What Goes Into Professional Photographer Charges?

Whether you’re in need of a professional photographer for event photos or wedding videos, you may take one look at the price tag and get a bit of sticker shock. However, there are many things that go into the final cost of a photographer. Once you understand exactly why photographers charge what they do, you’ll see their final price makes much more sense.


First off, you’re paying for professional training. Your desired photographer, who comes with that impressive portfolio and great word of mouth reviews, earned all that because she/he put in his time on an educational level. Many photographers have years of formal training or schooling in this art, which means you’re getting a much higher quality product than someone who decided to pick up a camera one day as a hobby.

Operational Costs

Photographers have operational costs just like real estate agents, freelance writers and consultants. They are required to pay insurance and liability costs so that both parties are covered in the event they are hurt while on the job. They also have to fill their tanks with gas to get to and from your photo shoot. Then you have to consider all the associated costs of running a business: advertising, website creation and upkeep, print materials, and more.


On top of those operational costs, there are direct costs pertaining to the equipment they must use to ensure your photos and videos come out spectacular. You’re not going to get crisp, clear, innovative quality if your photographer has a simple camera and no accessories. You’re paying for that extra gear that non-professionals simply don’t have to contend with, such as backup cameras and lenses, state of the art software, lighting…the list goes on and on.


If your wedding or corporate event is large, one photographer simply can’t cover all the bases. In this case, they will have to hire an assistant or two in order to get all the shots they want. Those assistants also do all the heavy lifting of the equipment, setting it up all up and transporting it. So, you’re not just paying for the services of just one photographer: they have to pay people under them – sometimes people so behind the scenes that you never see them – for your one job. Sort of like the tip you give your waitress at a restaurant that has to be divided between busboys, hostesses and other people who contribute to your meal experience.


You may think “gee, I’m paying a lot of money for someone to take pictures at my two-hour event.” But don’t forget to consider all the extra time that photographer has to put into editing your photos and videos, cleaning them up, presenting them in an acceptable format, and so on. This part of the process (editing, sorting photos) often takes days of the professional’s time. So remember: you’re not just paying for those two hours, but all the hours before and after that event that ensure the end results are nothing short of amazing.

In need of professional photos that will take your breath away? Get in touch with KS Studios today to schedule some time to speak with one of our photographers about your vision!