{Education} Where is my money going? | A breakdown of the cost of photography


 BEFORE: Straight out of the camera

BEFORE: Straight out of the camera

 AFTER: Image ready for print Total Edit time: 3 minutes

AFTER: Image ready for print
Total Edit time: 3 minutes


"Why does photography cost so much?"

"Her prices are ridiculous!"

"It can't be that much work"

"seriously, what do you even do?"

As a client, sometimes it can be hard to understand why you have to pay seemingly ridiculous prices for someone who has a nice camera to show up and take some pictures. I mean, really - is it that much work? Don't we all have nice camera's on our phone? I know I've felt that way too!


 BEFORE: Straight out of the camera ISO: 1000 F:2.8 S: 1/250

BEFORE: Straight out of the camera
ISO: 1000 F:2.8 S: 1/250

 AFTER: Final Image delivered to client Total Edit time: 9 minutes

AFTER: Final Image delivered to client
Total Edit time: 9 minutes


I'd thought, if you don't mind, I might share some "behind the scenes" work so that you can understand just where your money is going.

If a plumber comes into your home, it makes sense how much his bill is: $XX for consult, $XXX for hourly rate of work, $XX for parts = total cost. But with photographers, 90% of the works is done far away from you so it can feel like you're getting ripped off.

So here is a basic breakdown of where your money goes: Bear with me, money can be boring. This are also approximate numbers. But if you like to understand things, this will help!

Cost of doing business. Sounds important, and it kind of is. This would be all the stuff I need to serve your well. Everything from website fees, marketing costs, insurance, equipment maintenance, membership fees, education and all manner of little things all falls in this category. This total number is the minimum amount I need to make just to pay the bills so to speak. 

For my business, that number is roughly $5000. So that means that the first $5000 I make isn't even paying ME. It's paying business costs. I divide that number up using some fancy math and break it down to an hourly rate so that a set portion of everything I shoot (wedding, family ect) goes towards this number. 

Then I want to make an hourly wage right? I mean, who doesn't!! It's not super helpful to only pay for a business and not even pay myself. And, unfortunately, I have to pay taxes. Say I want to make $50/hour doing what I do. Awesome. But that means I have to charge $65/hour to cover taxes. 

So here is my formula for calculating what to charge you: hourly cost of business + hourly wage = Total hourly amount = approx $75

Doesn't sound too bad does it?
 


 BEFORE: Straight out of the camera ISO: 640 F: 2.8  S: 1/500

BEFORE: Straight out of the camera
ISO: 640 F: 2.8  S: 1/500

 AFTER: Final Image delivered to client Total Edit time 4 minutes

AFTER: Final Image delivered to client
Total Edit time 4 minutes


Now comes the behind the scenes (props for staying with me!)

Lets take a family documentary session. 4 hours of shooting

Breakdown of Cost:
Before the day:
           1 hour consulting time (emailing, confirming locations, surveys, texts ect)
On the day:
           30 minutes driving time to and from location + 4 hours on location shoot
After the Shoot:
         1) Import and Culling:
           sifting through 700 taken photos to choose the final 90 images
             1-2 hours
         2) Editing Chosen Images: on average Each photo takes about 2-5  minutes to edit * 90 images =
             5-6 hours of work
         3) Uploading Images to gallery + sharing on social media + Writing blog post
            2 hours

So that gives us a grand total of work hours from start to finish: 14 hours

14 hours * $75/hour = $1,050

AHHHH

AM I RIGHT.


 BEFORE: Straight out of camera  ISO 640 F: 2.8 S: 1/200

BEFORE: Straight out of camera
ISO 640 F: 2.8 S: 1/200

 AFTER: Final Image delivered to client Total Edit time: 6 minutes

AFTER: Final Image delivered to client
Total Edit time: 6 minutes




So clearly I should charge more (prices over here) but you get the idea.

So when you pay $100 for an hour session, you're basically letting your photographer work for less than minimum wage.
Ew. No one wants to be party to that.

So be kind. Pay your photographer what they're worth.


xo
Christina
 


 BEFORE: Straight out of Camera ISO: 640 F: 8.0 S: 1/400

BEFORE: Straight out of Camera
ISO: 640 F: 8.0 S: 1/400

 AFTER: Final Image

AFTER: Final Image