Talk Shop Thursday, Pricing!

So you've came to point when you want to start charging people for your work (Yay!) but what do you charge?! How do you find a price that works for you and your clients? You worry about being too cheap, but you also don't want to be too expensive because you want anyone to be able to afford you. 

 Here are a few reasons you don't want to be too inexpensive:

  • You'll potentially have lots of clients but your workload will be overwhelming! (Don't forget about editing and all the other little things that come along with a shoot!)
  • You'll be able to build a client base but your client base will expect your rate to always be low.
  • You'll make money... but not enough money to break even, for a long, long while.

So when it comes time to figure out or restructure your pricing, here are some ideas that might help! These have worked for us and hopefully they can help you, too!

  • Figure out how many hours you spend on every session you do. Maybe you do an hour shooting, two hours editing, an hour email correspondence, ordering/delivering products, etc,...
  • Take the number you are considering charging for a single session and divide it by the number of hours you will be working.
    • Example: You spend a total of four hours on a session and charge $50 for the session. (50/4 = 12.5) That's $12.50 an hour. BUT, don't forget 30% taxes/overhead = $8.75 an hour. Dude. No. Just no.    
  • Find that number that makes it worth getting out of bed. Or find a number that makes it worth spending your time away from your friends, family, your reality TV! 
  • Look at your market andcompare pricing. If you are in a lower income area, and charging top dollar, you might not be booking anyone. 
  • When the time does come for raising your prices, do it in small increments as not to scare your client base away.
  • If you are too busy, you are probably too cheap! 

Pricing can be complex and challenging, but it's something that you need to figure out. Find what works best for you!

Hopefully these tips can help you find what works for you!


Golden Girls

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Talk Shop Thursday: Putting your best work out there.

It's Talk Shop Thursday and today we are going to tackle the subject of how many images should you show your client. When first starting out we want to show the client all of them because we love them all! The downside of this is way too many photos for the client to sort through and pick their favorites for prints, etc. Plus all the EDITING! Ugh!

Once we start honing in on our craft we tend to get super critical of our work and start deciding to only show the client a small number. This can be beneficial because you are defining your style and only truly selecting your favorites but you are doing to deal with clients that want to see more, and if you give in and show them more, they will think you are holding out on them, or holding them hostage, which isn't a good feeling for a client to have if you want a repeat session.

I believe that every client gallery should tell a story of how the session was. My goal in every session is to give my client lots of variety. Will I give them 4 shots of the same pose? No, I'll pick one and move on. On a typical one hour family session, I'll deliver the client anywhere from 50-60 images. I feel that is a good number for an album design. Keeping that in mind, the gallery will include the traditional shots (all smiles and looking straight at the camera) and some of the more candid shots (the ones that I love doing!) It gives me freedom to be creative and to not really worry about having all the so-called perfect shots.

Think of yourself as your own curator. When artists paint, they don't show all their work, they only show a) what they love and b) what the client will love. 

Trust your gut, if you love a photo at first glance, then stick with it. If you're happy, it will show through your work. A Happy Photographer attracts Happy Clients!

Have a great day!


Golden Girls

If you have an idea for a business related topic you would like to see discussed on Talk Shop Thursday, please send an email to!