The US Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics prepares annual reports on how much representatives of different professions earn. Experts take data from tax returns. Over the past year, they found out that photographers in America make $41,280/year.
Of course, photoshoots prices can vary depending on the location. The most profitable cities to offer photography services are Los Angeles and NY. There you can raise your income to $65 000-67 000 a year. The average cost of a photo session ranges from 250 to 400 dollars.
Let`s consider examples of pricing depending on photo genre:
Portraits: the price is limited with $150-$300 for a single photo session. The biggest plus is that such photographers have more or less steady income especially because of commercial clients.
Events: such specialists are engaged in seasonal work. For one photo session they may ask about $1500-$3500. Here a photographer hourly rate directly depends on experience, the richness of portfolio and type of ceremony. For example, wedding photography prices can reach about $15,000.
Real estate: real estate photography salary starts at $150 and can go as high as $350 per shooting (video isn’t included). The exact cost is mainly affected by the shooting spot. A reputable architecture photographer can get about 1,500 dollars a day. The cost covers lighting, assistants, and image editing. The rates increase if a shooter has to travel from another region, rent a room in a hotel, or use additional equipment.
Photos for websites: such specialists collaborate with popular department stores. Their work is focused on photographing goods, such as jewelry, food, cars, equipment, furniture for magazines. Per-image pricing is about $25-$150.
In most cases, the main criterion that defines photography cost is the expertise of a photographer. The more experienced he/she is, the more money he/she will earn.
How high your rates should be, definitely depends on your qualifications, experience and portfolio. The more qualified you are – the bigger value of the images you take and provide.
The cost of services: Free, or under $100
The range of people fond of photography is constantly growing. Most of them extend the boundaries of their hobby and try to find a place in the professional market. Sometimes, such enthusiasts are engaged in the related industry and gradually move to the shooting sphere. They know the basics of the occupation and can make standard color correction.
If you also belong to this group but feel irritated every time you have to edit images, you can easily delegate the task to FixThePhoto experts, who will adjust the settings and fix all defects without your interference. All corrections are performed very quickly and at a reasonable cost.
The cost of services: Up to $100/hour
Amateurs are generally more experienced than hobbyists. For example, they may develop their photo brand online and have already started developing their services and increasing the number of permanent clients. They are usually not good at using Photoshop, but can make basic adjustments.
The cost of services: Up to $120/hour
What are the photography rates of students? Considering that these people have a sort of photography education, they charge more for their services than representative of 2 previous groups. An hourly rate is $50-$120.
Such a variation can be explained by several factors – the school/college or other establishments they studied at, the stage of their training, whether they have already organized photo sessions or assisted seasoned colleagues. No less important aspect is the availability of a portfolio. Students with rich portfolios can earn as much as professionals.
The cost of services: Up to $180/hour
Such photographers are the ones on their way to becoming true masters in this sphere. Their skillset doesn’t allow them to charge just as much yet and their fee is usually $100 less. They deliver professionally edited photos.
The cost of services: Up to $270/hour
Professional, experienced photographers usually charge $75 - $250 per hour or per image. They rely solely on their photography work to make a living and typically have invested a lot in their equipment, and have more experience in both the pre-production and post-production stages of photography.
The cost of services: ~ $600/hour
It is a shooter who has made a name for him/herself in photography, someone who’s managed to build and sustain their photography brand and is the most demanded artist in his/her area now. They are referred to as the elite of the photography community, so a $10,000 fee for a day of shooting is a common thing for them.
Top professionals are mainly engaged in fashion and sports genres, film, entertainment, and documentary for TV. They also create visuals for billboards and magazines.
Estimate the basic algorithm of evaluating your services:
Before creating a final price list for photographer, make sure you have documented everything:
Equipment – here you should include wear, tear, and repair costs. An average price is $5000 (including camera, lens, tripod, external flash, memory card.)
Studio Rent – even if you are working at home, take into consideration rental cost, so that if needed your payment will cover it. An average price starts at 100 dollars/hour and can reach 500 bucks/hour.
Your Service – in case you have/need and an accountant or assistant. An average price ranges from 10 to 20 dollars per hour.
Marketing – these are expenses for advertising, creating a portfolio, etc. On average, the price varies from $300 to $3,000 per photographer (including branding, design, and promotion on social networks).
This is a rich collection of free marketing templates, flyers, visiting cards, FB covers, and more. So, if you are experiencing a hard time, trying to compile a price list for photographer, these materials can make the process so much easier. In fact, the whole process boils down to several clicks. Look through all the templates, as you are likely to find a suitable form for most scenarios.
