Photographers and studios now faced unprecedented costs with the need to re-equip with extremely expensive digital cameras, computers and proofing printers. A complete camera outfit could cost more than £30,000 with the hidden disadvantage that the technological advance never stopped for a moment. Digital cameras and their associated hardware need replacing or upgrading on a two or three year cycle at a time when fees and budgets are in free fall.
Many commissioners imagined a spurious benefit believing that, without film and processing, the whole affair was going to prove much cheaper. What the technology actually delivered (in the right hands) was a better and much more accurate result within a shorter time frame. But this was certainly not cheaper for the photographer to produce and yet the client benefits were manifold. Speed, greater accuracy, free scans, and intelligent retouching if they chose.
Early in 2007 a questionnaire was sent to the professional photographic community to establish how photographers were working in the digital field; how much their clients understood and how they were charging for the digital process. A seminar was also held to discuss further some of the questions posed in the questionnaire.
The analysis, which seeks to address the range of services provided and charges made in various fields of professional photography, can be downloaded at the AOP website as can a paper of the discussions held during the seminar.