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Why is photography so valuable?

Working with a photographer is sometimes seen by brands as an expensive service.


Businesses frequently ask: What is it about this craft that makes it such a financial commitment, given that artist prices can range from a few hundred dollars to the tens of thousands?

While your photography charges rise as you gain experience and remain in the industry longer, beginner photographers can still anticipate a respectable financial gain while offering their clients top-quality content and experiences.

It’s vital to understand that several factors affect how much a photographer charges for their services because many clients only think of photography pricing in terms of the final supplied photographs.

You must realize that the production process takes place before, during, and after the photoshoot when you pay a photographer. The factors contribute to the price of a photographer’s career:

So what is the actual cost of photography? And why is this service sometimes seen as expensive?

Equipment Cost

Photo by Cyrus Crossan

The cost of being a photographer is high. In reality, the biggest start-up costs may be associated with careers in creative creation, such as photography and videography.

Since many creatives start their careers with the most basic and inexpensive equipment, upgrading to more professional equipment is soon required.

The cost of a high-quality camera can range from $500 to $1,000, depending on whether you shoot film or digital. With the addition of lenses, filters, extra flashes, carrying cases, memory cards, or film, your list of equipment-related expenses will grow considerably.

A professional photographer must take into account both the initial cost of purchasing equipment and the ongoing cost of maintaining and repairing that equipment. This includes paying to get your equipment cleaned, repairing any broken pieces, or even buying new equipment.

Rights of content use

The usage rights for creating content are a major factor in the high cost of photography.

This content will be utilized commercially when photographers take pictures of a brand. These photos will be utilized by the brand to entice customers to buy a good or service, whether that means posting them on social media, their website, in direct mailers, or on outdoor advertising like billboards and bus stops.


Why is photography so valuable?
Photo by Aron

Time is your main expense when working with a photographer. Timekeeping isn’t usually precise because professional photographers charge by the day rather than by the hour for their services.

Photographers often need to consider this when working on a project, even if it isn’t billed to a consumer. Examples include

  • Pre-production planning time included emails sent, casting, assembling a crew, and developing mood boards.
  • Travel on a day off, including getting to and from the set.
  • It is time to prepare and disassemble the equipment.
  • Searching through the pictures for a while
  • Spending time on sending client proofs, obtaining proofs and modifying them with the client, going over final notes

Despite all of these factors, the requirement for retouching and providing the final photographs still exists. The usage of an outside source or personal retouching by the photographer is frequently subject to an extra fee.

Business Expenses

No matter the type of photo, producing one of good quality requires significant time and financial effort. The amount of effort and research necessary, not to mention the journey, is sufficient to support and demand some higher price tags from the market.

Taxes, insurance, and contributions for the self-employed

Photographers work for themselves. They work independently on a project-by-project basis rather than becoming employees or frequently even contractors for particular clients. Due to this, photographers either work under a solo proprietorship or LLC (Limited Liability Company) employment structure.

A sole proprietorship enables a person to work as a freelancer under their name, but an LLC establishes a private organization for your business.

Photographers receive no compensation other than what they pay in taxes. They are self-employed, so they are responsible for paying for their health and dental insurance. They must also make their retirement plans and contribute personally to social security.

Although choosing to work for oneself is a personal decision, it has a direct impact on how much a photographer charges for their services. After business, living, and personal expenses, a photographer may receive thousands of dollars for a single shoot, but they frequently walk away with significantly less money.


While there are additional reasons for the high cost of high-quality photography (such as paying employees, overhead, and still having enough to generate a profit for future expansion), a large part of the explanation is that high-quality photography is a skill that takes years to master.

When it comes to good photography, there is so much more involved than simply pressing a button. The hefty price tag is necessary due to this behind-the-scenes labor.


Writer CreditPanchali Mandal
Digital Showcase of Lens Rider is founded by Nishant Pandey. It is essentially a magazine to guide photographers. Here we put out new blogs everyday having tips and tricks of photography and information about different areas of photography that one can explore.


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