For many, the lure of becoming a professional photographer is strong. They may want to make lots of money doing something they love or they might think it’s easy to be a professional photographer and not realize everything that goes on behind the scenes for a professional to charge as much as they do. When a person wants to become a better photographer or a professional who charges for their work, it’s important to understand why there are such high charges for a professional and why it’s important to charge clients appropriately.
It Takes Time to Learn the Photography Trade
A person can’t really just wake up and decide they’re going to be a Professional Photographer and start charging a lot of money. They need to take the time to learn what makes good photographs, how to do everything, how to use their camera properly and more. They’ll need to learn what goes into making every single photograph and how to handle it if the photo shoot isn’t giving them what they really want. This takes time and experience to do, as well as quite a bit of practice. It is possible for anyone to learn how to take fantastic photographs and become a professional, but it’s not something that’s fast and it can require a bit of money if they’d like to take classes to further their knowledge and skills.
Time Is Needed to Choose a Specialty
Most professional photographers only work in one or two fields. While they might enjoy taking a variety of photos for their personal collection, they will tend to stick with just one or two types for their professional work. This allows them to focus their education and practice in one area to perfect their skills and knowledge.
A person might, for example, choose to only do product photography and work with businesses that need photographs for their websites. Another might choose to do wedding photographs and only work a few weddings a month. A person can choose their field based on what they enjoy taking photographs of, what there’s a need for in their area, and what they’re good at. Once they determine which specialty they want to work in, they’ll start acquiring further education in that area as well as the gear they’ll need.
The Gear is Going to be Expensive
It’s important to consider the gear needed for Professional Photography. While it’s true that the person doesn’t need to have the newest professional camera to get the best shots, it’s important for them to learn what they do and don’t need in a camera. They’ll also need other gear, depending on what type of photography they want to do.
Photography often includes a white box, lights, reflectors, and more. Portrait photography can be done outside using natural light, but there still may be a need for a flash or reflectors.
They’ll often find there’s a ton of gear that can help them take better photographs, and there isn’t much that’s inexpensive to purchase.
Setting Up the Perfect Scene
The Professional Photographer is going to need to take the time to consider the background of their photo just as much as they will their subject. They won’t want a product photograph that includes shadows of other objects or people. They’ll want a clean background. For a professional portrait, it’s better to have a clean background as well. For family portraits, it might be better to have the photos taken somewhere with a fun background. They’ll need to consider the time of day and what’s needed to make sure the setting for the photograph is just as perfect as the subject to make sure everything looks fantastic in the end.
There’s More to it Than a Good Picture
Professional Photographers know there’s more to it than just being able to take a good photograph. There are many people who can simply click the button and take a good photograph, but that doesn’t make them a professional. They need to be able to put everything together to create a fantastic photograph, including the lighting, settings, subject, editing, and more. A professional will spend quite a bit of time working on just one photograph to make sure it’s the best one possible for the project they’re working on. This can sometimes take days of preparation and editing work after the photo is done, even if the photo itself is good.
There’s Work After the Photos are Taken
The work of a Professional Photographer isn’t done after they take the photo. Most professionals work in the RAW format, which isn’t ready to be seen once the photo is taken. It needs to go through an editing program like Photoshop to be corrected for the color, tone, contrast, and more. This can take a significant amount of time on even a good photograph to ensure it looks fantastic. It also takes quite a bit of skill, something that can be learned through practice, to make sure each photograph turns out exactly the way the photographer imagined it. Both purchasing the editing program and learning how to use it can be expensive, depending on what the photographer chooses to do.
The Best Photographers are going to charge quite a bit for their work, and there’s no denying that fact. A person who wants the Best Photography for their project is going to be willing to pay to take advantage of the skills and knowledge of the professional. When a person wants to be a professional, they need to keep all of this in mind. By charging appropriately, they can recoup their costs for their time, learning the skills, and the equipment they need for the photo shoots. They can also make sure they’re seen as a professional who knows what they’re doing and is willing to give the best photographs possible when they’re doing a project.
People think that the professional photographer job starts at the beginning of the session and ends when the session finishes but there is a lot more involved, this is called cost of doing business, all this means what it takes to run a photography company like any retail would do, for example, personal and gear insurance, software subscription, gear maintenance, studio fees, transportation and many other. So next time you think a photographer is expensive you need to take in consideration all this.
Jose Soriano is a photographer, visual content creator and blog writer with over 10 years of experience. He is working with start-up businesses, top commercial brands, and other amazing people, helping them to achieve their visual goals.