Why Does Custom Photography Cost so Much? {Denver Portrait Photographer}

So whether it’s directed at me or a converstation I overhear, it seems like the general public always asks the question of why is Custom Photography cost so much??

I will admit when I was a novice and hired photographers to shoot my husband and I, I often asked this same question! I thought a $250 session fee was extereme. But now that I am a photographer I have to say I have a much better understanding of why they are what they are.

Custom photography is not for everyone, and I do realize this. Its a commitment to you and to me!

I believe STRONGLY in educating the client. This post is aimed at educating the general public on custom photography and the cost associated with it. I came across a really great blog article about photography pricing and instead of reposting a lot of the points of that article I will refer to the article here.

First of all, I am a custom photographer. We work with you to find your dream location, what are your must have shots, and we shoot with you for a long time to get everything we need. We’re not talking a 20 minute studio session at JCPenney.

I think one of the first things to realize is that when I do a session I am actually spending about 10 hours on one session!!! I do not just shoot and dump.  Please realize that my time is not just spent with you at your session, but its also the time to get there, designing products, editing images, making CDs, packing my car for a baby shoot, and packaging orders! I am only one person and I do it all.  One full session can take quite a bit of time from start to end, which I think the majority of people do not realize.

Besides the time involvment in which I am away from my husband and son, please realize that there is a hefty price to pay in equipment, backdrops, lighting, props, a website, packaging, the prints themseleves, workshops, marketing materials, computers, product samples, etc… All of this has to be considered when pricing my products. I love photography, but I can’t just break even all the time. I have a dream, and my dream is to make this my full time job. As of right now, I’m pretty much breaking even with all the costs that I mentioned earlier.

For those of you who think my work is a good investment, I really appreciate your business and I will continue to work hard and do my best to capture images that you love.

You may wonder why is there a session fee? The session fee is aimed to pay for the time and talent of the photographer of your session. Basically if you were to walk away and not order anything or order just your print credit, then my time has been somewhat compensated by your session fee.


  1. Sarah Patton posted the following on October 14, 2012 at 3:51 pm.

    After reading this post, I dug through your archives and looked at all of the wonderful sessions I have had with over the years. I look at the photos and they are priceless. Custom photography is expensive, but the many pictures and moments in time you have captured of me and my family are again priceless. We didn’t have the opportunity to capture moments like these with Emilie and after looking back at Jacobs session it makes me realize even more how lucky we were to have a photographer like you. Every blog post, every photo peek you post keeps me longing for the day you either visit California or I Colorado. When that day comes, a session booking will be first on my list. Thank you for all of the memories you have captured for us.

  2. MicheleSchanker posted the following on October 14, 2012 at 4:27 pm.

    Thanks for the sweet comment Sarah. Miss doing photos for you guys! To bad I don’t have family to visit in Cali. LOL.


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