The Price is Right: How to Set Prices for Your Photography Business


Photography pricingWhen you first launch your photography business, you must juggle endless details. You need business cards, a photography website, and even a storefront. Plus, there are the gory details of marketing, accounting, and even registering your business with the state.

In the midst of all of this chaos, you must also set the prices for your photography services. If you are not sure about photography pricing, keep reading and we will cover the essentials you must know.

Understand Your Expenses

Before you even think about pricing, you must know some baseline operating costs. If you plan on leasing a business space, for example, you must estimate the costs for common expenses, such as:

  • rent
  • utilities
  • furniture
  • insurance
  • computer equipment/printers

Photographers must consider other costs, such as photo editing software licensing or software subscriptions. You must also estimate periodic camera equipment upgrades or replacements and any backdrops for the actual pictures.

Once you establish these costs, you estimate how much you must make per day or week to make a profit. For service pricing purposes, you should divide the daily operating costs by eight hours so you know what you must clear to pay your bills.

Consider the Value of Your Time

Entrepreneurs routinely dismiss their own time when considering what they should charge for their services or products. Yet, you have a finite amount of time at your disposal. If you want a life outside work, you must make enough to support that life.

One simple way you can solve this problem is with a salary.

Let’s say you want a $50,000 annual salary. Let’s assume a 40-hour week. Let’s also assume you will take two weeks off per year. That is $1000 a week or $25 an hour.

By pairing up that desired salary with your estimated operating costs, you can see how much you must make on average to keep the doors open and support yourself.

Pricing Models

Many photographers use a combination of per service pricing and a bundled services model.

Per service pricing works exactly the way it sounds. You set a specific price or hourly rate for each photography service you offer.

The bundled services approach also functions in a fairly simple way. In most cases, you pair up two or three services and then offer a discount on your typical rate.

The key with both approaches is that you make sure you always clear enough to cover your salary and operating costs. That means your per service pricing will look something like this: hourly operating costs + hourly salary + ten percent.

That extra ten percent gives you some wiggle room for discounting bundled services without cutting into your salary.

Parting Thoughts on Photography Pricing

There is no absolute authority for photography pricing because the operating costs vary from one location to the next. Your desired salary will also change the equation.

The key takeaway is that you must set prices that will provide you with a living wage.

MorePhotos specializes in supporting photography businesses with a range of web-based services. For more information or to update your website today, contact MorePhotos today.

MorePhotos offers online solutions that include professional websites and a powerful e-commerce shopping cart. With our friendly and knowledgeable staff, we can assist you in creating an online presence that will attract traffic to your photography website.

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