Why do professional photographers charge so much?

Myth:  Professional photographers make a LOT of money.  $300 for a one hour shoot?  I'll bet you're thinking you should become a photographer too!  

Truth:  Professional photographers make a lot less than you think they do.  Yes, they may charge you $300 or more for a one hour shoot but let's look at what that $300+  covers.

The equipment.   A good digital camera (not even top of the line) runs about $800 without lenses.  The lenses cost anywhere from $50 to $1000 and up.  The camera and lenses, if used frequently will need to be cleaned a couple times a year.  Cameras usually need to be replaced every 3 years or so for professionals.

The editing of the photos.  Your $300 not only covers the time creating the shots, it also goes into the time it takes to edit the photos.  Hundreds of photos are taken during that one hour.  Getting those hundreds down to 30 - 50 takes time.  Once the 30 - 50 are chosen, your photographer then edits each one, checking color, sharpness, backgrounds, blemishes.  The photos then need to be uploaded to the website and to Facebook.  

The website.  There is a fee to keep a website.  

Training.  Your photographer is always trying to update her skills in photography and business which also costs money.

Travel.  Clients in other states may pay additional fees to cover the cost of the airfare or rental cars.  

And last but certainly not least, taxes.  Tax on business income is 25-30%.  

Your $300 covers a multitude of expenses.  What's left over pays the bills!  I think we can all agree that a professional photographer should make enough to pay the bills!