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Why Am I Charged This Amount For A Photoshoot?

1. This question is most often asked by photography prospect clients. Some clients may feel that their photographers' services are reasonably priced, while others may feel they are a bit on a high side. Very seldom one feels the charges are cheap. So clients may ask, "Why am I charges a certain amount for a photoshoot?"

2. Some of us may feel that a photographer's job is quite simple. They just come in with a camera when called, aim the camera and after some clicks of a button, you can get the final photos. This may be true from your point of view, but there are more things happening behind the scenes that you may not realise.

3. As a guide, here are some of the costs that a photographer has to take into consideration when you decide to engage him or her as your photographer. Some of these costs apply to certain genre of photography while some may not apply. The work that a photographer does in front of you may be just the tip of an iceberg, but there are more things happening behind the scenes which you may not realise. Generally most genres will include these as standard costs photographers need to consider when pricing their service.


4. The most essential of all the factors are the camera equipment that the photographers use. He or she may select the suitable camera and lense for the task that you require he or she to complete. If you engage a photographer for an Interior photo shoot, the photographer may need to use a different lense to complete his or her task. His lense may be different from the requirements of a portrait shoot. His camera may be the same but the lense may change to obtain an optimum result.

5. In another scenario, if you engage a photographer for a sports activity shoot, his camera requirements may be different compared to a product shoot. His camera has to be able to capture fast motion effectively as compared to still life photography such as product and food photography.


6. The next factor a photographer has to consider is the use of a lighting system. Whether it is for an Event photoshoot or a Food Photography session, there will be a lighting system being used. Lighting system used can be very basic or more advanced depending on your budget or the results that you want to achieve.

7. For a more extensive photo shoot, the photographer may need to use more than 1 unit of lighting equipment. The lighting equipment used will depend on the result that you want to achieve.


8. Most photographers do not work alone. They may have a crew to assist them during the photo session. The crew may include the lighting assistant, Photography assistant, a second photographer, the production manager, the producer, the creative assistant etc. The photographer may need a crew so that he or she can concentrate on his task better and more efficiently.


9. Certain photography requirement may need a studio space such as Fashion Photography, Product Photography and Portrait Photography. Different studio space may offer different facilities such as changing room, make up table, green screen, on the spot printing, wifi connection or live broadcast facilities. Some photographers do maintain their own studio while other may acquire a studio on per job basis. Either way both will have a studio cost attached to the task.


10. In Fashion or Portrait Photography you may see a stylist or a make up artist present during the shoot. They are there to ensure the models are looking according to the concept required by the client.

11. In Food photography, you may see a Food Stylist on location to style the food before the photographer takes his shot with the camera. The food stylist's job is to ensure the food looks fresh and mouthwatering on photo to attract more customers purchasing the food you are selling.


12. Props are often used to tell a story to support the subject. The subject can be a model, a baby, a product, a food item, an interiors space or an architectural building. Props are often used to highlight the subjects features, benefits, usage or main ingredients. They support the story which is conveyed visually to the viewers. Some props may cost more than others depending on the clients requirement. I have had to find props such as Ginseng Root or Musang King Durian for my product photography. Props may include utensils, fabric, wardrobe, products, toys, plants, stones and background textures among other things.


13. Concept, ideas and creativity are the artistic part of a photo shoot session. Concept, ideas and creativity are subjective and different photographers may produce different levels of creativity depending on their knowledge, talent, skill and even experience.


14. Post-processing work which include editing and enhancement of the photos taken during the photoshoot. Depending on the requirement and placement of the images, different levels of post-processing is needed. Photographers may hire professional editor to enhance or edit the images for the final output.

15. Image dimension and photo resolution may need to be altered in order to prepare the image for different publishing platforms. Platforms such as social media may requirement different image resolution as compared to printing on magazines or billboard. Hence the images have to be converted to suit the relevant publishing platforms.


16. Images from your photo session, are most often kept for a certain period of time before they are deleted or removed. The period will differ among photographers depending on their individual photo storage policies. Some photographers may use physical storage system while others may use cloud storage. While they are also photographer who manage both physical and cloud storage for their photo storage requirement.


17. Some photographers will charge you on licensing for Commercial usage of your images. This license is an agreement between the photographer as the intellectual property owner and another party that wants to use the images for their commercial, advertising or marketing purposes.

18. There may be other charges involved in a professional photography shoot, but these are the basic factors which determine the cost for a photography session. If you require any help on your photography solution, you may contact us at

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