[ value of custom photography ]

I have long struggled with what to charge for photography services. For years I charged strictly by the hour; for photography, travel, and retouching services. To me it made sense. No one was getting the short end of the deal, clients were only charged for the time I actually spent. And I was comfortable with this process.
Then I became more immersed in the portrait photography “way” which is to charge a sitting fee and then mark up goods to cover all those other hours you end up spending. And I have struggled with this concept ever since. In a way, I feel that this system reduces our time to mere minimum wages for a talent that has not only taken YEARS to develop, but is costly in equipment as well.
I was recently pointed to this article by Meg (thanks!) and I thought it rather insightful. Long, but helpful. http://www.professionalchildphotographer.com/information/?page_id=16
What do you think? Are you more comfortable being charged hourly for actual time spent, or a fixed cost?
I think the article does a good job at highlighting some of the misconceptions about wedding photography, especially. I’ve heard others say, “wow! you can make over $2000 in ONE DAY shooting weddings.” Not quite. That doesn’t count for the HOURS shooting, meeting with clients, and the HOURS retouching, uploading, ordering etc. that go into the job afterword. There is a reason for those prices…and none of us are “getting rich quick” I assure you!

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