Pricing your photography is so important. We have talked about it before... photography is so popular and it has become much easier over the years for anyone to buy a camera and start taking photos. Some of you are professional photographers who use your photography to earn a living, some of you may just do your photography on the side, while others may just have a passion for it but are not concerned about making money with your photography.
We have talked in the past about how much you should be charging for your photography but today we want to talk about things you need to consider when you are actually trying to set your prices. You need to think about various costs that your business will incur and charge based on that. You want to make sure you are making your income goals and also covering your business expenses. If you do not think about these things when making your prices, sadly, your business may not make it.
Here are 4 questions you want to ask yourself when trying to price your photography.
1. How much do I wish to earn in a year?
Just like any industry in the arts, whether it be photographers, writers, etc., the average person can make a decent living but will most likely not make a ton of money. The average photographer will make about $30,000 per year, while a small few make the big bucks. Again, that is not just photographers. Think about the popular novelist of our time; not everyone makes the same salary that James Patterson does.
But remember, if photography is what you are passionate about, and you are up to the challenge of building your business, you can make a decent living. What is better than doing something that you love?
2. How much are my annual business expenses?
We have touched base on this point for wedding photographers in our recent post "3 Tips To Pricing Your Wedding Photography Packages to Sell." No matter what type of photographer you are, you need to figure out an estimate of what your business expenses will be before you price out your services.
Think about every cost your business will incur. Do you own an office space or studio? If so, you need to include the monthly rent for that as well as any internet, electricity and other items you may need such as decor. You will also need to think about the costs to update, clean and buy equipment. If you use specific computer programs for photo editing or do marketing (which we talk about in #3), those are other costs to think about. Then of course you need to factor in little costs here and there that you will need such as meals and travel expenses you incur while going to photo shoots, weddings or sessions.
All of these items together can tell you how much you need to make money at the MINIMUM. Based on this number, you will know for sure that you at least need to make this amount to cover your business costs, and anything over that will be yours.
3. What is the cost to do marketing?
Marketing is very important for your business. This can include everything from the sponsored posts you buy on Facebook or Instagram, Google AdWords, money you spend on bridal shows, marketing materials like fliers, business cards and more. These are essential expenses because marketing yourself and your business is a great way to get new clients and get the word out about what you can offer.
4. How often do I want to work over the next year?
Based on what your salary goal is over the next year, and all of your different expenses, you need to decide how much you want to work. If you are a wedding photographer, do you want to try and book at least one wedding each week, or two a month? If you do not want to work as much, you need to consider that and remember that will play into how much money you end up making.
Do you still need a little more help with pricing your services? Here is a great guide that we love called "Photographer Pricing Made Easy." This guide is for every type of photographer and will give you over 125 pricing packages in every type of niche you can think of. You can get this awesome guide today for $149.99!
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