Real talk. When purchasing a non-necessity, the buyer must first decide if that thing or service is worth the money to them. I willingly admit that I'm able to drop a solid $200 at Target in 30 minutes, because a) Cat & Jack sees into my soul and knows what my children NEED to wear and b) as the meme goes "No one goes to Target because they need something, Target tells you what you need."
I'm biased, but it is important to me to have photographs documenting my family as we grow together. I'm not writing this post to tell you that professional photography should be important to you, but I do implore you to take images of your family (and don't forget to include yourself, mamas) because this time is so fleeting. However, if professional photography is indeed something that you feel is worth some money, read on to see why it can be expensive, and this doesn't even include things like housing/food/medical costs.
Licensed & Insured
This is a biggie, and is super important to me, especially when it comes to newborns. Lennah Press LLC is registered and licensed in the state of Virginia, and is also insured. I'm going to be handling your newborn who literally just came into the world, I can think of no greater responsibility. I take your newborn's safety extremely seriously, I have studied and trained on newborn physiology, and I insist that some poses be composites (one image made up of multiple images in photoshop, keeping baby's safety as the top priority).
Accreditations and Memberships
Adobe is the worst and has started only offering it's programs like Photoshop as a monthly subscription. So I'm paying for that. I'm a member of Accredited Professional Newborn Photographers International, Clickin' Moms and Unraveled Academy, all of these groups are focused on safety, growth, community and learning, but they also have membership fees.
Education & Training
I am constantly investing in myself and my business to bring you imagery that will stand the test of time.
This applies more to family sessions, but did you know that most outdoor locations require a permit fee or membership for professional photographers to be able to use their grounds? It's true! On top of that, I've spent many hours scouting locations to find the best light during different times of the day, and year.
Equipment & Maintenance
I'm rolling up to your session with thousands of dollars worth of camera gear alone. I have to send that gear into Canon about once a year for maintenance. And aside from being terrifying to be without my camera for a few days, it's also pricey. The same goes for studio lighting.
That adorable bear bonnet/felted fur/textured wrap/teeny tiny newborn outfit was handmade specifically for newborn photography. Due to their one of a kind nature, they are often expensive, and us photographers like to occasionally refresh our collections to offer colors or props that the client requests.
I take a limited amount of clients because you deserve my full attention. My passion is photography, but I love the process of getting to know you and your family from your first inquiry to final image delivery (and hopefully beyond!) I actually had a client email me last night about prints, and I was thrilled because I had missed our daily emails discussing locations, outfits, weather, and a million other things.
Depending on the type of session, I'm spending anywhere from an hour to four hours with you. With newborns, I travel to your home because I know that that is what I would have preferred if I had the option after having my own babies. This also means selecting props and outfits especially for you and your family, packing up my car, and then unpacking once the session is over. And the laundry, oh the laundry.
Lastly, after your session, I spend on average 15 minutes per image editing.
I'm a mom too, and am mostly of the Stay at Home persuasion. I have to line up childcare for my own kiddos to be able to spend time with you and yours. Unless you want me to bring my mischievous little ones around to really spice things up!
Ultimately, you have to decide if professional photography is important to you. If it isn't, that's ok! Snap as many pictures of that tiny baby as you possibly can. You'll look back and laugh at how your 4 year old still makes that very same expression when he's upset. Or how your 2 year old still sleeps with her tiny lips slightly agape.
I know that for me though, and especially in the case of newborn photos, the window to capture those tiny fingers and toes is so small. I wouldn't let it pass me by.