Why Cheap Photography Costs You More

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Why cheap photography costs you more

Since the invention of the camera, professional photographers have had to charge a certain base amount in order to run a business. This is to cover the expenses of our equipment, our experience, our time and our operating costs. Most importantly, it also covers the days and weeks of work involved in editing and processing the images we deliver to our clients.

There’s a billboard I’ve seen on the highway a couple times that says: “You can buy a cheaper pizza, but then you have to eat it.”

I feel like this is the most concise and straightforward way of thinking about any product or service you’re considering purchasing.

Make no mistake; artists come in all degrees of experience and talent, and I mean no disrespect to those building portfolios and starting out. Every artist begins somewhere and with what they have available.

BUT, anyone charging less than $200 to $300 per hour, or under $1000 for wedding photography, is not a full-time, professional photographer. No grey area here, it’s that black and white.

Hiring an amateur or hobbyist photographer is almost always a choice you’ll regret.  They’ll have poor quality equipment; poor quality services and you’ll get poor quality images. And the reason is because they just don’t understand how to take the types of photos you need. Just because someone knows how to use their camera, doesn’t mean they have the knowledge and skill involved to frame shots, how to light them, how to pose people or interact with people professionally, etc.

When you hire the cheapest photographer you can find, you’re wasting your money instead of investing it. Therefore, if you want something done right and well, a professional photographer is worth the cost.

I want to share a couple of specific cases that I’ve personally seen that demonstrate why hiring a professional is worth it:



A professional will be committed to YOU for when you need them most. They are guaranteed to be available for your session, no questions asked. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a mom call me in a panic because a “friend” committed to photographing their newborn but flaked when the baby was born. This forced the mom to find a new photographer before the baby was too old (for newborn photography this is under 3 weeks old). Talk about stressful!!!

When you hire and pay a professional, they are contractually obligated to carry out the duties that you hired them to perform! And I’m not saying that emergencies don’t come up, but a professional will handle finding you another photographer, or have back ups in place already so you don’t have to worry about it yourself.



I couldn’t decide if this one should be first or not because it’s  SUPER important. A professional will walk you through the process start to finish without you having to stress about anything. This ESPECIALLY applies to photographing newborns and kids. Your baby is only this small once, if your photographer doesn’t know what they’re doing, your gallery will be filled with images you don’t like. And it will be too late to have them re-done. A professional will deliver consistent images where you and the baby are posed correctly (and they will walk you through posing step by step), the photos will be well lit, in focus, styled in way that will match your own, they will get genuine reactions, emotions and smiles from your other children etc. All those things come with experience and training. A professional will not mess up an irreplaceable time in your life.



Photographers carefully re-touch your images. We use products like Photoshop and Lightroom to ensure that your images are properly exposed, the colors are perfect, and the image is polished to a professional level.

Most babies have red feet and hands or may have yellow skin from being jaundiced. They can also have peeling and flaky skin, baby acne, or scratches from their nails. Some babies even have bruising because of a difficult delivery. A professional photographer will know exactly how to edit so you’ll receive wall-worthy images of your sweet little one.

A professional photographer also knows how to back up images and use best practices when it comes to storing your memories. I’ve been called by a mom (again, in a panic) because her sister was an aspiring newborn photographer, but then lost their images! Can you imagine?


So when you’re looking to hire someone for your newborn portraits, and you find that all the good photographers are ‘too expensive’,  there’s only one reason for that: You are underestimating the value and worth of having your photos done properly and well. When it comes to professional photography, you can have cheap, or you can have good. But you can’t have both. That is a decision you’ll have to make, and live with, so choose wisely!

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