Wanna know why I’m not that “cheap photographer”

Well, the time has come for me to make this post. I have to just speak my mind and let you know my thoughts on this “affordable” and “cheap” birth photographer request that I see all over the interweb.

So here we go, sit back, strap into your seats and get ready because I am sure this is going to be a bumpy ride.

As a birth photographer, I have spent thousands, and I mean thousands on the proper equipment and education to be able to serve my clients well.

Breaking it down…
2 Camera bodies
4 lenses
1 external Speedlight (Off Camera Flash)
3 Camera Batteries
15 AA Batteries
4+ memory cards
1 Ipad
1 Desktop
2 Camera bags, one that rolls for ease.

The camera equipment alone cost about $15,000 and must be cleaned and serviced. I also have to upgrade this equipment every 2-3 years.

Let’s talk about some of the other software that I use to ensure your Birth is captured and can be shared with the best quality.

SEO Specialist-$2400 yearly
Web Design- $2000 one time fee
Software & Storage-$1500 yearly
Business Liability Insurance & Taxes $3,000 yearly

Advertising and Marketing- $2500-$3500 yearly
Business Cards
Flat Cards-(marketing for offices)
Display print’s, canvas’s, album’s

Travel and vehicle costs-

I have a SEO specialist Jon, with pasquariello web design who I pay a hefty $400 a month to. I am redesigning my website as well, that cost is $2000 alone. I am licensed with the state of Hawaii and insured. Those are the costs that I incur as well. I have a desktop computer that set me back a cool $1800. I use it for my business and yeah I do personal stuff on it but when I am sitting at this desk, I am working on my client’s images, my website, videos. The list goes on and on.

Now, don’t get to thinking that this expensive camera equipment makes these pictures. It’s the photographer that captures the images, my cameras allow me to work with poor lighting conditions and catch moments of you laughing or that newborn baby smile because we all know that you have to be quick to capture those. I am just letting you know that I have invested in the best to be able to give you the very best service.

You see I don’t charge $250 because I have educated myself and purchased the best gear to make sure that my clients receive images that are not just from a camera you got for Christmas. When you hire me you are getting someone that has taken the time to make sure you are getting quality images, quality education and quality products.

I have taken marketing classes that teach me about how to market in specific markets, I have bought newborn classes that teach the correct way to photograph newborns and the correct way to wrap them, to make sure that I don’t wrap to tight or that I don’t hurt their tiny and so fragile little limbs.

Now let’s talk about my specialty, birth photography, there is so much that goes into birth photography. You can’t just go into a hospital room and start taking pictures. You have to know the rules of that hospital, you have to know what you can photograph and can’t. This is very important in a cesarian section birth. You are in a surgical area. You have to know where you can stand and what you can and cannot touch.

If you want sally down the street to take your pictures and she charges $250 and gives you 45 digitals. There is a big possibility that Sally hasn’t done a lot of what I have. There is also the issue of quality. When you are looking to spend $100, $200 or even $250 on pictures there is a big possibility that quality is not what you want but you are looking for a deal. Girl, I know we all love a great deal, heck I am the first to say that I am always looking for that sale online, but I am also going to tell you that if I want that expensive purse I save my money. I work a little harder, stop buying my energy drinks (and that is HUGE) I save save save and I know that I can afford that item later. This is the same with photography if you want that photographer because you have seen her work, saw her reviews, and that’s the person you want, then save, save like you want it so bad!

There is also the option of payment plans. Unlike a credit card, they offer you the chance to pay a little at a time and not have to worry with interest. This is my favorite.

So to let you in my life and to be completely transparent this is what I make after let’s use a $495 Fresh 48 session as an example.

$495-Session Cost
30%-Goes to taxes automatically
We are now at $346.50
Gear Cleaning
wear and tear on the gear
Client management system
my time in editing and retouching images

We are now around $150.00

So please know that I work really hard to make your session special but I also work harder at making sure I am the very best photographer I can be for you and your session.

Brooke Flanagan is a Northern Virginia birth and Maternity photographer specializing in documentary {photojournalistic} style photography and video storytelling sessions.
Based in Quantico and serving families throughout NoVA, MD, and Washington DC. You can see my more of my work here.


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© 2019 Brooke Flanagan Photography | Designed by Photography Web Designs

© 2019 Brooke Flanagan Photography
Designed by Photography Web Designs

Brooke Flanagan Photography