Friday, March 2, 2018

Why Newborn Photography Costs SO Much | Hattiesburg, MS Newborn Photographer

Yes, this is an investment... and here's why:

"So why does newborn photography cost so much??"

Ever heard of the saying "Time is money"? An average newborn session takes around 20+ hours from start to finish. Let me break it down...

  • Booking and creating contracts......30 min
  • Emails and phone calls to confirm session and answer questions....30-60 mins
  • Studio cleanup (washing blankets, vacuuming, etc)....1 hour
  • Session prep (getting gear ready, prop setups, picking outfits, etc)....1-2 hours
  • Actual session (this one takes time..between getting baby to sleep, changing outfits and setups, baby getting hungry, baby peeing or pooping either in diaper or all over the possibly starting the routine all over again).....2-4 hours
  • Image transfer and backup......1 hour
  • Culling, editing, and retouching images (I fully edit my photos to remove obvious blemishes, jaundice or redness of baby's skin, color correcting, etc)....2-3 hours
  • Uploading photos to a gallery.....1 hour
  • Ordering Session (if ordering prints..once again getting studio ready and samples out so client can see what their finished product would look like and sitting down helping client order)....1 hour
  • Obsessively re-checking images and placing order...2 hours
  • Prepping for delivery (this is packaging up your prints and/or products).....1 hour
  • Actual delivery (most times I meet client somewhere)....30 mins to an hour 
  • TOTAL: 17+ hours.

Now, with that said and broken down... if you take the cost of what you paid for the session, I am really not making what I would be making at a 9-5...BUT..I love what I do so I wouldn't trade it!

Which now brings us to the cost I have IN my business and I am constantly adding to:

  • Camera Body...$3500
  • Lenses -$900, $350, $1300, $1000, $1200 (and this doesn't include ones I have bought and sold)
  • Camera Bag.... $150-300 
  • Studio Light which includes the umbrella and triggers...$800
  • Newborn Workshops to learn proper handling and safety and posing....$250 a workshop
  • Backdrops (I have NO clue how many of these I have but its gotta be over 50)...$50 each
  • Beanbag blankets (I have several)...$30-50 each
  • Furs (several of these)...$50-60 each
  • Headbands, Hats, Rompers, etc...HUNDREDS of $$$ I can't even count
  • Baskets and Buckets....anywhere between $30-75 a piece at antique stores
  • Dollcake dresses...I have about $800 invested in several of those
  • Taxes (yes I am legit so I have to pay a HUGE amount of taxes since I am a small business and taxes are high..not to mention MS sales tax which is totally different as well)
I really could go on for days of the amount of money I have invested into my business not to mention that I am continually adding new props and outfits and headbands so I have a good variety and able to offer my client something different. 

Now let's talk EXPERIENCE...

This isn't an ACTUAL business cost but it is something I think might make sense if I explained it. Most photographers will price themselves based on years of experience. A photographer that has been shooting for 10+ years (I am 12 years + into it) and has a lot of know-how as far as lighting and posing will charge a lot more than someone who bought a used camera off eBay to just play with on the weekends as a hobby or someone just starting their photography business. There's nothing wrong with someone like that at all...I am just saying that the photographer who charges more in theory will deliver better quality images. 

In conclusion, you definitely get what you pay for. I have spent countless hours and money on continually bettering my craft. I have gladly spent thousands of dollars on good equipment and I also upgrade every so often too. 

The best way to make an informed decision on choosing a newborn photographer (or any photographer at that matter) is to focus not on pricing but on quality, safety, and experience. Your newborn is precious and it takes the right person with the right know-how to handle that newborn properly..just because they look like they know isn't ALWAYS the your research! 

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