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"Why Is Photography SO Expensive?"

I'm often asked why photography costs so much money. Indirectly, when people don't book with me, but also directly when people literally say, "that is SO much, WHY? All I need is one photo" (riiiiiiiiiight) or "so and so is a lot cheaper, why are YOU so expensive?".

Once upon a time, I was so and so who was a lot cheaper! I had just gotten a camera and a nice new lens and thought I was in business! You couldn't tell me anything, $50 for 100 photos, all on a disc all day, FOR EVERYONE. I was the faux-tographer that real photographers hate. Actually, in the beginning, I didn't even have my own camera. I was just a girl with a borrowed camera, a love of photography, every other weekend free and a free photo editing software called instagram. (gasp)

Fast forward 10 years. Now I get it. And now I hear all the time how expensive I am, or how expensive photography is in general. I see people searching for photographers that don't charge an arm and a leg- the good news is, I DON'T WANT YOUR BODY PARTS! I just want to pay my bills, feed my family and go on a vacation or two over the summer... and maybe in the winter. I want to have a plan for my retirement, I want to continue buying and designing the most precious and unique pieces of artwork and albums I can for you, I want to give you the best cake smash set ups and the most beautiful cakes. I want the most stunning gowns for you to wear during your maternity or motherhood sessions, I want to continue to grow my skills by attending workshops and conferences. I want to provide breakfast and a hair and makeup artist for you so you don't have to worry about anything. I want to continue to employ a mom who depends on her paycheck to live. I want to continue to volunteer my time and donate to things that matter to me. These things aren't cheap and they won't accept a limb as payment.

Sometimes, still feels strange to say that "I am a professional photographer"....Is that even a career? But, it's what I am. The countless hours I have spent in front of my computer editing your memories with the latest and greatest editing software say I am. The THOUSANDS of hours I have put in to carefully planning every session I do, from outfits to location to guiding you and your family into poses that flatter you and look natural, while making sure you're having fun say that I am. The continuing education that I've done to make sure I'm handling your most precious newborns in the safest manner, the blogs I've read, the tutorials I've watched. The- I'm ashamed to even try to add up the amount of dollars spent- money that has gone into buying props. The tens of thousands of dollars spent on equipment. (SO. MUCH. EQUIPMENT. SO. MANY CAMERAS...) So much in fact that I had open up a studio rather than going to my client's homes (or worse, having them come to mine. Some early clients may remember their newborn-one year package taking place in my living room haha! I'm talking to you Sheena and Leslie) These things say I am a REAL photographer and I haven't even picked up my camera yet. I have insurance, business cards, a website, a tax ID number, a business license... a membership in the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) .... I'm like.. legit! :) I AM a professional photographer.

Here is the truth. All photographers have their own unique costs associated with running their business. Someone who specializes in Newborns will have a lot more invested in education and props and studio expenses than someone who doesn't have a studio and who only shoots families or weddings or seniors. All have different financial goals. It isn't cheap to run a profitable and successful business. I, unfortunately, have seen many local photographers come and go. I have had clients who reach out to me because they can no longer find or reach their photographer.

I believe everyone should have amazing photos of their pregnancy/birth/babies. I believe I am the best one for the job. I also understand everyone has a budget, I might not be in yours- but it's my hope that one day we can work together and you can see what a truly amazing and easy experience it is. My ultimate goal is to provide you with the most relaxing and enjoyable session as possible and for you to walk away feeling like the investment was well worth it.

If you have been with me from the beginning of my journey, you have seen my prices go up. I also believe you have seen the quality and skill level of my work go up. My hope would be that next time you look at my website, or any photographer's site, and think "WOW! $_____ for ___________??!?!" that you would think about all the things you don't see. It's a labor of love. I love what I do and "would" (and have) done it for free, but I also love to eat :)

Have a great weekend!

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