This is a less easy and, perhaps, even controversial topic.
But there is always a time when, less comfortably, we talk about topics that are not addressed to anyone, but that can always clarify some doubts and help realize what it is to work with a professional photographer.
When I started working in the photography industry this project was just a part-time. After my work hours it was when I spent some of my time with photography and always very lightly.
When I decided to leave an architectural full-time career and dedicate myself to photography 100%, I never did it because I thought I would become a millionaire. I did it because I enjoyed the moments it gave me, the opportunity of meeting so different people, some with incredible life stories. I felt motivated, inspired, passionate about what I was doing! I still feel it!
But all this comes with a price! But also with value!
Make professional photography is an investment. And in this field, we talk about price.
Is it expensive? In my opinion, yes and no.
It is expensive if we think about the photographer as a mere machine operator, who is there in a fraction of the time recording the moment and then goes home to record a DVD and that's it. If we think that photography is just this, a machine, a shot and a picture as the end result.
It is not expensive because the photographer is not a mere cameraman, he is a human being with talent and sensitivity, who has hours of training and education dedicated to this profession, invested in gear, quality products, drives to safeguard his work, editing programs, computers... and the list doesn't end. Photography is not just a machine, it is a committed, often emotional, present eye. Is a human being, with a heart and a machine in hands, always making a bridge between what is happening in one and the other (heart and machine).
If we move to the field of value there is no longer a no and a yes! There is a yes! Yes, it has value. It has a lot of value.
The value of making quality professional photography doesn't come on a label, but it adds up over time.
Can you imagine what your grandparents or great-grandparents would be like, or how was your first birthday party if you didn't have photos?
And those who have already left? Isn't it nice to have that old, crumpled, yellowed-out picture so that their image will never be a blurred and uncertain idea lost in memory?
And your marriage? And your children when they were still so small that your lap was more than enough?
Making photography has a price, yes. But it also has a value that you cannot express in numbers.
Making this post came at a time when a set of requests for "discounts" or "attention" had accumulate, because they are friends, because they know someone who has already photographed with us and even for no reason at all. Together with the people who arrive more than late to the sessions always expecting us to be there beyond the agreed time because they were late, with the people who see a colleague who does sessions and mini-sessions and small-sessions and micro-sessions at a price that do not even pay for the machine shots (yes, the machines doesn't last forever !!!) and they want us to make a copy of this model to our own project, adding up the hours we spent shooting beyond the booked hours, simply because there is a delay, because there is no planning and because people think they have the right to require that we stay beyond what we are supposed to. People always want more, they always want everything but at the lowest possible price.
And I wonder if they ask for a discount in the supermarket because they are regular customers? I wonder if they ask for a discount on a television because they bought another one at the same place last year? I wonder if they miss a reservation at a hotel and expect to get their money back? I wonder if they require the band to play late because they were late for a concert or to restart the movie because they were late for the movies?
Did you know that we, photographers, have a family and friends who often have lives and normal working hours and that is why we can only have plans together on weekends, which is exactly when we have more work?
Did you know that to stay on a sunday shooting for another hour or two means to give up on our family, our friends or even some rest to be with you in a moment that is yours, of your family and your friends?
It is not a complaint, because perhaps we do it with all the commitment and dedication possible, it is a request! A request for respect for us, for being there, for being human, for giving everything and dedicating ourselves to your story as if it were ours, for always giving all that is possible to make your day or your session even better and more incredible than what you have imagined.
But all of this comes at a price.
But it still has even more value!
The price of a session or even a wedding does not pay for many of the lenses used to photograph you.
Your work, that is permanently stored in two copies in two distinct virtual and physical spaces to minimize the possibility of loss, occupies discs and discs that the price of a session or a wedding does not pay.
But we are human... and I am eternally in love with "my" stories and "my" people, often compromising my own life, my personal commitments to be 100% dedicated to this.
Also for me, photography has a value and a price.
An invaluable value. A price of depriving myself of so many things, to say no to myself so often so I can say yes to you.
Yes, in this sense photography is also becoming too "expensive" for me. As an investment and as a way of life.
And this is the price to pay.
I just do not know until when.