I’ve seen many photographer's websites where they have a page called ‘investment.’ I must admit it does make me wince a little. Maybe because when I have seen that word so many times, it has been on the websites of very new ‘photographers’ and beside rather ropey photography.
So maybe, just to make me feel better, I am going to call it ‘photography value.’ Because that is what everyone wants, to feel like they are getting good value.
Ok so how do we establish if something is good value? Is it by quantity? Is it by cheapness? Or is it by the person involved?
Great photography can evoke emotion, it can freeze an important moment, it helps visualise what words cannot, and in business it can elevate your brand.
In the wrong hands a camera will not generate anything useful, but in the right hands it will produce something amazing that wins hearts and brings in new business. That is priceless.
Photography value is when someone who, although continuing to evolve, has already overcome the early stumbling blocks of creating great imagery. The photographer is not hindered anymore by the basics that get in the way of creativity, their camera has become a part of them. When my camera no longer got in my way, I was free to go back to focussing on what was in front of me and seeing in my mind’s eye how I wanted to compose and shape an image.
So when I have to decide what to charge for the photography I produce, I don’t just think of how much my cameras and computer cost, or how long I take to capture the photos. I think of all that I have learnt, of the mistakes I have overcome, of the improvements I have made. The numerous scenarios that have presented me with new problems and new experiences, that have each made me a better photographer that day than the day before. And not forgetting the literally thousands of hours I have spent researching, testing and adapting in my own time.
When you hire me, the price I charge is based on my knowledge and experience. When I press that shutter button, the photo that emerges will be worth it. It will record a special moment of your children or your wedding, it will enliven what would otherwise be a drab website design, or it will breath life into magazine spreads, brochures and banners for your business.
By hiring me, you are getting someone who is culminating all their experience in the moment and making each photo count. That is where great photography value lies.
Speaking more specifically, each booking will start with an enquiry. This will lead to conversations over email or phone. Bookings where the client has a clear idea of what they want are usually very simple and not much time is needed to be spent on communication. With a wedding however where there is a greater need for clarity on both sides, this usually involves dozens of emails and several hours writing them over the course of our interaction.
New enquiries even before being booked, can also lead to research of venues already booked by the client or couple, or locations for photoshoots. This all takes time and is taken into account when I decide my fee.
Lastly, aside from many, many other things needed to be done to run my business (which I won't bore you with), after each photography booking I need to of course select and edit the images I have captured. This usually at the very least takes as long as the booking itself, but mostly 2-3 times the time onsite actually taking the photos. So a 10 hour wedding booking for example is likely to total 30-40 hours of work when taking into account editing and correspondence. I hope this gives you a clearer idea of what you are getting for your money.
Although not listed on this page, I have put prices on various pages of my site for my different services. By the time you contact me, I want you to already have as much useful information as possible, and that includes cost.