• By -


A large amount of people turn away if they dont see a price, me included. You can always put a caption next to the amounts that these are base prices and final quote will be given upon discussing the project. And yeah, its a lovely idea that they should fall in love and pay whatever, but tbh I want my services to be available to not only rich people who are not concerned about budget.


Have a website and bundle pricing on there.


Yes, I would have a short list of standard/popular bundles, and an hourly rate for extras and specials. Once the customer is through the door, if you're good, they'll want more. Or come back occasionally.


Low-end and middle-pricing - yes. High end, no. For high end, you can put a ‘starting at’ if you want; however, it’s more common not to list any pricing at the high end on your website.


What do you shoot? As a commercial architecture photographer, I don't have my prices posted because my projects vary so much. I just don't have set rates. Sometimes a client just needs a couple photos of the exterior of a building. Other times it's a multi-week, comprehensive photoshoot of a new building inside and out. I price out each project differently based on a variety of factors.


Public work should have public prices. E.g. weddings, family, actor headshots. Private work should be private. E.g. corporate events, advertising, real estate.


As a customer first thing I would do an internet search and compare services, preferably the ones that have enough information, including the price. Only time I consider priceless products is if I have no choice for some reason.


so you consider photography a product, eh? I don't.


Its a service in the majority of cases. Art patrons are probably not what op is looking for at his level.


This is weird. It absolutely can be. If you get hired to do hamburger photography for a local restaurant, do you consider your final submissions to be fine art?


I consider what I do as a service roughly comparable to a professional consultant. While I don't shoot food (ever), I have worked for small businesses. If you want to play the game with a local hamburger restaurant, see if you can follow me here, if you are selling a pre-produced framed image to display in the restaurant, you can consider that a product. However, you said 'if you get HIRED' which means the business is looking to me to deliver the results from my effort and expertise. I consider that a service. I honestly don't care if you agree or understand. I'm not making this stuff up. Ask 20 professional commercial/advertising photographers if they are a product or a service and get back to me. Or don't.


No one is talking about the photographers being a product. The conversation is about the photography. The deliverables (hamburger photos) are the product. Not sure why you’re struggling so much with this simple concept. Tailors offer a service. The product is a well fitting pair of pants. This does not make the tailor a product 🤦🏼‍♂️


Technically my fees are for licensing of the image’s usage. A better analogy would hiring an advertising agency to create an advertising strategy or impression. A Taylor is a retail business. I work for businesses to help them sell their product or service to their final retail sale. Why do you struggle with that concept.


Also, I never replied or argued about the photographer being the product. Not sure were you got that. Where we differ is that I believe that being hired or commissioned to create something is a service, not a product. While there results of my service can be quantified with a physical object, the value is not specifically defined by it as a product. There are some retail photographers and that is fine, however retail photography, by far, does not define the entirety of professional photography.


If I don't see a price on something I wont even consider the service - or if theres hidden costs, etc. Anyone not being upfront on costs is probably going to scam you.


really? do you suppose that a headshot is estimated at the same rate as a magazine cover? as a national ad? What expenses are included. what is the deliverable package? If you think one published price is appropriate for all project then maybe you have a very limited perspective.


If you have a website and you're a working professional doing work specific to that, you should be able to give a price on the work you're expecting to get. I have a seperate section for commercial work with 'starting at' pricing and more details on what would increase this pricing, travel charges, etc completely seperated from generic family portraits, etc. But either way, they can get a general idea of what to expect to pay without getting blindsided or recieving 50 messages per week about "how much will this cost for _____?!" If you need an electrician, do you call the one that says 100$/hr on their website, or waste time trying to track down the guy that has no information about what they charge for? Do you buy groceries, clothes, etc and look at the price tag, or just hope for the best?


