This post is being written because I just looked at another photog’s site (not local) and was shocked to see them charging $70 for an entire session, with some images included on CD. Now.. maybe they are portfolio building and those are discounted prices, with the plan to raise the price later?? Let’s hope.
If I charged that amount of money per session, after taxes, gas, supplies, etc., I would net about $34 for the entirety of my work. That means I would make $34 to..
Drive to the session – 1 hour combined
Shoot the session – 1-2 hours
Edit the session – 2-4 hours
Process and Mail the session – 1 hour
So that boils down to roughly $4.85 per hour on the low end, or $6.80 per hour on the high end. All this for Custom Photography.
Not.even.minimum.wage. I would make a better wage if I worked at a Sears portrait studio 8 hours a week.
I’m a not trying to bag on the young, fresh photographer trying to get their foot in the door. Goodness knows we all have to start somewhere. I’m embarassed to say that I used to charge $50 for everything when I first started. I know that I have learned along the way.
So for the new photog possibly reading this? When you are done building your portfolio, please take a hard look at your pricing. Make sure you are making an adequate wage to sustain your business. If you are good at what you do, your clients will pay you the proper wage. There will always be someone cheaper, but there will never be another YOU. 🙂 Value what you can bring to the table.
And for my clients reading this, new or old? I have taken a hard look at my pricing and you need to know that I don’t net the amount you are charged. I value what I can do for you, and it’s important that my clients value that as well.
If you know me at all, you know that the business side of things is my least favorite. I want to chase light, and create beauty from behind the lens, and laugh and play while snapping sweet shots of your kiddos. But if I did only that, I wouldn’t have a business. I pray you will hear my heart, and know I am not out to make a gazillion dollars. But.. I value your time, and I would hope you will value mine. 🙂