“You’re just taking pictures.”
Along with the photographer’s education, wear-and-tear upkeep of equipment and other general business overhead there is the pre-shoot and post-shoot work to pay for.
Part of the post-shoot work is culling poor pictures, editing winners, connecting with the client and setting up print orders. That is, if the photographer handles printing. I think they should.
Editing is one of the least understood expenses. The following video is the complete process of what I consider a “basic” edit on a picture of my friend’s beautiful newborn baby, Nevaeh. Starting in Camera Raw and moving through to Photoshop for touch-ups, each step took about 10 minutes.
That’s short. There are about 10 keepers that I have to edit. Minimally, that equates to 200 minutes. Roughly three and a half hours of detailed, painstaking, window-crashing, educated work that has nothing to do with “taking pictures.”
“So any picture could take upwards of 20+ minutes to edit? That’s a lot of time to pay for, let’s leave the edits out to save money.”
I am not comfortable doing that. Sure, photos can look pretty great right out of the camera, but when you look at a photographer’s portfolio you are seeing the best of their work. Their most complete process. The work that they think you want from them. The work that they are most likely under-charging for! Understanding each other’s needs is what makes pre-photography work so valuable: meeting for a coffee and discussing specifics and PRICE!
Have a look at the video to see what basic work goes in to editing a photo, I think you will find it is particularly lack-luster before.