I’m curious to why people think photography is so cheap. I know everybody has their own cell phones with a package of filters these days and thinks they’re a photographer. But it’s just like any other business it takes a lot of collateral and knowledge to make a business run. The $6 you spend on a sandwich at some fast food chain has about $.25-$.50 of advertising funds attached to it. And don’t forget the R&D cost…oh and the Benefits applied to that as well.
I do photography because I love this and I want to make this my business because this is my passion. But for people that undermine a freelance photographer or any small business and not give credit or pay them what they are worth. Just frustrates the hell out of me. When you’re buying something from someone that isn’t attached a large company you’re helping them live and put money back into the community. When you purchase from a large company your money goes elsewhere, not the community.
My great friend Jeff called me a few weeks back and asked me to quote him for a family photo shoot. I gave him some numbers and we hung up. I was at dinner with the family and just chuckled about it and went back to eating. A few minutes later he calls me back and explains to me that he was asked by someone how much it’d be for a family session and they replied, “That seems high.” So he said let me call my freelance photographer friend and ask him for a quote to show her that he wasn’t far off. We both gave about the same price. Needless to say, the one asking for a quote was shocked and more than likely confused.
You’ve got to shop around. Know what the going rate for photography or products are. People are still amazed when I quote them $5000 for a wedding. When I do, I let them know that there are those out there that make $30,000 a wedding. And do you know why? Because they have a crew with them. They are there with you for 10 hours with 3 to 4 people working to capture your very special day. So that 30k just doesn’t go to the photographer, they might not even see half that. It goes to their business and their employees. It pays for their equipment that might be worth more than the cost of your wedding.
So when an artist or a small business owner has a price on something, know that it’s going to them keeping things running so that you have an option to buy and receive a great product.
“Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray