How to Price your Photography
One of the top questions I get asked is “how do I charge” for my photography. We all need to be making some sort of money from our work. You can not go on for ever doing work for FREE or as a “portfolio builder”. Sure the odd job here or there for charity is a great way to find new work and get your name out there. The mechanic gets paid to fix your car, the dentist gets paid to clean your teeth you need to get paid to take photos.
Now that we have an understanding that you have to make money to keep on keeping on lets figure out what you should charge. I like to go by my gut, I used to say “that sounds and feels right” and most of the time my pricing was spot on. That did not mean that the client wanted to pay that or was willing to pay that. You will face times where people want EVERYTHING but want to pay nothing and you have to decide if its worth doing or not. If you get stuck in the rut of always cutting breaks to people they will see you as the pushover who cuts them breaks. If someone is looking for a “student” to just take some pictures here or there you may not want to work with them because they will always be looking for someone who can do it cheaper.
Lets break down the process of figuring out what to charge. First what is your time worth, what do you make at your day job per hour? Does your hourly rate at a regular job seem reasonable to you or not? I use the example of a 5 hour total shoot. This would include travel, editing, your creative fee which is your skill to capture images as well as some sort of usage rights. To me for someone starting out to say it will be $225 for a session to photograph your family in the park that sounds reasonable. You will figure 2 hours of shooting, an hour of travel time, two hours of editing and than deliverable. When you break that down you are at $45 an hour. That money can go a long way to towards anything.
Always remember to over deliver, sweeten the pot any way you can without killing your bottom line. If spending a few bucks on 5 8×10’s that you include in the package gets you the job than don’t you think its worth it? You spend the $10 to make $240, you have to make the client want to work with you. If you are easy to work with, offer a great service and deliver quality work you will be on your way to making a nice living at doing something you love.
Take a listen to the audio below to get some more inside information. A lot of this information will be expounded upon in my upcoming courses and books.