Pricing in Photography

While in the park messing around with my camera and taking pictures of my sisters, a woman approached me asking if I was a professional and wondering if I could do some work for her. It caught me off guard, as photography is more of a hobby for me. I had briefly thought photography might be something I would like to pursue, but haven’t taken the time to really thinking it over. Where I enjoy it, I sometimes feel under qualified to ask for compensation. I realize the time and effort I put into my work should be given credit where it’s due. But there’s that part of me that enjoys the job so much, that it surprising I could be paid for it. Nonetheless, I decided to put in a little research on how much a photographer could make.

An article, found here, gave a great explanation on different methods for pricing. The author gave ballpark figures for how much a hobbyist, amateur, student, semi-professional, professional, and top professional may ask for in either per hour or per image estimates. For instance, a student may ask for $50 to $100 per hour or $25 to $100 per image, while a top professional may ask for $200 to $500+ per hour or $250 to $1500 per image. Where these prices can sometimes cause people’s eyes to bug out, most of the time they forget or don’t realize the amount of work and time that goes into a photography job.

One particular method mentioned in the article was per-image pricing. It was explained rather than quoting a set rate for a day or by the hour, the per-image method places the value on the photograph instead of the time spent on the job. This allows the client to feel more in control and provides a low-risk option. However, this method places the risk on the photographer, which could end with them losing an assignment if the client is not happy with any of the images taken. Despite the risk, I personally would go this route because of my technique and style in taking photos. I also prefer the idea of placing a value on the image than on my time. So, if I end up charging for photography work, I think I will implement this method. 

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