Hmmm...photographer's food for thought

I follow lots of other photographers.  I learn from them, I take classes, I google videos and workshops.  All in the name of trying to become better at this craft.  I started taking pictures mainly because my memory is so bad and I couldn't bear to watch time slip through my fingers...pictures are all I have left here on earth in which to "remember" my loved ones...and so I hold tightly to those. 
 
At the same time, my perfectionism and first-born tendencies kicked in and I wanted pictures to be BETTER...well, after seeing the cost associated with this "hobby", I honestly didn't have the heart to continue to take family savings to fund my OCD about lenses and lighting and software and more lenses and better cameras...blah blah...the list goes on. 
 
Therefore, with a couple years of doubt and denial...after much prayer and seeking advice...after much counsel from my hubby especially, I embarked on the CTPhotoMemories journey...
 
And although this "business" is SATURATED with photographers from all over...I do believe each and every photographer "sees life" differently...they have different "eyes" for things just as numerous as snowflakes or as unique as fingerprints on people.  Because of this, I think people approach it differently as well.  Pricing has ALWAYS been a struggling point for me...a HUGE one.  I will be completely honest, that my hubby is still not totally on board with it as it compares to the amount of hours that I put in...I do NOT say all this for pity, for response, and especially not to scare anyone into thinking that I'm trying to change up my pricing or trying to "stick it" to anyone who complains:)
 
I just thought this was well thought out and does a good break down of the costs:)  I was AMAZED last year the amount that taxes took in my profits...it was staggering...
 
This is a break down created by some photographers that I followed called Pure Photography (Pure Photoshop Actions on facebook) 
 
Ok... putting together the info for our workshop and wrote this up... and seriously.... please value your time!!!!!

This is merely an example and just some rough numbers, but more put together as an example!!!

Say you do a session for $100 with a cd of all the images. AWESOME right??? You just made $100 bucks right??!! Score!!!!
Lets break down that $100. Say you shoot 4 of these sessions in one...
month.

$100 received for session
$30 off the top put aside for taxes
leaves $70.
The cost for your website is $16 a month (Through portfoliositez). If you shot 4 sessions that month that is on average $4 a session to pay for it.
You are down to $66.
If you get insurance (to protect yourself and your clients) at an average of $40 a month over 4 sessions That is $10 a session.
You are down to $56
The cost for the CD and case $1.00
You are down to $55
10% towards new gear savings and replacements like batteries and such $10.00
You are down to $45
$4 for gas to and from your session
You are down to $41.00
Ok so there are more expenses, (say if you have to hire a babysitter to watch your kids or if your spouse has to leave work so you can shoot, and other things.. the cost to get a business license, Photoshop.. those kind of goodies.) but let us leave it here for simplicity. You have now made $41.00 from that session. Great!!
Lets break this down by the time you invested into the session

1.5 hours in emails and session prep. Contract signing and emailing back and forth with the client in regards to pricing and location and answering questions. Prepping your gear and getting everything ready.
1 hour in travel round trip. (30 minutes each way) (my sessions are on an average 25 to 30 minutes from my house)
2 hours shooting your session.
.5 hours downloading your images and organizing them and putting your gear away.
3 hours editing your session.
.5 hours prepping your cd and packaging it and mailing it.
1 hour sharing and posting your session on facebook and marketing the session in hopes to get new clients.

You have now spent at least 9.5 hours into your session.
If you take $41 and divide it by 9.5 hours you are making $4.31 an hour for the session. If you count the cost for a babysitter for your kids or if your session is farther or if you take longer to edit or if you shoot longer, or if your insurance costs more (mine is nearly $75 a month), or if you only shoot 1 or 2 sessions that month, you are making even less money.

Is that $4.31 worth being away from your kids? Worth the time and trouble?!! Now.... I am not saying you can start a business and charge hundreds and thousands of dollars. Everyone has to "pay their dues". That is why the government allows you to claim a loss for the first 3 years! But please be a business woman/man. Know that it is a real business, and that you are not actually making $100 from that shoot.

Please understand that photography is a real job.... and not a quick way to make a quick buck. Please please please value your time, and your families time!!! :) If you don’t, who will?!!!

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