Destination Boudoir Photography: Pricing and Costs

 In For Photographers

In the past weeks, we spent some time digging into the glamour of Destination Boudoir Photography. It seems that the topic is becoming quite hot in the boudoir photography market in London. It is now time to wrap this series up with a very important point: pricing and costs.
As photographers, we are aware of our day to day prices. When we dig into the destination boudoir photography, we need to be aware of other costs and expenses. You need to understand that flying around the world comes at an additional cost, and if you want to have a viable business, you need to make sure those costs will get back in your pocket, in a way or in another.

What are expenses associated to a destination boudoir photography session?

The two main elements, while considering your destination boudoir photography session, are flights and accommodation. These costs have to be paid for by your customers. If you have never offered destination sessions before, it may feel uncomfortable to ask for all the expenses to be covered. Truth is that you are a business, and your business needs to be viable.
We always pass the travel and accommodation expenses to our customers, and we are very open about it.

Time as a cost

Another cost associated to destination boudoir photography sessions, but one that is more often overlooked is the time you spend traveling. Time is valuable, and if you are traveling, you lose the possibility to make money. We have a very simple rule for this: if the destination is relatively close, half day or less, we are happy not to count the “loss of business” cost. For distances for which we spend more than 4 hours, then we charge a daily rate for every day spent traveling.
Do you charge your “loss of business” time when you sell your destination packages?

Your team or a local team?

Whenever we offer a destination boudoir photography session, we ask our customers if they want us to source our makeup artist locally or if they would rather have one of our regulars.
The advantage of having one of our regular professionals is that we know her, how she works. More importantly she knows what we are looking for in the makeup for our clients. It is about our style, and our makeup artists know what we want. Of course, the drawback of bringing your own team is the cost, as you have to treat your makeup artist as you treat yourself. She needs to cover her expenses and the time spent.
Despite being wary of using a new makeup artist with a customer, we let our customers decide which solution they are more happy to go for. We had customers who preferred to spend a little bit less using a local makeup artist while others have focused on our team, as happened in Venice at the end of January.

Packages vs a-la-carte while shooting on location

Our customers love the a-la-carte menu for the pricing. We know we will take amazing images for our customers; we know they love their images, and they buy them, but while planning destination boudoir photography session, we only allow packages.
Why do you thins we do this?
Because of all the costs discussed. Flying away, sometimes in other countries, sometimes locked in a plane for many hours, is time consuming. While we are happy in selling with an a-la-carte menu, if we fly away from London, we need to make the most out of the time invested.

I would LOVE to fly, but…

…I am afraid of asking for more than my standard prices!
This is something that every photographer who starts dealing with the costs of destination sessions deals with. We know it is tough to look at your normal figures and then ask for much more, but if you want to provide destination boudoir photography services and you want to have a viable business, that is something you should get used to. Remember that you are not saying that your prices are much higher than usual. Your prices remain the same. If it makes you feel better, by any mean tell your potential customers your prices and the expenses separately!

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