Professional Photographers - Cost of a Photoshoot

by Robert Whetton 27. April 2011 16:39

Why does Pofessional Photography cost so much? 

This is the age of digital cameras, scanners, and home photo printers, I get this all the time: Why do you charge £XX.00 for an 8x10 when they only cost me £2.00 at Jessops? Well, Jessops don't pay for my time and expertise. You're just paying to have an image printed by a machine (the print doesn't cost £2.00 to produce from the machine, but Jessops also have to cover their running costs).

Let's take a look at the actual work involved:

Average 2 hour Photoshoot

  • Travel to the session.
  • Setup, preparation, talking to the client, etc.
  • Shoot the photos.
  • Travel from the session.
  • Load images onto a computer.
  • Back up the files on an external drive & DVD.
  • Culling the photos to select the best ones.
  • 2-4 hours of re-touching time, which includes colour correction, removing blemishes and spots, and backing up edited photographs.
  • 2-3 hours to talk to the client, answer questions, receive order and payment, order their prints, receive and verify prints, package prints, schedule shipment, and ship.
  • Possibly meet clients to review photos and place order. Meeting and travel time average 2 hours.

Portrait Session with Professional Photographer

You can see how a two hour session easily turns into an eight hour or more day from start to finish. So when you see a professional photographer charging a £260 session fee for a two hour photoshoot, the client is not actually paying them £130 per hour.

The eight hour wedding

A wedding photographer will typically meet with the bride and groom several times before and after a wedding. It’s not uncommon to end up with 1-2,000 of photos, much more than a portrait session. Many photographers spend between 20-30 hours working just on one wedding, if you look at the time that is truly involved. Again, when a wedding photographer charges £2,000 for eight hours of coverage, clients are NOT paying them £250 an hour!

(Don’t forget that the photographer runs the wedding day to some extent. A comfortable, confident wedding photographer can make a wedding day go more smoothly.)

Portrait Session with Professional Photographer

The expertise and cost of doing business

Professional photography is a skill acquired over years of experience. Even though a Digital SLR now costs under £500, taking professional portraits involves much more than a nice camera.

Most personal photographers take years to go from buying their first camera to making money with photography. In addition to learning how to use the camera, there is a mountain of other equipment and software programs used to edit and print photographs, run a website, etc. And don’t forget backdrops, props, rent, utilities, insurance, etc!

Professional photographers also need to have people skills to make subjects comfortable in front of the camera. Posing people to look their best is a skill in itself..

Portrait Session with Professional Photographer

Portrait Session with Professional Photographer

The in-shop photo studio

Shop photo studios do have their place. For a very cheap price you can run in, shoot some quick photos, and be done with it. But you get what you pay for.

Consider the time and effort that a personal photographer puts into photographs, compared to a shop studio. Shop sessions last just a few minutes, while a personal photographer takes the time to get to know the people, makes them comfortable, makes them laugh. If a baby is crying at a chain store, they often don’t have the time (or the patience) to wait because everyone is in a hurry.

Many chain store studios lose money. The shops count on a client coming in for quick, cheap photos.. and while you are there, spending £200 extra on other things. They are there to get you in the door.

Portrait Session with Professional Photographer

The real deal

Professional photographers are just that — professionals. No different than a car mechanic, dentist, doctor, or an electrician. But a personal photographer often becomes a friend, someone who documents a family for generations with professional, personal photographs of cherished memories.

Here's another way to look at it: A pair of scissors costs £2.00 at Boots. Still, majority of people will gladly pay a lot more to go to the hairdresser and have a trained professional cut their hair.

Portrait Session with Professional Photographer

The added attention and quality that a personal photographer gives is worth every penny.

Conclusion

Hopefully those who have taken the time to read this page will have a better understanding of why photographs, created by a professional photographer cost more.

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Photography | Portrait | Post Processing | Wedding Photography

Dorset Portrait Session - Birthday Present - Robert Whetton Portrait Photographer

by Robert Whetton 14. April 2011 21:57

Back in January I received a call from Peter Morris who wanted a portrait of his kids to give his wife for her birthday. A date and time was arranged. I've previously shot his eldest son Pete when the band he is guitarist for, Viper Lounge have been gigging. Knowing Pete, I knew that I wouldn't have any trouble with him infront of the camera, but I had never met his younger brother Mike.

I asked Peter to send the guys in similar style clothing. Its a good idea to have multiple subjects wear clothes that compliment each other rather than have a mish mash of styles. I also ask that nobody wears clothing that has a brand label on as this can date the photograph.

To warm the guys up to having their photograph taken, especially Mike as he didn't know me, we started with some fun stuff and then when I thought Mike was comfortable in front of the camera started with the posing.

Pete and Mike - Portrait Photograph by Robert Whetton Dorset Photographer

The guys relaxed quickly and posing was light and natural. We didn't have a lot of time so it was important to keep the shoot flowing from one pose to another.

Pete and Mike - Portrait Photograph by Robert Whetton Dorset Photographer

We moved from a white to dark backdrop for the final set of images. I grabbed a couple of headshots, a few funny remarks and the guys were soon giving natural smiles.

