"What are your prices?"| Hampton Roads Birth Photographer
"What are your prices?"
This is the question that makes me sweat. There are times that I do not want to write back and answer because I know that I will get shot down with "Wow, that is way too expensive." Sure it crosses my mind to offer it for less but then I wont be contributing money to my family. That would make no sense at the end of the day to work for free. I know that birth photography prices can be intimidating. We had to pay for a doula and a birth photographer for our birth. When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter I had no doubt in my mind that I needed to figure out fast how we were going to pay for the two of them. Payment plans made that possible. Most birth photographers offer some form of payment plans. Like myself, I offer a 6 month payment plan that is either bi-weekly payments or once a month payments. Some break up the payments into 3 payments. Some do it other ways.
One of the most common remarks I get is "oh wow, that is way too expensive! Thats insane". Yes, people tell me I am insane for charging the amount I do (which I know I should actually be charging way more). I am not insane. I am a small business owner who pays my bills with what I make. Birth photography is not like a family session. We spend up to a month on call for our families making sure that we are able to drop what we are doing and head over when it is time. I can not tell you how many times I have wanted a vacation but I can not leave the area because I have moms due soon. We are dedicated to our families. Each birth photographer does a chart called a CODB (cost of doing business) chart. This calculates how much our sessions cost (yes they cost us money) and how much we want to make and how much taxes will be. With these numbers we figure out our session prices.
I am going to put my personal info out there just so others can see how it works. When I am making a cost of doing business chart I am factoring in
Equipment, time, travel, babysitting, wear and tear on my equipment, insurance, taxes (we have to put about 30% away for federal and state taxes), how much I want to be paid, and other random items.
So for me babysitting is around $100-150 for each birth, travel can be anywhere from $10-15, music license for slideshow/video $50-100, taxes $270, misc. fees $50.
This is roughly how much goes to fees or taxes for each birth. Charging $1000 for a birth I am making less than half of my fee as a payment. Breaking down how long I stay at a birth too I am not getting paid much a hour if I am there 12 hours and editing your session for roughly 5 hours.
Trust me when I say this, it is worth every penny to be able to look back and see those images. Your baby taking their first breath. The way that your partner is looking at your sweet new baby. The way that your baby looks at you. All of those moments are fleeting. Ones that will probably be fading by the next day because of the adrenaline and sleepless hours.
What I tell most families is that you are willing to spend $2000+ on a wedding and that is going to soon be the 2nd most special day of your life and the birth will now be the first.