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Confused about how you should be pricing your photography packages? All photographers experience this at the beginning of their careers, it is completely normal. With photography seeming so accessible now, it can be easy to undercharge for your artistic services. Even if you are a novice photographer, just starting to photograph on a more professional level. When determining the cost of your photography packages, you must take into account the value of your work (and don’t undervalue it!) as well as your business costs.
Here are a few tips for creating your pricing list so that you decide on the best options for you and your photography clients…
- Know your costs
- General Price Ranges: Newborn, Portraits, Family Sessions
- Price Method Options
- Design your list
Before even considering what to charge clients for a shoot, you have to know the costs of your business, even if you consider yourself a novice photographer. Chances are, you’re still sinking cash into your business as you get it off the ground. Knowing this, you can determine how much you need to charge in order to cover those costs. Then decide how you can price your work to also gain a profit.
The costs for your business can include the:
- Cost of materials – Your physical equipment, paper if printing is necessary, permit for location if needed, etc.
- Costs of labor – Such as travelling mileage, the length of the photoshoot, time spent editing photos
- Overhead costs – General accumulation of improved equipment, such as new lenses, tripods etc.
Finally, add these together to find your total cost.
Tip: As you budget, make sure you set aside a cost price for future marketing to grow your photography business. Many sources suggest setting aside 10% of your profits to apply towards more advertising each year.
2. General Price Ranges
Once you have your costs determined, here are some suggestions of price packages that photographers charge. Subtract your costs from these potential rates to see what your profit margin could be.
A general profit suggestion would be about 20% but it is completely your preference.
Newborn photography $790-$1283
Based on a three hour session, preparation and photo editing. Depending on experience of photographer, location, prints, and online releases.
Portrait sessions $100-$400
Depending on experience of photographer, location, number of outfits, prints, and online releases.
Family packages $100-$600
Depending on experience of photographer, location, number of people, prints, and online releases.
Price almost always depends on your confidence, you experience, and how you value your work. It also depends on your photo editing and labor values in addition to your medium for proofs (digital or print).
It would be best to create a minimum base rate that you can add to for specific packages so that you can keep your prices and income fairly consistent. Don’t be afraid to raise your prices as your expertise increase, you should be paid for the quality of work you produce. But never overcharge your clients either!
3. Hourly Pricing vs. Per Image Pricing
Some photographers choose to be paid for their time. This can include how much they charge for being on location for a portrait session, prep time, and also photo editing time. Suggestions for this type of pricing method would be to create a base rate that includes general preparation and photo editing times, and then add on the hourly fee for the length of the photoshoot. That way you are making sure to include adequate payment for the labor that you are putting into clients’ photos. With this method you would choose how many photo proofs you release to your customer and it is already agreed upon before payment.
Per Image Pricing is a method that some photographers use that, as Rosh Sillars puts it, is a way to “reward for a job well done.” This is where you charge the client per image that they decide to purchase from a portrait session. Prices can range from $25-$50+ for each photo, depending on whether you are printing them, and the quality / value of the photo itself. This is a method of pricing that also includes for your labor, but motivates you to produce your best work. It places a value on the image itself, in case of a messy situation where hourly timing could cause conflict between you and your client.
Choose what works best for you, just remain consistent with the method you choose.
4. Design your Pricing List
When designing your official pricing list, be sure to include photos from your portfolio so your potential clients have something to value. They will be more inclined to hire you if they know what you are producing.
Tip: Try not to include decimal points behind your numbers. The more numbers that are on a page psychologically affects the customer and makes them believe that something is more expensive. Cut the excess whenever you can!
Although there is no specific formula for determining how to price your photography, it does not have to be as confusing as it seems. Research what your competitors are charging and based on the costs of maintaining your business, work from there.