The answer is a combination of any of the following. It has a lot to do with the artistic vision and reputation of the photographer, as well as the usual costs of running a legitimate business.


Let us look at it from time standpoint, for instance you have hired a photographer whose work you love and has to travel an hour to your session. Time breakdown as follows:

  • Session prep time ( 30min -1 hour, includes equipment checks and vehicle checks)
  • One hour travel time to session
  • 15-30 minutes prep time at client’s home
  • 60-90 minutes with client photographing subjects
  • One hour travel time from session
  • 30-45 minutes uploading time from digital cards from camera to computer
  • 30-45 minutes backing up the original files
  • 3-6 hours of editing time to present you with a gallery of varied edited images
  • 1-2 hours  with client for ordering images
  • 1 hour sorting and checking order
  • 1 hour prepping for shipping and delivery
  • Any additional phone time or time needed for add on ordering, shipment issues, quality issues


As you can see, the average client time for a session ranges anywhere from 12- 15 hours depending on the level of service the photographer provided. This is time dedicated only to your session. When the photographer charges you their fee for a photo shoot, you are not just paying for the one and half hours of the session time, you are paying for the 12-15 hours’ time to complete your session.