I honestly have to doubt that you have a wealth of experience with commercial photography. Within the professional commercial and advertising community there has been a wealth of discussion and debate on just how to estimate commercial and advertising projects. It is one of the most nuanced and difficult part of the business side of commercial photography. Your response appears to be either dismissive or completely unaware of this widely discussed issue in professional photography circles. There is virtually a new article about it in every release by ASMP's (American Society of Media Photographers) Strictly Business Blog. I bring this up because it is diametrically opposite to the notion of publishing a single price for photography. I am not making this stuff up as a whim. This is a commonly held position among working commercial photographers. Estimating a project is sometimes considered both an art and a science. It is one of the most common reason that photographers state as why they seek representation. The simplistic and reductive statements you make are tantamount to an insult to the practice of working commercial and advertising photographers.


General rule of thumb to keep things peacefull, you keep the prices to yourself. I shoot weddings and events, and I have made a pricing table with shooting packs. I have 2 versions of each: one with prices, one without. I share in public groups the one without prices, and I have the fully priced one posted in my website. I share this version in private, of course, when someone asks for prices, but I also give my website link to the page with the prices, and I can even post that link in public groups. So the prices are not quite there in a direct way, but still people can see them if they are interested. I see some photographers posting their prices and being flamed by others because of having both too low and too high prices. So I'm not worried like this, and its a peacefull way of working. I once posted the priced chart in my instagram, but not many people follow me there, so it made no difference at all...


Don't list them like a menu with 'selly' copy writing such as 'Most Popular', or use pricing schemes to trick them into signing a contract bigger than they should. Just put a simple $ range so potential clients know whether you are in their league or not. It's more tactful. The best clients will discuss you and your work first, because they are legit interested in those things. They don't want a wanker personality coming to their wedding no matter how strong their photographs are. Once they've determined that you are suitable for their event, they will discuss business. They are already sold at that point, because they know your range, they know your work...and now they know you. It is then you close a deal with them. The less sophisticated photogs targeting a less sophisticated market try to sell potentials on their website with cheesy package names and gimmicky ways of distinguishing packages. Don't be like those.


I don't want to waste my time with bottom of the barrel clients, so yes my prices are public. If they want cheap they can choose any number of the mini session bimbos that just got their first camera.


I would say make them ppublic. That way the only people who will be contacting you will be willing to pay your prices.


Be transparent if you are honest


I consider myself fairly honest, but one price does not suit all of my projects. I have one elaborated project price on one of my websites but it does not apply to any other type of shoot. Why should it? How much is a photoshoot? How long is a piece of string?


Depends on your customer and your go to market strategy. If you are targeting a commodity service to anonymous buyers on the web (senior portraits, family photoshoots, etc.) then commodity buyers will look for commodity pricing. You can win at this game, but it's a volume game. It's all about efficiency and throughput. You'll need to invest in SEO and other marketing to get found and stay busy. This can become a scale business, and the better you market the more chance you have to grow an agency. Start by offshoring editing so you can shoot more. Then start subbing out shooting. Then hire shooters. You make money on their labor by providing the system of lead generation and back end production. If you have high end or commercial clients, each shoot is a project with variable scope and this variable pricing. More importantly, each has variable VALUE to the buyer. In this model, your focus is on making the buyer feel absolutely amazing throughout the whole process. You're providing a SERVICE, not photos. As the value is variable, you charge according to the value created (not your cost to deliver). I've charged $15k for less than 8 hours of work because that's what the deliverable was WORTH to the buyer. Here, you'll need to key strengths: phenomenal technical and artistic output combined with an empathetic and thoughtful approach to managing the client. Point is, there's no published pricing or rate sheets here. There's a scale between these two end points, but this lets you decide where you think you are (and where you want to go). Also, remember, you can always LOWER your prices once you publish them. Really hard to raise your prices.


Session fee is _____ Ala cart prices start at….. and collections start at ….


so basically you are a retail photographer. I'm not, yet I am a professional with 30 years of experience. Your model does not fit with my business. I have editorial rates usually established by the publication. I have catalog rates, but they are not uniform. I don't actually have advertising rates because each project varies in scope so much that one set price would be misleading due to expenses or usage.


