What To Charge For Event Photography

By | 18/08/2022

“How much should photographers accuse?” That’south a reasonable question. And a good answer might be $100-300 per 60 minutes or $75-350 per image for professional photographers in the U.s.. But photography pricing is a bit more complicated than that.

Outset of all, it depends on what kind of photography you lot’re talking virtually. Too, how much experience do you lot have, what are your expenses, and how much time are you working? Let’s take a wait at these questions and more!

Note: All pricing in this article is in USD.

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Diverse Income for a Successful Photography Business

Get-go, more people are taking pictures with cameras and smartphones. And there are and then many professional lensman services out there. And so, it’s harder for professional photographers to make a living.

As such, we have to diversify our sources of income. Personally, I’ve tried pushing at quite a few dissimilar doors to see which ones would open:

  • photoshoots
  • competitions
  • photography lessons
  • framed prints
  • stock photo websites
  • books and articles (like this one!)
  • talks and podcasts
  • chapter earnings
  • greetings cards
  • wallpaper (for iPhones, iPads, and computers)
  • equipment rentals

But for this guide, we will focus on pricing for photoshoots.

Photoshoot Pricing Model for Photographers

Pricing tin vary from ane location to another and betwixt unlike types of photography. Merely the first job is to gauge the market rate and what your almanac operating costs will be.

After that, you can divide your costs by the number of weeks you intend to piece of work. Then you can determine how much money you need to earn every week to make a profit.

If you then make a few assumptions about the number and value of jobs you go at your chosen rate, yous have the beginnings of a business plan. Let’south have a look at all that in more particular.

How to Estimate the Market place Charge per unit

A quick Google search for photographers in your expanse volition yield many results. But exist sure to expect for those who offer the same type of service.

Each genre also has different photography prices, and then it pays to be specific. For example, if you live in Los Angeles and photograph families, search for “Los Angeles family unit portrait photographers.” Or, if y’all want to become into wedding ceremony photography, look for “local wedding photographers.”

Be aware that it can be challenging to find photography pricing online. Many professional person photographers don’t show their rates on their websites. In nigh cases, it’s non that they want to continue everything a hugger-mugger from other businesses.

In general, the needs of their clients vary a lot. It makes sense for them to set their fees according to the detail services people need.

The good news is that many photographers share their starting rates. That will at least let you know where you should start your pricing.

A freelance photographers home studio space

Experienced Photographers Can Charge More

Experience in the field also vastly affects the rates. What if yous only accept one year of feel every bit a professional person photographer? Then don’t compare your photography prices to someone with ten years of experience.

Professional person photographers can charge way more amateur photographers. Likewise, if y’all set up your pricing to pupil rates, information technology can exist challenging to earn a living.

How much should you charge for photos if you don’t accept any experience at all? Set your pricing closest to the lowest rates. Doing so will allow you to concenter customers in the early days.

It will likewise allow you to expand your photography portfolio. You can then be show work to future clients. As you get more experienced, y’all tin can increase your rates appropriately.

Useful Websites to Establish Photography Pricing

What if you nevertheless don’t get much information virtually the photographers in your surface area? Consider looking at a paid website like Payscale (you can cost one job for free). Merely type in “photographer,” and you see an income scale in your surface area.

Apart from that, free recruiting sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed also offer pricing information. Plus, y’all could ever search online for a “photography pricing figurer.” The National Printing Photographer’s Association has a helpful calculator to input expenses and desired income.

Equally a go-between business organization for clients and customers, Fash.com questioned many photographers in the States. They came upward with the following pricing model for hourly rate and price per prototype. You tin use this photography pricing list equally a crude guide for beginner photography prices and then forth.

Level Per 60 minutes (USD) Per Paradigm (USD)
Beginners 0-l 10-25
Amateur 25-100 25-50
Student 50-100 25-100
Semi-pro 75-150 l-150
Professional photographers 100-300 75-350
Superlative professional person photographers 200-500+ 400-1,000+

How to Determine Operating Costs

Remember that setting your prices to match your competitors isn’t enough. Yous should too consider your operating costs, both fixed and variable. These should include everything you can think of:

  • cameras, lenses, and other equipment costs
  • salaries (including your own!)
  • monthly rent for your photography studio (or habitation office if applicable)
  • utilities
  • internet
  • subscriptions for editing software, your website, email hosting, etc.
  • travel expenses
  • advertising costs
  • insurance
  • debt repayments
  • etc.

