Maybe you have wondered when seeing my prices, or those of other photographers, 'Why does a photo shoot cost so much money?'
I have heard the question many times myself. Someone once even said to me "Why do ruin it for yourself? With those prices you won't get any customers at all." or "Why does it have to cost so much? You just take some pictures, don't you? For 100 euros per hour?!"
Have you ever asked these questions yourself? Be sure to read on to get a comprehensive answer.
Being a photographer entails so much more than just taking pictures. You run a company and therefore have your investments, costs and you want to be able to pay yourself a normal wage for the hours you put into it. You will not be paid for most of the hours you work. Consider, for example, doing your administration, marketing, updating your website or social media, becoming visible to new customers, traveling to appointments and all other things. Who is going to pay you for that? No one.
Besides all the work that goes into running a company, taking a photo is way more than clicking a button. You have to make time to shoot, have the right equipment to take the photo, travel to the location, provide the right setting, try out perspectives and compositions and thus take many photos, in order to ultimately have one photo that is the best. You also have to travel back from the location, upload the photos on your computer, select and create galleries, edit and deliver to the customer, make an invoice and do your administration etc. So you can easily spend ten to twenty hours on one shoot.
Besides the costs I incur for my equipment, I also have costs for my website, creating online galleries, my bookkeeper, paying social security contributions, insurance, studio equipment and props, my business account. And of course I also have to pay my taxes.
A long time ago, when I just started shooting, I only asked 35 euros for a 2-hour shoot. At the time I had an SLR with 2 lenses (kit lens and 18-200 mm) and an attachment flash, no studio equipment, no website (or at least, not the costs of it), no accountant (I was not self-employed, but worked as a freelancer) .
Now I charge an average of between 80 and 120 euros per hour depending on the type of shoot (the larger the package, the lower the hourly rate). I not only have an SLR, but also 5 lenses, studio equipment such as lamps and many background options and colors, a product studio, flash with many accessories, accessories to be able to photograph safely in the rain, a website, an accountant and last but not least: much more knowledge and experience than ten years ago.
There is a good chance that my prices will be higher in a few years. Why? The better I get, the more I ask. The more I ask, the more I can invest in my business. And the more I invest (both in equipment and further training), the better the quality I can deliver. And that's ultimately what it's all about.
On my blog I write about the process of improving my skills, about grabbing every chance I get to become more experienced and about learning from ups and downs. Besides that, I write about everything that inspires me, like film, photography, paintings and psychology.