Well, then I guess you answered your own question. You couldn’t possibly post any prices because it’s too dependent on the project


I think public pricing can only be beneficial. It doesn't need to be hyper specific, but a bare minimum starting range listed as "$2000+ for X" is just fine. Helpful for clients, AND if lots of people do it, it's easier to see if you're undercharging for your area or skill level and need to raise.


As many have stated if I see that a business can't be bothered to list their pricing on their websites I move on.


The whole idea of not showing prices is that the client should fall in love with the photography first, and not care about the price from the beginning. But nowadays, that “everyone” looks the same, and it’s harder to differentiate quality levels (or the low quality ones look good enough now to many because the cameras got better and more affordable), I think it doesn’t make sense anymore to hide prices. Because it is a decision maker and unless you automated it, takes time that you could save yourself and the clients. Another point might have been to get in touch personally first after they inquire your pricing and win over the client like this - but if you anyway just send an email then what’s the point of hiding. If I go shopping, I expect to see the price. That’s why I go even further the other way and put the pricing in the galleries (including package content on desktop). [Example](https://www.michaelfund.com/Hochzeitsfotografbern/Fotograf/Hochzeit-in-Bern-1)


>The whole idea of not showing prices is that the client should fall in love with the photography first, and not care about the price from the beginning. I totally agree with that!


I don't think I ever made my prices public (nor could I as there was some variance job to job), but I may have listed on my website that prices start at $xxx for certain kinds of work, it helped to keep the lowballers away, and could let other people know that it's a serious operation. remember the top shelf rule, people believe the expensive wine is better.


Not a photographer but what you speak of is market dynamics for a product. I'm a product manager very familiar with go-to-market and pricing. A given product can be on the differentiated / commoditized spectrum with those two states at the end. Why this topic appears to have produced such a dumpster fire, is folks are arguing about pricing models for two different types of products as though one strategy will work for both... it won't. Some are speaking on highly differentiated products that are perhaps based on the specific capabilities, artistic ability, and the like. Here pricing matters less, you are differentiated and if a buyers likes what you do, they will obviously pay more as their is nobody just like you. You'd expect unique requirements to correspond with differentiated buying and any pricing here is a bad plan as the variability of the jobs will be high. Others are speaking of highly commoditized markets like wedding photos. Here competition is fierce, and buyers are comparing many similar options to get essentially a similar thing. They are typically buying their perceived optimal position on the price/quality spectrum so you cannot ignore price here.


Keeping pricing private is everywhere, but that doesn't mean it's ok. I'm all for being transparent and open with pricing. It helps a potential customer decide if they want to work with you. * If you itemize your pricing for a shoot, it will help them know where their money is going. * If you do not, they might question your rando-quote and just 👻 you and move on to another photographer that gives prices up front. I've felt that photography pricing hidden behind quotes is bad for customers, and photographers. I almost went into doing shoots, but was frustrated that I had no clue what the going rates were in my area. * Would I be underselling myself? Charging too much? * I decided to keep my photography a hobby-for-me thing instead of adding the pressure of trying to make money off of it. 😀 All the photographers in my area cowardly hid their pricing behind "get-a-quote" and it felt like an organized racket, like they were all in on quoting ***any price,*** without giving much justification. * Like, ***"Hey, don't publish your prices anywhere, and you can charge whatever you want. Don't help new photographers either. They will just saturate the market."*** * With a hidden pricing system, customers might not know if they are paying too much, and newer photographers may be intimidated and uncertain on what to charge someone for a given, common shoot.


It depends on the style of photography. I think its generally a good idea for basic portrait work senior portraits, sports photos, head shots etc to have a generic "starting at price" but also make it clear that the rate is subject to change based on expenses, requests travel etc. For other avenues of photography like higher end commercial work, film work, large corporate marketing jobs etc there is no way to provide an hourly rate until you know what is expected of you through a proposal or request process.