How to get more photography clients is something I’m asked regularly as a photography business coach. “How to book the RIGHT photography clients for my photography business” is the more accurate question though.
(Scroll down for the pricing template)
Confidence + photography pricing guide
It doesn’t matter how you’re pricing photography sessions. There are going to be potential(or current) clients that question the investment with you. Those questions make it incredibly hard to have confidence in your pricing.
The first thing I want to encourage you to do is take a step back and think about the “potential client” asking this question. Do you think they have the potential to be a great client?
If the answer is yes, then go ahead and spend the time explaining the process. Go into detail about an experience with you, everything you do for them. Really lay it all out there so they can see and UNDERSTAND the value of working with you.
But if you get the feeling that this person is just a bargain shopper, will it be worth your time and energy? These clients tend to be more draining on you personally. In this case, just efficiently explain that this is what you need to charge to have a healthy and successful business. If they want to book you, they will. If not, you probably saved yourself a big headache and several sleepless nights.
How to calculate photography pricing
Instead of just coming up with numbers off the top of your head and trying to be “competitive” in your local market, base your photography pricing off of facts.
How to calculate photography pricing is a 3 step process that takes into consideration your CODB, yearly budget, and your sales average goal.
1. Figure CODB.
If you look through your numbers and data, really figure out your cost of doing business(CODB), you can create a pricing guide that’s literally based around your business. Not someone else’s. And not a guess.
That’s how you build sustainable freedom inside your business.
2. Create your yearly budget.
Using your CODB and your planned salary, create a yearly budget so you know exactly how much you need to bring in each year to not only live your dream, but also have a healthy and successful business.
3. Build your photography pricing strategy based on facts
Don’t just throw out numbers though. Figure your sales average based on time you plan to spend working and the number you figured out that you need to bring in each year to meet your yearly budget.
Once you have that sales average number, create a strategic price list to meet your sales average goal.
When you’ve figured your pricing guide number by number, it’s so much easier to be confident in what you’re selling. You know that what you have figured is exactly how it needs to be priced in your business.
By the way, in The Photography Pricing Course, I take you through each of these steps AND give you several super handy spreadsheets to make your life easier.
Photography Package Pricing Examples
A photography pricing strategy looks different for every single photographer, but overall there are 3 main strategies. It’s up to the photographer to decide what works best for their business.
All Inclusive/ All Digitals
Photographers typically start out by selling all digitals from the session to their clients. Pros to this model are that it’s easier to get clients to buy because clients think they are getting all they need. Over the past 10-15 years, this has been the model that they’ve become accustomed to.
Cons to this model include the cap to the amount of money you can make per session, which greatly reduces the photographer’s salary.
Clients are less likely to print or display their photos with this model because most of them truly aren’t sure what’s best for what photo. I’ve heard of photographers giving 200+ photos with their sessions which is extremely overwhelming. When a client is overwhelmed they are less likely to follow through with printing, which means those photos they paid for live on their phone until they end up losing them eventually.
In Person Sales (Most profitable)
With in person sales, a photographer charges a session fee which covers their time and then sells prints, albums, and wall portraits, among other things. My coaching clients find the hardest part to IPS is creating a photography price list.
The thing that most photographers don’t realize about session fees with in person sales is that it’s easier to book sessions because it allows the client to pay for the session fee up front, forget about that money that’s spent and defer their product decisions to AFTER the session, resulting in more money in the photographer’s pocket.
My personal opinion here is that most clients don’t actually want 200+ photos. That’s overwhelming. What they actually want is 10-20 GREAT photos that are album or display worthy.
A La Carte Photography Pricing
A La Carte pricing is the only strategy I’ve ever used in my boudoir photography business because I love the flexibility it allows my clients. They can choose whatever they want and it maximizes the amount of money you can make.
It’s also easier to book client with this model because of the lower barrier to entry when booking sessions.
Photography Packages or Collections
On the other hand, photography packages or collections allow the client to get more bang for their buck and potentially land the photographer a higher sale IF the packages are created well.
When creating photography packages, it’s important to have them set up correctly. The lowest package should be something the client doesn’t really want. The middle package should be something they want and would be happy purchasing, and then the top tier package is EVERYTHING they want.
Here’s a Photography Pricing Guide example:
Before we go any further, please promise to do your own cost of doing business calculations and understand there’s more to coming up with a pricing guide than just coming up with packages off the top of your head or copying something you found on the internet.
It’s also important to note that you should also offer an a la carte price list WITH your collections to show the value of purchasing a collection.
- 20×30 Gallery wrap
- 10×10 album
- 10 gift prints
- All digital images
- 6×6 album
- 5 gift prints
- Corresponding digital images(15)
- 10 gift prints
- No digital images
Build Your Own packages
Build your own packages is a hybrid of packages + a la carte
With this you offer a percentage off or an incentive by bundling from your a la carte list.
For example, let’s say you offer albums, wall portraits, and gift prints. The client chooses something from each category(albums, wall portraits, and gift prints), and when they hit a certain price point, they get a certain number of digital files.
It’s easier to be confident when your price list is based on facts, but you won’t need to answer the question as often with the right marketing strategy.
When you transition from the bargain shoppers to booking the RIGHT photography clients, you won’t have to field the pricing question as often. As your marketing plan develops strategically and you start drawing in the clients that appreciate you, you’ll notice the shift in the questions you’re asked. It’ll be more about the experience and less about the cost.
As you begin to value yourself, your business, and the service and products you provide, confidence in your pricing comes easily.
Think about it like this. When you started driving your vehicle, you weren’t great right? Technically, you knew what to do, but it took a lot of practice to get confident behind a wheel. Now though, you get in without thinking.
It’s the same with confidence in your pricing. You just have to keep going and soon the question about your pricing won’t even bother you because you’ll have so many client’s you’ve made happy… Who even cares about those few who questioned your photography prices?
Photography Pricing Template
Are you struggling to design your photography pricing guide? I promise you aren’t alone, which is why I designed my exclusive Photography Pricing Template! This is compatible with Canva and super easy to customize for your business. Simply plug and play!
Need help with your photography pricing strategy?
I got you. The Photography Pricing Course is the self-paced course you need if you are a photographer who is currently pricing your services without a direction or strategy in mind.
If you want the same exact pricing strategies, formulas, and calculators I used to hit seven figures, The Photography Pricing Course is for you.
- 6 value-packed modules and 20+ video trainings
- Signature formulas, calculators, and spreadsheets you can’t find anywhere else
- Application-based worksheets & resources to help you put what you’ve learned to use
Tracy Lynn is a boudoir photogapher for brides-to-be in the St. Louis area, and a mentor + coach for photographers looking to level up their businesses with better systems and processes.