually Paying For?

Author: Carl Heaton
He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.
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The real score is that, if you have actually worked for a good photographer then you have also learned that hiring a photographer, a good photographer, is really expensive.

“There’s no way I’m going to take this cheaproute ever again!”

hiring a photographer

I had no clue when I was actually planning my wedding.

Browsing the internet websites as my reference to my wedding preparations is the only resource I have.

And when I happen to see their budget recommendations, photographer pricing was way below my expectation so I was overwhelmed and approved it.

Only to get frustrated on how things turned out. My wedding photos are terrible! I wished I have better ideas when I was just planning my wedding.

And as I’ve learned from my mistake, photography pricing varies everywhere and actually depends with the photographers and their experiences. As well as, they also have to edit all of the photos, make the design of the album, answer phone calls and emails, and carry out all other responsibilities that their business involves.

hiring a photographer

Why Do You Think Good Photography is Expensive?

Aside from paying someone to take your photos, you must know that the result always depends on how professional the photographer is and that there are just an exciting list how a good photographer can deliver. These are the things you might be interested to know of what you are actually paying for aside from hiring a photographer who can create and meet your standards:

  • Camera equipment
  • Lighting equipment
  • Computer equipment
  • Image editing software
  • Hundreds of hours of education and training required to operate effectively
  • An assistant to help carry and set-up equipment
  • Data storage and back-ups
  • Studio space or location fees
  • Transportation costs
  • Office rent and expenses
  • Promotion and website costs
  • Telephone and internet services
  • Income and sales tax
  • Business insurance

hiring a photographer

Hiring A Photographer

Truth being said, you must understand that you are not just actually paying for the photograph itself but you are also paying for the expertise and time of the one who is creating your photos. For a clearer picture this what usually would be included  into the 2-hour portrait session:

  • The actual travel to and from the session
  • Shooting for at least one to two hours
  • Setting-up, preparing, and talking to the client which takes at least 30 minutes
  • Loading the images to the computer with two to four GB data, 30 minutes
  •  Backing-up the files on multiple drives plus DVDs for 30 minutes
  • Photoshop time for three to four hours
  • Another three to four hours of time talking to the client for questions, receiving the order and payment, prints order, receiving and verifying prints, shipment schedule and dealing with the package.

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Apart from those things mentioned above, the living wage of the photographer is another factor for them to pay for food, housing, and all other living expenses and be able to continue their service. As you may also know, digital photography has brought folks as self-proclaimed photographers and some may try to do-it-yourself. One powerful button can help them delete out-of-focus photos and other nonsense photos they’ve made. We must be aware that avoiding bad pictures is one rule in the business.

hiring a photographer

In fact, bad photography is a lot more expensive than good photography. You see, bad photography wastes your money as well as your most precious time and memories. The fact that you can never redo your wedding just because your wedding album were pretty lame, there is no such thing as wasting money for that one. Learn that good stuffs are always expensive.

Photography is never easy. It may seem that photographers are never seemed to get stressed or that they look like they’re having fun while taking photos but don’t be confused expertise with ease. They are completely different from each other.

Now, how do you go about hiring a photographer? These days, anyone who carries a decent camera tends to proclaim themselves as photographer. We’ve found few tips for you. You must know certain things before you hire a photographer to take photos for you:

  • Talk to your friends first. Word of mouth is one good way to find a good photographer. Another sure move is from a family’s referral that has already experienced hiring same photographer who can vouch for their efficiency.
  • Try a search engine. There can be just good selection of good photographers on the internet and this might help you in finding one. Browse through their online portfolios and see their actual works.
  • Make sure that your meet your photographer first before you even make the decision of hiring them or give any advance payments for the service. For a large event such as your wedding, there must be presented contract, this will help you for protection as well as the photographer. But don’t worry, most professional photographers often make contract before the project.
  • See the actual portfolios and other examples to know their styles and their process of editing. As we know, photography can be different depending on how the person behind the lens perceives things. Hence, it should match your style and preferences.
  • Put in mind that once you already accept the contract and done with exchange payment, everything is set and final. Photographers don’t accept refunds for unsatisfied clients.

hiring a photographer

Bear in mind that when you are hiring a photographer, you are not just hiring the one with expensive cameras. You are actually hiring someone who deeply knows what he is doing and how to create a usable and presentable product. Considering their talent with an artistic eye, the skill to see and put subjects at ease. Pictures that look awesome are products of artistic vision.

As the famous phrase goes, you get what you pay for and paying for a good photographer should bring your well-crafted photos that you can be proud to display and that you can share for others in the next years to come.

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