Monday, August 26, 2019

How do I price my photography products and services?

March 18, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Pricing

So you want to know what to charge for your photography products and services. You’ve compared and looked at what your competitors charge within a 60 mile radius of your zip code. You figure if you price just a little lower then what they charge, you’ll get the business.


The problem with this kind of thinking is (at a minimum) two fold:

1) Someone will always be cheaper than you.

2) How do you know that what your competition is doing is successful unless you sit down and have a candid conversation with them?

You don’t. Every business owner and entrepreneur struggles with how to price their products.

If we were selling comparable items – like the same brand of toothpaste – that would be one thing.

But we are not. We are exchanging our talent, time and creativity for people to invest in us.

We are conditioned as consumers to compare apples to apples. But in reality, our profession does not allow

for this. How you see, perceive, create and photograph a scene is different from what I, or any other photographer “sees” the same scene. But you already know that. That is why it is important to really think about your pricing strategy.

So if you know all of this, then why do you really want to be the cheapest photographer in town? Price alone attracts a certain level and quality clientele. If you want to be the one to deal with bargain hunters, who will do just that – search for a bargain and haggle with you about your prices and what they can get every step of the way – then pricing below your competition will certainly earn you that status.

But if you’re looking for respect and to be valued for your knowledge, creativity, heart and soul, then think carefully about what you are worth and the value you bring to the table. That, in itself, will sell the client on working with you.

Whatever you’re thinking in terms of a starting price point, multiply that by 10% and start there. The majority of photographers undervalue and under-invest in themselves. While this alone does not tell me that you are charging what you’re worth, it is a good starting point. This guarantees that you are at least 10% higher than what you were originally going to charge. Numbers are just that, numbers.

If you can’t proclaim to the world that you are worth your services, then they won’t proclaim it either, and they’ll be signing the contract with the photographer 3 doors down.

Bottom LinePricing is not just about the numbers. Pricing is a series of steps and research – within you – that gets you where you want to be. And before you can set any price or number on your products or services, you need to fully and honestly answer these questions to be clear about who and what you are about, who you want to serve, and the value and experience you bring to your clients.  All of these variables have an impact on your price – not just what your competitors are charging or how good you are (or think you are) as a photographer.

Learn to charge what you’re worth and not blindly follow the industry standards.

Time Commitment: A minimum of 2 hours and at the very least, an ongoing process.

Photo Credits
Photographer: Danilo Rizzuti
Courtesy of:
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  • DrHoffm

     Re: “Whatever you’re thinking in terms of a starting price point, multiply that by 10% and start there.”

    But the question is, “What is the starting point? How do you learn to charge what you’re worth and not follow the industry standards?

    Pricing is a struggle for most small business services. What is the correlation between pricing and its reflection on the worth of your services and the perception of the client towards the service offered — photographer or other specialty services?

    A lot of small business owners don’t work out a plan. In this case, the plan is the one that tells you what your worth is.  First, figure out what your operating expenses are. Let’s say that adds up to $36,000.  

    Then decide how much annual salary you need. Let’s say $36,000.  Add that up and you have $72,000 that you MUST have. As you can see, it’s not just a “starting point picked out of the air” nor is it a “following the industry standards” — although you need to look at the industry to see if you are within a reasonable range.

    Then you divide that $72,000 into 12 months, 52 weeks, 6 days, 8 hours, 1 hour.  So your hourly rate HAS to be: $72,000 /yr =  $6,000 /mth = $1,385 /wk = $29 hr.  If your operating expenses or salary are more, then your hourly rate will be relatively more.  Then you figure out how much time you need to do the job of each your particular client.

    I go into this in more details in my Business Plan 101 – The First Step which you can see at

    Diane Hoffmann


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