The price of a photographer is often the main focus when people are searching for a photographer. People often look for the best priced professional they can find. While this seems reasonable it is not necessarily a good thing to consider. All too often the price of a photographer reflects the quality of the final product. In some cases a photographer may give a good deal and will produce amazing results. In all cases, ensure thorough research is done before hiring a photographer.
An important thing to consider is that photographers present their costs differently. Some photographers give you an hourly rate; the average being around $120 an hour, while others charge you by the print.
For Example: At Photography Company (A) the current reprint prices are as follows:
10 x 13 $75
8 x 10 $50
5 x 7 $25
4 x 6 $5
It really takes me a moment to understand what this means, and how it applies to you. I do not think most people realize just what this means. Something to think about in regards to weddings is, the average wedding album fits 200 or 400 4 x 6's. So a small wedding album would run you 200 x $6 totaling $1,000. If you are shooting an event it might also be important to consider what sizes print the final project will require.
It is important to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. There can be many hidden costs. You can find a cost efficient photographer who will offer to shoot your wedding or event for $900 and will simply hand over the files on CD. This allows you to go to any photo lab or drugstore and print them yourself. With drug store printers offering prints for as low as 28¢ it may really seem like you are getting a deal. If you try to find a company to print your pictures in large format the task may become overwhelming. Photographers often have a discounted or special rate for using a printing company that would not regularly be available to the public.
Before you run off and hire one of these photographers ask yourself this... do you really want to print your own pictures? It may seem like you are really saving yourself unnecessary expenses but there is a lot more to it than that. Even if you go to a photo lab there is a process involved. Truthfully, if you really understand the color management process and you have a calibrated monitor and want to spend hours editing and correcting your own pictures instead, then by all means find this type of photographer.
However, consider this...most photographers have worked with the same photo lab for years. Typically photographers have developed an eye for color and are able to reproduce their work in many different forms and print sizes. Photographers usually work with the same photo lab every time and know exactly what to expect. Photographers will usually correct every file individually so that you get optimum color and quality.
So remember, the quality of pictures is not always directly related to the price. However, more times than not, the quality and level of service is directly related to the price. Take time to research the choices you have made regarding a photographer. Ensure that you have seen their work and the price equals the quality and conveniences you so desire.