Recently i was asked by another photographer to write in her blog about the price tags we place on our work. Halyssa Riggins, a fellow photographer on Etsy wanted to show the world (so to speak) through her blog that it's not as simple as taking a photo & printing it on paper, there is a whole host of other "things" (for want of a better word) that need to be taken into account when selling a photograph or taking a portrait. & none of it comes cheap. I wish i could give away my photos but then i couldn't afford to continue taking them. I wish i could just travel & photograph everything i see but how would i pay for this? & it's not just the physical cost of things such as the camera, it's the time it takes to do such things, taking me away from my full time job that needs to be taken into account.
Halyssa wrote a wonderful blog using the words of a number of photographers to hopefully open up the eyes of the viewer to what they are seeing. I've dealt with the assumption & ignorance when it comes to starting a business, it's not as if i just picked up a camera & start charging people "vast amounts of money" for a piece of art (remind me again what the Mona Lisa is worth ...), or a product that will stay with you forever. Maybe we under value the skills that go with being a photographer, or maybe we just don't consider it to be a valued profession but a degree, equipment & time don't come cheap. You pay for what you get in this business & if you're not willing to appreciate all these things then you can do it yourself.
Maybe what i want to say is next time you're browsing through Etsy, or looking to have your portrait taken i hope you take into account all of the above, the words of the wonderful photographers on Halyssa's blog & the fact that we work our butts off striving to give you perfect product ... & it's not like that perfect moment in time is going to appear again tomorrow.