TLDR: art is important
Why does art cost so much?
When we think about what we pay for art, we don’t always think about the hidden costs. Time spent creating, editing and refining, learning to use new tools, the cost of our equipment or supplies. Time spent finding ways to connect with y’all and plan the way we will work together, shipping costs, software subscriptions, etc. When I met with Kat Furtado, whose hands are pictured in the cover photo here, we talked some about all the effort she had been putting into finding a way to make prints of her paintings that accurately captured the colors and tones of her work, so that the prints would be a good representation of the original pieces. Making art is sometimes laborious in unexpected ways.
But we as artists have to plan for these, and pay ourselves enough for our time to afford the cost of living. We have to do this sustainably in order to stay available to y’all.
Sustainability in Practices
I’ve been taking photos professionally for thirteen years. In that time, I’ve watched a lot of people inside my industry (and in the arts in general), come and go. They create beautiful things, tell incredible stories, show us what they’re capable of making in this world, and eventually turn back to other modes of labor because it’s too hard to plan retirement, too hard on our bodies, too hard to plan a life around spotty income. And sometimes they stop making, or at least stop sharing what they make. And then the world seems a little less vibrant, a little duller. Those of us who are still going are doing so because we have found a way to sustain our lives as artists.
If you have money to spend, I urge you to consider spending some of it on artists, whether it’s music, or maybe treating yourself to a print or a painting (there’s a cool new show open at Trash Lamb Gallery here in town), or buying a rad caftan from a local maker (I’ll bet Sea Hive has something cool), or …y’know, booking a photo session (ugh, that feels tacky, *jazz hands* for levity, ok?).
It’ll probably last you longer and bring you more joy than most other purchases you could make.
Meeting where we’re at
That said, it’s gotten expensive as heck to live here for all of us. I know a lot of folks are working jobs that would have meant a solid, comfortable living even a few years ago, and where it doesn’t quite feel that way lately. A lot of our teachers, for example, don’t make enough to meet income qualifications on the average San Diego rental. That’s bananas.
I understand I can’t meet everyone’s budget without burning out. But I can offer a sliding scale for folks who are feeling the crunch, subject to availability.
I’ll be offering sliding scale sessions Mon-Thurs in August. If I can make it work, I’ll keep it going. On weekdays in August, I’m offering a name-your-price 30-minute session from $250+. This gives us enough time to get some great posed portraits, as well as to relax enough for some meaningful candids. These sessions regularly are priced at $400 and include your lightly edited digital images. I guarantee at least 25, but often quite a few more.
Please do a little thinking about what you can realistically afford. Think about your trust in me and my ability to price myself fairly. Make your offer where those ideas overlap.
I’m biased, but I think we deserve art. ❤️