A Photographer’s Guide to Rates and Pricing

Travel and Location Costs

You should know where you are going to be shooting when asked to do a location shoot. That way you can work out the mileage you will be adding to your car. You will need to cover wear and tear as well as general maintenance and fuel.

The best rate to use for physical travel costs would be the rates supplied by your local AA. It makes it easy and you don’t need to worry about it too much unless you end up travelling further than expected.

There are other factors, related to location shoots, that need attention. Unless you carry all your equipment in the car all the time you would need to load your car. That takes time. Unlike your studio which is already set up for a shoot you need to take into account the time it will take to set up at the location. These cost are not part of the time allocated to the shoot and should be added.


Once you have worked out all your costs you are ready to add a profit.

Profit generated in a business can be used in a couple of ways.
Firstly, you can keep the profit in the business to buy new equipment and assets and maybe expand your offerings. Or you can draw the profits out as dividends.

Your living and business costs should be covered under all the previous costs so you shouldn’t need to dive into your profits for that. So you should use your profits wisely to expand your business or to buy better equipment.

This is in your hands but don’t overdo it. Remember that you have already added a profit to items procured from other suppliers like printers so you might not want to put additional profit on top of these. But that is your call.


If you have read this far, Well done! This was a long one.

Now you have an idea of how to price your services. If you are a potential client you now have a good idea of the costs that a photographer has to carry. So the next time you are looking for prices rather look at using a photographer that knows how to run a business than one that is not going to be around in a few months. You will find that photographers that know how to run a business are also better photographers than the cheap fly-by-nights that just hurt the industry.

The above information is how I price my work and is not necessarily the only way. There are a few other variables that I add in, that affect my pricing depending on the type of photography.

I find that I prefer to give an honest quotation to my clients and not get into a situation where I cut my price just to get the job. If you cut your price not only are you not making a profit, to expend your business, but you are basically paying to client to do the job. That is just poor business.

I also don’t provide my clients with a detailed breakdown of my costs. They are my costs and they are unique to my abilities. I quote on what my client wants me to do with a lump sum price. If my client decides that they want to add or remove items I will alter the quotation but still with a lump sum value. How you quote is up to you.

If this has helped you please share it so that we can improve the entire photography industry.

3 thoughts on “A Photographer’s Guide to Rates and Pricing”

  1. I am a hobbyist and have been approached for a few jobs, and have worked out pricing similar, but had not included school fees, will include going forward, so thank you, and the article as a whole I found very informative.


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