Photography Pricing Guide | How to Set Photography Portrait Prices

Photography Pricing Guide | How to Set Photography Portrait Prices

One of the most difficult topics of starting a photography business is pricing. If you’re like me you probably have done a google search for photographers in your area and looked at their pricing to figure out what the industry standard is in your area. It seems like a good place to start right? Wrong. I’m willing to bet that after your search you were feeling even more lost and confused! You likely found that pricing ranges anywhere between $50-$1000 which is not very helpful at all!! Why is this happening all over the globe and how do you begin to set your prices in an industry that has no pricing standard?

Pricing is very subjective and unique to every individual photographer and there are several factors to consider when setting prices. The first thing you need to ask yourself is what is the purpose of your business? For example, is this a hobby and you are only looking to make money to support this hobby? Is this a part-time job to supplement income or is your goal to make photography your full-time job? 

The real question though is how much do you need/want to make per year from this business and how much do you want to work? There is a pretty simple formula when figuring out your portrait pricing. Start by answering these three questions. 

The following questions need to be answered when setting your prices:

  1. What are your yearly business expenses (YBE)? (website, business license, equipment, computer, editing software, gas, taxes etc) This list will grow tremendously as your business grows.
  2. How much money do you want/need to make per year (your yearly goal) (YG)?
  3. How many sessions do you want to book per month (SBEM)?

I've created a very simple  calculator that allows you to plug in your numbers and quickly see where your portrait prices need to be to reach your desired yearly financial goal! It's completely free and I'd like to share it with you! It is designed for any photographer at any stage in their business! 

Pricing is a very personal decision. It’s important to understand that where you begin is not where you will end. Many of the clients you have in the beginning will not be the clients you have later in your journey and that’s ok! The only thing that will hold you back from being successful is you. Have confidence in yourself, your work and your pricing! 

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