Why Do photographers charge what they do? (Newborn Edition)
When looking into the cost of a professional newborn photo-shoot, there are several things you need to consider because the total cost sometimes can be deceiving. Being in the business, I always try and stay up-to-date on what the other photographers charge. I know I am not the cheapest, but I also don’t want to be the most expensive either. There are several ways a photographer can manipulate the price of the session. There are normally two ways that you will see the cost. First, some may charge a-la-cart like this photographer. What this means is you may see the price of the session and that is all that is included. If you actually want your pictures, it is an additional charge. The other way normally includes everything. The purpose of this post is not to take anything away from the other photographers out there. Everyone is able to operate their business the way they choose and if people are paying for their services, who is anyone to tell them to do things different. The purpose is to shine some light on some of the costs associated that you may not be aware of.
The cost of a session is more than what you would pay at the photography store in the mall. Those places are setup to turn and burn. They don’t care what your baby looks like when you take the picture. You have a short time slot and when that slot is up, you’re done. The feedback I hear from most people is that pictures are far from spectacular. The biggest cost associated with photo shoots is time of your photographer. From my experience, the average length of the shoot is typically 4 hours long. The main reason why it can take this amount of time is because I like to capture the babies while they are sleeping. Sometimes they sleep the whole time and the shoot finishes sooner, but they tend to get hungry so nursing/feeding time factors in as well. Anyone who tells you it can take less would be less than honest because you really have no idea how the baby will be until the day of the shoot. With regular family sessions I am able to schedule multiple shoots the same day, but I mark off around 5 hours for newborns so that no one feels rushed. My main priority is to get all the pictures we want regardless of how long it takes. Any of my previous clients can attest to this.
Believe it or not, newborn clothes/outfits cost just as much if not more than adult clothes. If you don’t believe me, go to some photography prop sites and check it out. I get a lot of my stuff from this site, but there are others as well. You can't go cheap ad buy these outfits on Amazon unfortunately because I have yet to find anything of the quality that you will need. If you go cheap you may wash it once and it will fall apart. You need something that will be able to be washed time and time again. In addition to the clothes, there are props, blankets, headbands, backdrops, etc. that I have to buy as well. To ensure all your pictures don’t look the same, you have to keep buying new stuff. My husband gets on me all the time about this, but he ultimately understands.
When I used to shoot out of my house, I didn’t have the space to setup off camera lights and flashes; this typically led to shadows that I had to fix in editing. With my new studio, I have two off camera flashes setup to eliminate all the shadows. This makes a big difference in the quality of the picture and the editing. The extra equipment and the studio space cost me thousands extra each year and are costs that I did not incur before, but to be fair to all my clients, I have kept the pricing the same when moving to the studio. I would rather be the photographer who stays busy with more shoots at an affordable price than be unaffordable to most people and only do 1 shoot a week. I hope everyone can appreciate this as well.
Once the shoots are over I have to edit each picture that is taken. Since I normally try and give each client 30 plus pictures, this can be very time consuming. Let’s face it, very few babies come out flawless. I assume you hire me because you want them to look flawless. On average, the editing process consumes more time than the shoot itself. The longer you are in the business, the more particular you get with your editing.
I hope this help answer some of the questions you may have had and help justify why professional photographers charge what they do. If you price me out, you will find out that I am one of the more reasonably priced photographers in the area. I hope to capture your memories in the future! Feel free to check out my newborn portfolio. If you are interested in pricing and packages that I offer, check out my investment page.
About Kerry Paradis Photography
I was born and raised in Perry hall (Baltimore area) and have been living in Harford County Maryland for close to 15 years. I ha