Have you ever set your wedding photography prices?
If you are asking for a set price and your client is happy with that then you can get away with charging them less and you may even get more work. It can be difficult to tell what the market will bear but some things to consider are:-
A) If you don’t have any clients who have used you before then you need to know roughly how much you think you will be able to charge and the more you charge the less likely it is that you’ll get the work you want to do.
B) You need to think about how much of the work you actually do yourself vs how much you expect your clients to do and what they expect you to do.
C) Think about how much you are willing to risk losing on any particular job.
D) Think about how many jobs you could get in a year (for example, I’ve been lucky with the jobs I’ve had but I was also able to pick up 3 jobs in a week during the summer, so I think it’s possible to get several jobs in a year and still keep your standard high).
E) Think about how much time you want to spend on each job and whether you can live with making more money but doing less.
I would try and set the prices as low as you can at first and then work up from there. If you are worried that people won’t pay what you ask, then you should charge them less than you think they will be willing to pay and then you will be surprised when they say they will pay more for you than you thought.
If you don’t know how much to charge yet, then look around and see how much other photographers charge and how many weddings they have done and how many images they have sold. Also consider the amount of time and effort it takes to make an image and what that effort is worth. Think about the amount of time you spend on each job, the amount of time your clients will spend in the shoot and the amount of time it will take you to edit and send them the images after the wedding.
If your prices are too low then you will make a lot of money in a short period but you will be under pressure to produce as quickly as possible and you won’t be able to keep your standards high. If your prices are too high then you won’t make as much money as you would like to in a year and you won’t get enough work to keep up with the bills.
A good starting point for me would be to charge £1000 for a wedding and £400 for an engagement. That way I have some money coming in every month and am happy to have it and can live with doing less than I want. That means I have more money to spend on other things (such as having a house instead of renting) and more time to spend on my work and less time worrying about the bills.
If you do make more than you expect then you should be happy because you will have made a profit and you can afford to put that money back into improving your equipment or getting more work.
I think if you are just starting out you should be very careful not to get into debt, so try and set prices that will leave you with money at the end of the year. The amount of money you need to make in the first year will depend on how many jobs you do but for me it was around £3000 to £5000. I didn’t take any clients until I had done 5 or 6 weddings so I didn’t have any clients paying off my debt. If you are lucky enough to have some paying clients in the first few months then you will be able to pay your bills and still keep your standard high. If not, then you will have to look for other sources of income, such as advertising, as I had to do when I was new.
If you need to ask someone for a favor, say something like “I need your help for my business, could you help me with this” and see if they are willing to offer their help. You don’t need to tell them exactly what you are asking for.
As you get better, you will start charging more, but don’t worry too much about your prices until you are sure that people are paying what you want. When you charge a bit more than you want to, it will be easier to get the work you want to do as it’s less likely that someone else will be doing it for less. It is important though to not overcharge as you will get a reputation for being expensive.
1. Keep in mind that wedding photography is not a short-term business.
When you’re starting out, you’ll have to be prepared to give your clients more than they may expect. It’s important to set yourself apart from other photographers by offering more value for your money. You can do this by providing unique services that are hard to find elsewhere. If you’re a creative person who wants to take on a new project, then you might consider wedding photography as a new career path.
2. How much do you want to charge?
Before you start thinking about what to charge, ask yourself how much you really want to earn from this business. You will need to think about what you can afford and how much your time is worth. You can then put a number on these to make sure you don’t overcharge or underpay yourself.
3. Think of the amount you need to live off.
You need to have enough money to cover the cost of running your business. Set aside an amount that covers the costs of equipment, advertising, marketing, travel, training, office space and all the other costs associated with being a wedding photographer. If you are new to this kind of work, it may be wise to invest in some training before you get too involved in setting up your business.
4. How much will you work?
When you think about what you want to earn and how much you need to earn, think about the amount of time you want to work each week. You may want to work more if your client base is large and your time is worth more. You may want to set aside more time if you have a large client base who wants more than one shoot per month, or if you have more shoots per year.
5. Be realistic.
It’s easy to underestimate the amount you need to earn. But do a rough calculation first to see how much money you need to make in order to pay your bills. Remember that you may not need to work as many hours per week as you first thought and that there may be other ways you can earn money too.
6. Start with the basics.
Before you start charging, think about what you want to charge. Consider your equipment costs, the hours it takes to photograph weddings, travel time and the amount of time you spend editing pictures. You can also consider the types of couples you would like to work with. There are lots of couples to choose from. If you are shooting in London, some couples might not want to hire a wedding photographer because they have family nearby and don’t want to get lost in the crowds.
