Are Family Photo Sessions expensive? What are you paying for?

January 31, 2020 Estimated reading time: 4 min

Comparing professional photography styles and their pricing might be hard to understand. For the same “service” (family photo session) you can find high-end photographers and quite the opposite.

Honestly, what you pay is what you get but, more importantly, it goes beyond photos: it's an experience. Let me walk you through how to compare values and decide on the photographer that fits your budget and your interests.

Estimated Reading Time: 5 min

Why do you pay tons of money for a U2 or Taylor Swift concert? At the end of the day it's just music and crowds signing, right?

tiny - Beach Photo Sessions-40

Yet the experience of being at THAT concert, your connection with the artist, what the songs make you feel, those goosebumps in your skin, the anticipation of the concert, and the memories for years to come make it worth the investment. The same happens in photography.

We're artists, I'm far from being Bono but you get the point 💛. It's the experience, it's how you feel, it's the trust & relationship. In addition to that, think about the skill set, education in hands-on and editing, combined with the endless years of experience to know exactly how to capture moments instead of just shooting photos. We work and embrace the minds, feelings, and hearts of our clients. We capture what we feel, not what we see.

tiny - Beach Photo Sessions-10

If you're a bit more analytical ~ like my husband ~ and the romantic analogy to Bono might have not convinced you, think about a holistic pricing approach that includes multiple layers. This is how it looks for my photography business; the cost of just doing business is huge. I'm talking many thousands of dollars for a high-end photographer.

  • Time — what photographers CRAVE for. Everything is time, it translates to missed opportunities and doing something else.
  • Location —  for me, location is what differentiates my experience. I will take you to the most epic locations. I scout constantly, I spend many weeks a year looking for magic and poetic sceneries. Think about lavender and tree farms, the best Cape Cod beaches during sunset, sunrise spots in the city, etc. Locations for every season and every time of the day. Indoors and outdoors; the combinations are endless. Add to that the PERMITS. Many locations require permits and those cost money.

Lavender Farm Spring Boston Family Photographer-6

HERO tree farm -10

November 2021-1 copy

Beach Photo Sessions-55
Learn More about our FAMILY Sessions!

  • Camera — central to this party, #1 guest. The camera will NOT create the magic, the artist is the photographer, yet the camera will let the bird fly high or low. A professional high-end photographer will have a full-frame camera, they are costly, yet they let us fly high. Many photographers like me will have two full-frame cameras (mirrorless these days!), around $7,000 investment (both cameras allow me to not swap lenses in a family session). Here is what's in my camera bag.
  • Lens — you need the equipment to create the art you're inspired to do. For Family sessions, my favorite is Canon 135mm f/2L USM and EF 50mm f/1.2L USM, and EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens. Then I have a couple of other lenses that I use all over. This cost money, another $6,000 investment? They also need to be calibrated, and they diminish in value over a period of time. Photographers are buying new camera equipment all the time.
  • Computer - this is key to our business, the most robust computer, the more efficient we can edit. If we do travel sessions, that means we also need a laptop. We're always upgrading our equipment with the latest and greatest. 
  • Other non-tech equipment — think about newborn props, backdrops, lights, flash, etc... thousands of dollars in value. They also depreciate over time.
  • Software — the list is long, think about editing software such as Creative Cloud (Lightroom and Photoshop), website host and CRM (Hubspot for me), gallery sharing software (Pixieset), social media software (Later and Canva), client scheduling software (Acuity Scheduling), Style & Select (styling tool), GoDaddy, Google hosting, etc...... 
  • Client closet - photographers like ATP offer a limited selection of dresses that photograph beautifully. 

Fall Family Photo Sessions Boston-Oct-15-2020-06-53-31-46-PM

  • Marketing, advertising, and promotion 
  • Website design - even when I have the 'keys' to my website to update content, I need to hire a web designer once a year. My website is the face of my company, I'm always optimizing the site navigation to improve the customer journey and experience. 
  • Non-sexy costs - USPS PO box, electricity, gas to drive to sessions, insurance, etc.
  • Location rentals - think about Tree Farm rental, Lavender Farm, vintage truck, permits,  etc
  • Travel expenses - Airbnb/hotels, flights, everything that allows for travel sessions + education workshops to take place. 
  • Price per photo -  I refuse to put a number ❤️😘. Again, you're not paying for a photo. It's a breathtaking white-glove experience.
  • Professional expertise - education is key, your photographer should always be innovating, learning, and getting inspired. This costs money too. But it's SO worth it. In my case, I studied photography in the Photographic Center NW in Seattle. Multiple workshops in the New England School of Photography. Mentored in Panama by Catalina Avila (famous Fine Art Photographer). Multiple paid online workshops with both Maria Presser and Stormy Solis. Upcoming Family Photography retreats in Joshua Tree (Spring 2022) and Alaska (Summer 2022). I'm always learning from the best world-known family photographers. Education is THE best investment!
  • Subcontracted services - yes, that's how we can scale :)
  • Magic — that's the personality. It's the photographer's charm, it's what makes YOU feel so special during your entire relationship. What makes you smile as you remember your whole experience? How much would you pay for that?

Lavender Farm Spring Boston Family Photographer-1

Learn More about our FAMILY Sessions!

So, Do Professional Family Photographers Charge Too Much?

Honestly, I don't think we charge enough. What would you pay in 30 years to be able to look back at your kids when they were little? To have tangible memories with YOU in the frame? I believe that as years go by the value of “family photos” increases considerably and becomes unimaginable. We are capturing a family's essence during peak happiness (that's when they book us!).

Nonetheless, there are basic recommendations as to how much you should pay for a professional family photoshoot in Boston.

I LOVE when my fellow Boston photographers charge what they are worth. I respect it and honor it. It makes my heart explode to not compromise and believe that what we're delivering is worth every penny. Arguably the best family investment for generations to come.

Do you negotiate the price when you enter a Fine Art gallery to buy that gorgeous paint? The price is the price, the artist used the same paint as the artist down the street yet what the painting you're looking at it is worth the cost. The investment in these candid memories that will keep your heart (and your kids' heart) warm in the future it's so worth saving money for! 

Andre Toro Photography is all about a white-glove experience. We build a relationship based on trust. We capture THE most adorable moments in THE most poetic and epic locations! We also take the work off your hands. How is that? we style your family (yes! you'll look gorgeous), we design print products for you (yay for Wall Art!). It's much more than photos, it's an unforgettable experience ❤️



tiny - Beach Photo Sessions-15

Style away this spring with these tips!



Andre Toro is an award-winning family photographer based in Boston, Massachusetts. She calls her style Real Art Photography, which she defines as Fine Art inspired by candid moments. Andre is a passionate soul, obsessed with human connection, and emotive storytelling. She believes love is raw, messy, and beautiful. To inquiry about booking a photo session, please contact her at




About Andre Toro Photography

Andre Toro is an award-winning family and published photographer based in Boston, MA. She calls her style Real Art Photography, which she defines as Fine Art inspired by candid moments. Andre is a passionate soul, obsessed with human connection, and emotive storytelling. She believes love is raw, messy, and beautiful. To inquiry about booking a photo session, please contact her at

Leave a comment

Get to know my work

Duxbury-Beach-Session-Big-Family 1/5
Joshua-Tree-family-vertical-Monica 2/5
Spring - Boston Family Photographer - Maternity Photo - Andre Toro Photography - Cherry Blossoms 3/5
Joshua-Tree-California-Travel-Sessions 4/5
Beach Photo Sessions - dad and daughter dancing - Andre Toro Photography - Cape Cod 5/5

You might want to read