Best Pricing Strategy for photographers and other creative small businesses
5 years ago

Best Pricing Strategy for photographers

Pricing your photography begins way before you send your client a quote …

What pricing model do you use for your photography?

What’s your day rate?” “How much do you charge per photo?” or my personal favorite “How much does a photo shoot cost?” The last request is usually the only information a potential client is giving me, making it rather difficult to provide an estimate. And you cant have a pricing strategy, without having all the details on what’s required for a shoot. On the one hand I’m surprised by the last question, since I am the first professional photographer many of my clients have ever worked with. 

Ok, so right of the bat, I’m gonna assume that you understand, that your creative fee has to cover your cost of doing business (CDB) in addition to your income. If you don’t know how to calculate this annual cost, check out the CDB calculator after the jump.

It’s also my experience that clients understand the ‘hard costs’ of a photo shoot or a video production: location fees, talent & crew, hotel, equipment rental, usage, ect. but when it comes to what you get paid (and why), how do you explain your creative fee to your clients?

I don’t like per day pricing.

If you sell your services to your client based on a day (or hourly) rate, your client is going to want to see as many photos created in that length of time and the photographer will want to spend as much time perfecting the image, as he needs. See a potential conflict here? You may get rushed through the images or questioned why your taking so long to get the shot. What happens when the client shows up the day of the shoot, with twice the amount of products and expect you to shoot it in the same amount of time discussed? (I know thats NEVER happened to you.)

I don’t like per shot pricing.


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