Every professional photographer has at some point has heard at least one of these responses to their price list:
You charge how much?!?
What exactly do I get for that?
I can get an 8×10 at Walmart for $1.50!
But you just push a button all day!
Yes, photography is expensive. But, photography is expensive on both ends. Professional photographers don’t really earn $250 an hour for pushing a button. And when you factor in the hidden time and monetary investments, most photographers don’t earn much more than your hairdresser or accountant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most earn between $31,710 and $40,280 annually, or $15.24 to $19.37 an hour. Photographers also lose money when people help themselves to their work.
So then, why exactly is photography so expensive? Here’s what you are really getting when you pay for a professional photographer (and what you miss out on when you don’t).