Discussion: How Does Your Photography Pricing Compare? | Joy of Marketing

CONFIDENCE IN HOW TO PRICE PHOTOGRAPHY

82% of photographers surveyed stated that they are clueless or only slightly confident that their prices are profitable.

And just 18% of photographers surveyed feel confident that they know how to price photography and their current photography prices are profitable.

Many photographers doubt their math skills and use competitors’ pricing as a baseline for setting their prices, thus leading to doubt and uncertainty about their profitability.

For more information on how to price photography, here are a few of our top resources:

  • 5 Photography Pricing Tips
  • 3 Small Pricing Tweaks You Can Make in 30 Minutes or Less
  • Now it’s your turn. How does your photography pricing compare to our survey results?

Top Comments

This is a very interesting article, but as a photog from Long Island where we live in the shadows of NYC and have 9,215,165,455,254 photographers per square mile, momtogs included. It’s very difficult to apply some of these pricing strategies. One client might contact upwards of 20 photographers that are all just as good as the other and settle on who is priced the lowest, despite the fact they carry a Gucci handbag and drive a Mercedes. Everyone wants a deal. I’m actually one of the few that probably thinks I’m priced too high (yep, I do!) but since this is part time for me, I priced myself to not be too busy. Clients book, but not at the rate to where I would be able to sustain this as my only source of income. I’d have to lower my pricing to *maybe* make it financially. In addition, I offer prints and bundle them in packages, but most clients opt for digitals so they can print on their own. I would say 10% of my clients value professional prints and will order from me. When they do, it’s highly profitable because again, I’m overpriced. 😉 With that being said, I haven’t even cracked the $20k/yr mark. I probably make 1/2 that.
Keith Beesley 
Hi thanks for a very interesting summary of what the wedding market is doing in the USA and as a UK wedding photographer the markets have a lot of synergy. One thing I think is very difficult to establish is “Perceived Value’ – Clients expect to pay more for ‘Art’ than for Photography. We have spent eight years developing a wedding photography business for clients who are looking for Artistic and highly stylised wedding photography. This allows us more head room on pricing than many of our local competition.
Martin Gammon 
I decided right from the start of my business that I would only sell prints if they were in frames. Of course, by putting a 10×8″ print in a signed mount and in a handmade frame, beautifully packaged and hand delivered, the cost rises but so does the perceived value. This is my lowest-priced item and sells for around $250. However, to achieve this my whole service has to be at a high standard – the initial in-home consultation, key communications by postal mail, thank you card for a booking, plenty of time for the on-location shoot, all images fully edited, in-home slide show presentation, slick ordering and credit card payments accepted (inc AMEX*). No images go online until after the sale – in this way they only see the images large, on the screen, and suddenly a 10×8″ print starts to look very, very small. Plus, my samples are all 30″ and 24″. Typically, I will sell images that are at least 18″ either in frames or canvas or as a contemporary products such as printed metal or birchwood. All my marketing is geared to lead clients to expect this kind of service, quality and pricing – think handmade bespoke kitchen not Home Depot. Now, I accept that I live in an affluent part of the UK but I know photographers who are achieving similar across the country, even if they have to travel a bit. When clients use phrases like “He’s expensive but he is worth it” I know I have it about right.
*I always mention that I take AMEX, even through few clients have a card – it’s an example of a subtle way in which I position the business at the high end of the market.
Kate Logan 
I think it truly matters where you live. I live and run my business in a small town near Rochester, NY (western NY). What I charge for an 8×10 here is reflective of the average a customer in my town would probably tend to purchase. If I lived in the city, or if I live near NYC, I’m sure they charge much, much more. Do I think my work is worth more than I charge? Yes, I do. But what good is my work if it is not sought after, not bought, or if I’m not even hired to begin with? Being competitive in pricing is important. Setting yourself apart from the competition should be done through artistry and skill, not through pricing. Your target clients for your area have to be taken into account. Ina community like mine, where the average family has two middle class, blue collar working adults and a home with two or three children, I know that charging $100 for an 8×10 would send them packing. I charge $30 for my 8×10’s. it is just slightly more than my 5×7’s, because most of my clients want to frame prints, and enlargements are not as common. I think it also depends on what you shoot. For instance, if you are shooting wedding photos, newborns, and children, you are likely selling packages, multiple prints, photo books, and canvases, as well as charging for sessions. If you are shooting high-end models, or advertising, you will likely only sell one or two images, therefore you would charge more to make the job worth it. It’s too hard to compare to national averages, because there are so many factors.

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How Does Your Photography Pricing Compare? : Joy of Marketing.