In my opinion, one of the toughest subjects that a professional photographer has to address is pricing your work. Indulge me if you will, you go to a beauty salon for a haircut, prices vary from $9.99 at discount salons to $100s at a top notch one; this is all based on several things like location, perceived skill of the person cutting your hair, time it takes to cut your hair, ambiance (overall experience), etc. not to mention there are extras like color, etc…

I see photography as a similar analogy, both in photography and the salon there is little raw product (overhead cost). In the Hair cutting business there are scissors and clippers, in photography there are cameras, lights etc. Again in my opinion, like the salon, you should pay based on the location, overall experience and skill set of the photographer. There are other things to consider when it comes to prints, there are places like department stores that offer those bargain packages like an 8×10 of your kid for 9.99 but if you want a second one it cost you $35. While you can certainly go to #Wal-Mart or #Walgreens and print them there, you will have to deal with cropping, color corrections, and other adjustments yourself while your kids are screaming that they want to go to the candy section of the store while you have people waiting behind.

For me it should be simple, you pay a session fee and just like any other place you are entitled to the one photo you like of the set, yes there should be more than one photo to choose from! Then you can either take that on disk to print somewhere else or pay the photographer’s fee for producing prints.

In my case its simple, my non-commercial session fees start at $100. This gives you 1hour, 2 changes of clothing and several possess from where “you” the customer gets to select the photograph they like the most; at that point you can have the file to process/print wherever you like or pay my processing/print fees.