Besides your operating costs, await at how many hours you invest in each job. Include time communicating with clients before the shoot.

You should also consider location scouting and commuting to and from the location. Furthermore, you need to factor in your photo editing fourth dimension after the shoot.

Finally, don’t forget to account for taxes when setting your photography pricing. The pct will vary based on where you live. Be sure to check your local and federal tax rates. For example, there’s a self-employment tax besides the standard income taxes in the US. We recommend putting bated 25-30% of your income for tax purposes.

Your revenue enhancement will also vary depending on your type of business. Sole proprietors typically pay the highest percentage. To brand sure you’re clear on your area’s requirements, y’all tin can always speak to a tax specialist for guidance.

Karl Taylor provides the following case*. It’south how much you need to earn every calendar week to cover the typical costs of running a successful photography business concern. You can adjust the numbers to suit your particular business organisation model.

Pie chart of example photography costs and pricing
*Adjusted for generic pricing.

How to Structure Freelance Photography Rates

Depending on your photography business, there are different means to structure your pricing. First, let’s discuss what the types of photography are.

There are plenty of genres and businesses connected to photography. We’ll talk about events, portraits, real-estate real estate photography, commercial photography, production, and food photography.

Photography Rates Per Hr at a Glance

Photography rates per 60 minutes vary enormously in different photography services. And some high-terminate photographers accuse far more than apprentice photographers, for instance. But this quick guide will prove you the average price ranges per hour.

  • Effect Photography—Rates range between $150-500 per hr.
  • Hymeneals Photography—Rates range betwixt $50-250 per hr. Packages range between $ii,000-5,000.
  • Portrait Photography—Rates range between $150-350 per 60 minutes. Packages range between $250-i,500.
  • Real Manor Photography—List rates range between $15-500.
  • Commercial Photography—Day rates range between $800-5,000. Licensing fees range between $250- 10,000.
  • Product Photography—Rates vary betwixt $35-175 per image.
  • Nutrient Photography—Rates range from $50-500 per project

Apart from the prices stated higher up, at that place are other variables to consider. For case, the pricing for a
portrait per hr may be different from a portrait photography photoshoot for
one person. And in commercial photography, there are licensing fees to consider apart from your day rate.

Two female models being photographed in a freelance photographer home studio space

How to Price Your Photography in Each Genre

As you lot can run into, it’s difficult to exist besides specific nearly a photography pricing template. Pricing varies too much to create an accurate guide.

So allow’due south look at a breakdown of various photography businesses. That way, we better understand each niche’s typical photography pricing model.

Event Photography Pricing Guide

For event photographers, having an hourly rate is standard. Prices vary from at least $150-$500 per hour.

Many photographers require a minimum number of hours for a session. If the client doesn’t meet that limit, they may take to pay more. The reason for this is to ensure they’re non taking an event chore for only $200. Information technology besides encourages clients to go with a bit more session fourth dimension.

Y’all might charge $300 per hour if it’s less than five hours. But for five hours or more, you might exist a lower rate of $200 per hour.

Hourly rates also depend on the location and blazon of upshot. Plus, yous can include other fees for any special requests from clients.

The number of images you tin can include with your hourly rate may vary. Some event photographers have all their best pictures included with their hourly rate. Others limit how many photos they provide for each hour.

Photographers may also offering packages that include physical copies of the images. And recollect, event rates include editing. So brand sure that your hourly charge per unit leaves room to allow for editing fourth dimension.

A public speaker onstage talking about how to make money with photography

Wedding ceremony Photography Pricing Guide

Couples want memorable photos from their wedding photographer higher up and across standard event photos. In nigh cases, they ask for special requests that vary past client.

Some may like large prints, while others only demand a unmarried album. Some may desire to include engagement photos, while others want you to focus on the wedding. Any requests they make will impact your hymeneals photography prices.

Wedding photography contracts frequently include the number of hours you demand to cover the event. Furthermore, you have the option to set the number of photos you give your clients.

