Understandably pricing is one of the key considerations in selecting a photographer. Unfortunately, setting a fair price isn't as simple as just looking it up on a rate sheet. Of course time is a component, not just to take the photographs but also for proofing, editing and travel. Professional photographers have significant equipment expenses, including cameras, lenses, tripods, flashes, light stands, studio strobes, reflectors, backdrops, booms, light modifiers, etc. Even the extensive list of software to manage and edit images, computers to run that software, storage devices and printers get expensive. Huge variations exist in how images are delivered including CD/DVD, prints, mounted prints, many different qualities of photo papers (and lifetimes), photo books with different bindings, covers and page thicknesses. Some desirable venues even charge for a required permit just to take a photograph on their property.
On a given assignment, many of the preceding items are not required, so when I put together a proposal, I don't include for overhead I'm not using on that assignment. We also have many ways of trimming expenses, for example with senior photos, if we include some of your friends we use a group rate and still make all of the photos spectacular and unique.
Our policy is to provide a free face-to-face consultation where we can work out exactly what's required and a price. If the assignment is larger, we even provide free pre-assignment work so you can be certain we have a perfect fit before the event. We'd also like to put your mind at ease by letting you know practices we do NOT follow. While we'd like your business and will do everything we can to earn it, we do not use any high pressure sales tactics. Nor do we have hidden fees where you sign up for what sounds like a great deal only to find out later you need to pay a lot more to get what you really wanted. So, when you're done with our free work, you will be a better educated consumer, being aware of your options regardless of who you do business with. Of course if all you need is passport photos (they don't have to look like mug shots), we can work pricing out on the phone.
Bottom line: We price very aggressively, making sure that no one beats our value.