Sales & Pricing
Mar 2021

Photography Pricing Strategies For Every Business Model

9 min read

Which of these photography pricing strategies suits you best? Analyze the top pricing strategies and apply the perfect fit for your business!


Choose a photography pricing strategy that best suits your business

Everyone claims that their pricing structure is the best, but does it work with your business model? Whether you’re setting your price for a specific product or service, here’s a breakdown of the top four pricing strategies and how to optimize each one to get you in at your perfect price point. 

Because if you don’t love it, you won’t sell it!

First things first, no matter your photography pricing strategy, you’ve got to pay yourself

To avoid over-booking and burning out, make sure you never work for less than your get-out-of-bed rate. Accurately calculate your business costs, don’t forget savings for retirement and unexpected expenses. Then determine how many hours you work per offering.

couple in desert mountains

Jacie Marguerite

Calculate how much time you spend on admin, working on your marketing strategy, and social media. If you take your business costs out of what you charge for your photography services and divide that by how many hours you spend on every photo shoot or wedding, are you paying yourself that get-out-bed rate? If not, it is time to rework your prices!

#1: Shoot and Burn | What you see is what you get

 

Why you love it

This strategy often gets a bad rap, being tagged as economy pricing. However, you chose the shoot and burn approach because price transparency is your happy place. 

How you use it

When potential clients inquire about your rates, you happily present them with a quote covering pre-shoot prep, hours behind the camera, and all of their digital files. Your clients never have to worry about sneaky additional charges with you!

Potential problems

Breaking from the price-based mentality is key to guaranteeing the shoot and burn pricing strategy is sustainable for your photography business. Keep in mind that because you cut out in-person sales, the most valuable face-to-face time you spend with your client is while you are shooting. Ensure that you are optimizing every opportunity to build your client relationships. 

#ShootProofPRO Tip

Providing exceptional service will increase your value in your customers’ minds and help you to attract customers that hire you for more than the number you’ve attached to your offering. 

couple kissing

Jacie Marguerite

#2: À la carte | Give the client all the decision power

 

Why you love it

You selected the à la carte method because you are confident your customer knows best! This pricing strategy gives your photography customers the comfort of only buying what they want. All they have to do is pick it out from a carefully curated list of product offerings. 

How you use it

You know clients can be overwhelmed with too many options, so you’ve set up a no-fail in-person sales process that will allow them to imagine what they will do with every product they purchase from you. Perhaps you’ve even included a product credit in the session fee to incentivize product sales from the very get-go.

couple

Jacie Marguerite

Potential problems

You may be tempted to deliver images that only contribute to the narrative, but ones you know your clients may not print. Yet if they aren’t gotta-have-’em-worthy, they aren’t worthy of being included. Remove analysis paralysis for a smoother sale!

#ShootProofPRO Tip

Enhance your client experience by not only educating them on your higher-priced products but create an environment that allows them to experience these quality legacy items upfront. 

couple

Jacie Marguerite

#3: Packages | Eliminate overthinking

 

Why you love it

Your clients hire you because you’re the expert! They trust your vision and experience and know you will give them exactly what they need. These tried-and-true packages are a perfect mix, making for a pricing strategy that meets all the needs of your photography clients.

How you use it

With this pricing strategy, what you offer is so much more than their package price! You’ve crafted incredible collections highlighting some of your most-loved products paired with your very best photography services. Your clients won’t be throwing a CD of your images into a junk drawer and forgetting them; instead, they know they are also purchasing tangible items that will last for generations.

couple

Jacie Marguerite

Potential problems

Clients may feel blocked deciding between two different collections, so have them articulate just what is holding them back. Incentivize your clients to purchase by focusing on what is most valuable to them, then upgrade your offer with the gift they actually want.

#ShootProofPRO Tip

Highlight your favorite package with a “most popular” tag, link to a gallery, testimony, or some other form of social proof. This additional label gives supplementary validation, further increasing its value.

couple

Jacie Marguerite Fine Art Photographer

#4: Custom Collections | Recognizing every client is different

 

Why you love it

This pricing strategy is your perfect fit because you’ve been working as a photography business owner long enough to recognize that not everyone wants exactly the same experience. You’re not an assembly line! With this pricing strategy, you can modify each client’s experience based on their individual needs.

How you use it

Some of your clients want you to show up the day of, shoot precisely what’s on their list, and then be on your way. While others need additional hand-holding, bonus consultations, and are hiring you for all that you bring to the table. You can recognize these two different clients from the first contact and create customized collections that speak directly to each of them.

couple sitting on rock

Jacie Marguerite

Potential problems

It could deter some clients that you only list a starting price on your website, thinking this ambiguity is a veil for premium pricing. However, using storytelling in your website copy will show how you customize every aspect of your clients’ experiences, not just their collections. 

#ShootProofPRO Tip

Your experience in this industry has shown you how clients don’t always know everything they need. So an even greater way to prove your worth is to create two custom collections – one that offers exactly what they’ve asked for and a second collection with additional products or services you know they need.

couple

Jacie Marguerite

So which of these photography pricing strategies is right for your business?

Deciding on which strategy to apply to your photography business is so much more than determining your profit margin, calculating your market share, and setting a price. You must consider the customer journey and how you’re willing to guide them through this experience. When you’ve compared the pros and cons of each system and found your perfect photography pricing strategy, you’ll have the confidence to price yourself appropriately and provide exceptional service for every one of your clients!


Written by RACHAEL LAPORTE | Photographs by JACIE MARGUERITE FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHER via Two Bright Lights

Try ShootProof Free for 14 Days!

Get Started