Tuesday, June 26

When Family Photos Cost More than Your Mortgage

I recently came across this on Facebook.

I have to say it ticked me off a little a bit.

And then I realized the writer isn't speaking about me.

Because I do not routinely drop $500+ on myself on impromptu shopping sprees.

I don't un-routinely do that either.

I don't own anything Coach. Or $300 sunglasses.

I also don't offer to take my friends out and pay for everything.

(Do people actually do that? I'll spot my friends, no problem. But taking them out to dinner, a movie and drinks ALL on my dime? Who does that?)

And I don't think the shopaholic in question is a parent either.

I don't relate to this fictional character at all.

I don't relate to the photographer either.

I'm still quite annoyed with her though. Along with the whole photographers complaining about customers complaining that they cost too much.

Dear Most Photogs: You cost too much!

How on earth do you justify upwards of $1000 for a family photo session where the customer - maybe - ends up with one or two prints?

Or a $3795 Boudoir shoot?

FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS!

FOUR THOUSAND!?!?!

I just don't get it.

I watched one photographer GO OFF on Facebook about how people just do not appreciate her art or what goes into a photo session.

(Maybe it's your crappy attitude, lady.)

I get her rant. To a point.

Not only does the photographer spend time actually taking the photos, he or she also spends time sorting, proofing and editing the images.

Depending on the edits, this can take hours. And depending on the shoot, there can be other design work involved, too.

There's more to a shoot than the 30-90 minutes you spend with your photog.

I get it. I really do.

But, in the case of this particular photographer - using her prices and time estimations - she's pulling in $80+ an hour!!

Call me cheap but I just don't think $80 an hour is reasonable.

Let's pretend for a minute that $80+ per hour IS reasonable...

Complaining about people who do not want to pay you $80 an hour to take their picture is greedy and rude. And you should probably stop that.

That's another thing that bothers me - the attitude of these photographers.

We went to a local photographer when Kadyn was born for a Baby's First Year album. Being brand new parents (and idiots), we paid her well over $3000 for the album and she was the rudest, most difficult person I've ever worked with.

Her availability was crap, she expected Ryan to take time off work for our sessions (Uh, how do you think we're paying you??), she repeatedly lied to us about various things and got snippy when we wouldn't bend to her schedule. And she was ALWAYS pushing her friend's businesses on us.

If you're going to take all our money, you could at least be nice about it.

And not peddle all your friends' businesses.

YOU already took all our money.

And then there are all the accoutrements.

Hair & Makeup for $125

Gallery prints for $200

Keepsake albums for $400

Cards to send to ALL your friends for $100

Leather albums for $1500

(You could buy a whole cow for that price. At least then you could have a nice steak diner while you look through your leather album.)

Most sessions do not include ANY prints. You can expect to pay around $10 for a 4x6, $30+ for an 8x10 and your left arm for framed or gallery style prints.

Then there are keychains, mugs, shirts, blankets and all manner of crap that a picture can be slapped onto for a ridiculous price.

And if you don't want to spend all that money, you can pay $400+ for the rights to the digital files.

You know, so you can take the files to someone else and pay them to make stuff with them.

And my personal favourite so far - Sensual Movement Classes for your boudoir session.

I literally laughed out loud at that one.

I'm not trying to rag on all photographers.

There are some very talented people out there who take stunning photos.  Family photos ARE priceless. Boudoir photos can be an amazing experience in so many more ways than having pretty pictures to look at....

But seriously! I'm going to have to start making and selling babies to pay for pictures of my babies!

And selling my ass to pay for pictures of my ass.

I'd be hard pressed to find anyone willing to pay for my ass as it is. Never mind if I start popping out babies for sale.


What do you pay for photos? What do you think is reasonable?

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