Hey, y'all! It has been a little bit since my last entry, but things around here have been BUSY. With spring kicking off, baseball has started back up, we finished up cheer competition season just in time for the new year tryouts, added some private lessons in there, Jensen turned four, Spring Break and Easter have come and gone, and just like that....life is chaotic again. And, that is EXACTLY how I like it. Sessions have picked back up with the arrival of spring weather, sunshine and finally some WARM weather. Remind me how ready I was for it when I am griping about being hot this summer, will ya? 😂 I have had some really great sessions over the past few weeks, some with clients, and some with my own kids to push some creative boundaries. This all makes my heart happy! And I am looking forward to later sunsets, fireflies, and summer wind. 😍
But, I have had a blog on my heart for a while now, and I feel like once I put it out there I will feel so much better about it. No one really wants to ever talk about it, and when they do, it can be pretty awkward.
Y'all, pricing stresses me out. For real. Mainly because I KNOW that my prices are expensive. And I have seen how people react when I tell them what they are. I am also aware that there is a photographer (or 75) within a 20 mile radius of me that charges half (or less) of what I do. But, let me explain just exactly WHY I will never be one of those people.
Photography is expensive. Like, ridiculously expensive. Like the lenses and camera bodies that I carry around in my little bag cost upwards of $10,000. Or more. Depending on what I have in the bag at the moment. That is NOT counting my studio equipment. My studio stock wardrobe. The props that I make, buy, keep, have. It. Is. So. Expensive. Especially to bring certain sessions to life, like you picture them in your head. Props to make it happen are expensive to buy, and most of the time even MORE expensive to make yourself. Continuing education is expensive. And if you have to rent a location for your session(s), talk about spending some money. Some places are $250 to rent for an HOUR. Let that sink in. I have never known any other profession that doesn't require an education or certification to cost this much. And yes, I am quite aware that you can purchase a DSLR for $500, and YES I know it's not ALWAYS the equipment that makes the photographer, but even I will admit that you will not get the quality from a $100 lens on an entry level DSLR that you will get on my Mark iii with a good L glass. Quality is a thing for sure.
My time is worth it. Every hour I spend away from my family, my house obligations, every game I miss etc, to capture your memories is WORTH something. I know that EVERYONE thinks that their time is worth something, but sometimes I wonder if people have ever really sat and thought about the photographer. I have missed I don't know HOW many moments to capture other peoples memories. Games, parties, heck even several of our family Christmas functions I have missed to capture other people's things. And while, I know that I have been hired, and that is not what is up for debate.....my TIME is worth the money that I charge. Here is a great example that I use all the time when I get kick back on my wedding pricing....an average wedding takes about 40-50 work hours. Between all the stuff leading up, bridal sessions, engagement sessions, the hours actually spent AT the wedding shooting, but also the behind the scenes stuff. ALL THE EDITING. Y'all, no one sees that and it takes forever. So basically, the whole shebang is a 40-50 work week. What would YOU be expected to get paid from your job for that amount of work? I know what I get paid to do that many hours as a nurse, and a lot of time, photography is harder and more stressful. Although, in a MUCH different way at times. Even sessions take time to edit. They take planning time. They take shooting time. And then editing...which with me having converted to completely custom hand editing every single image is a LOT longer than it used to take for me. But, I feel like the work for me is worth the time. Every image has a legitimate piece of me in it. Blood, sweat, tears.
Going back to the other photographers....basically, in this day and age, ANYONE can be a photographer. Anyone can go buy a DSLR, make a Facebook page, and start charging. There is no regulation. No education required. No diploma. No certificate. Nothing. Now....is this a bad thing? Absolutely NOT. It is exactly how I started, and now, I am where I have always dreamed of being. But, I mainly say all that to say this...there are photographers in EVERY budget. I am neither the cheapest, nor the most expensive in this area. I am in the middle somewhere. And I am happy here. But, please don't go to any photographer, and make them feel like they aren't WORTH it. If their pricing isn't for you, say "Thank you!", and go to find someone more in your budget, or with pricing that you are willing to pay. I have had people look me dead in my face and scoff at my pricing. And who are they to say what my art is worth? They are no one. And that is not meant to sound harsh, but mainly is a encouragement to other photographers. YOU. ARE. WORTH. IT. You are. Keep pushing. Keep grinding. If you build it, they will come. Someday. But, also, don't talk bad about those who charge more than you. That is also their prerogative. If they want to charge $2000 for a session, they can. And y'all, I know people that DO. And they book sessions like CRAZY. Pricing is relative. Also, don't try to talk someone down. I cringe when the first few lines of an email are "I just need like 2 pictures, nothing big"....it puts me in a weird position. Because I am thankful that they want to use me, but I can tell they don't want to pay my prices. Which leads me to feel that my work isn't WORTH it to them. And, that is not a fun place to be.
My last thing....photography is a LUXURY. Not something that you are entitled to. It is something that is NOT a necessity. Please respect the photographers around you, and support them. Whichever one may be in your price range. There are so many that span every dollar amount. Respect them. Love them. And don't try to get something for free just because you are friends with them. If they want to do it for you for free, let them offer. It will be so much better. Trust me.
If you made it this far, gold star. I am sorry if I hurt some feelings, but I have always promised to be real, and someone had to say it. All photographers think it, and if they tell you they don't....they are lying to you. 😘
Happy Spring, y'all. Let's make some magic! ✨