While this may sound blatantly obvious you would actually be surprised to learn how many request I receive from people asking for free photos every single week. So you may be wondering what brought about this post. Well I opened my emails this morning and I received a request from a fellow wedding supplier who wanted to purchase some of my images that I had taken of her products. First I froze with my hand on the mouse, then I sat back dumfounded just re reading the email, then I panicked and I quickly logged out of hotmail. Phew!!!!
You see for the only the second time in my whole career a fellow wedding supplier actually wants to purchase my photos. This is where I start to chant “I am a photographer and I sell photos”.
While it’s very obvious and almost everyone knows that a wedding reception venue or restaurant sells food, a florist sells flowers and a dress designer sells wedding gowns not everyone knows that as a photographer I sell photos.
While photography may be an art and it also takes lots of training, education, skills, creativity, equipment, time and lots and lots of practice to produce an image. The image is the final product. It’s the same as a chef takes who takes food items and with many years of training and practice he turns it into a delicious meal that you are happy to pay. You are not only paying for the cost of the food. You are also paying for the numerous expenses that go hand in hand with the owning and running of a restaurant. The rent or mortgage, the insurance, electricity, the equipment such as ovens, pots and pans, the actual time that is takes to prepare the meals, there is stationary such as printing, pens, order books and heaps of other expenses that you have most likely never even considered.
I am a photographer and I take photos. I take photos of weddings, I take photos of wedding venues, I take photos of wedding gowns, wedding flowers, wedding receptions and restaurants that hold weddings, I take photos of the wedding ceremony location all set up by wedding decorators, I take photos of just about everything and I sell photos!
I use very expensive cameras and lenses and computers, and software. I use electricity, I have insurance and a mortgage where my studio is. I travel to locations in my car, I pay for fuel. I spend hours and hours not only shooting weddings but even more hours editing weddings and I then have to sell my photos to try to pay for all of this.
So I am letting go of the guilt that I have always felt for charging for what I do. I do love my job but it is also important that I respect and value myself and my work or how else can I expect others to do the same.
Hmmm now to work out what to charge??????
Thanks for visiting and I hope that this post inspires you to place value on your own work 🙂