How to Set Photography Prices in 2021

It is a bit tough for a beginner to figure out how to set photography prices in 2021. As a newcomer, you should lower the price first and raise it by gaining experience later on.

Photography requires a basic level of skills from the interested person in this sector. Some people take it as their hobby, and at the same time, some take this as their solemn profession. After gaining a serious bit of skill and experience, you can start it as your business as well.  

Create an attractive portfolio regarding your skill and experience, and jump into the race of making cash. There are many sectors in photography, such as an event, wedding, portrait, real estate, or commercial. You can also choose fashion photography, wildlife photography, or documentary based on your skill and passion. 

When you are a newcomer and wanting to make money from these photography jobs, you need to stay focused. Some questions are obvious to come to your mind about selling your photographs and whom to sell. But the biggest confusion may arise regarding how to set photography prices in 2021

It shouldn’t be complicated as you need to focus on your time, effort, and market value while setting the price.  

Things You Should Consider Before Setting Your Photography Prices in 2021 

You can’t just set the price list of your photography randomly. Taking photography as your main profession means making money from it by providing the best service. There will be some sectors where you need to spend money, and those should be kept in mind. 

Production cost, shipping charges, and overhead costs are also necessary things to remember. Calculate the total cost first, and then try to get 20-25% profit out of your job.  

Then make a sum of your possible total cost and profit. After doing so, you will understand which amount of money you should fix as your photography price. There are some things that you should consider before setting the photography price list, and those are: 

Setting Photography rates

Material Cost 

You will have to spend a bulk of money buying a camera and related gear for doing professional photography. As a photographer, you will have a better knowledge about that. When you will assign for any project, keep in mind what the client wants. You will have to spend money on a photo book, packaging, and shipping to preserve the client’s images. 

Keeping the client’s images on hard drives, cloud storage, and client gallery hosting will also cost you money. You need to discuss these with your client before and advise them about which would be the best. As a professional photographer, you can lessen the expense from this section.  

It will help build a friendly relationship with the client, and you will get new projects through those clients. 

Digital Selling 

You can focus on selling your photo digitally, which will lower your expenses. There are several marketplaces to sell your images, and it is also possible to sell your photos person to person. By setting up your website, you can make an exhibition of your taken photos alongside your portfolio.  

But, in this case, you will have to reach your website to more people through social media marketing. It will lessen your expenses, but there are some costs in this section as well. Before setting up your price list, this thing is a must to keep in mind.  

Labor Cost 

Either you do wedding photography or a documentary, you will need helping hands. You can’t make them work for free, and you need to pay them based on their roles and works. Count every moment you and your assistants spend on the spot while setting up the price list. 

Photography Labor Cost

Some clients may not want to give proper value about the laboring, so discuss the cost before taking the project. When you are at work, you should pay for every second you spend on photography. As a professional photographer, be sure about the labor cost of you and your assistants before taking the project. 

Overhead Cost 

Buying the whole photography setup is the most expensive process of starting professional photography. You will need a high-end camera along with effective lenses. Every different type of project will require different lenses. You can either take the gears on rent or can buy yourself as well.  

I would suggest buying the gears initially, even if it costs a handsome amount of money. It will be your one-time investment that you will find serving you in the long run. But the rental gears will cost money for every project, and it may even become higher than the buying cost. 

Advertising and marketing costs also come under this section. You need to make your business cards to spread your publicity. Digital ads are also necessary to make your skill, work, and portfolio reach others. These investments are not for any single project. Pre-calculate the projects you may do, and then divide the total overhead cost with the project number. 

Your price list may go up or down at the year-end, based on the projects you get. Then add that result with each projected expense, and set up your photography price list. 

Fixed and Variable Expenses 

The fixed expenses must be made for every project, including equipment costs, marketing, and communication. You will have to go through these costs while doing any projects starting from wedding to documentary.  

On the other hand, some expenses depend on your project type and location. Based on the site of your project, the expenses like travel, hotel, and consultation may even increase or decrease. If you are a fashion photographer, costs for light, make-up, and photo-retouch will be there. But these costs won’t be in the other sectors of photography.

How to Easily Set Photography Prices in 2021 – Type-wise Rating Structure 

Photography pricing mainly depends on the skill and experience of the photographer. The highly experienced photographers charge a higher amount of money. As a newcomer, you can’t set your photography price on that height. But, don’t lower the price so much that it becomes unlawful to your effort. 

