This image was created or a friend of mine who wanted to use it on a business card. It is actually the same guy who captured my profile shot. Anyhow, I thought I would use this post to justify the "high" prices of professional photographers by giving a short blurb about the behind the scenes work. I also wanted to "show" what a difference the behind the scenes element makes on the final image with the example above.
A lot of people see the prices of photographers out there and are astounded by them. But, in their defense (and mine of course), there is a lot more going on than the click of a button. When you hire a photographer you are paying for much more than the hours spent with you on that particular day. His work is not done when he hops into his car and drives away. In fact I would say that it has just begun. He will take those 50, 100, or 700 shots back home and then get to work. He will load those images onto the screen and pore over them selecting the best of the best. Obviously the longer the time spent with you, the more images, the more time it will take to weed them down, thus the higher the price. Once he finally narrows the selection (which is for me the hardest part) he will begin the work of post processing. I do love this part of the process almost as much as the time with the camera but it is still work and time spent. Many hours are spent with a glaring screen full of images. Every image has to be dealt with. To be fair there are tools to make this work flow quicker than it use to be. However, like any trade, tools may make things easier but they don't make the work disappear. Finally, after the adjustments/corrections both large and small the photographer achieves a final product which is then put in your hands. Now, many pages can and have been filled with the details of what goes on in these few steps so if you're curious I can point you to some of those books. But, I just wanted to give you a super oversimplified look at how your money is being spent on a lot more than the time you are with the photographer.
I hope that helps. And though you can find cheaper photographers you will many times get what you paid for.