By SnapSquad - April 19, 2020

If you are starting out in the business of photography, if you are an amateur or hobbyist photographer who would like to venture into becoming a part-time or even full time professional, you are likely to be facing the challenge of coming up with a price list for your services and this post is for you.

Pricing Photography Work

The tough news is that pricing photography work is complex with many variables entering the equation, such as skills and experience, equipment, labour etc. You must also be aware that, with the amazing changes digital and social media have brought to our way of living, communicating and shopping, competition amongst photographers of all standards have exploded while prices have crumbled down.
Being new to the business makes your clientele new to you too. You don’t want to under-price and be out of your pocket, as you don’t want to over-price and risk drowning your budding reputation before you can even swim.
The good news is that you can find some useful pricing guidelines on the internet. We found out, on one hand, that the average national prices in the UK for 2020 are between £150 and £300 for a day, depending, of course, on the type of photography and the details of your contract with the client. However, and as I was mentioning “complexity” while some forums recommend charging £100 per hour, others agree that hourly rates stretch between £20 and £50.

With the explosion of digital technology, other skills such as videography, drone video or design have come to complement the art of photography and gained in both popularity and demand. Being able to combine your photographer’s craft with complementary skills will reflect on your price list.

You will have to work out your prices according to the speciality you offer, such as weddings, corporate events, portraits, product photography and so on but you will also have to consider your skill level as it will play a role in how you can charge: are you a student, a semi-pro or a professional?

Your own location or where the job is going to take place in the kingdom will also bare on your billing; like in most industries, some regions offer more affordable prices and if you have to travel, you will have to include those expenses as well consider the equipment you need to bring and the required lab work that will be required as well as the printing work. As your business and reputation will develop, you will be able to take care of your brand development which will also have to be added to your overhead.

At the bottom line, your Total Cost will simply have to add your Cost of Materials, your Cost of Labour and your Overhead. Your profit will be calculated upon your total cost and added to it to reach your Final Sale Price = Total Cost + Profit

Charging By the Hour  

As a guide, the hourly rate for photographers in the UK seems to stretch between £20 and £50.  Generally, professional event photographers charge an hourly rate (usually based on a minimum of hours) instead of a fixed price. This is because each event varies in length and labour requirements. The agreed minimum time can be charged higher than the subsequent hours.

If you are just starting in the world of business of photography, you will have to take into consideration the fact that you may not be as well-equipped or able to work and deliver as fast as some long-established studios. In this case, you will probably have to figure out a reasonable compromise or more simply work out an attractive package to be fair for both sides and if weddings are your speciality, packages are the norm.

Clarity of Pricing

Your clients are likely to ask you many questions and you should be able to help them with their final choice of specific details of the services they want you to deliver.

Be clear and transparent about what your pricing includes: your time, your travels (will there be more than one location?) and accommodation if any, your equipment (perhaps the purchase of?). Will you need an extra photographer if you are covering an event? Will you be combining photo and videography services? Your prices will also differ depending on photo editing requirements, on the required format to deliver your photos: digital or print. What size of prints and what quality of printing paper? Any extra services?

Keep in mind that clients will compare your fees and that they too have access to the internet. By keeping prices competitive you will be able to grow your portfolio and business based on trust.

Last Words

I have kept for last some boring yet necessary parting words to remind you that your earnings will have to be declared to HMRC; a percentage to be added to your total cost.

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