A professional portrait of your children and family is a piece of art that you will cherish for a lifetime. It is not a snapshot solely for Twitter and Facebook. It is a finely crafted masterpiece, which will remind you of those precious times that pass so quickly. The money you invest isn’t just for my undivided attention. It also covers more than a decade of experience in photography and retouching, tens of thousands of dollars worth of the latest equipment and software, and the inherent expenses of running a legitimate business.
When the average person spends between $800 to $3000 on professional family photography, some may ask, “Why is it so expensive when you only photograph for one to two hours?” The simple truth is that A LOT more goes into creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces of art than the session time. In fact, of all the hours we commit to our photography business, I get to hold my camera only about 5% of the time! So, let’s take a behind-the-scenes look at the cost of professional portrait photography.
Your session of 1-2 hours is only a small portion of the time involved in the creation of your custom artwork. We spend 12-20 hours on each client, including emails, phone consultations, charging and testing of equipment, prep time, uploading images, backing up original files (in multiple locations for redundancy), sorting through hundreds of images, retouching of final images, creating a private gallery, order processing, and designing custom products (e.g. books, CD cases, cards). Not to mention, the time required for other business-related tasks!
You’ll enjoy the benefits of tens of thousands of dollars invested in top-of-the-line camera equipment, lenses and software – all of which require constant maintenance and upgrades. The costs of running a studio are substantial. A powerful computer is only the beginning. Multiple display screens, color-calibration, stacks of hard-drives, and expensive retouching software are just the tip of the iceberg. There are also the costs of mortgage, insurance, taxes, accounting, administration, business development, website maintenance, advertising and marketing.
You are investing in my highly specialized skill and artistic vision. I have spent more than a decade studying the craft of baby and family photography and retouching. I’ve taken countless classes, and dedicated hundreds of hours in training and invaluable experience to establish my repertoire. It has taken a great deal of time and effort to build my portfolio, and I continue to enhance these abilities on an ongoing basis.
In a world of commodities, we can easily justify the purchase of a luxury automobile or a fancy gadget, both of which lose their appeal quickly and need to be replaced. And, yet, some people have trouble justifying the purchase of the most beautiful kind of art – that which captures the essence of their loved ones. It will not only decorate your home, and draw praise from guests, but will remind you of a wonderful time that has long since passed. A memory, beautifully photographed, printed and framed, will only grow more priceless with age.