Budget Photographers, Affordable Photographers or Expensive Photographers?
As human beings, whenever we are looking for some type of services, we need a balance of two: Quality and Price. We must understand that, in very rare situations one can have both. Again, the definition of these two depends on the persona. A person with average income of 4K a month might not be willing to spend 2K for a portrait session. Or a person with average income of 10K a month might not be willing to spend 200$ for a portrait session (may be because he believes photography is over priced!). Or a person with average income of 3K a month, might be willing to invest 1K on a portrait session (because he really wants to build something which he/she can cherish forever!)
Every photographer has a unique taste and style of his/her work. To bring this unique taste and style, a photographer invests not only in getting quality equipment and accessories, but also invests a lot of additional software (which are not cheap 😊). There are other tangible costs like the props, the disposable batteries, cost of the location, gas money, print product cost, etc. Rest aside, don’t forget the skills of operating these variety of equipment and produce the best results. Hence the cost, of a photography cannot be compared between photographers. With introduction of high end lighting and equipment everyday in market, the cost of a shoot is definitely on the rise!
Let it be weddings, engagements, portrait, maternity, kids, fashion, editorial or any other genre of photography, the clients always wants the best value for his/her money. Hence definitely watch out for the other tangible (Ex: Print Products, Online gallery, etc) and intangible (Experience) benefits before you take a call on the price of the shoot session
How does photographers who charge very less work out? Are they devaluating their work? Are they cheap because their work is not that good? Answer is: May be. As detailed above, it entirely depends on the persona interested in getting the best value for the money. Of course, expecting a 1000$ value by spending 250$ on a photoshoot would be unrealistic. In case that happens, the client got lucky and the photographer has seriously undervalued his/her work.
So how these cheap and affordable photographers sustain in the market alongside with actual pricy and quality photographers? That’s because the market/customer segment is different for these photographers. Their clientele are mainly those customers, who don’t have a high budget for their shoots, and are willing to compromise on the quality of the photos. Very rarely you would come across a person who has spent around 4000$ and have complained about the deliverables from the photographer. If such complains are there, then the photographer (and his products) might have truly not been worth of that kind of money.
What I have tried outlining here is, never compare two photographers in terms of cost. Photographers have different costing models which they spend a lot of time figuring out. These include a variety of cost which a client might fail to understand. And most importantly, the photographer is a technician, and the technician gets paid for the thing he does the best. In this case, its taking awesome and Dash-ing pictures!