I want someone who doesn’t cost ‘an arm & a leg’

Oh, the amount of times I have seen people on Facebook groups looking for a photographer/videographer/cake-maker using that exact phrase, and I shudder.

So, today, I would like to show you why professional, legal photographer’s cost more money. Is it because we want to live in a giant house and drive a Maserati? Is it because we want to pay ourselves a HUGE salary and mess with the people who want to buy photos?


Let’s start off by sending you off to this link: https://nppa.org/calculator this is where we input our expenses, and it calculates how much we need to charge per session to achieve our goals. Try it for yourself. When you go there first, it has a low average in each box. Now add your very own rent/mortgage where is says studio space/office, for utilities, internet put your own costs, and for gear put in $10,000 (that’s approximately how much a low-average photographer needs to spend on gear).

Where it says salary, put in what you are earning now from your job, and where it asks how many days can you work, calculate that at 3-4 jobs a week (because with prep time, editing, drive time etc – you can’t really do more). Leave all of the other boxes as they are.

Now, go to the bottom and calculate. See that figure? That is what YOU would need to charge as a professional photographer to make what you are making today per shoot. That base price does not include the additional costs of prints or albums, that’s just the session fee.

So, next time you are looking for a person to work with, please, bear this in mind. Your photographer/videographer is not trying to charge ‘an arm and a leg’, they are trying to cover their costs.

Every photographer has a different cost of doing business and, I hope this helps you to get a better idea of why photography is not a cheap and easy profession to get into.

According to current estimates, an arm and a leg costs over $1 million, and if you want to be faintly amused, here is an article estimating how much you can sell them for: https://letsdothemaths.com/2018/01/18/how-much-is-an-arm-and-a-leg/

P.S If you are interested in how much a cake costs to make – check this out: https://www.bakecalc.com/cake-pricing-calculator/

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