Do you lot want to send them everything you took for the entire event? Or would you lot instead select the best ones yourself?

Equally mentioned, your local market and the quality of your work are the two chief factors that decide your rates. To aid set your toll construction, look at what the other photographers effectually y’all offer.

Setting Prices for Wedding Packages

Specifically, practice your research on other photographers’ packages. What practice they include? How much are they? Tin can you provide the same services competitively?

Of course, you shouldn’t copy other people’s packages. Instead, effigy out what a wedding photographer may lack and make full that void with your service. That fashion, y’all tin offer your customers a complete, unique experience.

If you create pricing packages, yous tin tailor your rates according to the services your clients may need. Your photography prices should include physical products such as albums and prints. Combining these items with your package creates a personal affect. Not to mention that you tin earn more if you offer such add together-ons.

But pricing shouldn’t end in that location. You should too consider other photography opportunities, such every bit engagement photoshoots. After all, why should a couple rent another wedding photographer for those events when you could exercise them yourself?

The more y’all provide at a much friendlier toll, the more than likely you become clients. Of course, you also shouldn’t get too low on your pricing. Stay competitive!

Beginner hymeneals photographers may cost their packages low as $500. In general, many businesses accuse up to $5,000. But rates can be equally loftier as $xx,000 for professional photographers. (These college rates tend to be from renowned professional person photographers.)

A wedding portrait of a couple being married outdoors

Portrait Photography Pricing Guide

Portrait photographers offering packages like wedding photographers. So, what are the factors you need to consider when setting your portrait photography pricing?

In well-nigh cases, you lot need to know how long the session will be. Then, you need to observe out how many people will be in it.

Call up that time is money. So setting limits to your session will help y’all earn more than. The longer they want to pose in front of the camera, the more they take to pay.

The aforementioned goes for the number of people they can include in group sessions. Working with large groups takes a lot longer. If even i person blinks at the wrong time, you have to take the shot all over again!

Extras to Include and Pricing

Your photography pricing should also include a set number of photos yous tin evangelize. To make your business more lucrative, give them access to digital images and prints.

While some people simply like to post their images on social media, others honey to have physical copies of their portraits. And then, diversify your services and offer them different options. That manner, you lot earn from digital copies and the albums you create from prints.

Similar nigh photography businesses, portrait photography session prices vary. Merely virtually professional portrait photographers offset at no less than $250 for a bones package. For that, they may offer up to three hours of piece of work plus digital files of all the pictures.

Pricing for corporate portraits tin can be in the thousands. Again, it all depends on your marketplace and skill level. Equally always, await around on the internet and meet what rates other portrait photographers offer.

A portrait of a male model on steps of a building

Pricing for Social Media Portraits and Ads

One popular kind of portrait is the one destined for social media. Information technology has become more and more popular in the by couple of decades. Then, if you’re a photographer getting into this concern, how much should you lot accuse for Instagram pictures?

Pricing varies depending on the type of photography business you run. In general, photographers send paradigm files to the clients and let them decide what to do.

Typically, photographers only charge clients if they want prints and other physical images. Simply people tin can utilise digital photos in well-nigh any manner they want without fees.

This pricing model is acceptable for most photography businesses. Just pricing for social media is entirely different than commercial photography.

Since companies volition employ the images for marketing, they have to pay for licensing. The just difference is that the rates for an Instagram campaign are often significantly lower than a print advertizement.

The pricing for social media likewise varies a lot. It tin can be a few hundred dollars for 1 small visitor advertizement. But it can achieve up to $10,000 or even $20,000 for some high-profile Instagram campaigns!

Fashion photo shoot of a beautiful young woman backlit at sunset

Real Estate Photography Pricing Guide

Existent manor photography is ever in need and offers opportunities for entry-level photographers. It’s easier to start here than in other businesses.

So what makes real estate photography attractive to entry-level photographers? It’south the fact that you don’t demand to have an all-encompassing portfolio to commencement, it doesn’t need a long list of equipment, and it’s easier to learn.

Many existent manor businesses hire new people all the time and train them. Some only crave a photographic camera, a wide-bending lens, and a figurer. That’southward it! Just, that’s not to say it doesn’t have its ain set of challenges.

