Why is professional photography so expensive?

Yes, professional photography is expensive - but worth it. 

The thought of hiring a professional photographer often comes at an important moment in your life. You’re getting married. Having a baby. Organizing an event. Starting a business. Whatever it is, you’re putting forth an impression to the world, and you want the world to see you at your best, right?

Also, most of us don’t realize how personal and emotional photography is. You feel a certain way when you notice how great you look in your headshots. When your modeling photos are awesome. When that wedding dress fits just right. 

Hiring a professional means whoever is holding the camera is capturing those personal and emotional moments the way you want them - the first time. Your professional photographer not only comes with experience, but equipment, software, taxes, and other business expenses - along with their time - that’s incorporated into their cost.

But most important for you, a professional has the style, skill, and sophistication to correctly execute your vision.

How much do your services cost?

It depends on your needs. Take a moment to view the investment outline.

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Why are you the best photographer for me?

Good question. It honestly comes down to what you’re looking for.

A Google search for photographers in the Raleigh, Durham, & Chapel Hill area will return pages upon pages of photographers saying they’re the best for you. Visit five different websites and you’ll see five different styles, or five different takes on the same type of shot.

But regardless of the style or angle, it all comes down to professionalism, from being attentive to your requests to paying attention to details, producing the photos you want, and being a nice person who is easy to work with. If that’s the type of photographer you want, then I’m definitely your guy.

After all, the photography experience is as important as the results. Just ask my clients.

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Do you shoot video?

I do. Here’s a link to my YouTube page and below is my latest project:

What can I expect during:

 A modeling session

Collaboration, creativity, and professionalism. I always have a pre-shoot meeting with everyone involved to ensure we’re all on the same page. After all, I don’t want to shoot boring or crappy photos as much as you don’t want them in your portfolio. And I have problems when I hear about other models’ negative experiences with photographers, from sexual remarks to unwanted touching. It’s not cool, and I won’t tolerate it.

Depending on the concept and number of looks, an average modeling session lasts 1-2 hours.

A headshot session

Photos capturing your best angles. I always have a pre-shoot meeting to understand the intent of the photos as well as the type of background/vibe you want. You’ll also receive a list of things to do/not do ahead of your shoot.

Depending on the number of outfits and locations, an average headshot session takes under an hour.

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A family session

Non-static family photos. I shoot photos that capture families in their natural state, whether hanging out at home, enjoying a day at the park or just living life. Sure, we can do some posed shots, but I’ll want you and yours to spend more time interacting with each other and less time staring at my camera.

An average family session takes 1-2 hours.

Event coverage

Unmatched professionalism. Event photography isn’t just about capturing moments, but also the details encompassing the moment and engaging with staff and attendees in a friendly and professional manner.  

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An engagement session

Your love captured in photos, even if a little posing is involved. My pre-shoot meetings are about getting to know you and your fiancée, from how both of you met to the things you like to do, and tailoring your engagement photos to such.

 An average engagement session takes at least two hours.

 A wedding

Creativity and unmatched professionalism. Wedding photography is more than snapping pictures of everything near and far, but ensuring your wedding story is told in a creative and engaging way. After all, your wedding photos shouldn’t look like everyone else’s. 

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My wedding is outside the Triangle region. Do you travel?

I travel domestically and internationally for weddings. Any wedding beyond two hours from Durham, N.C., will involve an additional investment for mileage/flight and hotel.

Do I need to pay anything up front?

A deposit is required, typically half of the total investment, to add your session to the booking calendar. A payment plan can be arranged for larger investments, such as wedding packages. Full payment is due no later than 48 hours before the day of the session. For weddings, full payment is due no later than two weeks before the wedding day.

When can I get my photos?

Event photos are typically available within 24 hours. Other photos (family, engagement, headshots & modeling) typically have a two-week turnaround. Wedding photos typically take about six weeks.

What takes so long?

Some photos take longer to edit than others due to a variety of factors, including lighting (the sun can peak through clouds at inconvenient moments), cosmetic features (someone has to remove those pimples), and environment (sometimes power lines, or photo bombers, can’t be avoided). 

Modeling photos can also take longer because the editing is very involved, including skin and color retouching.  

As for weddings, a photographer can easily leave with thousands of photos. It takes a while to go through all of them.

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Can I get the raw photos?

For you, raw photos mean straight out of my camera to your inbox. But here’s the problem - You’re not paying for raw photos, but professional photos, which mean they have to be culled through. You don’t want photos with your eyes closed, weird backgrounds, duplicates, blurry shots, or the lighting being off for any reason, right? You’re paying for the best photos, and when hiring a professional photographer, you’ll have plenty of them.

For me, RAW is a file format that captures all image data from the camera sensor. They’re not processed files, so while they can’t be printed, the photographer can edit RAW photos without missing any information. Plus RAW files are way too big for anyone’s website or inbox because they contain so much information.

You’ll often see photos as JPEG, which means much of the photo information is compressed. 

Are they the same photos? Sure. RAW photos are converted to JPEGs. The difference is when I give you JPEG photos, they’re edited and of the highest quality.

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Can I do whatever I want with my photos?

It’s okay to post them on your social media (tag stanchambersjr photography on Facebook & Instagram) and website. I can also have your photos professionally printed (including albums).

But definite no-nos are selling the photos, altering them in anyway (that includes any social media filters or changing the photos to black & white), or using them for mass production (i.e. a book) unless that’s part of a signed agreement. We should have a conversation before you use the photos for anything more than personal use or outside the initial intent of the pictures.

Have a question you want me to answer?

Send me a note!