The “Session Fee” Defined

Please read the following explanation regarding “session fees” and custom photography with an open heart and mind.  Thank you for taking the time to become more educated about the world of photography.

There is a common misconception of what a “session fee” actually is for a photographer.  Many people “think” that a session fee is just for the 1-1.5 hours that I spend photographing you and your family.  This is partly true.  However, a session fee actually encompasses all of the time that I spend for your entire experience with me.  Here is a breakdown of what your “session fee” is paying for:

  1. All the time it takes to communicate with each client-emails, phone calls, text messaging, any meetings that we may set-up to discuss the shoot, print orders, etc.
  2. The time it takes to prepare for each photo shoot-brainstorming ideas, getting props ready, making sure my equipment is cleaned and ready to go, etc.
  3. Your actual photo shoot, which is typically 1-1.5 hours (unless it’s a newborn photo session).
  4. Travel time and gas to and from photo shoots.
  5. Travel time and gas to and from picking up prints and other products from the printing company.
  6. Travel time and gas to and from delivering your discs, prints and other products to you.
  7. The time it takes to back up digital files.
  8. The time it takes to cull through images from each session and selecting the “best” image in regards to posing, facial expressions, clothing and sharp focus.
  9. The time it takes to post-process each image you receive in your gallery/digital files.
  10. The time it takes to create your slideshow and private, password protected gallery.
  11. The time it takes to write your personalized blog post and create your mini-slideshow for your blog post.
  12. The time it takes to create and work on print orders and other custom-designed cards, canvases, photo books, etc.
  13. The time it takes burn digital files to a disc(s).
  14. The time it takes to package an order(s).
  15. The use of my camera, other photography equipment, computer, software etc.
  16. The cost of making sure that my ALL of my equipment is properly cleaned and maintained.
  17. The use of my props for photo shoots-chairs, benches, tubs, etc. and all of those cute knitted/crocheted hats, sets, cocoons, blankets, etc.
  18. Cleaning and maintaining my props after each photo shoot, including washing soiled blankets and other props from newborn shoots.

As you can see, your “session fee” is not paying for just 1-1.5 hours of my time.  It is paying for many, many hours of my time and like many of you, my time is valuable and precious.  I take great pride in my photography and I adore my career with a passion.  I hope that after reading my explanation of a “session fee” you have a better understanding of what your photography investment is paying for-my time, my talent and my art.   Thank you for your time and consideration.

For more information regarding why custom photography costs more, you can read an article HERE, written by Marianne Drenthe of Marmalade Photography and featured on the Professional Child Photographer Consumer Guide website.



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