Please read this.This article explains our work process.At the end of this I will post my work process.Which far exceeds the photoshop time in this one!
A good explanation for all those people who ask and complain about why professionals charge what they do for photos:
Why are Professional Photographers so expensive?
In this digital age where everyone has digital cameras, scanners and home "photo printers", when people upload their photos to a local drug store website and pick them up a few hours later, we hear this all the time - How in the world do Professional Photographers charge $55 for an 8x10 when they cost just $1.50 at the drug store?
Simply put, you're not just paying for the actual photograph, you're paying for time and expertise. First, let's look at the actual time involved. If you don't read this entire page, at least read this first part.
For a two hour portrait session:
- If traveling one hour of travel to and from the session
- 30 minutes of setup, preparation, talking to the client etc.
- 2 hours of shooting
- 30 minutes to load the photos onto a computer (2 - 4 Gb of data our camera's take VERY large photos.)
- 30 minutes to back up the files on an external drive
- 3 - 4 hours of Photoshop time including cropping, contrast, color, sharpening, saving a copy for print and a copy for the internet and backing up the edited photographs.
- 2 - 3 hours to talk to the client, answer questions, receive their order and payment, order their prints, receive and verify prints, package prints, schedule shipment and drop package off at Fed Ex.
- For local customers, we also print a set of all of their photos, and meet them at our studio to review the photos and place their order. Meeting and travel time averages 2 hours.You can see how one two hour session easily turns into more than ten hours of work from start to finish. So when you see a Photographer charging a $200 session fee for a two hour photo shoot, you are not paying them $100 / hour.
For an eight hour wedding:- I won't bore you with the details, but an eight hour wedding typically amounts to at least two to three full 40 hour work weeks worth of time. Again, if they are charging you $4,000 for an eight hour wedding, you are not paying them $500 / hour.I can tell you this not only does it take this amount of time but during this time the photographer may have more than one wedding waiting for edit!
Now for the expertise.
Shooting professional photography is a skill, acquired through years of experience. Even though a quality camera now costs under $2,000 taking professional portraits involves much more than a nice camera.
Most Professional Photographers take years to go from buying their first decent camera to making money with their photography. In addition to learning how to use the camera itself, there is a mountain of other equipment involved, as well as numerous software programs used to edit and print photographs, run a website etc.
And let's not forget that you actually have to have people skills, be able to communicate, make people comfortable in front of the camera - and posing people to make them look their best in a photograph is a skill all by itself.
Think of it this way - the next time you pay $X to get your hair done, a pair of scissors only costs $1.50. But you gladly pay a lot more to hire a Professional.
What about the cheap studios at the mall?
Please don't compare us to the chain store studios. But if you must, consider all of the time and work that we put into our photographs, compared to what they do. Good luck getting a two hour photo shoot at a chain store. Not to mention they won't come to the beach! And of course, look at our work compared to theirs. You get what you pay for.
The truth is, most of the mall and chain store studios lose money. In fact, in 2007 Wal-Mart closed 500 of their portrait studios because of the financial drain they were putting on the company. What the chain stores bet on is that you'll come in for some quick and cheap photos, and while you're there, you'll also spend $200 on other things. They don't have to make money, they are just there to get you in the door.
ConclusionWe hope that those who have taken the time to read this page will have a better understanding of why professional photographs cost so much more than the ones that you get from your local drug store.Thank you for taking the time to read this.
copied here from : http://www.caughtonfilmphoto.com/costofphotography.html
My Work Flow
Ok now for an explaination of my work flow..In the article they didnt mention the hours of marketing we have to do.Or the mundane duties of running a buisness.But for me typically my sessions run between 2 to 10 hours depending on what they are.If I have a calendar shoot that is at least 8 to 10 hours of work and thats in studio or location..that doesnt count editing time.
For me and my studio I do all the hair and makeup at this time..(currently looking for extra hands but until then its me.)So hair and make up take between 30mins to an hr or more depending on how elaborate it is.
Then there is the shooting time.Now depending on how comfortable a person is infront of the camera depends on how long it takes me to photograph them.Plus during this time I am posing them,talkin,making them laugh to make sure their comfy, checking details like stray hairs,making sure the outfits look fab etc.Now if there are set changes in this photoshoot then that adds to the setup time.For what I do there is normally ALWAYS set changes.If there are more than one outfit thats normally new makeup and hair for each outfit.Unless the hairstyle looks good with both sets of clothes.For a calendar or coffee table book shoot its unlimited.So there are 12 months thats 12 or more changes..and up to 4 to 6 hair changes and a few makeup changes..So if Im doing all this myself..it makes for a LONG day.If the client wants more than one style the set change plus lighting change,clothing change and all.Do you see we arent even past the day of the session.I havent even gotten to editing!
Ok now Editing...
Ok now you read about the upload process and the archieving process...that is all true..We as professionals do everything in our power to make sure your images are safe.Now to editing.Most professional photographers use photoshop software with plugins (sister programs).For me I look at each image.Decide if its usable or not keep the ones open that are usable for edit and close the ones that arent.This in its self can take up to an hour because of the nature of choosing.Looking at each image to see the minor details of what makes one better than the other..is the hair right?Is the outfit messed up?Do the props look good?Whats the over all feeling of the images?How's her expression?Is the lighting perfect? etc etc etc...Then I choose a shot and do the minor edits on them (brightness,contrast,levels,saturation,minor blemish removal).Then I save it.The minor edits are what I show clients so they can choose the images they want fully edited.For minor edits It takes me a few hours to make sure their pefect depending on the amount of images.Then after the client has chosen their images for full edits thats when the hours come in for editing.For this image here:
The background has to be totally replaced.Then I hand painted all those bubbles you see in this shot.None of those were there in the original..
Those bubbles alone took me over 3hrs or more to get right.To make sure it looked like the lighting on the bubbles matched the lighting on the client for believablity.So for this image I can safely say it was between 4 to 6 hours of solid editing.That was just one shot from the set.Just one!So now think about this..Depending on the session you have depends on how extensive the edits.So in my mini session you get 3 fully edited shots..depending on the session's theme & such your lookin at at least 30 to 40 hours of work for just your session..Thats a full work week...& we as photographers have more than one session we edit at the same time.We normally work on more than one in a day.Sometimes putting in 12 to 16 hours in front of a computer just to make sure our clients have their images on time!..So now that you have read this I do hope you have a better understanding of why we charge what we do.The personal time we take to make sure each one of you have the most fabulous photos you've ever had!Thank you for reading this!...I cant wait to hear some feed back from each of you!!...Fellow photogs feel free to repost!!!