How much a photo shoot costs is a very open ended question. The rates range from very cheap to very expensive. This article is not going to focus on the actual costs but rather help you to make sure you choose the right photographer for you.
Price vs Value
Normally there is less “value” when buying something that is cheap. Products that are more expensive offer more value which is either tangible or perceived.
Tangible value is something you can feel or see, like when you upsize a McDonalds’ meal. Perceived value is how paying more for something makes you feel, such as status, loyalty to the product etc.
Photography is a visual art form, so it definitely appeals to our emotions and how it makes us feel. There are both tangible benefits and perceived benefits in the price you pay for a photographer. In this article however I will just focus mainly on the tangible benefits.
Quantity vs Quality
This may not be an overriding factor in choosing a photographer, but it might be something that you could take into consideration.
Some photography packages state that you will receive at least “X” amount of images. While this is an indicator of how many photos you will get, it’s also very important to make sure the photographer is delivering images you like and that are of a good quality.
A more expensive photographer will normally have a certain style. Make sure the one you pick is going to create images you want.
A more expensive photographer normally has more experience and is well versed in the technical side of photography. They will also know how to pose their subjects to bring out the best of you in the images. They will also have a better understanding of light and how that affects an image.
Often photographers that are charging less are just starting out and are trying to build up a portfolio. This is a great way for a photographer to gain experience and often a way to get some decent photos at a good price. Just try to make sure you know who you will be getting so that you don't set the wrong expectations.
Client Experience and Service
The more expensive photographer should create a good experience for their client. From the first enquiry to the final delivery of the images all contact with them will be professional and informative. They will consult with you through the whole process and be focused on your needs.
The cheaper photographer may not have the time to offer this service due to them having to service more clients to stay profitable. While there is a place for both types of photography it's important to set your expectations accordingly.
Offering Other Products
A more expensive photographer will normally offer add-on products like photo books, canvas prints or normal prints. They will have the expertise to help you pick the best products for you. They also handle the whole process from printing and delivery for you.
The cheap photographer will most likely just offer the digital images in their packages. If you are looking for extra prints or photo books, just make sure your photographer offers this .
Make the Photographer a Good Fit for You
While you might not have much opportunity to get to know your photographer beforehand, try to choose a photographer that you feel is a good fit for you. Select one that makes you feel comfortable and is concerned about your needs during the process.
My belief is that the photographer should create a fun and pleasant experience that people will enjoy and remember.
You will be creating lasting memories and unique art of yourself that will become a family legacy.
Look for a photographer that you resonate with, that offers the images you want and manages your expectations accordingly.
I hope this article has shown you what else to look for in a photographer other than merely looking at the price.