Photography is not just a click of a button. A professional photographer will know the expenses that are involved in considering an assignment. Unfortunately, professional photographers are treated in a bad way and not given the respect that they really deserve here in India.
There is a famous saying these days – every monkey with a camera is a photographer and this is very much true. Create a page on social media, ask your friends to like it, upload 100 pics and you become a professional photographer. Few even get paid likes. And there are many new photographers who work for free or who undervalue their work.
What I have seen is that these so-called professional photographers do not survive for long. They attend some tutorials, buy a camera, start a business, and shut down their startup in no time. Before, you hire a professional photographer for an important day like a wedding check their website and work. Don’t try to save a bit and end up getting poor-quality shots. These are very important events and they remain as memories that will last a lifetime.
Why a Professional Photographer won’t come cheap?
Now getting back to the main topic. Here are a few reasons why a professional photographer will charge a lot.
- Skills – When an image is captured, it is not just a click of a button. The images are made and to make this an interesting shot, the composition, lighting, focusing, quality, etc everything has to be perfect. All these are skills attained over a long period of time not overnight. Professional photographers attend training too, it is a continuous learning process.
- The images that are captured are in RAW and there is much more time involved in editing each of the images. Again, they spend a lot of time learning and updating these skills of photo and video editing.
- Album designing takes a lot of time, with multiple feedbacks and re-corrections in the design and layout.
- Printing each of the images, the cover shot, the paper quality, selection of these takes time. Even if this work is outsourced, a professional photographer has to continuously interact with the third-party company and client.
- Expensive cameras and lenses. Those f2.8 lenses are costlier than the camera body. Each of these f/2.8 lenses can cost around one to 1.5 lac rupees. Even renting a camera, will cost a lot. The rental is on daily basis (24 hours), this is the reason why even if an event is for 2 hours, it will cost more. Insurance cover (not available in India) will have to be paid and if it is not available then the risk is taken by the photographer.
- The camera service isn’t cheap.
- Editing software is not cheap. Getting a licensed copy of software like Photoshop, Lightroom, Creative Cloud, etc is important for a professional photographer when he is running a business.
- Has to pay taxes for the income earned out of photography.
- Travel and accommodation costs for an event.
- Assistants – They don’t do charity work. Photographers have to pay their assistants as well.
- Studio rental, office space, etc.
- Office expenses – hardware like printers, computers, storage – a lot of storage, cloud storage, backup of those important photos, etc, contracts, agreements, files, etc.
- Client/ Customer interactions before and after the event.
- They make a living out of it.
- Albums are not freebies, it will cost a lot. Even while printing an album there is so much work involved like album design, layout, album cover, paper quality, print quality, etc.
- Deliverables like albums, pen drives, DVDs, DVD cover designs, courier and shipment charges, etc.
- Time of event – Indian marriages happen even at midnight, early morning 3 AM, reception event on the same day afternoon, etc. This is overtime work and photographers are humans and not robots. Marriage happens once and staying overtime is manageable, whereas professional photographers do it on a daily or weekly basis and overtime is not something you should be expecting.
- Website maintenance, money spent on ads, promoting business, etc. A lot of time and money is spent on building a personal brand and on social media.
Even after reading all these, there are many who will still go with a photographer who has no clue how the camera works and charges less. Remember one thing. You get what you pay for. A cheap car is a cheap car and a Benz is a Benz. Don’t expect Benz quality when you are ready to pay only for a cheap car. Photos and events are once in a lifetime. Opt for the best professional photographer that you can afford.
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