When you hire a photographer, you are paying for much more than their time. They will talk with you for an initial consultation, listen to your ideas, and answer your questions - acting as an unpaid planner. Then on the day of the shoot they will be with you for the entire duration. After this they will edit, going through hundreds of photos they took (or thousands depending on the content at hand) and cutting it down to the best final images for you. All these photos will be edited individually, which can take anywhere from a day to a week. Not only is there the aspect of time and skill, there is the cost of running their business. Photographers will shoot with multiple lenses and cameras, each costing thousands of dollars. They also will be shooting with a wide variety of other gear subject but not limited to external lighting, spare batteries, and memory cards amongst a whole host of other equipment. In addition, they pay for insurance, some have employees themselves to help with work-load and assistance, some rent studio space, and then there are transportation and hotel fees for those destination shoots. All in all, photography isn’t cheap because it isn’t a cheap business to set up, run, or maintain.