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Old 11-27-2012, 09:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Cost of Professional Photos - OMG!

There was a professional photographer at the last lure coursing event I took Ivan too. I didn't bother using my camera because I figured I'd purchase a photo off of them. OH MY GOD THE PRICES!!

I had Ivan's pictures taken at N.A.P.W.D.A. Nationals and I paid $50 for all the digital images - and there were a lot of them. At the lure coursing event they want $45 for one high resolution digital image.

I can understand paying more for a big event (wedding) or a win photo that's going to be used in an advertisement, but that much for something for me to put in a photobook? That much for a photo of us just having fun? If it's a photo that a lot of thought had went into - composition, lighting, etc. - that's one thing, but this was basically them having a good lens and pointing and shooting. On an overcast day my photo might not be as good, but on a sunny day the "professional" picture isn't anything I can't do with my camera.

So, is this price routine for dog pictures?
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I feel your pain. I rode in my club's big end-of-the-year show a few weekends ago and when I inquired about a single picture it was going to cost something like $65. SIXTY-FIVE dollars for a single picture and it wasn't even all that great. I was appalled.


What's worse though... I have a dog friend whose dog is struggling with cancer. She wanted to get some professional shots of her and him before it was too late for that. So, she set up an appt with a dog photographer in her area. From what I can recall, the sitting fee was decently normal for a good, professional photographer and the pictures came out gorgeous. The woman wanted something like $650 for a CD with mid-res photos! Not even all of the photos, just maybe 10. For a single photo the was charging something like $90, if I remember right. I don't care how good your photos are, those prices seem absolutely ridiculous to me.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Photo Quality

That's another concern of mine. The only view of the photo I get to see is a low resolution version they put online. I can't tell if the photos are sharp or not. They don't look sharp online, but I know that doesn't mean they aren't.

I've got friends and relatives turning to me to take photos now instead of going to professionals. I just did a friend's wedding.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Ouch. I thought I was spending a lot when I spent almost $30 for an 8x10 photo for our BN title. Not the greatest photo, but the lighting at the venue, while fine for competing, was lousy for pictures.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Some insight...

Why Do Professional Photographers Cost So Much?

Business: How much to charge for a Digital Download of a Portrait Photo ? - Shakodo

http://www.dcurbanmom.com/jforum/posts/list/165098.page



A professional photographer is a professional and not a family friend....you wouldn't expect a surgeon to give you a discount...


A lot of people underestimate all that goes into professional photography, but there are photogs that do price gouge...
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My favorite photos are of me releasing him and him taking off. Of course the background is hideous - white trash bag hanging off the tent, all the equipment to run the lure, etc.

I really want a couple of photos to put in his photobook (I'm making one for each year of his life.), but I'm talking $90 for two photos to put in an 8"x8" 20 page photobook that'll cost me ~$25 to have printed (have discounts). The row resolution photos are much cheaper, but they make them so low they say they won't print.

Grrr... It's his first leg towards his CA, so I'll get at least one photo, but it ticks me off because I had my camera there.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ps I would not charge so much for event photos because you'd bank more on quantity of orders and that's not going to happen when raping people's checkbooks.

I can tell you in my area people freak out on you for charging $20 for a high res file for event photos because I've tried it with my first event. I thought I was giving people a deal since I see some local photogs charging around 100+ for one high res file.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My DH is a professional photographer- when we do event photos he charges about $15 per 5X7 print. We normally refuse to sell the high res image files, but if we do then around $50 is the norm. By selling that you are giving away any possible reprints/etc... which is where most of the money for an event comes from. Especially if it is done "on spec"- meaning nobody paid the photographer a fee to appear that day and shoot.

So, not really unreasonable, at least in the photo biz. You would NOT BELIEVE the costs for the equipment, lenses, etc... involved. Not to mention the hours of time spent perfecting the craft.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I was always blown away by the cost of photos at obedience events too. Not even for multiple photos, just one win photo. And I didn't even want a print, just the digital file emailed to me. Some of them are outrageous. I think they would make more money charging a little less because more people would buy more of them overall, than charging an arm and a leg and only having a few people paying it.