Photography Prices

In every photography section, always keep the photography price in between two reasonable amounts. Always charge money on hourly rates, and keep a variable pricing option depending on the work hours. The major professional photography sections are: 

  1. Event Photography 

2. Portrait Photography 

3. Wedding Photography 

4. Real Estate Photography 

5. Commercial Photography 

Event Photography Prices

Event Photography Price

First, you need to set an hourly rate for any project related to event photography. There should also be a working session for you with a fixed number of hours. If the client’s requirement meets your terms and prices, you should take the project at your projected rate. 

When you are doing event photography, you should keep the hourly rates range between $150 to $600. But when the client requires your service for a shorter time, the client should pay more than the hourly rate. These discussions should be made before you take the project. There may be some extra tasks that the client may request you to fulfill. 

You should negotiate that diplomatically with your client. The location photography is another vital thing behind the price-setting up. When it is near you, the charging money will become a bit less from your side. Same as that, the farther the location will be, you should ask the client for a higher price. 

The number of photos that you will click on the event also defines your rate. Some photographers only provide the best pictures to the clients. At the same time, many set an hourly target of clicking photos and sending all the images to their clients. Based on the service quality and image number, some photographers offer various sections of the package. 

For example, some photographers offer three different packages named Silver, Gold, Platinum, or so. The Silver package may offer 300 images per hour, and the Gold may offer 400 images per hour. At the same, the Platinum package is offering 500 images per hour. All these packages will come in various price ranges. 

The Silver package will cost less, where the Platinum package will cost the highest. You can set your own set of packages with different offers by following this setup. Based on the event type, you can vary the price range as well. 

Average Event Photography Rates

Prices per hour average$180-$280
Half-day average price$720.
Day average price$1440
Minimum price$440
Typical event price$400-$2400
Average travel prices$0-$1200

Portrait Photography Prices 

Portrait Photography Prices

The portrait photography pricing list mainly depends on the session length. Portrait photography focuses on how many people will be in the picture. You need to make a chart containing the session time along with the charging money. Increasing the number of participants in the image means the price will increase as well. 

Portrait photography is a time-taking task, and it can be done with a single person or more. When working with a large group, a single person not being ready means you will have to retake the photo. It will test your patience and temperament, and you should set the price list on that basis. 

There are two different ways of setting your portrait photography price range. You can go with an hourly rate or with a package system, but it will be better to keep the option of both. The hourly rates for portrait photography should remain between $150 to $350, and the package should be around $350 to $1500.

But always discuss with the clients about the price range as it can increase based on the client requirements. The image format the client wants to receive will also vary the price range. You need to clarify it on the price list. 

When you deliver the printed copy of the photo, it will cost you money, and the client must pay more. While the client’s requirement is receiving the file in digital format, it will comparatively cost less. If the client wants to receive both the files, it will cost him extra, which is beneficial for you. 

Depending on the session and participants, make the pricing within an affordable rate for everyone. If the session and participant number are not the way you want, don’t decline the client offer directly. Always keep the room for negotiation open with the client.

Wedding Photography Prices 

Wedding Photography Prices

Wedding photography is all about capturing the precious moments of bridal couples. You need to acquire quite a bit of skill and experience before professionally starting wedding photography. The client’s requirements may vary, as some want to capture the wedding pictures of couples and families. 

At the same time, some only hire photographers only for clicking the bride’s and groom’s pictures. In this case, the budget especially stays low along with the requirements. On the other hand, some clients want to cover engagement and other functions along with the wedding. As you cover all these functions, the client will have to pay you more. 

There are also two types of price range; one is the hourly system, and the other is the package system. It would help if you kept the hourly rates range between $150 to $250. On the other hand, the package price range should remain between $2,000 to $6000. But the clients prefer to go with a package system for wedding photoshoots.

You should set the price list based on how much time you need to stay at the event. All the facts related to the wedding should be considered while creating the list. Keep the window open for the client negotiation if the client wants to get more service from you.  

wedding photography pricing

The Silver, Gold, and Platinum packaging system are highly applicable for wedding photography. You may differ those packages based on the image quantity and client’s required file type. Create an affordable price list, provide the best services, and bring new clients to grow your business. 

