The Naked Truth Exposed: How Photographers Price Photography
There is no right or wrong answer on how photographers should price their prints, digital goods or session fees!
Most photographers find that pricing photography is the most difficult aspect to owning a photo studio. It’s easy to under charge when you start out and soon you end up feeling stuck in that price range. Want to raise your prices but are worried you’ll lose clients? You’re not alone! Many photographers we heard from had the same concern. Some think, “I could never afford to pay that rate so how could I ever justify charging that much?”.
Pricing involves more than saying, I think I will charge $X per print. You, and only you, can determine your worth. First, start with answering these questions:
- What is my current skill level?
- What does my competition in my geographic area charge?
- Do people in my geographic area currently pay competitors’ rates and what do they get for it?
- What do I need to charge to make a profit for all the effort I put into this business?
- Who do I want as a target audience for my photography services.
Help Is On The Way!
Don’t worry! We are here to help! To start with, we surveyed customers on the MCP Actions Facebook Page in December 2013/January 2014.
(Disclaimer, while we surveyed professional photographers on the items below, along with where they were located, it is far from scientific. Some of the surveys generated hundreds of responses and some just dozens. But skill set, needs, and target customers were NOT factored into the equation.)
Our main observation? Some of you seem priced quite low, some were priced in ways that made sense, and others definitely were on the high end. Meaning? Ta-Da! THERE IS NOT RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWER! That said, if you are doing photography as a full-time job to support yourself and your family, or even part-time to make extra money, you should still make photography worth it for the time and skills you put forth. We all know it can be demanding, so why not set yourself up for success?
Since it was unscientific, there was no easy way to compile data in neat answers. As much as you’d like to be able to have a list telling you what you SHOULD be charging for your 8×10’s or how much to charge that client for a CD with all images (and you know they want all the digital file releases!), we decided instead to let you view each thread. Below, we’ve linked the threads for each print size, session, package, along with many other items that were tracked. Click, read, and do the math!
Without further adieu, we hope you enjoy reading through the compilation of the Name Your Pricing Photography Game. If you did not participate, add your comments to each on the respective Facebook thread. Also, we are very excited to have a well-known professional photographer, Audrey Woulard, join us later this week to further teach you how to set your pricing for success. Good luck!
Miscellaneous Survey Questions:
What is the biggest obstacle on why you don’t increase your pricing if you think you are priced low?