Pete and Mike - Portrait Photograph by Robert Whetton Dorset Photographer

Pete and Mike - Portrait Photograph by Robert Whetton Dorset Photographer

Pete and Mike - Portrait Photograph by Robert Whetton Dorset Photographer

The guys didn't actually quit having fun the whole time they were in front of the camera.. The blocks came out and guess who couldn't help themselves...

Pete and Mike - Portrait Photograph by Robert Whetton Dorset Photographer

A catalogue model you are not Mr Morris..

Pete and Mike - Portrait Photograph by Robert Whetton Dorset Photographer

Pete pulled out his classic Kiss move and Mike followed suit.

Pete and Mike - Portrait Photograph by Robert Whetton Dorset Photographer

With the shenanigans out of the way, we managed a couple more poses before the guys time was up.

Pete and Mike - Portrait Photograph by Robert Whetton Dorset Photographer

Pete and Mike - Portrait Photograph by Robert Whetton Dorset Photographer

And that was that, we had to wrap it up before the guys killed each other.. (no not really)

Pete and Mike - Portrait Photograph by Robert Whetton Dorset Photographer

Thanks to Pete and Mike for being such great fun on the day, and thanks to Peter for asking me to take the photographs of your 2 boys, it was a blast.

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Hutton Magna & Egglestone Abbey Wedding - 2nd Shooting for Boundless Photos

by Robert Whetton 6. April 2011 23:59

There may well be some familiar faces in this blog, thats because Boundless and I photographed Stuarts brothers wedding in '09 (Suzie and Nick). It was great to have the chance to photograph Lorna and Stuarts wedding up in the North East. Its worth noting that this wedding isn't something that was planned over time, it was organised in just 30 days! The majority of weddings photographers are usually hired 9-18 months before the big day. So for Lorna and Stuart plan this day in the same time that most people have 1-2 years is an amazing feat!

The rings.

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Stuart doing a little self hairdressing

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Mum pins on the button hole.

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Time for a quick family portrait.

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Drinks before the Cerimony.

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

The boys couldn't resist showing a little leg!

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

2 best men with rings.

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

First time i've seen a chimney sweep at a wedding.

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

We weren't allowed shot during the cerimony, instead we stood at the back. I was thinking all the way through, OMG that would be an amazing shot, and OMG that would be an amazing shot. So frustraiting..

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Before allowed outside of the church grounds, pennies are thrown.

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

After the cerimony we headded to Egglestone Abbey for some sunset shots.

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Its not just the kids who have fun with bubbles!

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

As with Suzie and Nicks wedding, the speeches given were something special.

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Stu went first, people were in stitches.

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

And in tears.

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Then came the turn of the brothers. And they didn't hold back, so many stories of when Stuart was younger, and when he and Launa met at university.

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

I'm surprised that any of my shots came out at all, I was laughing so hard.

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Hutton Magna Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Thanks to Launa, Stuart and Nick for allowing me 2nd shoot this wedding.

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Caroline and Simon Wedding at the Vineyard, Newbury - 2nd shooting for Boundless Photos

by Robert Whetton 6. April 2011 21:37

This is late in coming, I was so tied up at the end of last year in trying to get the new blog up and running, that I forgot to post 2 weddings from October. The first is Caroline and Simon's wedding in Newbury. This was a special wedding for Boundless Photos because Caroline is Nick's cousin. No pressure then.. The day started looking promissing with the weather holding (rain had been forecast). But as I travelled north, the clouds closed in and it started to drizzle. Simon was staying at the Vineyard just off of the A34 in Newbury.

Shot of Simon with his Mum, Dad and Sister.

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

The rings.

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Like many Grooms, Simon had difficulty figuring out how to tie his cravat. I think I need to charge extra to show the Groom and his Groomsmen how to tie these.

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Simon's mums hat rather suited him.

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Groom and his men outside the Vineyard.

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Simon and his sister inside the church.

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

The most amazing and colourful flowers.

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

All of Nicks family are all photography mad!

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Caroline looked stunning.

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Caroline and Simon held hands all the way through the cerimony.

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

The kiss.

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Simons dad and sister.

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

What's a wedding without children?

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Although not allowed in the church. Caroline and Simon's dog waited patentialy outside. But what's the expression? Don't work with children or animals?
Luckily the sun came out to play for the rest of the day.

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Everyone was keen to throw their confetti.

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

A stunning Jag for the wedding car.

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

The cake topper was amazing! really impressed by the amount of detail.

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Caroline and Simon having a little 'alone time'.

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

First Dance.

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

Newbury Wedding Photography - second shooting for Boundless Photos

This was a great day and thanks again to Nick for allowing me to 2nd shoot for you and your family!

See more from the Wedding over at Boundless Photos' Blog

About Me

Robert Whetton
Dorset Photographer

Dorset Events Photographer in the UK. Portraits, Weddings, Events, Gigs, Sports and Photo Re-Touching.
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