I'm going to be completely honest with you, before I was a photographer I thought professional photography was SO unnecessarily expensive.

When I fell pregnant, on my search for a maternity and newborn photographer I looked for perhaps, not the cheapest but definitely the best price for what I wanted - and what happened? I ended up buying a pack (mid price range) that included both maternity and newborn and.....I loved my maternity photos but I really wanted a studio feel for my newborn which my photographer didn't offer, so rather than book someone more expensive, I booked the package and later regretted not getting studio photos. (disclaimer I absolutely adored my maternity photos and while my newborn photos were lovely, I think I just wanted a studio feel, so was disappointed, through no fault of the photographer!!)

Anyway lets get back to what you came here for - to read about photography pricing, so lets break it down!

Professional photography can range from $500-$1500, that's quite a big range, but what you need to understand is demand and experience drives pricing up, the busier someone is the more they can charge. The higher level of education and expertise, the pricer the package.

I used to think it was expensive too - but the work and level of expertise that goes into professional photography honestly justifies the pricing!

Lets break it down..

Session time

Depending on the type of session ie. newborn, maternity etc, sessions run for 1-2 hours.

Now for an unsettled newborn this could look more like 2-3 hours depending on how much time your photographer allows. I also travel for in home newborns so that adds on an extra 1-2 hours to my session time.

Transferring images from camera to computer

Uploading and culling images from a session takes up to 2 hours. When I arrive home I do an initial upload and cull of the images. For most sessions I take anywhere between 500-1000 images. The first cull usually cuts this number down to 250-400 images, these images then go through a second cull to further narrow down the images to aprox 100-250 images.


Once the gallery is culled, I edit around 10-20 images from to show the client an example of the final product. I do not sit and edit 250 images as this would take me weeks and depending on the package, clients are only getting 15-50 final images. Clients receive a gallery with 100-250 images unedited and 10-20 edited to choose from.

Clients then select their images which can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Your final images then take anywhere from up to 5 hours to edit. Newborn sessions generally take a lot longer for a number of reasons but mainly due to dry, flakey, blemished skin and pink/red or yellow/jaundice skin tone. To achieve a natural finish each blemish needs to be removed one by one. As newborn photos are often close ups of baby's face this can be the tiniest imperfections and can mean I'm editing 30-50 blemishes per photo, this is before any other editing , smoothing or skin tone correction - this is all just for one image! Retouching like this can not be copied and pasted and needs to be hand done for each image. One image can take up to 30 minutes.

Uploading your gallery

Once your gallery is edited and I'm happy with it, I upload it to Pixieset. If your gallery is large this can take up to an hour. Once uploaded I go through your images one by one to make sure I'm happy with them, I also double check the correct photos have been uploaded, this can take another hour or so as I may see things I need to fix and re-upload. Your gallery is then emailed to you.

SO.... That's just the actual session time plus editing and I've spent around 10 hours of work for one session!

Lets not forget the behind the scenes work

There’s responding to enquires, contracts, invoices, client questionnaires, emails to clients with session details, phone calls to clients to discuss my services and answer questions etc.

I also pay monthly for: my website, pixieset (where I upload galleries) the unscripted app which stores my bookings and creates invoices and questionaires, adobe software for editing, as well as advertising costs on Instagram to boost posts.


$4k - Mac Book pro laptop. This was an absolute essential purchase for me. I had an acer laptop last year and it was SO slow and made editing really time consuming (as if its not already)

$4k - Camera

$3k - lenses

$500 - batteries and SD cards

$500 - Camera bag and strap

Education in 2023 alone

Photography retreat $2.5k 

One on One mentoring $440

The Art of Movement workshop booked for October $550 

6 week online Emotive Story Telling course for July $1200

Total = $4690 SO FAR

Client Wardrobe

My client wardrobe has about 20 pieces in it- most items from slow sustainable brands with the average gown costing $300. I really hope my husband doesn't read this... Sorry honey.. HAHA

I have one or two gowns that cost $500! I can't even bring myself to add my client wardrobe up as I'd die to think how much I've spent here - I don't even spend $300 on a dress for myself...

Just some food for thought - a lot more goes into photography than meets the eye. 

I completely understand photography is a luxury that not everyone can afford.

It's also important to note that some photographers overheads are cheaper, they may not offer a client wardrobe or have attended any education this year, or upgraded their gear.

The level of expertise may also be more or less so this could also impact pricing.

Ultimately it's important you feel comfortable with the price you are paying AND are happy with the quality of work. Its also important you feel like you click with your photographer - after all they are capturing some of the most important moments of your entire life.