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How Much Should I Charge For Food Photography

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Deciding how to price your food photography is challenging for many bloggers, merely it’s a key part of a successful blog monetization strategy.
Blogger-turned-professional person-lensman

Darina Kopčok

guides yous through the pricing your food photos so you lot’ll be prepared the next time somebody asks y’all “how much do you charge?”

One of the biggest challenges that nutrient photographers face is determining what to charge for their services. There’s no standard hourly or daily charge per unit; rather, in that location’s a range within which most clients are willing to pay. This greatly depends on the quality and reputation of your piece of work, what your competitors are charging, and the perceived value of your piece of work in the marketplace.

As a blogger who may be approached to provide food photography for brands, it’southward important to sympathise how much to charge for your work then you’re non underpaid for your efforts. Likewise, when bloggers and photographers charge as well little for their services, information technology undermines the industry as a whole, lowering the value of photography and making it a commodity.

You deserve to exist adequately compensated for your skills, endeavour and time.

Photography equipment is very expensive and creating beautiful food photography takes a lot of time and comes with a huge learning curve. You deserve to be fairly compensated for your skills, effort and time.

The Creative Fee

I don’t recommend charging an hourly rate, merely rather, a artistic fee that covers not only your shooting, food styling and editing services, but likewise any expenses you undertake, such as groceries and props. This is the number you nowadays to the customer.

However, yous should go in with a clear idea of how much yous demand to brand an hour to comprehend your costs and make a profit. Multiply this by the number of hours you retrieve information technology will take to complete the projection from showtime to finish. This should be what you charge your client. (Demand assist with that? Check out our two role series on pricing your work every bit a freelancer)

My personal suggestion is that you aim to brand $60.00 to $100.00 an hour as a new photographer.
Where you lot fall on this spectrum volition be adamant by the area where you live, your cost of doing business organization,  and the types of clients you lot’re working with. One of the reasons many brands work with bloggers is because they charge less than professional photographers, and take a diversity of valuable skills.

Working with brands that have smaller budgets tin exist a nifty fashion of breaking in, but again, you don’t want to undervalue yourself.

Your Cost of Doing Business organisation

Your cost of doing business is a very of import consideration. Once I had my camera gear and lights and a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, I figured I was set and my cost of business would exist depression. However, this isn’t so.

As a food photographer, yous have to pay for web hosting costs, equipment and liability insurance, workers compensation insurance, business organization licenses, and accounting software. You lot also have to pay to maintain and regularly upgrade your equipment, which means you lot accept to cistron these costs into your monthly expenses over the course of a year. This means it tin can easily price you $yard.00 a month plus, merely to run your business, without the overhead of a studio. Can you afford to charge that client three hundred bucks for ten images with those kinds of expenses? It’s highly unlikely.

Make certain the number you gear up for your annual income is enough to run across your financial needs, cost of doing concern, with enough left over for savings to assist y’all through lulls in business organisation. In the beginning, you may non be able to justify very loftier rates, but you still need a number that you’re comfortable with and reflects your value. Much of your business could end upward coming from regular clients. It can be hard to suddenly make significant increases to your price list without alienating regular echo business. Usually, a 5 to 10 percent increase is adequate, in keeping with aggrandizement.

Track Your Time

If you’re new to freelancing, you may find that you continually underestimate how long it’ll take to complete a project. Failure to determine the exact scope of a project beforehand can atomic number 82 to earning less than you lot should, or paying for things with your time and money that are the customer’s responsibility.

Track your time on each projection to get an understanding of how many hours information technology typically takes to complete the work you do. Every infinitesimal of your fourth dimension should exist considered. Not simply the food styling, shooting and post-processing, but also the time y’all spent driving to the grocery shop and picking out the ingredients, the time yous spent resizing and bankroll up the files, and the planning you did on the pre-production side of things.

Information technology’south ameliorate to overestimate than underestimate, every bit projects often take longer than we assume they will.

Eventually, you’ll be able to more accurately gauge the time involved when presented with the scope of a projection. When in doubt, it’s improve to overestimate than underestimate, equally projects oftentimes take longer than nosotros assume they volition. In the first year of my business, I found that I consistently underestimated my time by nigh 25 to 30 percent.

Come up Up with Packages

One of the all-time ways to approach recipe and restaurant photography is to come up with packages at different price points, with variable deliverables (e.g., a 5-image deal, 10-image bargain, etc.).

Take variables such as props, surfaces and backgrounds into consideration. For example, sometimes a restaurant will ask me to bring in my own lighting, dishes and backgrounds because they’re trying to achieve a certain await or mood. In that case, I’ll charge more for x images than if I were going into the eating place and shooting x images on their own dishes in natural light. Consider the various scenarios and uses and price accordingly.

Don’t Forget Income Tax

Freelancers demand to pay income tax directly to the government, so this needs to be taken into consideration when coming upwards with a final rate. Always put aside money to pay your taxation pecker when you complete each project, preferably in a separate account.(Editor’due south note – nosotros recommend consulting with an accountant in your province to get an idea of what your tax bill volition be – this will vary profoundly depending on your personal state of affairs.  An hr consult with an accountant will be worth information technology – we promise!)

Finally, proceed in mind that if you
just starting out, you may not state your optimal rate, merely as y’all build a body of work and client list you’ll have more leverage to demand college rates.  In the meantime, value your work and don’t be afraid to enquire for what you deserve. You just might become information technology!

More Reading

  • User and Licensing Agreements For Food Photography
  • Maxim Yes to Less: When It’s Ok To Piece of work For Less Coin
  • Creating Income Opportunities Through Niche Blogging

How to Cost Your Photographic Services
was written past
Darina Kopčok, a blogger turned professional photographer based in Vancouver, BC. She has shot campaigns for nationally recognized brands such as Hardbite Chips and Wild Coast Fruit Co., besides equally worked with international organizations based in Europe and the UK. She’s also an experienced writer and educator, working with bloggers and aspiring photographers to elevate their skill set and navigate the business organisation side of the photographic industry. Darina blogs at


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