How To Price It Right
Digital SLR Photography|January 2018

Running a successful photography business

Kate Hopewell-Smith
I HAVE SEEN MANY photographers struggle with the prospect of pricing because they don’t feel worthy, but your photography talent is unique and valuable to your clients. If you don’t believe in your own worth they certainly won’t. If you’re scared about charging too much at first, using even simple pricing strategies are better than giving it away for free. With experience you will want to develop more strategic pricing strategies that recognise your true value and reflect the market position that you are aiming for. Once you think you have matched yourself to your potential market you need to understand their motivations and purchasing behaviour and price yourself accordingly.

Photography is a huge industry with so many specialities that it is difficult to discuss pricing strategies that will work across the board – from commercial to wedding to food and fine-art photographers, it will be different. sadly, because there is also no industry-wide qualification that proves you are of a professional standard, there is no single starting point for pricing your photographic work either.

If you’re just starting out, an easy and effective pricing strategy has to be to charge what your time is worth and the most common pricing strategy for freelancers is an hourly rate. To do this you need to start with a realistic annual income figure, then calculate an achievable number of billable hours per week and how much time off you plan to take. This will then give you an hourly rate that will produce the required income – BUT – please remember that this is not your profit and still needs to be taxed and all direct and indirect costs taken into account.

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