They only exception was the lady who took my and Red's photos after we earned our CD title, she even took us off location by some water for photos and everything. I paid her for the actual win photo, but she didn't want anything for the rest, and there were at least 10 other shots. I was floored because you rarely get people who do nice things for anyone anymore.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Umm, yeah, I was perfecty willing to pay $300+ (each) for a 26x26 custom printed, archival quality, black and white portrait of each of my kids. But... $45 for a digital file of one picture (I am assuming that you would have to get it printed yourself?), taken, not at your request, but because the photographer is just hoping you'd like to get a copy? That's more than I'd want to pay. The professional title photo I ordered was an actual print, so I was also paying for printing and postage.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:53 AM   #11 (permalink)
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That sucks as far as photo's are concerned....

The guy that used to do the local ones around the area... Charged 60$ for the weekend... (3 days) and 10$ for each additional photo.... You get all the photos of your dog, however these are unedited photos, but typically pretty good ones... Agility photo's are tough because you have to have a nice lens (which most do)... Because no flash is allowed.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:06 AM   #12 (permalink)
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My favorite photos are of me releasing him and him taking off. Of course the background is hideous - white trash bag hanging off the tent, all the equipment to run the lure, etc.
Ask if the price includes editing of those items you don't wish to see.

This is something that really irritates me..if you're going to sell photos from an event you need to clean up things that just aren't appealing. A friend was charged by a show photographer to clean up a blurry head in her BOB win pic. It was irritating because not a single one of those photos had a clear head..every one was blurry. If the photographer had done her job she wouldn't have had to clean that up so to charge for it was ridiculous.

I do photograph dogs at events and also do formal portraits of conformation/performance dogs. Editing takes a lot of time. A lot. BUT, I also feel like I don't want someone advertising with one of my photos if it isn't done in the best possible way. There are many that think I should charge more for those edits, but there's something that just doesn't sit right with me about it.

ETA-When people inquire about purchasing digitals, they are generally more than the prints. Photographers make most of their profit on prints and if you have the high-res digitals you can print whatever and whenever. I have noticed that some photographers are now only offering low-res digitals (for fb/emails/etc) or they're charging for the high res but not always including print releases. I don't make anything when I'm photographing an event unless someone purchases so I attempt to keep things affordable.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:15 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I understand the cost of equipment - I've looked at a few Nikon lenses that just aren't in my budget. I'm currently investigating external flashes.

I understand perfecting the craft. I love playing around with the manual settings. I've been entering a local fair's photography contest for years. I'm still working on composition, adjusting for different lighting, etc.

However, there are many times professionals aren't doing anything to earn that extra buck. My friend's "professional" photographer for her wedding composed pictures in front of a mirror. Guess how those photos turned out?? The professional photographer at N.A.P.W.D.A. that charged me $50 for everything - there were only 5 really good photos out of the 50 some taken.

And I have to say not getting a high res. copy of a photo would be a deal breaker for me. For my senior pictures I had my picture taken with my grandmother, who is now deceased. At the time I only had 5"x7" prints made. I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to have an 8"x10" printed out. But it will never happen because the professional doesn't have the pictures anymore.

I guess I don't think there should be one across the board fee. Why should I pay the same for my "fun" photo as the professional breeder who's going to turn around and use that photo advertising? Why should I pay the same for a photo regardless of whether it's a point and shoot scenerio or one where actual skill was used and time was taken to perfect lighting, composition, artistic ability, etc.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:20 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Editing

Retouching is $25/half hour.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:26 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I guess I don't think there should be one across the board fee. Why should I pay the same for my "fun" photo as the professional breeder who's going to turn around and use that photo advertising? Why should I pay the same for a photo regardless of whether it's a point and shoot scenerio or one where actual skill was used and time was taken to perfect lighting, composition, artistic ability, etc.
I charge the same for prints or digitals regardless of whether or not it's a "fun" photo or one that's likely to be an advertisement. And in that I also put just as much time into editing/composing that fun photo as I would a portrait. For me, the quality of the photo I provide isn't dependent on what the photo's purpose is. An in the ring shot or performance shot isn't a point and shoot scenario. I work for the best possible shot I can since my hope is that you'll contact me to purchase a print or perhaps schedule a formal session. I can't tell you how many times someone has seen someone else's ring shot on FB and contacts me to have me at the next event their dog is in.

I suppose the only difference in the formal portraits is that I do charge a modest sitting fee.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:26 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lestat1978 View Post
There was a professional photographer at the last lure coursing event I took Ivan too. I didn't bother using my camera because I figured I'd purchase a photo off of them. OH MY GOD THE PRICES!!

I had Ivan's pictures taken at N.A.P.W.D.A. Nationals and I paid $50 for all the digital images - and there were a lot of them. At the lure coursing event they want $45 for one high resolution digital image.

I can understand paying more for a big event (wedding) or a win photo that's going to be used in an advertisement, but that much for something for me to put in a photobook? That much for a photo of us just having fun? If it's a photo that a lot of thought had went into - composition, lighting, etc. - that's one thing, but this was basically them having a good lens and pointing and shooting. On an overcast day my photo might not be as good, but on a sunny day the "professional" picture isn't anything I can't do with my camera.

So, is this price routine for dog pictures?
A professional photographer is more than someone who cropped up overnight with their basic DSLR and read the Photoshop manual, too, though. There are a lot of self-proclaimed "professional" photographers out there and very few I'd consider really worth their fee or my time.

Maybe I'm being a bit of a jerk about it but one of my best-friends is a professional photographer - he has work published internationally and he has the actual resume, equipment, knowledge, and skill set. You want his time and talent, you pay for it. But there are a LOT of wannabe's running around charging people thru the nose for pictures that anyone with a decent DSLR, a free morning, and Adobe Lightroom can do.

Too many amateurs currently who should be excited to get free work for the experience and resume building but they've been tooling around with photography for a few months or a year and feel entitled to a hefty fee with very little credibility in their "profession".
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:28 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Retouching is $25/half hour.
Wow.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:35 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Well, here's some insight on a changing industry. As a full time pro-videographer, I get to see from the other side lol. Most people SEVERLY underestimate what goes in to what we do. They are not thinking of the thousands of dollars in equipment, the set up time, break down time, and just the overall amount of work that goes into it. Why is your 4 hour party so expensive, it's only 4 hours you ask? Well, that 4 hour party may take 50-60 hours of time when all is said and done. When I walk into a room with 15,000 + in equipment, 10+ years of full time experience, and I'm doing things that no one else in the room can do, why do I not deserve to be paid for that?

Why is it expensive? Well, I'm doing things that your uncle jimmy can't do, that's why people pay professionals. I'm not getting the blurry, out of focus shots that are poorly composed, poorly lit, with an average camera. I have the experience to know where to be at what time to capture the best images. I'm not fumbling with a camera trying to get the settings right, I'm not telling you "I missed that shot, sorry" I'm not saying "Hold on, I have to do that over" or "Hey, you blinked, that's no good" or "Hey, let's try this again over there". I get it perfect, the first time, quickly, accurately, and in a way that most simply can't do.

Now, what happens these days? It is very, very different. You give someone a high res picture, and what happens? You take that image, edit it yourself at home, order prints and albums from shutter fly, and the photographer gets nothing out of it. It used to be that the prices were cheaper, because people ordered prints and whatnot. Nobody does this anymore, especially when they get a high res image. Photographers used to have their own labs, and these days, it simply isn't cost effective, so much becomes outsourced. So, this drives the price higher, because there comes a point where it's simply not worth it to go and work when you are losing money. If you made 100 dollars a day at work, and it cost you 110 in expenses, you probably wouldn't go to work. Well, this is not much different. There are tons of costs that people don't understand.