Wedding Photography Prices Per Hour

The national average cost$192/hour
Average range$150-$200/hour
Low-end price$100/hour
High-end rate$474/hour

Real Estate Photography Prices

Real Estate Photography Prices

Real estate photography comes with a bunch of opportunities for beginner photographers. It doesn’t require much experience, and the basic skills are enough to get the job done. You don’t have to buy a bag full of equipment to start real estate photography. Get a camera, a wide-angle Lense, and a computer, and you are all set to begin.  

The price listing is a bit different in this sector of photography. You will get paid based on per house listing, and in the maximum cases, the client expectation remains between 20-30 photos. The house area also impacts pricing, as the larger house will cost a higher amount of money.  

Because you will have put an extra effort and time to cover the whole area of that larger house, when you are new in this sector, your listing rates range should remain between $150 to $500. After gaining more skills and experience, you need to hike the price range gradually. 

Once you have experience of about two years, the price range should be 350$ to 1000$. A real estate photographer must cover most of the house area. You can sell the photos to the clients through your website, portfolio, or other online marketplaces.  

At the same time, you can take project orders through your portfolio or even directly. When you will do photo retouching, the price should increase concerning that. Increase the price on each house listing because you will gain experience as time will pass.  

Real Estate Photography Pricing

National Average Rate$120/hour
Average cost range$100-$125/hour
Low-end cost range$55-$65/hour
High-end cost range$180-$200/hour

Commercial Photography Prices

Commercial Photography Prices

It is one of the most challenging photography sectors, along with being the costliest one. Before starting commercial photography, years of experience is highly necessary. Gaining a commercial license works as a massive boost for any photographer to earn more, and it’s necessary too. You have to set the price range based on the Client Company, campaign type, and budget.

To achieve the license, you will have to spend around 250$ to 10000$. So, while setting the price range, this becomes a huge factor to consider. You will need to cover up all the expenses along with making a profit out of it. So, based on the project type, you should keep the daily rates range between $1500 to $5,000.

Discuss the whole campaign, pre-calculate the expenses, and then ask the client for a fair price. For commercial photography, you will require models to be the face of the campaign. So, it is better to discuss with the client whether the company will pay for the model or you will.  

Prices for the model

If you need to pay for the model, you should charge more and seek profit from there as well. In this case, the client generally wants the perfect shots, and the image quantity is not a big issue. If you complete the first commercial task successfully, the client company may even hire you permanently. 

Along with that, first success will make you confident and will bring you many new clients. Your commercial license will work as a big plus point to get new projects. It would help if you charged higher for the projects as you will gain experience, and the package price should also rise.  

Commercial Photography Pricing

The flat-rate cost range$125-$700
Average flat rate$290
The hourly rate cost range$55-$250/hr
Average hourly rate$130/hr  

FAQs on Setting Photography Prices

Does the model pay the photographer for commercial or fashion photography? 

It mainly depends on the person who is looking for the service. When the model is looking for a photographer for fashion or commercial purposes, he/she must pay the photographer. On the other side, a photographer may need a model to be the face of any commercial or fashion campaign. Then the photographer must pay the model. 

What are the essential things to set a photography price list for a beginner? 

As a beginner, you shouldn’t ask for a high price from clients. You should always keep the price a bit low to get more work for gaining experience. Gear-cost, photography-related facts, and photography-section are the essential things to consider to set a price list.  
Before taking any project, discuss with the client to make all things clear. After knowing the requirements, you can raise the charge if you feel so. 

Which is the best photography sector for a newcomer to start with? 

As a newcomer, you should start with real estate photography as it requires fewer gears and experience. Gather experience through it and gradually advance towards the complicated sectors. After gaining money and experience, go for a commercial license and start commercial photography. But always listen to your passion and skill before choosing your photography sector. 

Final Thoughts on Setting Photography Prices in 2021

Setting a perfect photography price list is the decision about whether you will survive in photography or not. It won’t be the best for you to look for a higher price with hardly any experience. When you are a beginner, you should lower the cost and concentrate on the performance and service.  
When you will gain experience and provide the best possible service, clients will start offering new projects. Keep this pandemic situation of 2020 and 2021 in mind as well before setting the price list. As a newcomer, a veteran’s advice about how to easily set photography prices in 2021 will be the best for you.

You may read:

How to Make Money with Photography [20 Tips and Tricks]

Wedding Photography Tips for Photographers 2021

Leave a Comment

Need Photoshop Services?