What's It Worth?
All aboard my spaceship to Mercury. Turn first at the light that's in front me. Cause every night I'ma do it like it's my last. This dream is all that I need, cause it's all that I ever had.
- Iggy Azalea, Work
Regardless of the medium, every artist struggles with the same thing: the value of their work. Whether it's an internal struggle, or the challenge of relaying this worth to a client, we all hit this wall at some point. Most of us, if you were to ask, would say that although money makes the world go 'round, creativity is what drives us. We would (and do) create whether it brings in millions or nothing at all.
That being said - What we do is not free. Most of us spend hundreds or thousands of dollars each year on materials, alone. Lenses, backdrops, props, lights, etc. Then more on upkeep of equipment. Then there's our time. Our travel. Sometimes, our rental of locations, or purchasing permits. There's web domains and business cards and editing software. What you see, when you receive a quote from a photographer, is not truly an hourly rate. It covers dozens of behind the scenes expenses that, when added up, bring our net income down to a seriously modest number. We love what we do, or we wouldn't be doing it. But we can't afford to charge less than we're worth.
Ultimately, as the client, it's up to you to decide what you want to spend. If you look, you'll always find someone who can do it for less. Just remember that you're paying for it, one way or the other. I won't lie - cell phones are doing some amazing things, these days. And anyone can buy a camera if they've got a couple hundred dollars to spare. You can go that route. There's nothing wrong with it. I know the budget balancing struggle and I truly understand.
But.... if you can hire a professional? Do it. You won't regret it. Someone who's trained to bring out your best. Who sees your vision and brings it to life with skill and experience. Someone who will provide you with images that you treasure for always. As amazing as technology continues to become, it's never going to replace the skill a professional brings to the table. So if you're reading this, and wondering whether it's time, I say go for it. It's worth it. I promise.
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