Prime example: We rent photo-booths for events, and they are not cheap. Why? They are 450 pounds and often need 2 people to transport. We need a large box truck, and need to leave hours in advance to get it to the location in time to make sure there are no problems. We have a technician on hand in the case of a problem, and we have someone who helps anyone who doesn't know how to work it. Ink rolls are $600 a pop, and last 2-3 events max. The paper is expensive, the maintenance is expensive, the gas in the truck is expensive, training people who are qualified to fix it in the event of an emergency, in a high pressure situation with people standing around waiting is not cheap... when we rent these for 1200, we make almost nothing, these are a cool add on to have fun with, not a money maker for us. So, the customer's view of us charging $300 per hour as expensive to use our photo booth is a little bit skewed lol

Last edited by KevinK; 11-27-2012 at 11:47 AM..
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:47 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Also, it's something that many times you don't appreciate the good ones, until you work with a bad one. That's when you say "Oh crap, we didn't have this problem with so and so" lol. I can't tell you how many times we have been told "we're too expensive", then to later get a call back, "the cheap guy isn't returning our calls, we're nervous" or "his customer service sucks" or "we read some bad reviews online" or any other list of reasons. Well, why SHOULD my prices be comparable with someone like that who is doing sub-par work? I return your email at 2am after an 18 hour work day, I stick to the deadline I promised, I delivered better than expected results, I went above and beyond in any way I could. I'm bringing my computer home and working until 4am on thanksgiving eve to make sure you have your product while you are in town visiting your family, going to the office after thanksgiving dinner to make sure everything is perfect, and ready for pickup. We also have annual customers, who sometimes go with someone else because of price, and they pretty much always come back and use us the next year. These are the kinds of things you don't get with the budget guys.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:47 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Agreed brw. I am nowhere near a professional level as some very serious and talented photographers. I do a lot of stuff for free or barter, especially if I'm not sure how it's going to turn out or if I need the subjects for my portfolio and experience. I don't consider myself a true professional photographer, it is not my sole form of income, I'm not making a career out of it, I don't know all the technicalities, it's more of a hobby and mainly to help out rescues. I look at photos i edited from when I first started out and just cringe and how awful(to my standards) the edits are. I cannot stand over exposed and over edites photos, especially when the colors start not looking so natural. I've come a LONG way since then but my photos could still be so much better. I am limited though because of finances, outdated equipment, and only one special lens. I can't afford better equipment because i don't charge outrageous fees, I don't charge outrageous fees because I don't have the better equipment to expand my photography horizons...it's a crappy cycle.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:49 AM   #21 (permalink)
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p.s., that was not in any way a rant, just hoping to share some insight from the other side of the field
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:49 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I think brw1982 was right about a big part of the problem - people claiming to be professionals when they're not. Minus the "self-proclaimed professional" part she's described me. I've got a Nikon D90, a couple of decent lenses, read some manuals, some artistic ability, and love to play around with my camera. It's my hobby and not my profession. But there are, in my opinion, a lot of people running around no better than me claiming to be professional.

I think a lot of my problem is I was really excited to get photos from this event. Now I'm going to have to be very choosy just to get one photo. What I should have done was asked about pricing before relying on them for photos.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:17 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I do think intended purpose should be taken into consideration though. Am I going to spend $50 for a horse photo for my 5 year old's bedroom? Not likely. Now would I be willing to spend $50 for that same photo if I intended to hang it in my living room? Sure.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:23 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Dobiew, I do think your ringside photos are very nice and Lisa's profile photo of Tico is awesome. I'd pay you for show photos if I had a need for them!
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:31 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Dobiew, I do think your ringside photos are very nice and Lisa's profile photo of Tico is awesome. I'd pay you for show photos if I had a need for them!
Thank you!
Oh...that Tico. He is so handsome, and boy does he know how to work a camera!

Check out Siri's photo from Alvarado. Should be on A's page.
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