When a photographer seems cheap or “reasonable”
Posted on 20 Jul, 2017 by Sarah Hart
I’m not alone as a photographer, when I look back at my images from earlier in my career and spot all my errors (that the general public would not have seen) and CRINGE!! “Agh! And to think people PAID me for this” BUT the difference being that I didn’t charge much in those days. My experience and training in lighting, posing and editing was limited. Instead, I have to see my images as a THEN and NOW comparison and appreciate my journey and progression. And it’s for this reason that my pricing has risen accordingly. I charge what I’m worth.
Like any trade, there’s a vast difference in the price and experience of a newborn photographer – this is often reflected in the quality of the images. If the photographer is cheap or even “reasonable” (as I’ve often seen people write when recommending photographers), the chances are, the photographer may well be only just starting out in their photography, or, may not have had any training in how to safely pose a newborn baby. It may not be as obvious to the non-trained eye of the general public, but faced with a selection of newborn photos, a good photographer can always pick out a badly-lit, poorly posed baby image over a correctly lit image with a baby posed in a more aesthetically pleasing position (not to mention safely-posed baby!)
Then there’s the editing. These days with all the Snapchat and Instagram filters, there’s a tendency to imagine that editing is completed at the click of a button with a fix-all filter. Well, no, I’m afraid this is simply not true. A professional photographer will spend time carefully correcting skin tones, blemishes and removing parent’s hands/arm/bodies (that are needed to ensure baby’s safety) out of the image. A skilled photographer will ensure a baby’s skin tone looks the same in each and every image in a gallery.
Good photographer’s spend years continuing to develop and perfect their techniques in lighting, posing and editing. And really great photographers continue to invest in their professional development with further advanced training (often at great expense) to better their skills.
My average client spends between £450-£500 on their newborn’s images. At first consideration, this seems like a large sum to hand over for a photography session. But factor in the long hours (upto 4 hours of studio time and usually another 4 hours of editing and product preparation), then newborn photography can be likened to wedding photography in the level of skill required and in the importance of recording a moment in time. The average cost of a pushchair these days is just over £1000. Yes, a pushchair is an “essential” and newborn photography is certainly not. However, in a few years time when you get rid of your battered and worn out pushchair, what will you have left to show for it? Certainly clients who’ve visited Sarah Hart Photography have often returned and state that they continue to adore the wall art of their baby on their walls and will do so for many years to come. By investing in a newborn session, they get a keepsake (and memories) to last forever.
We all place a different value on what we deem money well spent on. For some, they would rather have the latest, trendiest, gadget-endowed pushchair. But for me (and many of the clients that go on to book with me), I know I’d rather have invested in a piece of wall art which I’ll get to look at over and over again in my home, than a tired and battered old pushchair which will most definitely decrease in value.
While spending on photography is not considered necessary or worth it by some, what I love about my job is that the clients who do book with me, tend to do so based on the quality of my work. Yes, they will have encountered cheaper photographers when they searched for “Newborn Photographer Kent”, but they choose me as they value my time and skill and recognise my passion in creating art work they will treasure and adore. So if you are looking for a newborn photographer, bear in mind that you are most definitely looking at varying prices for a reason. Of course there are budget restrictions for everyone, but aim to select the photographer based on the work you most love.