Although it might seem pretty dang easy to go to a photo session, snap some pictures, throw em onto a CD, and that's that. Well, It's a little more complicated than you think...
I really try to go above & beyond for my clients, and I have actually listed it out for you, step-by-step what it takes to prepare for a session:
- Go to stores to find props, backdrops, etc. to make your session one of a kind.
- Pick out the perfect outfit, to make a great first impression.
- Charge all my batteries the night before, as well as get all my props and equipment all together and in my car (which usually takes help from my strong & manly fiancé to accomplish, especially with newborn sessions!)
- Clear all SD cards and make sure I have plenty back-up cards, just in case.
- Pack snacks and a water bottle.
- Pay for a babysitter for my 10 month old son.
- Pay for gas to drive to the location of the session, as I do not have a studio.
- Spend time during the session to create an atmosphere of trust & make sure you have a warm, friendly, and stress-free photo shoot with me.
- Drive back home & I am simply too giddy to NOT go through all the pictures the same day...
- Sift through all the images (roughly 50 images per hour, depending on the session) and pick out the best and the amount specified by the client.
- EDIT those said images, which can take up to a week, or more, depending on the session. Weddings can take up to 3 weeks to edit!!
- Send some edited proofs to the client via online (password protected) gallery, which is an extra fee for my website that I have to pay.
- Order prints/wrapped canvas/frames, etc and wait for them to be shipped to me.
- Burn all images onto a CD, print proofs on my printer, and package it all up in a cute little package made just for each client, even with a handwritten note.
- Schedule a time with the client where we can meet up in person to deliver the package (more gas!)
So the next time someone asks, "Why are your prices the way they are?", I will simply direct them here, where they can see how much time, effort, love, passion, & money, I have put into each and every single one of my sessions. You get a unique experience with me that you would not receive at the photo booth in the mall or retail store.
Natalie Bee is a Spokane, Washington-based Birth Doula and Photographer, a mother of four willings, and a PNW native.