February 24, 2021
How To Price Your Photography As A Beginner In 2021 (Step By Step Guide)
In today’s article, I’m going to be teaching you how to price your photography as a beginner in 2021. This is going to be a step-by-step guide, breaking down everything you need to do to figure out the correct pricing for your business. So keep reading!
Before I get into the content, just a little backstory first. When we first started our photography business, we used to charge $40 per photoshoot. Since we didn’t know what to charge, we just made up a random number without even thinking about our cost of doing business. However, that turned out to be a huge mistake. Pricing, in the beginning, is so crucial because if you do the wrong thing and start super cheap, it cheapens your brand and you have to do a lot of work on the back end of your business, later on, to make up for those mistakes.
Therefore, this article is very important because I just want to inform you what to do upfront so you don’t have to clean up a lot of your mess later on in your business. It didn’t take us long to realize that, “Man, we are not charging enough for what we’re doing,” and that’s something that a lot of photographers realize. After a while, you start to burn out because you’re shooting so many sessions because of your cheap pricing. In the beginning, a lot of people come to you because they know you’re a new photographer and you’re not charging a lot. So you’re going to be shooting a lot of sessions, but then you start to get worn out. And that’s when we raised our prices.
So now we’re charging between $400 – $700 for portrait sessions and $2,400 – $3,300 for weddings. We are not exactly where we want to be yet, but we’re heading in the right direction and that’s what’s important. Even if you’re not charging exactly what you want to charge in the future, as long as you’re just taking the initiative to actually raise your prices and value yourself, then you’re doing the right thing.
So, the first thing you want to do to figure out your pricing is figuring out your cost of doing business. For those of you who don’t know what your cost of doing business is, this is what it takes to run your photography business: it’s all of your expenses. You must think about everything, your equipment, insurance, taxes, the software that you’re using, just everything that you’re spending money on to run a sustainable business. Running a photography business is neither free nor cheap, so you must run these numbers. A lot of people think, “Oh, I’m just spending $10 here on this, $10 here on that.” But it’s just a lot of costs that you don’t really think about and those things can really start to add up.
What a lot of photographers do is they don’t run their numbers, and they’re not even making a profit. So, if you’re not running your numbers and you’re charging very cheap, then you may be spending more than you’re making with your business. You may be thinking that you’re making money, but in reality, you’re not making money because maybe you just spent money on a $2,000 camera or you have fees of $100 every month coming out. So, technically, if you’re not charging right, then you’re not even making money.
For those of you who don’t know how to figure out your cost of doing business, you can check out this LINK. All you have to do is input all your numbers, and it’s going to help you figure out exactly how much you need to charge for each session to reach your annual earning goal.
Tip number two is to research your market. When it comes to anything, especially business-related, you’re going to have to do research. You’re going to have to see what other people are doing. For this purpose, all you have to do is go to Google, type in your area and photographers (ex: “New York photographers”) and just run through everyone’s website and see what they’re charging. And that’s going to give you a good idea of what you need to charge. Now, I’m not saying to go to these websites and copy their pricing. I don’t recommend that at all, but you’ll start to formulate ideas in your head on what you need to charge and what the market is willing to pay.
The last tip I have for you is to figure out what you want to make in profit for the year. I think goal setting is so important when it comes to your photography business. You need that direction, you need that vision, and you need a goal to aim at just to keep you going and to keep you fired up and to give you something to work towards. So, if you want to make 40K a year, you need to charge appropriately to make 40K a year. Because if you just come up with a random number and you’re shooting and burning for like $40-$50 per session, it’s going to be super hard to make 40K in a year. You’re probably going to have to hundreds of sessions just to make that 40K, which is not a good idea.
So, I have a question for you, I want to know what you charged for your first photoshoot and what you currently charge. Comment down below and let me know. I have also written another article that you may be interested in. It’s about how to make money as a beginner photographer. I’m going to tell you some things that I did to make my first $1,000 when I first got into photography. So, if you’re interested, check it out HERE.