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.