Pricing Question

A reader today asked me this:

I’ve been keeping up with your blog from time to time and have really found some great tips and information. I was wondering if you have any advice on pricing for a photo session. A friend of a friend is interested in having a few headshots of him taken for his business to put on his website, and I am a little unsure as to how to go about pricing it. I figure that as a student who is still learning I should offer a lower price, and since the nature of the session is of shorter length and for one image on a website to make it not too pricey as well. Is $50 reasonable for a one or so hour shoot and a couple of digital shots? I do not want to underprice myself but I also do not want to overprice.

Good question.

I would say that you should be careful before you underprice, and I believe $50 is seriously underpricing, since:

  • When you actually add the hours you’ll spend on it, there’s rather a lot of them.
  • The work is the work. If your work is good, it is worth the price.

Here’s what I suggest:

  1. Check for commercial prices.
  2. Discount as much as you like but I’d suggest no less than $100. It’s a company web site and when you look at commercial prices, these are much higher to reflect all the actual work and expertise you put into a shoot.
  3. Always quote full price, eg $400, and THEN subtract the discount. So your customer can see the full value of your work.
  4. You are learning. But in the end, it’s the result that counts. So as a new Photog, you give a guarantee: he pays only if he likes. After all if your work is good for him, it’s as good as anyone else’s!

Does this make sense? Photography is a great combination of business, art and craft, and if you do it sustainably it will not make you rich, but it will certainly make you and your clients happy!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *