Photography Pricing: How Much to Charge for Your Photography

I’ve done it for more than 25 years, so please trust me when I say that running a successful photography business requires more than just talent. It also takes a lot of hard work, dedication and business savvy.

If you want to make a living with your camera, one of the important things you’ll need to learn is how much to charge for your photography. To help guide you, I’ve outlined some important points in this video.

This video is based on my “How Much to Charge for Photography?” blog, where I detail how to calculate what to charge for your work and what established professional photographers make. I also share tips on how to run a successful photography business.

In this class:

  • What is commercial photography?
  • What is social photography?
  • Photography pricing guide
  • Using external services
  • Example earnings, profits, and taxes
  • Photography pricing plans
  • What do professional photographers charge?

For more advice on how to run a successful photography business, take a look at our Business of Photography course. It covers everything from pricing your work and marketing yourself to growing your business. This in-depth course is specifically designed for photographers, by photographers, as I share my 25-years worth of experience.

Don’t forget to check out How Much to Charge for Photography? too.

Questions? Feel free to post them below.

Comments

  1. Hi Karl,

    Looking for some help here in your classes but couldn t find.
    I have a client, an interior design company from Hong Kong, asked me to shoot around 60 images from a hotel/resort property they did, I gave them the quote with their usage rights for them, all good. But now the hotel property also wants to have usage rights for their own usage of the images. And my client is asking me to add the rights for the hotel usage, but Im not sure, what should be charge in a case like this, considering the hotel is for commercial use. Could you give me some help on this? Should I charge a % of the total quotation or is there another way to do this, considering I don t want to loose the job. Thanks a lot in advance. Carmo

    1. Hi Carmo, yes sometimes it happens that 2 clients want or try to share the costs on a project but it is also fair for you to ask for an increased fee for them to do so. In this instance you might find that adding 50% to the total is acceptable and affordable to both clients.

  2. Hector2683

    Got contacted by a Small Agency. They have a project where I would have to shoot a Medical Device in macro. They told me it would take a full day of work.
    Clients and Art Director would come to my studio because “it looks good and confortable for the client) (thank God I created a client small lounge).

    I’ve watched all your videos about Business. Still, I have no clear idea of what to charge them. I’m tempted to charge them 2000 USD, plus an assistant fee… They want to own the images fully. That also makes me a bit nervous.

    Is there a way to know if my pricing is correct?

    About the Images Buyout I have no clue what to do… I used the AOP usage calculator, but it does not have a full ownership transfer option.

    Any help would help.

    Thanks in advance Karl!

    1. Hi Hector, you have to base your day rate on what the rate is in your country and that are similar to your standard of work. The calculator won’t have a full ownership transfer because that is very rare but also it’s unlikely that ‘Usage’ would be charged on something like a medical device as I’m guessing that the image is not going to be used on a broad national campaign? Unfortunately I can’t tell you what your day rate should be I can only give guidance as in the course to day rates in a european/UK/USA context.

      1. Hector2683

        Hi Karl

        Thanks for the reply! Much appreciated.
        I’m based in Northern New Jersey, right by New York.
        Does that help with the day rate? I would like an opinion of how much could I charge so I don’t lose the client to sticker shock.

        Best

        1. Hi Hector, well I’d say that $2K sounds about right if your work is up to scratch. But you really should so some checking in the New York are what other photographers are charging to ascertain what the going rate is based on different skill levels. You’ll have some of the top guys on way more than that especially for high end products for big brands such as cosmetics etc but then you may also have lower than that for photographers just doing simple pack shot work. I’d imagine the market is much the same as here in the UK so you’ll need to do some digging amongst your most similar competitors. Good luck.

          1. Hector2683

            Hi Karl

            Again, thanks a lot for your advice.

            Yes, I sent them a 2k a day rate for this project. I did some research, but sadly, unlike, lets say Real Estate Photography, and industry that have prices public all over the web, Commercial Photographers doing product shots for agencies, doesn’t disclose their prices. So, it’s been really tricky getting the market temperature over here.

            About the Usage license, I offered them Perpetual Non-Exclusive Rights… me keeping the copyright, but them being able to use the images freely at perpetuity. I’m curious what their comments will be about that one. Although the Agency told me to send them the price for Usage, they did tell me their client was used to get the images rights for free… I suppose its because of what you mentioned: Its a medical, very specific item, and no national campaigns come out of those ever.

            I will reply in this same message once I secure, or lose this client, to keep you on the loop. We’ll see.

            PS: I started contacting Photographer Management Agencies… You mentioned it in one of the many classes I watched yesterday, and for a struggling photographer like myself (I haven’t been able to get actual jobs yet) seems to be a good idea to see how that works.

            Once more, thanks a lot!

            Very Best Regards

          2. Hi Hector, if you have any friends who own businesses that make things or products etc ask them if they would email a few of your competitors with a fake brief that would be about a days work on 3 products. You’d prepare the brief for them and in exchange for your friends help you shoot their products for free for a day.

  3. Hello,

    Great module. I’m a new student, but really enjoying the clear information you provide so far.

    I am wondering if you have a section on quoting or addressing the question “what are your rates”?

    At what point do you give potential clients a cost figure? Do you have a pricing guide for them, or do you quote per job?

    If there is a section in your course that goes over this, please point me that way 🙂

    Thanks a lot

  4. Hi Karl,
    This may be more a question for your video person. How does he/she magnify you at different focal points as you go through your talking? The audio and video are always together. Just curious, in case I want to make a video for future work to make it more interesting.

    Thanks

    Mark

    1. Hi Mark, we either have two cameras set up on me or one of them is filming in 4K and as then we simply make a cut on the timeline and then increase that cut in scale so it looks like another camera but it was just the original footage enlarged for a brief period.

  5. 👏🏻 Another great video, thanks for this Karl and team.
    It might be worth mentioning; when it comes to working out your desired salary / wages to also consider the realistic local labor market—and what it realistically bears.

    For instance, when I lived and worked in London, I was able to charge 33% more than what I can locally charge Norwich (100 miles away) clients. This is partly down to the prestige of location (London) cost of living and other factors. But does this mean you’ll only work for local clients? Maybe, but maybe not. Your marketing will help with that.

    Also, remember chargeable, billable hours are actually client-signed-off-happy-to-pay-for-it-hours. When you’re not actually working, you’re having to work AT getting work. Making sales, calling people, chatting them up, scrolling through Instagram, sending emails etc. Which, is unpaid and comes at an opportunity cost.

    Everytime I sign in to this platform, I think Karl is smashing it, because he’s got such a great team behind him. The shear effort it takes to think, plan and create this content to promote himself—and keep the standard extremely high is amazing—however, adds to his prestige and gravitas. And doubt, contributes to his daily rate value.

    In summary; Photography always costs less than what you think until you do the numbers.

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