4 Secrets to Pricing as a Boudoir Photographer
Do you ever look at your pricing list and feel like it could be better? Maybe you’ve revamped it a few times, but your new pricing still doesn’t make you feel confident about your offer. If so, you’re definitely not alone. I’ve reworked my pricing as a boudoir photographer many times — and so have the clients I’ve coached. We all struggle with it.
The truth is, your photography price list is one of those things in your business that won’t ever feel exactly right. And hopefully, that thought takes a little pressure off you to get it “perfect.” However, you can get your price list very, very close. The secrets I reveal below tell you how!
Figure Out Your Sales Average Goal
You’ve gotta know your sales average goal, aka your total revenue goal, before you start setting prices for your services. This is the foundation of your pricing as a boudoir photographer (and will help you increase your pricing when you’re ready).
First, decide how much you want to pay yourself each year. Then, divide that number by 30%. If you want to make $25,000, for example, you’d divide it by 30% and get $83,300. This is your total revenue goal.
Next, you can decide how many hours you’d like to work each year. Take the number of hours you wanna work per week and multiply it by the number of work weeks per year. For example, 20 hours per week multiplied by 40 weeks is 800 hours per year.
But hang on. We always want to set aside a third of that time for business administration, which includes marketing and accounting — basically the tasks that help you grow your photography biz. Remove that admin time, and you have 533 client hours.
Say you average about 8 hours per client session. Divide 533 by 8, and you get 67. That’s 67 clients per year, or 6 clients per month. Finally, divide your total revenue goal of $83,300 by 67 clients, and you get $1,250 per client. That is your sales average goal, and what you’ll build your price list around.
If all this talk makes you nervous because you’re not great with numbers or don’t like math, don’t worry! My Full-Time Formula spreadsheet will do the work for you.
Decide What You Want to Offer
Depending on your business level, here’s three different ways you can organize your price list:
Collections, also known as packages (but collections feels more high-end and luxurious)
- A la carte options, like individual prints or albums
- Build your own collection, a hybrid of packages and a la carte
Let’s use a la carte options in our example for simplicity’s sake.
I think it’s important for boudoir photographers to have five album options. A 6X6, 8X8, 10X10, and so on. You might throw in 5X7 and 8X10 gift prints, digital collections, and wall portraits, too.
And yes, why not include wall portraits for your boudoir photography clients? Even if they don’t sell as much as your other offers, they’ll help put more value on your other items. Say one wall portrait is $999 and an album of ten images is also $999. Your client will see that the album has more value. Cool, right?
Once you decide what products you want to offer, you’re ready to set your pricing.
Use a Little Sales Psychology
Time to dig deep into the numbers. Let’s use my own price list as an example!
Notice something that all my prices share in common? Yep: They all end in the number nine. This is an actual psychological thing called “charm pricing.” Prices that end in 9, 95, or 99 make items appear cheaper than they really are.
There’s also something called “left-digit bias,” where the leftmost digit of a price affects perception. I can tell you firsthand that my clients have called the $399 album a “$300 album,” even though it’s almost $400! That’s pricing psychology for you.
Numbers aside, I also encourage you to think about your product names because there’s a bit of psychology in that, too. Even though my Miniature and Tabletop prints aren’t actually as tiny as they sound, clients will imagine them that way — and they’ll opt for the Small instead.
Lastly, remember that your albums will probably be your top-seller. A great way to hit your sales average goal is to price one of your albums as that amount and set it right in the middle of your products. Include a couple of higher-priced and lower-priced items around it. Or, grab my pricing template and let it do the heavy lifting.
Book Out Using This Website Secret
Time for the fourth and final secret to pricing as a boudoir photographer! For this, we’re gonna look at a section on my boudoir photography website that talks about session fees.
The following four sentences under that “Book Your Session Now!” button are key:
Images not included. Albums start at $699. Collections start at $2,599. The average client invests $1,500+.
This right here makes it very clear that photos are not included and you can expect to pay about this much if you book me. I put these sentences all over my contracts and my booking form so clients don’t miss it. And I’ve never had anyone question pricing at my sessions!
Make Your Worth AND Make Clients Happy
Let’s recap my four secrets to boudoir photography pricing:
- Figure out your sales average goal to determine what you want to make, how many hours you wanna work, and what to charge your clients.
- Choose what products you want to offer, whether they’re collections, a la carte options, or a mix of both.
- Use a bit of psychology to price and name your products to sell.
- Set expectations around pricing for your clients on your website.
I hope these secrets and examples helped you determine how to price yourself as a boudoir photographer! Pricing doesn’t have to be complex or scary if you’re honest about what you want.
And ultimately, don’t forget that your pricing as a boudoir photographer does not dictate your value as a person. You can and should price your photography to prioritize profit. You should be paid for your hard work.
But your worth does not depend on what you charge! You, my friend, are invaluable. Don’t forget that, okay?