Flat-Rate Pricing

Unlike other businesses, the pricing for real manor photography isn’t per 60 minutes. Instead, yous get paid per business firm listing. And in near cases, clients expect you to evangelize 20-25 photos.

The size of the property also determines photography pricing. If it’s a larger firm, you need to charge more. Why? Mainly because y’all have more area to photograph.

It would take y’all more fourth dimension to accept pictures of every edifice feature. Furthermore, you may also have to deliver more than 30 images to make sure you lot include every room and facility.

Real estate photographers in most markets begin at $125 per listing. It can go up to $250 or more for more prominent properties. Considering you’re dealing with apartment rates, information technology doesn’t thing if yous’re new in the field for the most function. Clients volition give you the same amount they pay veteran photographers as long every bit you can prove your skills.

But the pricing can go up to about $500 for more experienced professional person photographers in higher-priced markets. Clients demand the quality of the photographs to reflect the property’s value if they have a multi-million dollar home. And so, most of these real estate brokers may prefer hiring veterans in the business instead of beginner photographers.

Online Platforms and Growing a Business

Online platforms for habitation listings dictate the number of files you demand to deliver. In the US, they allow upwardly to 25 photos.

Turnaround needs to be quick for existent estate clients. In nigh cases, you demand to deliver the files inside 24 hours. Then you need to account for that in your rate calculations every bit well.

With and so many online opportunities, starting in the real estate photography business organisation tin can be easy. However, it’s essential you build your online portfolio as you gain experience.

Yous should likewise invest in better equipment, including lighting, as you grow. That style, the quality of your real manor photos as well improves. If you’re an employee with a real estate company, you can somewhen transition to a full-time business owner or contractor.

Bright and airy interior photography shot of a living room

Commercial Photography Pricing Guide

Commercial photographers work for companies rather than individuals. It is one of the near challenging niches as it requires years of preparation and experience before you become any acknowledgment in the industry. But, once people recognize your work, you lot have a chance to earn a lot of coin.

Commercial photographers often get the highest salaries when it comes to photography businesses. Nigh of them become hundreds if non thousands of dollars per hour.

Apart from that, they also earn from licensing their photos for commercial use. Licensing can yield tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. And then, it’s tough to set pricing for commercial piece of work.

Questions to Ask Beforehand

Y’all need to enquire many questions before you tin can fifty-fifty determine the costs. For instance, is the project for a small or international brand? Is it for social media or a billboard campaign? How much is the budget?

Those are some questions and a few factors you need to consider. Then, of grade, you should likewise think about hiring a crew, necessary equipment, and production costs.

Pre-product alone may accept weeks or months. And then the photo session itself can vary from 1 day to a few weeks. Afterward that, you need to set up aside time and money for mail service-product.

Standard Commercial Pricing

A standard pricing model for commercial photography pricing is the twenty-four hour period rate. But some people accuse per hr or project. The fee often includes a set up number of final images.

Every bit we mentioned, in that location are also licensing fees for the photos on pinnacle of the day charge per unit. Fifty-fifty though companies pay top dollar for the photoshoots, the photographers still own the pictures. The clients need permission to use those files for marketing.

Licensing is a manner for photographers to ensure their clients can only use the photos for a specified period. Information technology can be equally short as one season—similar a few months—or concluding for a few years. And so clients have the pick to stop or extend information technology for an extra fee when their license expires.

Since commercial projects can vary so widely, photographers often don’t create prepare pricing at all. Small jobs for new photographers may be equally low every bit $500 per project. Simply a large business organization tin easily charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for a campaign.

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Product or E-commerce Photography Pricing Guide

One form of commercial photography that deserves a separate mention is product photography. It’s too known every bit eastward-commerce photography. It is generally priced on a per-prototype basis. Typical rates can range betwixt $35-170.

Once more, it’south essential to be enlightened of all your price drivers. Details like how long does it take to set each production? Is special lighting needed? How much mail-processing is expected?

Nutrient Photography Pricing

Food photographers generally accuse from $150-500 and more than for jobs. But the work can vary enormously. Information technology can be a handheld shot of a beef Wellington to a comprehensive catalog of everything on the menu. There’s no such thing as an “average” job.

