How to Price Your Photography and Live Happily

 In For Photographers

Your Price list is one of the milestones of being a professional photographer. I still remember the first one we had: it was an absolute mess. Your price tag is going to tell your customers a lot about you, but how can you make sure you have the right price structure?
In reality, your price tag is as much a well thought, mathematical decision, as well as an art.
In this post we will introduce to the art and the thought process behind building a price list for your photography business.

Know the Customers You Want

The first thing you need to know about your price list, is who do you want as your customers. You have to price your photography in a way to attract a specific type of clientele. Do you want to work with people with disposable income and not a lot of time in their hands? Or maybe do you want to work with young people who have a lot of prospects, but a limited amount of money.
To answer this question, you need to understand what makes you happy. In our Boudoir Studio we love to spend time with women who have seen the world, who are open minded and inquisitive, who value the quality of our art and that are looking for quality more than quantity. You may be thrilled by the idea of having five customers a day, framing them quickly and having many of them.
You need to work on your marketing to understand who you want to attract!

Know how much you want to make every month

The second step in building the price list for your photography business is to be honest with yourself, telling you how much you want to make out of it. Are you planning to start photography as a second job, in order to grow, or are you already working full time and want to level your price to a new standard?
No matter what, you need to do some math in order to help your pricing:

  • What are your business expenses?
  • Do you have another income, or is photography your sole source of money? Do you therefore need to cover your cost of life?
  • Did you take into account your professional insurance?
  • Are you keeping into account that your time is valuable?
  • How much do you want to make on top of your expenses?
  • Have you considered your taxes?

All these questions are important, as they will tell you how much you should make to cover your expenses and give you something more from your business. Take your time to analyse these before going into your price list.

How many times a month?

Now that you know how much you need to make every year, it is time for some more questions and answers.

  • How many weeks of vacation do you want to take?
  • How many times a month do you want to shoot?
  • How much time do you spend for each customer?
  • How much money do you spend for every customer?

These answers will tell you how many times a month you should shoot and how much you should make for every shoot. This is simple math with some decisions to make. In the end you should have a number. My price list should be such that the medium customer spending is a specific amount.

Does your price meets your customers and your needs?

So, you know who you want our customers to be and you know how much they should spend. Do the two meet? I mean, if you are thrilled to shoot people in their twenties and your medium spending per shoot is a thousand pounds, you need to rethink your strategy.
Your price should always be in line with the type of customers you want to attract. If that is not the case, you need to change some of the ideas you have about your business. This is more about common sense than math. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Would you buy what you are selling at the price you set?
Be honest!

Do you need help?

Defining your ideal customer is an exercise we teach in our Marketing courses or 7Eleven, and the math behind your price list is in our Business courses. If you are stuck on your price list and you think a helping hand can push your business forward, why don’t you get in touch?
Our 7Eleven courses can be done remotely as well as face to face!

Numbers don’t matter, the thought process behind them do

We always say that the numbers don’t matter much. It is the process behind them that does. Why does a print cost that much, or why are you focussing on digital only.
Don’t tell yourself how much you cost. Make sure you could explain exactly why you price yourself in a specific way and how this can be acceptable for your customers.

That is what your business really needs: common sense.

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