Though countless creatives focus on the passion they feel for what they do, many still need to pay attention to the business side of things. After you make your contract, but before you send out a packet, set your prices so that any potential clients will know what to expect when hiring you.
Research your field
If you are completely clueless on what to charge, you’ll need to begin with some research. You can do a generic google search for “what should a _______ charge” or you can look up local businesses that happen to provide the same/similar service as you do. Sometimes, prices aren’t explicitly listed, so you may need to ask around your circle if they know of anyone who has worked with a given business. Compare the prices you find with the services they provide. You shouldn’t copy and paste someone else’s pricing structure, but you can compile many prices and come up with an average.
Determine time invested in your craft
This may seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re a beginner, but it really is what will help guide your business. Look back on the last few shoots you did. How long did the session take? How long did editing take? How many images did you deliver? The time spent on different shoots will vary, especially if you work in multiple niches. If it’s easier, break up your services into type and estimate the time it takes to do each one. Once you have that, you can move on to the next step.
Set prices based on your value
If you have the time that you invest in photography figured out, next you need to figure out exactly how much you’d like to (feasibly make.) If this is a side venture, you can use your full time job as a reference point in how much extra you’d like to make. If this is going to be your full time business, you will inevitably have to charge more to account for bills, taxes, insurance, equipment, and other business expenses. If you’re just starting out, setting a very high premium isn’t the most realistic, but it can always be a goal you strive for as time goes on.
Decide on a charging method
After you know how much you need to make, you must pick a method in which clients can pay you. There are two main ways this can happen; hourly or as a lump sum. My personal preference is the lump sum route because you know exactly how much you’ll be making for a given project and can budget accordingly. This amount can be split up into however many payments you decide as well, which can alleviate any client worries if the sum seems too hefty for them. Hourly can be a great way charge events or wedding photography, it really will depend on your preferences.
I am in no way an entrepreneurial expert, but I do think these pointers may aid you in setting your prices (especially if you’re completely lost with the process.)
May the light be with you.