Today I am going to tell you a very simple way to know how to charge for your Photography services.
There is so much misinformation about this.
I see other photography trainers telling their students to calculate things like COGS (Cost of Goods Sold), Depreciation, Fixed Costs, Variable Costs and WHAT NOT!!!
Are we Photographers or Accountants?
That approach may look good on paper but it never works in real life.
Trust me, I’m a BBA + MBA and college taught me absolutely NOTHING about business. I basically wasted those 5 years.
I learned everything about business by DOING BUSINESS.
So let me give you a simple way to calculate what you should be charging.
Factor 1 – Your living expenses. Let’s take an average figure here. Let’s say we take Rs.40,000/month which includes everything including rent, petrol, bills, insurance, groceries, etc.
Factor 2 – How much salary would you like to draw from your Photography business? Yes, even as an entrepreneur, you have to determine how much income you would like for yourself. Let’s say you decide on Rs.20,000/month for the beginning stages.
Factor 3 – How much are your business expenses? Here you will mainly include recurring expenses like Photoshop subscription, hiring make-up artists, travelling, marketing, advertising etc. Let’s say this figure is Rs.15,000/month.
When we add these figures we get 40,000 + 20,000 + 15,000 = Rs. 75,000
Factor 4 – How many shoots do you want to do per month? Let’s say you choose 6 shoots because initially you may have to work more.
When you divide 75000 by 6, you get 12,500.
So you should be charging Rs.12,500/shoot in order to run a photography business that covers your living expenses, business costs as well as makes you an income.
BOOM! There you go. Wasn’t that simple?
And here’s the best part.
Let’s say you are already doing a day job and you want to do your Photography business as a side thing, at least initially. Let’s say your current salary in your day job is Rs.40,000/month.
Now the new pricing model for you will be – (40k + 20k +15k) – 40k / 6 = Rs.5833/shoot.
Or alternatively now you can keep the pricing the same as before but reduce your number of shoots.
That’s why it is important to NOT quit your day job when you are starting out. It makes things less stressful.
Once you gain more experience, you will be able to charge more and the income you decided in Factor 2 will increase. For example, even if you raise your charges by Rs.2,500/shoot, that basically means your income will go up by Rs.15,000/month. If you increase your charges by Rs.10,000/shoot, your income will increase by Rs.60,000/month. Sky is the limit.
You can see how many permutations and combinations are available if you use this simple approach.
Of course, one thing you will have to get good at is marketing. Apart from creating Photography and Videography courses, I also create Digital Marketing and Business related courses. You can see all my courses here.
I hope this suggestions helps you out!
About the Author
Hi there, I'm Kush Sharma, the founder of Creative Pad Media, an organization dedicated to simplifying photography and videography education.
We have over 40 online courses that cover various genres in photography & videography, catering to both beginners as well as professionals. These courses are available via Udemy.com. Our courses have been downloaded in over 170 countries.
I hope to see you inside a course very soon!