7. Know your competition.
It’s important to know what your competition is charging for a shoot. It will help you understand how much work you will need to do to make a profit. Find out how much time they take on average and how many pictures they shoot per wedding. Try and get hold of their brochures or websites. You can even ask them to tell you how many weddings they have worked on in the past year.
8. Be realistic about how much you can charge.
You can expect to work six days a week, but you may find that you have a busy time of the year, especially if you are based in London. If you are planning to do full-time photography, it may be wise to start your business at the end of the year to ensure you have enough money in the bank. However, it’s not wise to overcharge for your work. Keep your prices low for the first few shoots and then think about increasing them.
9. Give yourself time.
If you have set your prices too low you may find that couples who want you to be their photographer choose someone else because they feel you are undercharging. If this happens, you could lose your reputation and clients.
10. Start your prices gradually.
Set your prices high initially, but don’t increase them too quickly. You can lower your prices slowly if you are doing more than one shoot per month. If you are offering a package, you could consider a discount for more than one shoot per year.
11. Keep your pricing consistent.
If you are charging the same price for a shoot whether it is for a single couple or a couple with children, you are losing potential business. It’s also important to be consistent. Do your research, find out what other wedding photographers charge, and remember that some couples want a photographer who will stay in touch with them throughout the year.
12. Consider the value of your time.
Remember that time is money. When you think about how much time you spend on average photographing weddings, ask yourself if it is worth the money you earn. You may need to work weekends and evenings. If your clients don’t want you to meet them on the Saturday morning, consider whether it’s worth it to lose money by charging more for your shoot. You may need to set up shoots at weekends for larger companies and then charge more for this time.
13. Know your pricing structure.
Most couples don’t have a lot of money, so they will probably want a discount for a larger number of pictures. If you are only offering a package for one shoot per year, you may need to charge more to cover the cost of travel and equipment. Some photographers offer discounts for couples who are paying for the wedding themselves. You may also offer discounts for couples who want to hire you as their wedding photographer. Ask for a couple of references before you start setting your prices.
14. Remember that your business is about trust.
When you are photographing a couple’s wedding, trust is very important. Clients will have to trust you with their wedding photos.
15. Be clear about the details of your wedding photography package.
If you’re going to charge $150 a shoot, don’t tell your client they have to pay more than that when they book you. If they are looking at having their wedding photo taken for $150-$300, say that they can expect to pay $250, $350 or $
16. Whatever range you choose, make sure your clients know up front what the range is and make sure you explain why you chose that range.
If you price low, don’t just drop it on them like it’s free. The clearer you communicate with your clients, the better your service will be.
17. Decide if you’ll charge by the hour or per event.
Many photographers are happy with a per hour rate, while others prefer a flat fee. You may find that charging more per event means that you get more business, but it will also take longer to get through all of your events. You should decide what works best for your business, your style of photography and for you personally.
18. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as too expensive when it comes to pricing.
It’s a misconception that people who charge more money for their photography are greedy and don’t care about quality. In fact, those photographers often have very low rates because they have chosen to specialize in weddings and they only do that one type of shoot.
19. Don’t make your pricing dependent on the venue.
This can create a negative impact on your pricing. It’s important that you get a good deal for your services and the prices you charge should be based on your own skills and what you need to get. If you do a good job of pricing yourself, you will be able to charge whatever you want. If you have to give your clients a break because the venue or food costs are high, you’ll have to do a bit of a discount, or perhaps not be able to do the service at all.
20. Know how much you charge other photographers.
You can find a lot of information on the internet about what other photographers charge. The key is to see if the work you’re offering is comparable to what the others are charging. If it’s not, then you should have a lower price.
21. Keep an eye on your expenses.
Wedding photography is expensive, especially if you are going to offer your services to a number of people. Your expenses can vary depending on where you live and how many weddings you shoot each year. Make sure that you keep an eye on your spending and if you start getting into trouble, raise your prices.
As you’ve probably noticed, the wedding industry is booming. It’s an exciting time to be in the wedding business.
In addition to the fact that the number of people getting married is on the rise, the average age of a bride is going down. The result is a boom in weddings, which in turn means a lot of photographers are getting hired.
Wedding photography is a great way to make money online. However, if you’re not careful, you could end up spending more money than you expect.
That’s why I’m sharing this article with you. I’ve compiled some of the best tips I’ve learned about pricing and marketing. I hope you find them helpful.