How much should I charge for a photoshoot?
When starting your own photography business one of the things you should ask yourself is: How much should I charge for a photoshoot? There are some things you need to consider when you’re setting your pricing if you want to make photography your living, rather than just a hobby.
There are a few things, in particular, you need to ask yourself when you’re setting your prices for photography:
- What is your cost of doing business?
- What are other photographers in your market, with the same skill set and experience, charging for their newborn photography?
- How confident are you in the quality and consistency of your work?
Let’s look at these questions a little more closely.
First, what is your cost of doing business? If you have a studio — which means you’re paying for things like rent, utilities, and so on — you’ll want to factor those expenses into what you’re charging per session. Since posed newborn sessions require darling props, like wraps, drops, and so on, make sure you’re considering those costs as well. Make a list of all of your expenses, and have that on hand as you’re considering your prices.
While you might have heard that you should never compare yourself to other photographers, when you’re considering the second question, you really must. Find other photographers in your area, the ones with a similar skill set, experience level, and clientele as you, and look at what they’re charging for their sessions. Be very careful when comparing pricing, though, so you’re ONLY considering the price points of photographers who specialize in your kind of photography, and whose talents are on par with yours — weed out all the rest, and focus on the price structures and points of photographers like you. Chances are, the market you’re in won’t bear too much more than what these similar-to-you togs are charging, so keep that in mind when you’re setting your prices, too.
Last, and this one’s a lot more difficult to measure, it’s time to carefully and objectively scrutinize your own work and your level of professional confidence. Is your work consistent? Are you confident in your ability to re-create your newborn photography and editing style every time? If you’re still in the “learning” phase, bear that in mind when you’re putting your pricing together. If you’re confident, established, consistent, and ready to price your brand, remember to attach at least a small premium to that. You’ve earned it, and your clients will expect to pay it.
Once you’ve decided how to price your photography, there’s just one more pricing issue to consider, and that’s for your physical prints and other products. This is simple: figure your product cost, add in your time, then add a 35% standard industry markup. For example, if a single 5×7 costs $3 and $10 of your time, the final customer price for that 5×7 would be a little less than $18. Look again at what other newborn photographers in your area and peer group are charging for their 5x7s to ensure your pricing is in line with theirs, and that pricing task is complete.
How much should I charge for a photoshoot? It isn’t complicated, once you know exactly what to consider…
Article was written by our guest blogger & professional photographer Jennifer Knightstep