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You've seen the photographer or studio websites. As you look for pricing on their services you are inevitably led to a tab (or page) not named pricing in most cases, but instead called "Investment." Therein forms the topic for this posting.
The term investment is generally defined as: money that is invested with an expectation of profit or investing: the act of investing; laying out money or capital in an enterprise with the expectation of profit. Perhaps in an economy not as crazy as the one in which we find ourselves now, a liberal application could be made of the word investment in the context of non-commercial professional photography services. However, let's be honest. Unless you are a model needing a professional portfolio or a commercial user, professional photography services are nothing more than an extreme discretionary use of income and will most assuredly not yield a profit, no matter how much money you invest. So, don't get caught up with sales pitches.
Clearly traditional professional photographic business models are changing (some might say evolving). In fact, they were changing before the economic crisis. Traditional pricing models found in studio's are being pressured by part-time professionals who shoot on location for a fraction of the cost. These part-time professionals use the same equipment, same photo labs, same processing software, and in many cases, much more advanced and friendly image distribution methods. Part-time professionals however, do not have the same costly overhead or reliance on their professional fees to pay the mortgage. Part-time professionals often release finished images to their clients (for personal use) as a result, unlike traditional studios. Finally, part-time professionals often easily meet studio quality, often attending the same training courses and schools.
The evolution of the photographer's business model essentially means you really don't have to pay large sums of money for senior portraits of your child or any portraits for that matter. It also means decent wedding photography packages are now in the sub $1,000 range compared to the $3,000 to $5,000 traditional "bargain" range (in Murfreesboro area) and you get the photos! (Unlike me, who to this day cannot find the photographer who took our wedding pictures.) These cost savings are a blessing in today's economy. And, even if you use a "pro," the evolving business models help apply downward pricing pressure on the "pro's" to keep pricing stable. From their perspective, it is not fair and I understand their position. However, it's all part of the free market, like it or not.
So, go ahead and try out a part-time professional photographer. Your wallet will thank you.
Keywords: loose thoughts
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