You've posted a very good topic (and concern) for today's presentation options. The above posts all contain very good comments and suggestions. In terms of pricing, I'm afraid there's no concrete answer. Interactive designers and developers charge "all over the board".
Be advised, that the "democratization" of the personal computer, and availability of graphics applications/programs, has creating a "designer" and "expert" out of anyone who can turn on a computer. There are a lot of people out there who call themselves designers, but have no formal training in the discipline. I have a masters degree from Pratt Institute (New York) in Communications Design -- specializing in corporate identity and print design. Although I do understand the vernacular and architecture behind "good" and appropriate web applications, I do not, the least bit, tell anyone that I can cobble together a site. It's not my specialty. And, it's not just about aesthetics; you have to also have a very good grasp of user experience and interface design (regardless of how simple the site or single page).
Getting back to your original post request, a photographer's site doesn't have to be outlandlishly expensive. Should you have an idea of what you want a site to do for you, a good web designer/developer would be able to give you a few options and price estimates (start to delivery -- not counting web server hosting). He or she should be a collaborator, and be able to interpret your needs, coupled with giving you suggestions for improvement (look and feel, as well as user experience). No matter how simple the site, it's a process; one that needs to be planned out from start to finish. You should never be presented with unforeseen price changes in the middle of a job/project; those estimates are decided and agreed upon prior to start (regardless if it's $50 or $5,000). Look at other photographers' web sites, and see what you like or don't like about them; what works and what doesn't. Look though some design books in he books stores, as well, to see what's new "out there".
One option (and not expensive) is to build a site within a larger photographers'/artist's site. I can't think of any, off hand, but recall seeing some very good ones. Maybe other members from this forum can make some recommendations. This forum's portfolio section is a great place to start. You can subsequently place a link to an additional, larger site.
Another option/consideration, for you, is to solicit a graduate student in one of the art programs/schools in Vancouver to assist you in this project. Most at that level are learning industry best practices in their respective programs, and are usually open to working on real projects, rather than solely fulfilling experimental investigations for advanced classes/seminars.
Hope this helps. Happy hunting.
Last edited by Andrew Horodysky; 07-06-2010 at 09:07 AM. Click to view previous post history.