Pro Tip: Choose one pricing model. You can deal with packages based on number of photos or spent time, a la carte and so on. The best you can do is to test varied models before choosing. The easiest way of defining photography prices for beginners is to work with packages. That gives customers clear idea for what to pay. However, they may demand a custom package.
How much do photographers charge? In general, much depends on your specialty, knowledge and experience, as well as other factors that affect the quality of your work. However, keep in mind that your price list must fully coincide with all the listed aspects and even represent your brand. If you develop your skills on a regular basis, you will become more knowledgeable and skilled over time, and you need to adapt your rates in accordance with your progress.
A photography sphere involves lots of expenses and you need to understand them all not to work at a loss. To establish a reasonable photography hourly rate, try to figure out your cost of doing business (CODB). Answer the questions provided below to make things clear.
Have a strategy that the highest price should come in the beginning. And don`t be afraid that it may scare your customers. Just on the contrary! In comparison with the highest rate, other prices will seem even lower.
Let`s consider the following example. You want a haircut and choose a stylist. You expect $40, but you see $120. But after minutes of comparing, you realize that $120 is the price for luxury service. Below you see a haircut for 460. And this rate does not seem to be high anymore because of that $120.
People trust and buy only those that they can see. So do not print large photography pricing spreadsheets. Better stay concentrated on photos. Every price must be supported with a photo. So, don`t have a pricing list, even with low/average photography rates, that looks as if immediately after printer. Make your website more official and visually appealing.
Compare these two variants of photography rates per photoshoot. $1499 or $1499.00?
According to statistics, prices without extra zeros seem smaller to potential customers. Even despite the undeniable fact that the price is equal, our brain thinks that the one which is shorter is lower.
Clients tend to think that prices with 99, in the end, seem to be lower. Our brain tries to cut down everything. So, when we see $299, we subconsciously round it to $200, rather than to $300. What would you probably choose?
This pricing effect is especially influential in photography price lists for beginners, where the focal point is attracting as many clients as possible.
While establishing a photography cost, you need to clearly understand what stands behind the numbers and what services your clients will get for the money. Being a wedding photographer, you may set higher prices if your clients want full copyright, which means you can’t include their images in your portfolio. The rates can get lower if you use photos to advertise your services and give out a print for single-time use.
The pricing for photos also varies depending on how they will be used down the road. For instance, a photo meant for advertising in a small local magazine is cheaper than the one published in a national-scale advertisement.
Provide products that will set you apart from other photographers. For instance, why not offer custom frames or party albums, prints? We do not promise that most customers will choose it, but such trifles add a sense of deep creativity. And that raises your fair pricing.
The printing stage is as important as shooting and post-production. The thing is that some clients really feel the power of images when they are printed out rather than saved in a digital format. Moreover, having printed copies of your shots, you can stand out from the competition. So, make sure to give your pictures a new life in printed form.
This way materials may affect your photography print pricing list. The algorithm is simple. The price of prints is determined by the material on which you print. Here you may pay attention to unusual printing materials, such as metal. You can solve it 3x amount in comparison with paper.
In general, there are 3 types of discounts that are bound to interest clients and raise your income.
Introductory Discount. This kind of discount stays active for a limited period and provides a too good offer to miss it. They intrigue people fast. Although they do not offer quick profit, they guarantee long-lasting relationships. A great decision is to offer not more than 20% for the coming season.
Special Offer Discount. The main goal is to collaborate with customers that have already revealed interest, but are not ready to pay the full price. What you should offer: a particular day of photo sessions with lowered prices.
Discount Value-Added. It works for those clients who are fond of your work, but high prices fear them. You just add a bonus option/product to a regularly priced service. In case of collaborating with couples that plan to get married, offer them a mini-photo session of engagement. Just invite them for having a beer and short photo session. That will guarantee that your photography contract will be signed.
Making a price list for photographer is a real brain-teaser, especially for those just starting out their career path. There are lots of nuances to keep in mind, and you can’t find a one-size-fits-all variant no matter how hard you try. You may have experimented with different approaches to establishing reasonable shooting rates with some of them being successful, while others turned out to be a disaster.
Don’t get despaired as making mistakes is an inevitable part of becoming an expert. Anyway, I have described 5 common mistakes related to photography prices, so you can cope with the task more efficiently.
This problem is associated with beginners, as their photography price list examples contain too cheap rates. Of course, a small price tag interests lots of clients, but the money you get will hardly justify the amount of time you spend shooting and editing images, so your work will become an unbearable routine over time. Beginners often feel scared that by raising the price, they may scare off clients.
What to do: Establish a reasonable photography cost from the very beginning. This means asking as much money for your services as you need to stay motivated for further development.
