So we return on the subject of the relationship of fees and profit within the field of professional photography. In my last post I referred to the time allocated that many clients do not see happen. The time post production of images from their shoot does take. Often after a shoot at an event the client wants to see images uploaded to a viewing gallery for the guests that attended. Here the corporate photographer may have too much to do in the time frame, so is forced to seek outside help from a colleague who can do some of the processing. This comes at a cost.
Now we have talked about the event and the processing to obtain the final product. But also there is another factor to address. The equipment a photographer has with them at a shoot is no ordinary camera equipment. Professional digital cameras and lenses cost anything from £1,200-£6,000. A good event photographer will always bring various lenses and back up camera just in case the primary fails.
But I hear you say,” why do you have to have the most expensive top of the range gear. There are many cameras that could do the job that are cheaper”?
The reason here is that the specifications and quality that the professional range has is far superior to the every day high street obtainable ones. Also the work they have to do with the amount of frames taken in its life span is excessive. They do take a great deal of punishment with knocks and bumps and have to be tough enough to handle it. Do you ever stand in the cold at -15 or try to obtain a shot while in a thunderstorm with the rain dripping off your head. No. I do!
On top of that there will be spare batteries, cards, flash guns and even a portable laptop travelling around all day with the photographer. On an average the photographer may be carrying £18,000 worth of equipment at a shoot. To consider also that they need to have some of the most advanced computer software, studio facilities, lighting. All this has to be updated and maintained. Like running a car, as things wear out or servicing is needed the bill comes with it on collection.
There is also the responsibility of insurances. The equipment insurance is one avenue to address but also professionals have to be covered for public liability and professional indemnity. Often working in a venue like a hotel, managers will ask for proof that you a covered while working on site. Additional costs to the corporate photographer in London are the constant update to their web site and having an advertising campaign that promotes their work to gain clients to employ them.
So in conclusion, the fees that professional photographers feel they are worth. The answer is quite simple. They spend a lot of time and money in developing their business into a solid and reliable service. And have done this because they are passionate about photography and your particular requirement.
A quote by author and poet John Ruskin, I think sums this up:
“It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.”