What does it cost to produce a great picture?

The cost of a photographer's picture may seem expensive at first glance, but it is important to understand the significant investment required to produce high-quality images. For instance, in the photography space, a professional photographer typically invests more than $30-$50K in photography gear (cameras, lenses, etc.) The cost of strobe lighting ranges from $5-$7K. Then to process an image you need a computer, many of us use high-end dual monitors with specialized software. A good computer setup can easily exceed $5K. Then if the image is taken in the studio, add in that cost as well ($300-$700).

Beyond the financial costs, professional photographers dedicate years of their lives to perfecting their craft. There is a skill to pose each client and what works for one person will probably not work for another. It's the photographer's job to figure this out quickly! And beyond the session, editing and retouching each image can take 10-15 minutes. The financial costs above along with the time invested in editing create the overall investment into the photo.

Given the investment by the photographer, suddenly the per photo cost doesn't seem that large. While most photographers with similar skill sets charge between $50-$75/image, this photographer's fee of $25/image for additional is a bargain. It is important to consider the quality of the work and the time and resources invested in producing each image when evaluating the cost of a photographer's work.