Question:  What is involved in time and equipment when it comes to professional photography?

Answer: It depends.  There really is no reason someone could not advertise themselves as a professional photographer and use as their sole piece of photographic equipment an iPhone.  In fact, it is possible to make some nice pics with an iPhone.  There is however good reason why professional photographers lug around heavy and expensive photography gear.  With technical knowledge, a creative vision, experience, and the proper (usually heavy and always expensive) photography gear; the resulting images are dramatic and moving.  They have a real visceral impact on the human animal.  The proof is not far to seek: corporations across the globe would never spend the sums they do for dramatic and moving images to sell their products and services if these images did not in fact sell their products and services.  If the equipment, skill, vision, and time needed to create modern commercial images was not needed then advertising photographs would either be nonexistent, or, taken with iPhone cameras.

What follows is an example of the photography equipment used, and the resulting workflow that occupies a typical professional photographers time.


Camera body -



Answer:  It depends.  In Columbia and Dutchess County and the surrounding areas of upstate NY the typical photographer will charge $100 to $350 per hour of actual shooting time.  Sometimes the prints or digital photo files are an extra cost (sometimes totaling more than the hourly rate).  Significant retouching or editing is frequently an additional cost.  Lighting setups (more than just the on-camera flash) also typically incur an extra fee.  Photography done away from the studio is called a 'location shoot' (photographed at your home or event).  Well-equipped location shoots cost more because the photographer will prepare, pack, load, transport, and set-up/break-down additional expensive equipment - this takes quite a bit of time and labor.  For every hour that a photographer is actually taking photographs there are perhaps 2-4 additional hours of cleaning, charging, prepping, packing, setting up, testing, organizing, printing, uploading, and editing.  For a photographer to stay in business that time and equipment has to be accounted for somewhere and at some point it gets back to the client - one way or another.  Usually, the client either pays for it upfront with a higher hourly fee, or pays for it later with higher print prices, a combination of those two, or if none of the above apply then they pay for it with substandard results. 

Assuming the client is pleased with the photographs themselves, then in our opinion, these are simply the real costs of doing business.  The overwhelming majority of photographers are self-employed; they buy their own individual health insurance; they have no 401k or pension plan; no company car; and have to upgrade/replace $5,000 to $50,000 of equipment every few years. 

BABU is no different.  With one exception: