Figuring out what to charge for your photo services is something that every creative goes through. Budgets can vary widely depending on the client and the market where you are working. Because there are so many variables at play figuring out how to price your photo services can be a bit daunting—even for creatives who have been doing client work for a long time.
“When you quote a client you are going to be giving them a wrapped up package price,” photographer Lizzie Pierce says. “This package price should include your time spent shooting, the equipment necessary to get the job done and your time spent editing.”
Because of these three variables the amount that you charge for a job can vary pretty widely. The final thing to consider when building budgets is how much experience you have as a photographer. Someone who has been shooting for a decade should be charging more than someone who has been shooting for a year or two. Your skillset as a photographer will help determine your pricing.
In a new video Pierce shares her insight on pricing work by considering shoot time, final deliverables and equipment.
#1 Shooting Time
Time spent shooting is usually broken down by an hourly rate, a day rate or a half-day rate. A day rate typically is an 8-10 hour time frame and is the standard for photographers working on commercial shoots or wedding photographers. Charging an hourly rate often makes more sense for jobs like portrait shoots. Pierce recommends that a beginner photographer charges anywhere between $200-$500 as a day rate, an intermediate photographer should be charging between $500 – $1000, while a professional shooter can charge $1000 or more per day. These numbers can vary depending on the type of job and the market where you are working.
Deliverables are the images that you will be submitting to the client. Different types of shoots involve different types of post-production. The editing work on a beauty shoot is very different than editing a gallery from an event. Shoots that require more post production work generally cost more than shoots that simply require color correction and cropping. You should also consider usage rights. Clients that want to own the rights to the images should be paying a lot more than a client looking to license an image.
If you are going to need to rent equipment to execute the shoot you will want to pass that cost onto the client. It’s not uncommon for photographers to rent lenses, lights or even studio time for a big photo job. Before you rent anything though make sure to provide your client with an estimate so that you can include the expense on your invoice. Even if you own all of your equipment you should be charging a rental fee when using it for client work. Your gear was an investment and you should treat it as such.