• Lindsay Chan

Why are professional photographers so expensive? Reflecting on my journey from hobbyist to pro

Updated: Jul 22, 2020

This past week I was in the midst of my usual mindless Facebook scroll when I stumbled across my Facebook "memories" and a set of photos that frankly I kind of wish I could forget. Don't get me wrong, I certainly don't want my dear friend to forget the memories of her daughter's cute chunky thighs or adorable smile. The photos stopped me in my tracks because they looked awful to me ::insert all of the distressed emojis::

It's actually super embarrassing for me to share these photos and the 2014 Lindsay probably would've deleted the entire album from its online existence, never to be seen again. Who would ever want proof that their work (almost seven years ago) started out like this? Well, now the 2020 Lindsay has perspective and I'm confident and excited to be able to talk about growth!

Often times, professional photographers feel the need to defend their pricing and business structure by taking to blog posts to discuss the nitty gritty numbers, CODB (cost of doing business), legalities, insurance, etc. Yes, I do believe all of these things are important- especially operating a legal & sustainable business. But what if I just let my work, growth and brand speak for itself? There are so many things I have learned over these years as my business has grown. I've heard it said,

"the only stupid question is the one you don't ask!"

Seven years of asking questions, figuring things out, trial and error, investing in education and making mistakes has helped me grow. I plan to never stop asking questions, and I will always strive to grow and improve!

With the risk of sounding either whiny or boastful (or both), I'm hoping that sharing my heart and some "then" and "now" photos would be a fun way to reflect on growth and why I'm so thankful to be able to do something I love capturing priceless memories for my clients and their families. Without further ado, enjoy (or cringe through) these "then" and "now" transformations. P.S. A shout out to these families for sticking with me, even in my awkward "blur the edges of everything" phase. There are many more glow-ups hiding on my old external hard drive that I may have to dig up, with a lot more families to thank beyond the ones featured below.




(2020) Coming soon...







So the question still stands, why are professional photographers so "expensive"... ?

I could start listing out all the things: equipment, studio rent, software, taxes, insurance, editing time, customer service, permit fees... Oh wait. I just did 😊- But really, a professional photographer is more than just clicking a button and should be more than just dollar signs in your eyes when you hear the term. A seasoned professional will always continue learning and growing to hone their craft and to create relationships. The proof is in the pudding from 2014 to now (2020).

If you're ready for an experience different than the rest, a truly fun occasion to enjoy having the family together- let me know and we can chat about your next professional family photo session in Naperville, IL & the surrounding areas! I'm passionate about growing with families that I work with and creating a long term relationship from newborn photos all the way through high school graduation and beyond. View more recent work and follow me on Instagram & Facebook!

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Lindsay Chan Photography is based out of Naperville, IL - 630.209.1506

Lindsay Chan Photography The Gold Hope Project