Portrait shooters: How do you price?

CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D SR
Jan 28, 2015
4,152
1,712
Irving, Texas
While I am a ways off from trying to get paid to shoot (I've only accepted money 3 times in the past), I have been wondering about a good pricing model, or models, for portraits, senior pictures, family photos, maternity, and other things along those lines. (No weddings for me.) I am wondering how to structure pricing. Of course there is per session and there is per photo... or some combination of the two or more. I sort of like the per photo model.

Do you actually print? Or do you have an online service handle that part for you?

For those of you actually in business for several years and making a decent living, or supplement to your day job income (full or part time), what have you found to work well for you? I'm not asking what you charge, just how you price things out. (I don't have a studio and don't plan on one. There are so many studios to rent in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area if I ever needed one and they are very reasonable.) Are there any really helpful books I should also check out? I know there are hundreds of different books, but I'd like to know of any that were particularly helpful to you.

Also, any helpful books about brand building? I think that would be very helpful.

Thanks!
 

beforeEos Camaras

love to take photos.
Sep 8, 2014
279
73
While I am a ways off from trying to get paid to shoot (I've only accepted money 3 times in the past), I have been wondering about a good pricing model, or models, for portraits, senior pictures, family photos, maternity, and other things along those lines. (No weddings for me.) I am wondering how to structure pricing. Of course there is per session and there is per photo... or some combination of the two or more. I sort of like the per photo model.

Do you actually print? Or do you have an online service handle that part for you?

For those of you actually in business for several years and making a decent living, or supplement to your day job income (full or part time), what have you found to work well for you? I'm not asking what you charge, just how you price things out. (I don't have a studio and don't plan on one. There are so many studios to rent in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area if I ever needed one and they are very reasonable.) Are there any really helpful books I should also check out? I know there are hundreds of different books, but I'd like to know of any that were particularly helpful to you.

Also, any helpful books about brand building? I think that would be very helpful.

Thanks!


fees

1 travel time yours
2 sitting fee
cost of 1 shoot plus a possible reshoot in the fee
package number of printed proofs "electronic proofs need to be watermarked"
3 reprints and large prints
proofs are printed by your self as 4x6 5x7 are easy enough larger depends on your inhouse printers.
I use a selphy 1300 plus a mx922 for proofing papers mat or glossy depends on the printer I use Moab papers for my proofs and canon for the selphy remember most of your time is in editing keep that in mind

have a online presence you pick the service with some of your work in the chosen field. not too little but not 100`s
 
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StoicalEtcher

EOS 80D
Jan 3, 2018
181
83
Yorkshire
Not my main source of income by a long way, but where asked, I base it on a "session" rate (i.e. X£s/$s for a shoot). Session rate is based on an hourly rate to cover costs (rent, props, editing time,printers costs, assistant, etc) plus a 'profit', then scaled up to a session rate. Session includes a number of prints. For an extra cost, an electronic copy of a larger number of shots where appropriate. There needs to be some flexibility depending upon what the client actually wants. For what it is worth, I never sell the copyright.

That's the pricing theory - then of course comes the all important overlay of "yes, but what are the local competition doing/charging?" - and I don't think you can price in splendid isolation of the competition, unless you are a particular big-name player yourself.

In terms of books, and subject to your proficiency already, you may want to look at guidance on lighting and posing. There are lots of good examples out there on these (and it is an important part of the product!), but I've yet to come across a good book on photography pricing/business - most seem to me to be either very shallow or too focused on the technicalities of accounting. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has come across a good tome.

Good luck!

Stoical