I don't understand something. Studio photography back in the day at places like the venerated Olan Mills was expensive but not outrageous. And there were some high cost items and processes involved in the, er, process. 

I mean the time and chemicals needed to do it all were  pretty excessive. 

So why now, in the era of digital photography where everything is film- and chemical-free and takes zero time, does a studio shoot cost so damn much?

Yesterday, we went to do a long-overdue shoot for Nathan. About a dozen or so photos and the compilation of some quick specialty variations and being shown all the options, the price tag (before discounts and coupons and memberships were taken off the cost) would have been nearly $550.

What we wanted was far less expensive but the cost is completely unjustified, IMHO. 

Can you possibly explain this to me?

The photos turned out great, though. Here are a few.