May 13, 2024

Why is Oklahoma City Photography So Expensive?

Did you have a little sticker shock the first time you got a quote from a photographer?

You’re not alone!

I mean, I’m a photographer and I definitely remember thinking, “I’m sorry – how much?” the first time I wanted to book a custom photography experience.

If you’re anything like me, you like to pay a little extra for the finer things in life – but it’s important to understand what and why you’re paying for those things.

It’s like when you go to buy a handbag.

There are a wide range of prices, quality levels and attention to detail depending on your budget and the experience you want.

It’s the same with photography! Let me share some things to consider before you hire a photographer. 

There’s nothing wrong with hiring a new photographer – but it’s important to understand that oftentimes lower prices are a result of the photographer being inexperienced or very high volume.

Ada OK | Newborn Photography

1. Experienced professional or newbie?

When it comes to hiring an experience photographer – consider the time they’ve invested in mastering their craft. This doesn’t mean just clicking the shutter. It involves understanding lighting, posing, editing, and even human psychology to coax out those natural smiles or intimate moments.

With an experienced photographer, you’re usually paying more to get their expertise in posing, lighting and making you feel comfortable and feel good about your experience.

It took me years to truly feel fully comfortable in balancing all the things that go into a session. It’s like your brain is going a million different places at the same time! 

2. How long it’ll take to get your photos

As I’m sure you know – most of the real work happens behind the scenes!

For every hour a photographer spends with you, they often spend several hours thinking through your shoot, editing, selecting the best shots, retouching, and ensuring consistency.

I always plan in advance to work through your shoot with details in mind, sometimes arriving at the location early to check out the best lighting and spots. Editing could go on forever! Haha!

3. The type of gear a professional uses 

Quality photography requires quality gear. Cameras, lenses, lights, props, and backup equipment are all significant investments. Moreover, regular maintenance and updates are crucial to ensure they function perfectly during a shoot.

One of my new favorite pieces of equipment is my new flash! I used to HATE flash photography, but what I realized is that I didn’t have a good quality flash and I was using it wrong – talk about a big mess! Once I invested into a quality flash and educated myself on how to use it, I saw how much of a game changer it was.

4. Business Expenses and Insurance

Just like any other professional service provider, photographers have overhead costs: studio rent, website maintenance, marketing, insurance, and more. 

Insurance especially is vital, covering gear or any unforeseen incidents during a session.

While I don’t have a studio, I do still have plenty of overhead! The little things truly do add up.

Newborn Session in Oklahoma City

5. The Personalized Experience

Custom photography isn’t just about taking photos. It’s about creating a personalized experience for each client, understanding their vision, and bringing it to life. This requires pre-session consultations, scouting locations, and even wardrobe advice in some cases.

One of my more recent experiences is the wooden keepsake box my clients get with their sessions. One of my clients who received it first responded with “Oh. My. God. The keepsake box is so beautiful!!!” (And she’s not one who usually uses a lot of exclaimation marks. 😉 ) It really is the details that make the experience worth it!

6. Licensing and Continuing Education

To maintain professionalism and stay updated with the latest techniques, photographers often take workshops, online courses, and attend seminars. This continuous learning ensures clients receive top-notch service.

This past year, I invested in The Beauty In Birth’s certification course so I could because more emotionally, professionally and technically prepared to be in the birth space. I recently just received my official certification and it’s the best feeling in the world to be able to serve my clients with all this important knowledge.

7. The Value of Timeless Memories

As you know, photos aren’t just pieces of paper or digital files. They are memories, frozen moments in time. And the value of capturing a fleeting moment, whether it’s the joy of a wedding or the innocence of a newborn, is truly priceless.

There are photos that I’ve seen or that I’ve taken that may not be the biggest moment, but it’s a moment of true storytelling. This one, for example, isn’t one I’d expect the couple to frame, BUT, what you see in it is so amazing. Mama exhausted and relaxed after birth, her husband supporting her – physically holding her up and feeding her and his love for her and their new baby so apparent.

Home Birth in Oklahoma City

8. Tailored Products and Presentation

Lastly, a significant part of the cost goes into producing quality prints, albums, and framed images. These aren’t your typical drugstore prints; they’re meant to last for generations without fading.

While my sessions are all-inclusive (meaning you get all the digital images with most sessions), it doesn’t mean I don’t have access to some of the best print labs that specilize in high quality, archival prints that will be better than anything you can get at your local pharmacy.

AND, I’ll be the one making sure everything looks perfect. 🙂

At the end of the day, when you’re hiring a custom photographer, you’re not just paying for images. You’re investing in expertise, experience, and the peace of mind that your memories are in the best hands. 

Just like that handbag, quality matters. And trust me, years down the line when you’re flipping through your album or looking at that framed photo on the wall, you’ll be reminded of the worth of that investment! 

Want to learn how to take better candid photos of your kids? I’ve got a resource for you! Click here to snag my freebie, “How to Take Better Candid Photos of Your Kids”.

Curious about the end results of all this hard work and dedication? Swing by my portfolio to see the outcome of hiring an Oklahoma City Birth and Family photography. 

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