Deciding on your photography pricing is the first step of being a professional photographer.
No matter if you are a hobbyist photographer or want to start your own business with a professional photography service, you need to decide the charges of your service first. One of the most common questions asked by beginner photographers is “how much should I charge?”
You may not get the right answer even after you follow plenty of blogs and articles published by professionals. The charges of your photography service depend upon your experience and the quality of service that you provide. Professionalism is what most clients are looking for while hiring a photographer for a specific event.
If you have decided to step into photography, then this article will give you some basic ideas to design pricing packages for the service. Keep the below-listed things in mind while setting up the pricing for your service.
Before creating your final pricing model, you should know what to include while designing the pricing model. In this guide, you’ll get to know about the things that should be considered while designing a pricing model for your photography service. It includes the total cost of materials used for the event, cost of labor, overhead, expected margin, etc.
Calculating the Pricing Model for Your Photography Service
1. Evaluate the total Cost of Materials
While designing the pricing package for your client, make sure to include the all expenses that you pay from your pocket. Different clients have different demands, for that reason, it is essential for you to design separate packages for individuals with their unique demands.
Some clients want a professional photo album with a hard copy or we can say prints of photos. Some want digital copies of the photos on the hard drive or pen drive.
When it comes to storing digital files, you will have to pay for the cloud storage space, hard drive space, and other costs for managing your online business. You can add hosting fees and other expenses also.
You should not invest more in printing materials at the beginning of your career. Promote your business first and then buy printing and other materials in bulk.
2. Check Packages of Competitors
In today’s digital world, we can easily get to know about the competitors and their strategies by studying their ways of doing business. Every professional photographer has their own website.
The website features all the details about the different services offered by them as well as the different pricing packages for clients. Make sure to check the pricing for each package listed on their websites.
The package cost for the full event, solo shoot, small events, modeling would be different. You can offer extra services for photography events to attract new clients.
Since you are just starting out, you should not keep high rates for the packages. Make sure that the packages that you design are cheaper than the competitors around your area.
3. Know about the Client’s requirements
Even if you design and publish your photography pricing packages on the website or on the promotional posters, the final deal will be done only after consulting with the client. You need to discuss the client’s requirements.
Before communicating with the client, you should keep a list of questions handy so that you can get the required answers from him. This will help you in designing the right package as per his requirement.
You can ask about his budget, the number of photos, solo or group photography, locations to shoot, digital or hard copies of the photos, etc. Ask every question which can affect the final pricing.
If the event is big with hundreds of clients, you may also want an extra assistant or a couple of people to help you in setting up things. You can add extra charges in such big events.
Moreover, the charges for printed photocopies are higher than the digital files. You should make everything clear with the client before you finalize the contract.
4. Cost of Labor
You should not ignore the hard work you do while doing your business. It is your work and you have to get paid for whatever you do. Most beginner photographers don’t consider the labor cost while dealing with the client.
The labor cost for different stages of photo shooting may vary from client to client as it depends upon the location and the size of the event. You can add labor cost per hour for pre-production, shooting time, traveling time, editing work, etc.
The average hourly rate of photographers depends upon the experience they have. If you are a beginner photographer with little knowledge about photography, you can charge up to $30 to $90 per hour.
If you have some knowledge and experience in photography and have some professional skills, you can charge up to $50 to $140. Professional photographers can charge up to $75 to $300 per hour. And the top professional photographers with years of experience can charge up to $200 to $500 per hour.
5. Add Overhead Costs
You should not forget to add overhead costs as you have to deal with many other expenses throughout your career. You can include overhead costs for purchasing new equipment such as a camera, lens, lights, bag, and other accessories.
Apart from this, if you have borrowed loans you can also consider the interest rate for EMI. Additionally, the fees for the software, repairing of equipment, business promotion, and other expenses can also be included in the package.
After going through the above-listed points, you may have figure out how professional photographers charge for their services. A typical photographer may charge from $500 to $1000 for a small event such as a birthday party or wedding anniversary. For mega-events, the final cost of the package can go up to $5,000.
As noted above, you should not do a deal without consulting with the client. Meet him in person or have a fruitful conversation over the phone to discuss his requirements. Once you are both satisfied with each other, you can go ahead and finalize the contract.