Being a photographer the first question that comes to your mind is how much should I charge for my services? If I charge too much I won't have enough clients and if I charge too little I won't enjoy working. You may have friends who are photographers or you may every now and then witness photographers that are making a lot of money and if you do come across such people online IGNORE. Ignore them because you don't know everything about their lives so stop comparing yourself to other people and concentrate more on what you want to do and what you can do.
If what you read so far makes sense and If you're a freelance photographer who is wondering how to decide and how much to charge for your services, read ahead.
How much should I charge?
There are going to be many people with different opinions and perspectives on this matter, I'm going to give you mine.
The answer to this question depends on many things but the one that matters is; Where are you in your freelance photography career. Are you a Beginner? a Mid-level photographer? or are you a professional photographer?
Let's answer this one by one.
How much to charge as a beginner?
This method can be applied at any stage of your photography career but think about how much would you want to get paid in a full-time job? If you go for a good company you and if you're lucky the highest you would get is INR 30,000/- per month.
Now in a 30 day month, you would work for 22 days so 30,000 divided by 22 is INR 1363/- Per day, INR 681/- for half a day, and if you are working for 8 hours a day in a full-time setup your hourly rate would be INR 170/-.
Per Month = INR 30,000/-
Per Day = INR 1363/-
Per Hour = INR 170/-
One thing a photographer starting a photography business forgets is that he is not only going to be taking pictures but he is going to be doing other things as well. A freelance photographer or a photography business owner has to do Editing, has to take care of equipment costs, has to Advertise, market, rent equipment, and so on. Just how we decided the cost for your services, decide how much would you need to add to your services to cover for all these additional things required to run a business.
A point worth mentioning is that when you are just starting you shouldn't worry about how much you're getting paid (advice I wish someone would have given me). At the beginning stages worry more about Contacts, exposure, and portfolio. Connect with other photographers, stylists, creative directors, friends, and family and see who is looking for a photographer or who can get you more work. Take pictures of your friends and family, take pictures of whoever is willing to get clicked, experiment with different techniques of photography, and try to master the skill, and if someone wants to or is willing to pay in the process, great!. If you concentrate more on contacts, exposure, and building your portfolio in the beginning, it'll be helpful and easier to get work later but once you feel you know enough people and have a great portfolio, stop working for free or for less pay.
How much to charge as a mid-level photographer?
As a mid-level photographer, you have to decide how much you want to charge based on how much work you're getting right now, if you're getting a lot of work that is overwhelming, you're making very little money with very few clients, you're overcharging.
If you're in event-based photography (wedding photographer, event photographer, Club photographer) you should be charging per hour or deciding your full-day or half-day prices according to your hourly rate. Now I can tell you charge 1000 rupees per hour or 8,000 rupees per hour but it's going to be useless, how much exactly you should be charging depends on the market you're in, depends on how much your competitors are charging and how many clients you're serving right now.
a) How much are your competitors charging?
b) How much can your clients/Market really afford?
c) How many clients do you have right now?
Answers to these questions will help you understand how much you should charge. These points that I mentioned I feel would not only work in Mumbai but anywhere in the world.
These points I,e; a,b,c applies to all kinds of photography.
Let's say you're a product photographer and you do white background images, how much would you charge then? Firstly search on google, Facebook, and other social media platforms and research how much others are charging and what they're doing.
how much can your client/market really afford? Firstly as great as doing white background product photography is, it isn't the highest paying genre in photography so keep that in mind. Secondly, Consider the kind of business your client does, if your client is an at home entrepreneur who sells handmade pickles for 100 rupees a bottle, won't take your photography services for 400 rs a product, in this case, either find clients that'll pay you 400 rupees per product or reduce your price. And How many clients do you have right now? let's say you're swamped with work and you're handling 10 clients and you are making enough money, any client that you get over your existing clients can be charged an increased price if you wish to.
How much to charge as a professional photographer?
It's okay if you're a professional photographer reading this article, it's not a bad thing. Maybe you're just trying to get additional insight and looking for different perspectives but if you're a professional photographer and still figuring how much to charge for your photography services then you have ignored the business side of the art for far too long. All the points and techniques mentioned in this article are to be used at the professional level with certain additional expenses to consider and by charging little by little to each client ie; Studio EMI, Employee salaries, Marketing agency costs, and so on.
Thank you for reading and I hope this article was useful and please let me know if you have a unique way of charging or deciding how much to charge, if it seems unique and informative we will add it to the blog.