You can exercise some jobs on your ain in less than an hour. Others might need a whole twenty-four hours’due south work in a professional studio with an assistant and the cooperation of the entire kitchen staff!

That makes setting your photography prices a chip catchy. You demand to know all the details. That includes the location, the shot list, and tertiary-party costs such as studio hires and administration.

Yous likewise need to agree on the output format—whether digital images or prints—and how much photograph retouching they expect.

Once you’ve done a few of these sorts of jobs, the pricing should get a chip easier. In the meantime, yous need to make sure to call up of every bit many costs every bit possible upfront.

Plus, do some research online to discover out your competitors’ pricing policies. As long every bit y’all’re in the ballpark, you should get a few gigs that allow you to build upward your food portfolio.

A coffee table flat lay featuring a baby book and cup of tea

When to Reevaluate Your Rates

It’s not enough to decide on your photography rates. Yous too demand to ensure to reevaluate them regularly. They should always reverberate your level of expertise and quality of piece of work.

Early on, y’all may want to review your rates and consider price hikes every three months. Every bit you lot become more than experienced, the rate changes may but happen every 9 to twelve months.

One issue that many photography businesses have is caused past having set increases. In other words, they always add together a sure corporeality without figuring out how much they truly need.

Don’t increase your photography pricing using an capricious corporeality. You can’t say you’re adding $100 to your fees without a skillful reason. You need to know where every penny of the coin goes. That way, you see what you lot demand to charge.

So before y’all set up new photography rates, calculate your costs. So come upwards with a number that you recollect will sustain your income and allow growth. But at the aforementioned time, you should also remain competitive with other businesses. If your fees are also high, you probably lose customers.

Seek Professional Business Advice

So, how much should photographers charge for their services? Equally a freelance photographer, it’s understandable your concern knowledge is limited.

As you gain more clients, consider hiring a financial consultant. They can assist you make sound decisions equally you earn more coin. Of course, information technology’southward not fun that you have to pay for it. Merely at least you get a better handle on your business organization resource in the long run.

And sometimes, internet research isn’t enough. In most cases, information technology’s way too hard to see your competitors’ photography rates. If that’s the case, consider business coaching from professionals.

Business organization Coaching

Business coaching is a relatively new trend among photography businesses. But it’s pretty valuable, particularly if you lot’re starting. You can brainstorm by searching for coaching in your particular niche. It could be annihilation from newborn photography to portrait photography.

One time you find an excellent coaching service, consider booking a session. Although you pay a fee, you get professional advice on anything about your concern. That includes setting photography rates. Apart from that, you tin also ask how to deal with invoicing and other fiscal matters.

Coaching tin sometimes be expensive. But it’s a skillful choice if you lot want to know the specifics of running a thriving photography business. So if you’re stuck for reliable feedback, give it a try.

Cocky-Written report and Learning

If y’all think you have an entrepreneurial spirit, consider studying the ins and outs of your concern yourself. Afterwards all, no 1 knows what you lot do better than you do yourself.

Most photographers cull this road. Student photographers take marketing courses along with photograph courses. The only problem is that not anybody is very skilful at running a business!

Merely if managing money is your talent, and so this is your opportunity. Manage everything yourself. It may exist tiring. But at least y’all don’t have to hire a consultant. Plus, you proceeds total command over your photography business concern. And at that place’s zilch similar seeing your earnings grow through your work.

Two men consulting about finances.


Equally creatives, nosotros often find it challenging to cost our talents. Only as photography business owners, our rates must sustain our business and our lives.

So, exercise your research. Find out if your photography pricing is on a par with the rest of the industry. And don’t be satisfied with your rates. E’er increase them as your reputation grows. That mode, y’all tin develop a thriving photography business as a freelance photographer.

Information technology’s as well essential to figure out a pricing model that’due south piece of cake to understand. That ways your clients should know what they have to pay and what they get for it. Exercise you charge per hour, per day, or project? It helps to be transparent so that people tin can trust you—and avoid arguments with aroused clients!

Setting photography pricing tin can be intimidating. But equally y’all gain feel, you brainstorm to understand how it all works. And so, exist patient. Everything volition come more than hands equally you learn more than nearly your business and how much photographers make.

Source: https://expertphotography.com/photography-pricing-guide/