I am licensed and registered photography business that have a retail studio location. While it is convenient to have it it is an extra expense for rent on monthly bases. Once you do have studio I must hold an insurance for the building as well as anything else that might happen. In order for me to be profitable I do enroll this in cost.
Subscriptions to a sites for transferring and holding pictures. I ofter get asked for examples of the galleries or how would look like cake smashes or any other sessions. that I did. I do hold all my images on site that able to hold that many images in big files this also enrolled in price for that.
Props ,clothing while it is a convenience for a customer for me to have ,it does cost money and in certain occasions needs to be washed or dry cleaned after each session. (like Newborn sessions or Fancy clothing I offer for cake smashes.)
My time . As I am in this business for profit like we all are going to work and expected to pay for food for family , daycares for children , house mortgages , phones and else. I do enroll this into my price. My. time editing and sorting pictures that often people forget and wonder why would this cost so much. Each gallery or session takes anywhere from 10-15 or more hours to edit. While I do love my clients but this is time spend on the editing and making images look as best s possible while I work for you and I am not spending this time with my kids or doing other fun things with the family. This is considered work and this is included in that price that I quoted.
Consultations phone conversations and texts front and back also work.
Often people gets compared photographer like my self to a Mall photographer or to fast walking in places that deliver images to you on the spot. I am simply different with quality and knowledge what I do. Structure of business is different. No one will edit images for you in fast walk in place like a Mall or do anything to them you will get them as they are taken. Business like this makes profit from selling you prints ,canvas , USBs or CDs for extra and makes profits this way.
My education. While some people think that this is a talent it is simply my practice and constant education that I do for my self to be able to capture and see images. It is cost a lot . Some times $2000 for a class that only last for 2 days. Why some of you ask because you can’t learn photography in one for one or two days. For someone class would be enough to produce an OK image and open a business and never do better or try something different. For me I want to advance my skills to continue with latest trends and photography techniques to continue WOW my clients.
Backdrops. Backdrops are most priced expense while normal person sees Amazon with prices like 10-20 dollars those are not backdrops Professional photographer uses. Backdrops that don’t shine and leave you feeling realistic feeling cost anywhere from 150-500 dollars depending on sizing and style. And we all want different background each time we come in for that. Christmas session or birthday session.
Equipment . Profecional equipment cost a small medium size car believe it or not. I often hear I own a camera form my clients and costed them $500 dollars. While market a full with affordable cameras it is not the cameras Profecional photographer uses. Camera can cost anywhere from 3000-8000 depending brand and specialty. Lenses to a camera is also cost anywhere 1000-5000 depending on type of photography , inside or outside, lifestyle or posed , children. or weddings and events, real-estate or landscape. I believe people don’t have enough information to be able to judge photography pricing. While some photographers do choose make a quick bucks and offer pricing for way less without studio rent, insurance and everything else. Most of them hold a primary job and see this as side income. People simply compare them as one and the same. But in reality it is not. Education is different , equipment is different and so as quality.
Taxes . Lets talk taxes on business. I am full time photographer with retail location that must collect and require to report income form this and pay taxes. Think of this as your job that in the end of the year everyone does taxes. So as small businesses.
Site expenses , photoshop expenses and everything else. It may be small but small things to add up to a monthly expense that I must pay and continue be in business.
Bottom line is when I quote you with price it does include this things and some more to be able to stay in business. Sometime half a week of work if translating this into hours. And I do stay relatively low with pricing. This is not a hobby for me it is a full time job that people expect to be compensated . Please keep this in mind .
Some people see value in photography some don’t . Some people see quality different some only care about pricing. Think of this as buying a car. One and primary thing it is NOT every day purchase, so as photography should be seen as. This is not priced to be able to afford on daily bases like coffee for some. Same as Honda and Mercedes or BMW is not the same quality cars. They do drive they do similar thing but not priced the same. Same as photographers so are cheaper some are more expensive simple as this.
I hope this helped some of you to understand pricing. I am happy to answer any comments.