FAQ: Why do professional photo sessions cost so much?

From booking to blogging, here are all the things your photographer does to make your session happen!

So you book a photo session with an awesome photographer (like me, obvious cough) pick a date and location, get some reminders from them, show up and take pictures for an hour and in about a week you get some great photos. 


Sounds like a pretty simple workflow, right? Easy peasy. You know now that you mentioned it, why do photography sessions cost so much when that’s all a photographer has to do, right?


Like so many other jobs and projects in life, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes that many times a client is completely unaware of. That’s why I’ve devoted this blog post to tell you all about what goes into making your photography session happen, from marketing to booking to blogging.

Ready to find out? 

First of all, for you to even find me as your photographer I have to spend a lot of my time regularly getting my name out there through marketing on social media, emails, networking and client referrals. My website and blog also need to be updated constantly so that Google will let you find me. 

Once you’ve found me and I get that inquiry email (which makes my day every time I get it, btw!) I now do some background administrative work to get your project started.

I email you back so we can decide on a date and location for your session. If you don’t know exactly where, but have an idea of what you like, I will spend time researching and finding a perfect place for you. 

After that is settled, then I will prepare a proposal for you to review, sign a contract and pay a deposit. After it’s all official, I start a series of client emails to you including a questionnaire for you to fill out and some other check-ins and reminders as we get closer to your session date. I constantly monitor our progress and take care of any questions or needs for you as they come up. 

The day before the shoot, I go back and review your questionnaire and our emails to remind me of details about you and your family. I then gather any appropriate props and equipment I will need for the session so it’s all ready to go. 

Next, I travel to the location where we are shooting, and then we get to the part that you see which is having a super awesome time together capturing amazing photos for you! Definitely my favorite part!

After the session, I head home and begin post-processing. That night or first thing the next day I start going through all the photos I’ve taken and deciding which ones will be kept for your gallery. 

Next I edit the photos individually, applying my signature style to them, tweaking exposure or color tones and overall making sure they look like the beautiful works of art that they are!

Once all the photos are up to the standard I approve, then I will export them, upload them to my online gallery sharing system and send you an email notification that your gallery is ready. 

And that’s all, right?

Well, almost but not quite. 

Remember how I mentioned the importance of updating my blog often? So a lot of my photo sessions will then get a blog post. This involves choosing a select 20 or so images, formatting them for the web, and writing an article to go along with the photos talking about the session. 

Then to make the most of the blog, I use Pinterest to generate traffic. To do that, I have to have images being pinned systematically to my boards so that people will see them and hopefully save and visit my blog post also. I use an auto scheduler for this, but I still have to upload all the photos, give them descriptions and individually schedule them to be pinned. 

I also add in my favorites from your gallery to my catalog of images to be used on my website portfolio and pages, social media, info blog posts like this one, and more. I also back up all the images from your session in multiple locations.

Finally, I send you one last email to ask for a google or facebook review from your session. This is really important because it gives me credibility and boosts my reputation as a professional photographer. 

And there you have it: from booking to blogging, all the things that go into making a photo session happen! Was it more than what you thought? 

So when you look at a photographer’s session prices and think “That’s way too expensive. All they do is take pictures.” you can understand that we are doing so much more than just the touch points you see. In reality, each session takes double or triple the amount of time you actually see us taking the photos. Plus we are trying to run a business, many of us by ourselves. 

If you’ve stuck with me and read this post to this point, thank you! And please know this one thing–we photographers are busting our tails to make sure that when you invest in photos with us, we are providing you with value. Not only a stellar client experience, but of course beautiful images that preserve your memories forever.

And personally, I think that’s worth everyone’s investment.


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