What to Charge For a Photoshoot? Check this Photography Pricing Guide to Know More

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The adoption of digital technologies and the inclusion of high-resolution cameras in smartphones has made photography easy for everyone.

While people still turn to professional photographers for photo shoots, these advancements have certainly affected the revenues generated through photography.

Not only this, but the ongoing developments in photography affect work culture and routines as well.

Amidst these changing trends, it becomes important for a photographer to follow a standard photography pricing guide

Expenses You Should Include In the Final Price

1. Labour Cost

For most photographers who simply love their job, it is often a very late realization that their expertise deserves a price, too.

It is the reason why most photographers remain underpaid even when they have completed several years in the industry.

So, include the cost of labor and time that you spend on clicking photographs and retouching them, in the total pricing of your work. 

The time that each project or photoshoot requires is best known to the photographer.

Therefore, you should estimate the time each photoshoot requires beforehand.

To be more precise, you can calculate the hours you will need to spend on the project, so that you can include the per hour charges in the final bill. 

Keeping a margin for breaks and interruptions aside, charging for every hour of work is a universally accepted model for photographers.

If you still feel uncomfortable doing it, convince yourself that being on the job means that you deserve payment for every second of it. 

However, decide your cost of labor according to your experience. If you are just a few years old in the business, your cost per hour should be lesser than a senior photographer who has completed several photoshoots till now. 

As you can see, any photographer, beginner, or senior can complete a photo shoot. So, it is your experience and time for which the client pays. Value your time and charge accordingly. 

2. Overhead Expenses

To get more projects and attract clients, every photographer spends money on marketing and promotions.

Also, equipment like cameras, lenses, accessories, etc. are expensive products that are essential for better photography.

These costs are crucial as they are fixed expenses that you will incur invariably.  Thus, these costs should reflect in the final bill because you pay a significant amount for them. 

Advertising constitutes a big chunk of the overhead costs that most photographers have to pay.

Some photographers even need to spend money on printing business cards and portfolios. These costs cannot be eliminated and they pinch your pockets when you do not get enough projects every month.

The ideal way to manage these expenses is to analyze the benefits that you will get from the advertisements and then accordingly tweak the expenditure. However, most photographers tend to include these costs in their charges in a subtle way. 

3. Niche-specific Expenses

Expenses in photography also depend on your niche. For instance, a wedding photographer, hired to cover a destination wedding, spends money on traveling, hotel accommodations, assistants, etc.

These expenses vary with each project, therefore, discuss them with the client before confirming your involvement in the project. 

4. Cost Of Materials

Apart from the cameras and lenses, there are several materials that a photographer purchases to give the final set of photographs to the client.

Some clients need prints or albums from the photoshoot. These are called hard costs in photography.

You must include these expenses in the price that you quote. Even if the client does not want prints or photo albums, the digital handling of the photographs and retouching of the images demands certain expenses.

Purchase of hard drives, costs of hosting and editing apps, etc. being some of them. All these come under the cost of materials, and like in any other business, they should not go out from your pocket. 

If you have the experience of completing several similar projects, then you might be knowing some hacks to cut down on the expenses.

Be honest and share these tips with the client. It builds trust in the client’s mind, and they respect your work even more. Also, it makes word of mouth stronger. 

Collaborations are important to attract more clients and to learn better from ongoing projects.

Partner with retailers who provide you photography materials regularly. It will help you in buying them at lower prices, and then you can charge the client accordingly. 

Models For Pricing

1. Charging Money As per Usage

Sometimes, clients demand just a few high-quality pictures, but intend to use them extensively for a long duration.

If so, you can select a pricing model where you charge the client more than usual, keeping the usage of the images in perspective.

Photographs also have a licensing period for which the clients can use them and the pricing depends on it. 

2. Hourly Model

Another popular model of pricing that most photographers find suitable is the hourly model. Most photographers prefer charging money by the hour because it ensures that they get paid for every second they spend on the job. 

3. Flat Rates

Some photographers charge flat rates for their projects. These are fixed rates that differ with the type of photoshoot.

However, flat rates are useful only when the photographer knows the exact time and effort a project requires.

If your assessment is correct, charging flat rates will always be profitable for you. 

4. Higher Rates For Specialized Shoots

Different niches require different preparations and efforts. For this reason, pricing for different categories of photoshoots vary.

Again, make assessments of time and effort beforehand. Some photographers are comfortable with particular niches and have expertise in conducting some types of photoshoots. Thus, they charge more for this expertise and specialization. 

Note- Specialized work has higher value. Therefore, select a niche and master it as soon as possible. 


Photography is experiencing many ongoing developments today. From evolving equipment to changing work routines and practices, the profession has seen it all.

Thus, it is the need of the hour that photographers receive payments according to the changing workloads, added responsibilities, and new challenges. 

Photographers can take suggestions from this photography pricing guide to know how to quote their price. It is important that you follow the guide and do not compromise on it.

Photographers need to realize that there is no need to settle for less when you are good at your job and are offering skilled and exceptional services. 

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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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