When you’re starting your own photography business, it’s important to be very clear on the photography pricing structure of your work. You need to value your work and your time. Make sure you’ve done your research on industry standards and market rates in your region and niche to know how much you should charge.
A simple formula to figure this out:
Cost of materials + cost of labor + cost of overhead = total cost
Total cost + desired profit (ie. 30%) = final price
This calculation has two necessary steps—it’s key to know out your total cost before determining how much profit you want to make. Skipping this step could put you at risk of marking too much money for profit.
Material and Overhead Costs
Make sure you take all the potential costs of owning a photography business into consideration.
Cameras and lenses
Labor can be harder to define. It’s important to account for all the time you spend both pre-production (setting up your equipment, making sure you have everything you need for the shoot) as well as post-production (editing and revisions), including travel time and client meetings.
Another way to figure out where your pricing should be is to just ask another photographer you admire how much they charge for a shoot or prints.
It can be tempting to undersell yourself, but remember that when you do a shoot it’s not just that hour you’re taking pictures.
Consider the other time that goes into delivering client work:
Research and time spent preparing beforehand
Driving to the shoot
Scouting the location
Back and forth with clients
Delivery of client proofs and images
Implementing client feedback
Not everyone who starts a photography business chooses to include a pricing page on their website. But if your focus is on weddings, engagements, or portraits, for example, you might want to include a list of services and fees for potential clients to peruse. If you don’t want to list firm rates, you can include a range, estimates, or let clients know you’re able to provide a fee when they give more details on what they’re looking for. You could even include a place for people to book and pay directly through your website.