Portrait Creation Fees & Gift Portraits
Maui has many wonderful tropical settings to choose from such as: waterfalls, beaches, Hana, or high atop Haleakala. Your portrait session includes consultation and a minimum 1-hour outdoor or on-location photography service.
- Portrait Pricing
I charge a 150.00 creation/sitting fee for the family and all the various combinations. I take a variety of images, so you have plenty from which to choose, plus you never know when there is going to be a blink, stray hair etc... I do not have packages. Portraits are on an a la carte basis. This allows you to choose the size and quantity of portraits you want without the pressure of prepaid packages of portraits you don't want. Proofing is done a few days after your portrait session, before you leave Maui. I invite you to come to my studio to view a slideshow of your portrait session. It is at that time you are able to choose which portraits you want to order. All of my final portraits are custom printed on the mainland by a professional lab and are Lifetime Guaranteed For Color. Please contact me for pricing.
- Wall Portraits
The Renaissance Wall Decor Portrait, which is the ultimate in photographic portraiture, creates an illusion both in depth and saturation. To accomplish this, the portrait is permanently stretched and bonded to canvas. It is then mounted on art board and ready for framing. This method gives the look and feel of a museum portrait.
Retouching is available at an additional cost. Retouching includes: the removal of blemishes and softening of lines under the eyes. Hair corrections and the removal of moles, scars, and freckles are by request only. When needed, extensive retouching is available (e.g. eye glass reflections or braces.)
- Why are Professional Photographers So Expensive?
This article has been very well received by the photography community, and is published in the December 2009 edition of Professional Photographer Magazine by Shawn Richter.
In this digital age where everyone has cameras, scanners, and home "photo printers," we hear this all the time: How do professional (or personal) photographers charge $X for an 8x10 when they cost just $1.50 at the drugstore? Simply put, the customer is not just paying for the actual photograph; they're paying for time and expertise.
The average one-hour portrait session First, let's look at the actual work involved:
- Travel to the session
- Setup, preparation, talking to the client, etc.
- Shoot the photos
- Travel from the session
- Load images onto a computer
- Back up the files on an external drive
- 2 - 4 hours of Adobe Photoshop time, including cropping, contrast, color, sharpening, and backing up edited photographs.
- 2 - 3 hours to talk to the client, answer questions, receive order and payment, crop, order their portraits, receive and verify portraits, package portraits, schedule shipment, and ship. *Meet clients at the studio to review portraits and place order. Meeting time average 2 hours.
- You can see how a one-hour session easily turns into an eight-hour day or more from start to finish. So when you see a personal professional photographer charging a $150. session fee for a one-hour photo shoot, the client is NOT paying them $150.per hour.
- The Expertise and Cost of Doing Business
Shooting professional photography is a skill acquired through years of experience. Even though many digital cameras now costs under $1,000, taking professional portraits involves much more than a nice camera. And, most professional photographers spend much more on their equipment. Most have 2 or 3 cameras which cost much more, plus the lenses to go with them as well as the lighting equipment.
Most professional personal photographers take years to go from buying their first camera to making money with photography. In addition to learning how to use the camera, there is a mountain of other equipment and software programs used to edit and print portraits, run a website, etc. And don't forget backdrops, props, rent, utilities, insurance, etc!
In addition to the financial investment, photographers actually have to have people skills to make subjects comfortable in front of the camera. Posing people to look their best is a skill by itself. You could argue that posing is a more important skill than actually knowing how to use the camera. A poorly exposed photo can be saved, but a badly posed photo cannot. Just remember, anyone can put up an inexpensive website and call themselves professional. You need to ask if the consistency of excellent portraits is there and take a close look at the quality of the website as well.
- The Chain Store Photo Studio
Chain stores do have their place. For a very cheap price you can run in, shoot some quick photos, and be done with it. But you get what you pay for. Consider the time and effort that a personal photographer puts into your portrait, compared to a chain store picture. Store sessions last just a few minutes, while a personal photographer takes the time to get to know the people, makes them comfortable, makes them laugh. If a baby is crying at a chain store, they often don't have the time (or the patience) to wait because everyone is in a hurry.
The truth is that many chain store studios lose money. In fact, Wal-Mart closed 500 of their portrait studios in 2007 because of the financial drain. What the chain stores bank on is a client coming in for quick, cheap photos...and while there, spending $200 on other items. They are there to get you in the door.
- The Real Deal
Professional, personal photographers are just that-professionals. No different than a mechanic, dentist, doctor, or electrician. But a personal photographer often becomes a friend, someone who documents a family for generations with professional, personal portraits of cherished memories.
Let's look at it this way: A pair of scissors costs $1.50 at the drugstore. Still, most people will gladly pay a lot more to hire a professional hair dresser to cut their hair. The added attention and quality that a professional personal photographer gives is worth every penny.
We hope that those who have taken the time to read this page will have a better understanding of why professional portraits, created by a Professional Personal Photographer are so expensive. Thank you for taking the time to read this.