Did you have a little sticker shock the first time you got a quote from a photographer?

You’re not alone!

I’m a photographer and I definitely remember saying, “What?! - how much?” the first time I wanted to book a photography experience.

If you’re anything like me, you like to pay a little extra for the finer things in life - but it’s important to understand what and why you’re paying for those things.

It’s like when you go to buy a handbag, car, clothes…

There are a wide range of prices, quality levels and attention to detail depending on your budget and the experience you want.

It’s the same with photography! Let me share some things to consider before you hire a photographer. 

1. Experienced professional or newbie?

There’s nothing wrong with hiring a new photographer - BUT it’s important to understand that oftentimes lower prices are a result of the photographer being inexperienced or very high volume.

When it comes to hiring an experienced photographer - consider the time they’ve invested in mastering their craft. This doesn't mean just clicking the shutter. It involves understanding lighting, posing, editing, and even human psychology to coax out those natural smiles or intimate moments.

With an experienced photographer, you’re usually paying more to get their expertise in posing, lighting and making you feel comfortable and feel good about your experience. 

Feeling comfortable and good are key to a successful session…especially with littles. I might throw some fart jokes around

2. How long it’ll take to get your photos

As I’m sure you know – most of the magic happens behind the scenes!

For every hour a photographer spends with you, they often spend multiple hours editing, selecting the best shots, retouching, and ensuring consistency.

On top of editing and enhancing the natural beauty that's already there, *MOST* photographers have a family, other obligations, and sometimes just plain ol’  life that happens. With my clients, I am anywhere between 2-4 weeks turn-around-time. It depends on the season I am in. Fall tends to be the busiest time of year for photographers, while the winter season tends to slow down. 

With my birth clients, the turn-around-time for birth images is one week! That's because usually the family will have scheduled a lifestyle newborn session shortly after giving birth. 

3. The type of gear a professional uses 

Quality photography requires quality gear. Cameras, lenses, lights, props, and backup equipment are all significant investments. Moreover, regular maintenance and updates are crucial to ensure they function perfectly during a shoot.

For births, I have 2 camera bodies just in case something happens to one and I need a back up. I never ever ever ever want to miss the moment you meet your baby for the first time!

4. Business Expenses and Insurance

Just like any other professional service provider, photographers have overhead costs: studio rent, website maintenance, marketing, insurance, and more. 

Insurance especially is vital, covering gear or any unforeseen incidents during a session.

Maintaining a website and online presence, I will be honest, is not my most favorite task to tackle in my photography business. I just want to photograph births and hang out with all the newborn babies all day. But, you wouldn’t know that I exist if it wasn’t for my website or online social media presence. 

5. The Personalized Experience

Custom photography isn't just about taking photos. It’s about creating a personalized experience for each client, understanding their vision, and bringing it to life. This requires pre-session consultations, scouting locations, and even wardrobe advice in some cases.

I am a fair, flexible and patient person by nature. I also strive to ensure your voice is heard and you have the photography experience you were expecting. Being patient I feel is the most important. Back before children and photography I worked with children who had a wide range of disabilities. I, overall, just enjoy working with families and their children. Being patient, and most of the time, silly is key to those smiles you love to see some much of your children. 

6. The Value of Timeless Memories

As you know, photos aren't just pieces of paper or digital files. They are memories, frozen moments in time. And the value of capturing a fleeting moment, whether it's the joy of a wedding or the innocence of a newborn, is truly priceless.

In my time as a photographer, there have been 2 incidents where I have captured a family session and the family did not know that that was their last session together. Sometimes you just never know. So book that session, soak up and enjoy every moment.

At the end of the day, when you're hiring a custom photographer, you're not just paying for images. You're investing in expertise, experience, and the peace of mind that your memories are in the best hands. 

Just like that handbag, quality matters. And trust me, years down the line when you're flipping through your album or looking at that framed photo on the wall, you'll be reminded of the worth of that investment!

I hope reading Why Is Photography So Expensive? has given you some solid ideas! If you’re still looking for a  Maine Birth, Newborn & Family Photographer, click here to see my portfolio of images.