People often complain about the cost of hiring a photographer.
Let me give a run down on the cost of doing photography
- Camera bodies cost an average of $3000.00
- Lenses cost an average of 900.00 with some costing more than the camera itself.
- Computer 1200.00 for a machine able to handle professional software.
- Professional photography software 1200.00 a year with additional software for album and book making adding another 500.00 a year total 1700.00 a year.
- Cameras are just like your car and need service, servicing a camera is about 200.00 min a year.
- Travel expenses, whether it is doing a local photography shoot or traveling across the country including fuel costs.
- Tires, oil changes, and vehicle maintenance can run 500.00 a year and up.
We all want to be paid for our time. Most people work a job with an hourly wage. Photographers are no different, it’s just our time is spent traveling from one place to another, doing the actual shooting of images, spending hours on the computer ( sometimes until the wee hours of the morning ) , making a web page for viewing of the images, sending out emails, packaging up orders for and sending to the lab. This alone can be the same 40 hours most people work every week.
When you hire a photographer you are investing in someone who has already invested in you.
Now day’s with the age of cell phone cameras, There is a misconceived idea it costs nothing to take a photo, unlike it did back in the film days. Alot goes into making images, that if you are proud to want to display on social media, most do not realize. So when you have a professional photographer do a photo shoot, you are hiring an Artist to craft and make artwork that can’t be duplicated by anyone else.
So when you do view your images online, do not try to download them or screen shot them. First of all they are too small to even print. Second, you are stealing, just as if you are in a store shoplifting. The photographer also has bills to pay and has to eat just like you do, that’s why you work or have a business. And if you have a business, then you should already know the importance of doing business with your photographer. However this is why I copyright all my images with the Federal copyright office and I recommend all photographers should spend a little extra time and money to register photos with the US Copyright Office, even though photographers own the copyright to photos the moment they’re created.
“I usually equate copyright registration to an approximate $35 insurance policy, Should something go wrong and someone takes your work, it allows you to be able to collect attorney’s fees, enhanced damages.”
Registering a copyright is “painless and quick. To do it, go to the U.S. Copyright Office at www.copyright.gov and fill out the form. It costs $35 for online registration of a basic claim and $65 to register a group of photographs. It takes up to 2½ months to get an application processed, according to the agency’s website. However they are copyrighted the moment registration is applied for.
“If you register before any kind of infringement, you get access to the federal courts, but you also get access to statutory damages,” [law professor Andrew] Torrance said. “So instead of having to prove you’ve suffered actual damages, like for example the cost of the photographer, with statutory damages you just need to convince the court that you’re on the high end of the damages and you can get a tremendous amount of money.”
In the long run, it is cheaper to just do business with your photographer. Besides, your photographer also has bills to pay, needs food to eat and wants to enjoy holidays and provide for his/her self and family. Just like you.
Should your photographer provide small unprintable digital files for you to share on social media, Be sure to credit that photographer by name and website. This also helps drive business to your photographer.
IN THE END
It’s not about the cost of paper a photo is printed on or how many likes you can get on social media. It’s about paying for the talent and all that goes into making the beautiful images you display in your home and feeling proud to show them.