Novice photographers often set photography rates based on their intuition. This is a real problem as such rates don’t cover time and money spend on photo editing, new equipment, training courses, and portfolio development. Thus, they spend less than earn. It's a vicious circle that will ruin your career of a photographer.
If you don’t treat photography as a hobby, but want to make money by taking images, you need to develop a system of balancing your income and expenses. Otherwise, you will soon feel burnout or even depressed.
What to do: keep price financial records. Every time you pay for training or buy a new lens, think ahead about how to reimburse it. Thus, you can calculate or adjust the cost of your services.
When photographers describe their services, they may use such words as “from 30 to 50 images”, which creates certain confusion for clients, who are sure to expect 50 photos instead of 30 and will feel dissatisfied getting fewer. Don’t go this way. To play it safe, you need to clearly define how many hours you’ll spend taking photos and how many pictures your clients will get in the end.
Another sample of an ambiguous description is “you’ll get all successful photos”. What doesn’t this actually mean? Who differentiates successful and unsuccessful images?
What to do: be as precise as possible while establishing photoshoots prices and determining what your client will get after a photo session. It is better to promise fewer photos and if there are more cool images, give them as a bonus – clients will be glad to receive them.
For some reason, not all photographers understand the power of additional services, so their packages include only standard offers. That’s a poor business approach, which results in lower income rates.
What to do: If you have returning clients, it makes sense to please them with additional services. In this case, they will be more inclined to choose you among a huge range of other photographers the next time they’ll need a photo session. Think about services that you can offer – more retouches images, photo albums, calendars, canvases, and whatnot. The cost of printed products should include possible losses due to printing defects, your own mistakes when creating a layout, delivery issues. For example, you can make a 200% markup. Thus, you don't have to cover expenses if you have to reprint something.
That is the most serious mistake beginners make. It creates confusion, declines your brand status/trust. It brings the idea that you are not confident in your services. Surely, you may have a strategy to slightly raise rates. But do not stick to it just on random.
What to do: Before changing your photographer hourly rates, think over the right strategy and evaluate if new rates are fair. And do not change them more often than once per year. The only exception is when you do pretty much work that has been planned.
Use these free templates by FixThePhoto to make a well-defined price list for photographer. They are suitable for the main photography types being designed in a laconic and eye-pleasing style.
The structure of this template is standard. The name of your studio will be placed on the top to immediately grab attention and the packages with their description – below. Simple and informative sheet, this price list will appeal to everybody.
The layout of this price list is modern and bold. Everything you need to promote your photography business in an impactful way.
Straightforward and attractive, this template allows you to list your services and photography rates in the most eye-catching way with beautiful examples.
Even if price lists are aimed at business purposes, that doesn’t mean that they have to be dull and grey! This one has a more elaborate design and uses several fonts, which produces a pleasing result.
This creative pricing list is a perfect variant if you want to convey your unique approach to your photography business and clients.
The minimalistic design and beautifully aligned photos on this price list for photographer will help you stand out from the competition. Simple, yet beautiful!
Comprehensive structure, complemented by an eye-pleasing color scheme results in a gorgeous portrait price list template.
This template relies on modern design and is specially crafted to meet the needs of portrait photographers.
Spread the information about your real estate photography services with this template, which has a perfect balance of visuals and text information.
Your clients will be amazed by your level of professionalism when they see this vibrant price list with a well-organized layout.
Elegant and delicate design with carefully organized information results in an interesting bridal photography price list. Your clients are going to love this one!
The layout of this pricing list will instantly catch the eye of potential clients. A mix of modern and classic design is a great way to appeal to clients!
On average, freelance photographers residing in the United States get $42,235. However, the sum may vary from $37,069 to $48,879.
While defining your photoshoots prices, you need to consider several factors. First of all, learn how much photographers in your area typically charge for a 1-hour session. Besides, pay attention to your experience level, cost of gear and traveling expenses, photo post-production fees, as well as the cost of your time and labor.
The number ranges from 40 to 60 RAW shots, depending on your experience and agreement with clients. However, not all of these shots will be added to this final album. You should talk to your clients to grasp how many shots they are expecting to receive and what their budget is before deciding the photography rates and the length of a particular shoot.
Definitely. Use an online CODB calculator for the task. Of course, it will not cover all the aspects, but it helps determine the average cost. We recommend using such services as Sprout Studio, Nick and Signe Adams Calculator, NPPA, Modern Market, and LSP Calculator.
If you want to make a photography pricing guide for your website, you should indicate your base prices. This refers to hourly rates for photo sessions or a flat rate for a certain number of photos. Make sure to indicate editing and processing charges, distance charges for shooting in other locations, taxes and any other relevant details that may affect your rates. You can also have package deals for events like weddings, newborn photoshoots, graduation photos, etc.