I am musing about contracts, since I am sending out quotes and event photography agreements all day today. That gets me thinking about the work I do.

The work behind the shot

Some of the work behind the shot…

One though is about my hourly fee. It is $125 plus tax per hour.

Perhaps that sounds like a lot of money, but it is not.

It is not, because it includes, free of extra charge, things like, say for a typical wedding:

  1. My travel time (often two hours);
  2. The fee for my assistant;
  3. The time I spend around the agreement (like when writing proposals);
  4. My preparation time (a few hours the night before);
  5. My post-handling time (several hours after I return);
  6. And especially my post-production editing time, which can be several days;
  7. Of course the fee also includes the use of all my tools (expensive cameras and ancillary equipment) and its maintenance (just got a camera back from Canon repair!);
  8. The basic fee also includes a preview web site for a bride’s family to look at (for at least 6 months);
  9. …and of course all the images supplied to the couple, professionally finished, as large format JPG files. You’re paying for the result. Just like for a lawyer, the cost is not just “the paper she writes the contract on plus the ink”. 

For other things I do (like training) there are similar inclusions that the hourly fee pays for: equipment, enormous time writing the courses, feedback,preparation of materials, and many other things included.

Of course I should not need to explain: a plumber also charges an hourly fee, as does a dental hygienist, and no-one wonders why. But now at least you know!


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