How much should I charge for photography?

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Photography is an art. It is unique because no one can perceive your subject as you do. It involves effort, creativity, out of the box ideas, and ultimately, the implementation of those ideas to create stunning photographs.

The good news is that it’s 2020 and photography is in demand like never before. People turn to photographers for capturing even the small and special moments in their lives. So, whether it’s the 6-month birthday of a baby or a grand wedding, the presence of a photographer is mandatory. The scale of the event just doesn’t matter!

Putting a price tag on art is always a task. Even if you decide to charge your clients, you’re bound to be confused as to what would be the right price to charge. If you charge a higher rate, you could possibly lose a great opportunity. If you charge a lower rate, you may not be able to cover your costs.

Factors To Be Considered

1. Skill

Photography is magic, and the photographer is its magician. The task of capturing even a plain-odd scene and making it look like it’s worth a million dollars is what photographers do. It’s about capturing sweet memories in a way that people can relive them by merely looking at a photograph years later. What we’re emphasizing upon here is the skill. Skill is something that comes naturally; it cannot be found or replicated. So capitalize on your skill.

2. Experience

A professional can bring to the table what an ametuer may not be able to. Years of experience, all those hours of learning the tricks of the trade, the effort behind covering multiple events to hone your skill – all of this sums up as your experience. This is what sets you apart from the rest. And you need to make sure your experience counts.

3. Equipment

If you have just started as a photographer, your equipment may not have cost you a lot. But there’s no denial to this fact – all the equipment that goes into making that shot perfect is significantly expensive. But as a photographer, compromising on the quality of your photos is not something you would want.

And you would go ahead buying the best, expensive (sometimes out of your budget) equipment just to make sure you have those picture-perfect photographs. All you have to remember is that you have shelled out a bomb to purchase the equipment, and this forms an undeniable part of the price of your photography.

4. Cost of production and post-production

What people don’t realize is this – photography doesn’t end with clicking photographs. That’s just half the process right there. A lot of effort and skill goes into the post-production process too. And this part of the process, which takes hours at times, just doesn’t get recognition as much as it should.

Not forgetting the expensive software (which needs to be updated frequently) and are must-haves for every photographer, whether professional or amatuer. Also, not every photographer has bang-on editing skills – and if you have those, make sure you’re getting paid for it!

5. Event

The event that you will be covering would also matter. Some photoshoots may be simple and straightforward, with not much pomp and fair. But for the ones where you would require props and setups, your charges can be higher. Most photographers rent out these props. Further, an elaborate photoshoot would also involve a lot of your time and effort. You need to consider all these factors as a part of the price you ultimately charge.

6. Flexibility

If you are a full-time photographer, your pricing approach would be different. You are solely dependent on photography to cover all your costs and to generate your income. In such a scenario, your pricing would be high. However, quite a lot of photographers out there pursue photography as a part-time profession. This gives them the flexibility to charge a lesser, discounted rate. Such photographers are usually preferred by those looking for budget photoshoots. You can definitely consider this aspect to charge a little lesser than your peers and gain an edge over them.

How should you fix the pricing?

Keeping aside all the confusion and apprehensions, here’s what you need to do – charge just the right amount for your effort and your art because photography is not as effortless and easy as it seems to be!
Based on all the factors mentioned above, we have charted out a rate card which you can refer to when pricing your assignments.

Average rates trending in the market:

The average minimum you can charge is $100. This can stretch up to $250- $300. These are hourly rates, and they would vary depending upon the factors mentioned above.

While we spoke about the average costs, let’s also broach upon the topic of the minimum and maximum charges. The minimum price standards out there are as less as $25, whereas the maximum charges hover around $500. This price range gives you the option to choose your price range for different kinds of photography.

1. Hobbyists and Amateurs

If you are one who pursues photography as a hobby, you have the freedom to not charge anything at all for your assignments. Or you may even go ahead with the minimum rates. The minimum and maximum bandwidth apply for amateurs too.

2. Photography students

Being a student studying photography, you have the edge over the hobbyists and amateurs. You can charge anything between $30 per hour to $20-$25 per image.

3. Semi-professionals

To-be professionals, nothing should stop you from charging $45-$100 per hour. The per image rates can also stay the same!

4. Professionals

With all the experience and skills you have, anything between $100-$350 per hour and $70-$350 per image is perfect!

5. Top class photographers

The average rate for the cream class is anything around $300-$500 per hour. The per image rates can flex to $300-$1500!

Charges based on events

Similarly, how much you should charge also depends on the type of photography even.

1. Wedding Photography

If you’re covering a wedding, you could easily charge anything between $1500 – $4500. Destination weddings, of course, command a higher price.

2. Website Photography

The pricing of this photography goes by the number of images you have been assigned. Per image prices range from $30 – $100.

All in all, there are a lot of factors that form part of the final pricing of photography. Make sure you’re considering all of those before setting the charges for your photography.

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Marco Downs

Marco Downs

Marco Downs is our second founder and he is the creative head of this website. Marco stumbled upon photography only in college when he joined the photography club. His parents could never afford a camera for him as a child and it was in college that he saved up and bought his first camera. He now writes in-depth buyer guides and informational articles to assist the buyers. 
Marco Downs

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