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Sales & Pricing
Mar 2021

Pet Photography Pricing: 5 Important Questions!

5 min read

These 5 questions will help you set your pet photography pricing! Make smart biz decisions and improve your bottom line.

Pet photography is one of the fastest-growing genres of photography right now.  You might want to make it your main business or simply offer pet portraits as a compliment to your other sessions.  Either way, you need to know what to charge.  Today, we’ll discuss five basic questions you need to answer before you jump into your pet photography pricing strategy.

  • Determine demand
  • Outline services
  • Determine costs

#1: Is pet photography in my area?

I’m going to be the econ geek I trained to be in grad school for a minute.  Understanding demand helps guide your business.  Demand is determined in part by how many people want your product, what they are willing to pay for it, and how much competition exists.

This is where you’ll want to do some market research.  Knowing the demand in your area helps minimize risk when launching new products or services. 

dog and goat

Photos by Dirt Road Wife Photography

Photos by Dirt Road Wife Photography

#2: What types of pet photography services will I offer?

Before you try to price your work, it’s important to know exactly what kind of pet photography services you’ll offer.  There are different types of pet photography, which require different pet photography pricing approaches.  

Custom pet portraits are individualized for each client.  Like a family photographer, you get to know your clients and their pets.  These are a more in-depth, private photo session similar to a family portrait session with high-quality imagery and a personalized experience.  

Volume pet photographers make less money per client but make their profits by shooting a lot of clients.  Some volume pet photographers host Santa/pet portrait sessions, for example.

Pet event photographers take photos at animal-related events and activities, such as rabbit shows, hunting dog field trials, adoption events, fairs, or pet festivals.  

#3: Will I sell prints, digitals, or some combination of both?

Decide on a basic business model before you start putting numbers on a price sheet.  Do you want to offer digital galleries only and make your money upfront on pet photography session fees?  Would you rather focus on providing wall art and albums using an in-person sales model (IPS)?  How about a hybrid method where digital files are available as part of packages?

A volume pet photographer must make similar decisions.  Will you sell print packages ahead of time?  Charge a flat fee for all the digital images?  Let clients choose only their favorite images to purchase?

There’s no one right or preferred business model for pet photography pricing.  It depends on your personality, time, and personal philosophy.  The important thing is to make that decision now so you can price your work accordingly!

black and white dog

Photos by Dirt Road Wife Photography

Photos by Dirt Road Wife Photography

#4: What kind of packages will I offer?

Are you offering a few digital files, different sizes of prints, albums, canvas, or something else?  Determining what products your packages include affects your pet photography pricing!  Why?  Those products cost time, effort, and money.  

#5: What are my costs of doing business?  

Finally, you must know your costs.  Actually, this is the most important factor in pricing!  If you aren’t even making enough money to cover your costs, your business will roll over and play dead before you know it.

First, list the fixed costs associated with your business.  Include things such as equipment, insurance,  education, gallery hosting, studio rental, websites, and membership to professional groups. 

Now list all the variable costs that you might incur for the specific type of photoshoots you want to offer.  These would be items such as the average cost of a canvas,  products, location or equipment rental, the additional cost of labor, travel costs, etc. 

buckskin horse

Photos by Kelly Acs Photography

Finally, don’t forget to pay yourself!  You need/want to make money with this!

Photos by Kelly Acs Photography

Answering these five questions gives you the information you need to begin making decisions on your pricing.  Pricing is an arduous process, but doing it right may mean the difference between a thriving business and long-term frustration.



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