Home Forums Let’s Talk Photography Let's talk about the cost of being a pro. Reply To: Let's talk about the cost of being a pro.


Okay, cool. People leave comments like the OP all the time on my blog, and it’s all spam. Sorry if I called you out on a false alarm. I can just imagine the shock the blog owner will have when seeing all those referring URLs from YANAP. lol!


I can tell you there are a lot of costs associated with it. Besides the obvious equipment that depreciates quickly (3 years maybe max), there’s travel, sales, insurance, more insurance, licensing, taxes (and more taxes), even more taxes… and then you kind of want to retire sometime, so there are more deductions you have to take from the money you can spend. You’re paying self employment tax, sales tax, and federal income tax.


The cost of photoshop + lightroom is around $1200. And while that will last you a little while, it probably won’t be able to read files from your next camera unless you upgrade.

The laptop you buy needs to have an appropriately high color gamut. Mine has around 95% of sRGB. That cost me an extra $500 or so.

My lenses are easily the ~$6500 quoted. That’s one of the most important expenses. And I don’t even have a couple of the really good ones I need, and I use *all* of the ones I have, except the backup lenses for emergencies.

Some of those numbers are low, too. A studio lighting setup can cost you 3-10x the $1500 she listed. Backgrounds are another several hundred and need to be replaced periodically.


You need a certain amount of equipment and money at startup. You need to have a license and insurance and transportation. But you don’t need to have all of that equipment at once just to take a good picture. But it definitely limits your options when you don’t all the equipment you need. I don’t have an 85 1.2, and there are a lot of times I could have used one.