Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Photographer Problems

With any new business, you take risks. It usually costs more to start your business then what you get back, but the hope and goal is that that will even out and eventually you will be MAKING money. Thats the point of the business in the first place right??

Well i have a PASSION for photography. I dont know what it is. I just love it. And when you love something and can make a job out of it, that sounds like an ideal situation right?!
Well its tough being a new photographer! Of course you need to build a portfolio. You need to get yourself known. Sometimes you do pro-bono work to help with your portfolio. And as we all know, usually when you first start a business, all your clients are friends and family. And the problem with that is that they all expect "the hook up". Ya know, the inside deal, the connection. And that totally fine. Thats reasonable. Of course i want to help out my loved ones. But thats why i charge so cheap!

I just want to put this into perspective so that people can understand and so that other new photographers know what to expect lol.

When i first started out i shot with a Nikon 3000 and charged about $50 for an hour session, 40 pics. But i always gave my clients/friends over 100 pictures cuz i LOVED editing. Now ive upgraded to a Nikon D90 and upped my prices to $80. (If your interested see {{HERE}} for full pricing). If you arent aware... THAT IS REALLY CHEAP! MOST professional photographers charge $200 at the very LEAST. New photographers usually charge about $100. Newborns can run you from $200-$400.  Weddings are a joke, usually costing you in the thousands! If you dont believe me go google photography pricing.
It takes time to drive to a location, takes gas (which is not cheap now a days). A shoot takes about an hour, then i spend 8+ hours on one session. It costs to buy props, the discs to put your images on, costs to ship. I spend time educating myself about lighting, and iso's and apetures, and shutter speeds, and editing tricks ect.

But you want to see numbers?? Well here are some numbers. I put my all into my work. Im not going to give you crappy photos just so i can charge cheap. Im not like that. So here we go.

Camera/lenses/protection plan/bag: $1500
Speedlight flash for indoor photography: $350
Photoshop elements 9: $150


Thats not even counting the props ive bought and all the things i still NEED to get.

I started doing photography 5 months ago. Ive done 15 sessions and have made $600.
Yep. Im not even breaking even. Not even close!
So im sorry that i cant do all my friends and family's photos for free. If i could, i would. Im sorry that i cant charge you $20 like people are expecting. But there is so much more that goes into this photography thing and i just dont think people understand. Its how i make money. And now that i am a SAHM (YES GUYS, IM NOW A STAY AT HOME MOM! YAY!!!!) im going to really be relying on the money i make from photography.

Anyway, the reason i write this post is because i feel like people think im stingy. Maybe its guilt because i really dont feel right charging people. I mean, capturing such sweet moments in life for people to Cherish forever?? How can that be a job?! Seems too good to be true! But the thing is, there is alot more that goes into it. So i just wanted to make sure people understood.

I love all my friends and family and new clients. I really do appreciate you helping me to build my portfolio and i have to throw an extra special thank you out to one of my seriously amazing best friends, Bailie Anderson (as seen above in this adorable pic with her new son). She has supplied me with majority of my clients and helped get me known. Seriously Bailie, i know you laugh when i thank you cuz you feel like you didnt do anything but to put simple posts on FB and recommendations but something so simple, has helped me out TREMENDOUSLY, and i am forever in your dept :)
So anyway. I hope that gives a little bit of a new perspective and understanding :)
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