Stuck on figuring out what to charge for a family session? Let’s talk about determining a family photography pricing structure.
Create solid pricing that works for your business
As a family photographer, it can be challenging to figure out what to charge your clients. There are so many types of family photography pricing structures to choose from that it can feel a bit overwhelming. Should you go for mini sessions, or become a full-on studio photographer?
Let’s go over the basics of how to price your family photography business (without the stress).
How should I price my family photography sessions?
When approaching family photography, pricing for success is crucial. You’ll want to make sure your pricing structure is sustainable for the long-term growth of your business. As nice as it would be to cut everyone a deal, you’re going to want to make sure you can operate your business comfortably as well.
Should you use a session fee or package pricing for your family portrait sessions?
As a professional photographer, it’s also important to decide how you want to charge. Do you prefer working on an hourly rate, or does it make more sense to use a flat fee?
Determining your method of image delivery will also impact how you price the session itself. Let’s take a look at some ways a family photographer charges for the photography delivery.
Family photography pricing for delivering images
Here’s where things get interesting in family photography – you have tons of options on how to deliver your images. Some photographers prefer one flat fee for sessions and all digital files. Those photographers may charge a little more since they’re relinquishing the printing and album process to the clients.
Offer edited digital images for sale
Other photographers will charge a lower session fee but only offer the digital files for sale. That way, families can pick their favorites and buy the JPGs from the photographer to print or make albums. Photographers who structure their pricing like this will typically include a print release with the sale of the digitally edited images.
Focus on print sales instead of a print release
Finally, print-focused photographers will charge their session fee, and either charge for digital files or offer medium-res digital files. The focus for them is selling prints and albums for their family sessions. This can be done through in-person sales or via a virtual sales session.
Use ShootProof for digital downloads and print sales
With ShootProof, you have tons of capabilities to customize your online gallery delivery. Share full-res digital files or watermarked proofs with printing options – ShootProof gives a range of customization options.
You can also send clients reminder emails to order prints, or to check out if they already have a loaded cart.
Why use ShootProof as your client gallery software?
- Give your final product a polished, professional look
- Make it easy for clients to order prints after their session
- Give easily accessible downloading and resizing options
- Automatically add watermarks
- Allow clients to add favorites and labels for easy ordering
- Easily share full galleries with future clients
Charge travel fees for certain locations
If you have clients inquiring about a family session that’s a little farther than you’d normally travel, remember to make this an additional fee. Between gas money or transit and the time taken to get there, it’s worth it to charge for your travel time.
The photoshoot is not the only work you’ll be doing that day – getting there and back could potentially cut into time spent answering emails or doing post-production.
How to determine your travel fee
- Use the government mileage – great if you want a standard calculation across all travel jobs
- Charge a flat travel fee for anything between 30 and 100 miles
- Charge a flat travel fee for certain metropolitan areas. Example: If you’re based in New Jersey, establish a flat travel fee for Brooklyn, NY.
- For much further travel jobs, calculate accommodations, gas or airfare, and any travel days that may make you unavailable for potential work. Many photographers will charge a half-day if their travel job requires them to miss a Saturday, for example.
Additional fees for retouching digital images
Some photographers only offer basic color correction, cropping, and global edits. Others may charge additional fees for retouching and post-production work that goes beyond the typical scope.
If your client asks you to retouch something, make sure you’re getting compensated for that extra time beyond your current family photography pricing.
Create offers to entice repeat clients and referrals
One of the best parts of being a family photographer is getting to watch your clients grow through the years. Family photography is built upon repeat business; once a family finds their photographer, they’ll want to stick to them. Starting with families while their children are young is a great way to plant the idea of repeat business.
Offer repeat clients special deals
Create photography offers to entice your clients to come back again next time. That could be a special repeat-client discount, exclusively offered to a certain number of repeats. You could also do a guarantee with your clients that the price they pay now is the price they’ll pay forever, even if your prices change.
Share a referral special with your family client network
Another major source of business for family photographers is through referral networks. Families know a lot of other families through both parent and child social activities. Offer your current clients a special deal for referrals – something like a free 8×10 print or special price for their next session.
Use client feedback to improve your family photography business
You’ll always want to make sure your clients are happy enough to keep coming back. Be sure to listen to their feedback after your sessions.
Request reviews through platforms like Google and Facebook to show other clients what they’ll experience with you – and take their feedback seriously, both positive and negative.
How to collect client feedback after a shoot
- Send your clients a follow-up survey to understand positive notes and pain points
- Ask them to share any negative feedback privately in the survey
- Request that clients share the positive feedback on your public review platforms
- Send your clients a print or small gift with a request to leave feedback
- Hold a follow-up phone call if you’d like to understand your client’s needs further
What do professional photographers usually charge for family sessions?
Family photography pricing varies so heavily between different photographers. That’s because, as mentioned before, there are tons of ways to structure your pricing. You’ll also have to factor in competitor market rates. The family photographers in San Francisco, California are likely charging very differently than in Sarasota, Florida.
Range of family photography pricing
For flat-rate family photographers who only provide digital files, you can expect a range anywhere from $250 per session to $2000.
Photographers who rely more heavily on print and album sales may even charge a little less for family photos since they end up up-selling after the initial session.
Create packages for family portrait photography
A great way to make the sales process smoother is to offer packaged pricing. Tailor different packages to the needs of your clients and price accordingly. If you’re giving them a print release and full-res digital images, for example, this would likely be more expensive than medium-res files with the option to print from your ShootProof Gallery.
Determine family photography pricing for your small business
Ultimately, it’s up to you how you want to charge for your sessions. Are your ideal clients the kind of people who frame large fine art prints in their homes? Or are they just happy to share on Instagram and holiday cards?
Consider who your client is when choosing your family photography pricing structure, and how to best cater to their experience.