There are a few business types out there that don't require a big monetary investment to start. Photography is definitely one of those. A lot of people have expensive digital camera equipment already, so it's a very easy transition to start charging friends for photos.. and viola! you are now a professional photographer, right?
But almost 100% of the time, when someone starts charging for their photography, they're not quite sure how much to ask for. They don't really have any expenses and a few hundred bucks seems like a lot for something that's a fun hobby.
THAT is why it's sometimes shocking to learn what true professional photography costs. Part of running a legal business with a Studio (as in, monthly rental expenses!) is that a certain income is necessary just to keep everything afloat. The key to staying in business, and being there for my clients 10 or 20 years from now, is pricing based on what things actually cost, which is unfortunately quite a lot.
But that doesn't necessarily mean that working with an established professional photographer or Studio is out of reach.
Like any big purchase, it's something a lot of my clients budget for. They might have a photoshoot every 3-5 years instead of every year. And despite the popularity of hiring a photographer to take family pictures (seems like everyone is doing it, doesn't it?), it's a luxury like a fancy vacation or a new dress (aka, very nice things to have).. and NOT like groceries or paying for electricity, which are things every person needs.
The other benefit is that an established professional photographer would have done the leg work of finding really great photography products. You will get better service (from secure online payments to reminder emails) and a smooth process based on long-standing experience. So when a beautiful family comes to me because they've had a new baby (that's little Clara, btw) and wants to update their family photos, they know exactly what they're getting because the work is consistent. It's also backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, so if anything does go wrong, they're covered.
Listen, everyone has a camera. We are ALL photographers in one way or another. But to people who do it for a living, it's a job. We offer a service and a product that will outlive us in the end.. which means it's less of an impulse purchase and more of a cherished family heirloom, every time.
And in case you're wondering, I print either color or black & white photographs for my clients, and often a mix of both, by request of course!