Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Educate Your Clients and Other Photographers

  A prospective customer recently emailed me saying my print prices are too high.

 “Your prices are outrageously high.  Photos are good but not $5.00 a piece good, maybe $2.00.

  I will check with the other parents who had cameras and get copies from Costco for .14 each.

 After what we paid to send them there and then to pay these prices for photos, I may consider one photo, but can’t pay these prices”.

 My response: I understand the way you feel, sending kids off to sporting events aren’t cheap. I have a son who wrestles and goes all over Washington to participate in Tournaments and a daughter who used to own a horse and go Western Gaming.

 I also added, that last year I lowered my prices so that clients could afford them. I hope you understand that I can’t give my photography away for $2.00 a print. Being a 40-year plus veteran photographer and without the benefit of another full-time job to rely on, this is now my full-time job that brings in money to support my family of four.

 When you look at my vast experience, with the costs involved with the purchase and upkeep of professional digital camera equipment and lenses, not to mention the computer,  software programs to post process the images and then add the costs of DVD’s and external hard drives to store the images on, this is expensive.  But wait, there’s the monthly fees associated with posting the images on Photoshelter, and Exposure manager. Then on top to those, add health insurance, studio rent, insurance, office supplies, phone service, utilities and the list goes on and one. I have to make a certain amount a day to meet my Costs of Doing Business, otherwise, I'll be out of business.

 Because of my experience, I'm provide field access closer to the action while most parents are limited to shooting from the stands. I know where to stand on the field and when to press the shutter button to provide my clients the best sports action photography available.

 All I can say is go online and check out the other photographers prices. Some are about the same if not higher than mine. $5.00 for a 4 x 6 is pretty damn cheap for the quality you're getting.

 I understand that with the advancements in dSLR technology and digital age has made picture taking so easy that about every housewife, father, cave person and perhaps even a gorilla can shoot a picture. I've known some have who had thoughts of turning pro after a few short months behind the viewfinder. Unfortunately, these folks, who already have full-time jobs, look upon photography as a way to make a few extra bucks and don't know the actual costs of doing business in photography. Like most under educated photographers they either charge 25 cents a photo or they give them away to friends for free.

 You can however purchase one of my 4 x 6 digital downloads for $5.00 each and take them to Costco to get your unlimited low resolution at.14 cents a prints printed.

This is a point in case that is happening to every professional photographer out there. It's up to us to educate our clients and other photographers on the true cost of doing business in photography.


  1. Cost to send your child to play in a tournament (accommodations, food, travel, entry fees, miscellaneous "stuff"): $500

    Cost of professional photo of your child making the play: Priceless

    If we can spend the $500 and up to go, we can spend $5 for a memento that will last long after our grandkids are playing. Give me a break, cheap mom!

  2. Half your photo has player's back turned towards the camera, I won't pay a cent for a photo of my back.

  3. Wow - all interesting stuff. As someone who is relatively new compared to Jim, I can't claim prizes or years and years of experience, but I can say that if you want my images then you have to pay a reasonable amount to defer the cost of equipment.

    If you are unhappy with the content or the price, feel free to go buy your own equipment and create your own memories.

    Just remember - equipment can be duplicated easily with a pile of cash or a piece of plastic, but content cannot.