Pricing for photographers often feels like the Wild West. Photographers — even veteran professionals — create price sheets based on how much they would pay, what other photographers are charging, or even what “feels right.” There are no hard and fast rules.
So, how do you price your photography prints and products in a way that sells and boosts your profits? Two things: use a photography tool that makes selling easy, and follow our tips for pricing your products below.
Get clients. Get paid. Get happy.
Pricing Tip #1: Decide Which Prints and Products to Sell
If you’re new to selling prints or print products, consider what you’d like to sell to your clients first. Think about what your clients would want out of print sizes and styles. Consider your preferences, too. What’s the best way for your work to be displayed?
Types of photography prints and products you can sell include:
- Wall art
- Mounted prints
- Metal prints
- Novelty items or gifts like calendars, collages, or keepsake boxes
Once you’ve outlined the photography items you’d like to sell, you’re ready to set up your price sheet.
Pricing Tip #2: Consider Profit
When pricing your prints and products, think about how much profit you want to make. Marking up your work is key if you want to make a profit. It takes getting used to if you have a brand new photography business, but have confidence in your work and worth.
To start pricing your products, consider your cost of goods sold (COGS). COGS includes factors like:
- Labor and materials: How much time is spent actively photographing your client? What about travel, culling, sales, post-production, shipping, and administrative tasks?
- Size: Of course, larger prints and products will cost more than smaller ones.
- Material quality: A fine art print is perceived to be worth more than a standard print, as is a professional lab print vs a drugstore print. The archival paper used is of much higher quality.
- Overhead costs: Your camera equipment, computer, editing software, thumb drive, and anything else that helps you run your business should be factored into your pricing.
We recommend at least a 300% markup to cover all your costs and still make a profit. Another rule of thumb is to charge between two to seven times your COGS. From there, factor in how much to pay yourself, and you’ll have your basic pricing outlined.
Pricing Tip #3: Use Price Sheets Strategically
Once you’ve chosen your products and priced them for profit, you’re ready to create price sheets that’ll encourage your clients to buy. Here are a few tips on making the most of your price sheets.
Offer products at different pricing levels
People have an easier time perceiving the value of a print product when they can compare several at once. So, offer multiple choices at low, medium, and high price points. Your medium price point should both make you a profit and give your clients the best value.
Display commonly sold items
What prints and products are most commonly sold? That’ll depend on your photography niche, your style, your clients’ preferences, and more. But photo albums, framed prints, and canvases are a great place to start.
ShootProof makes creating price sheets easy. When you create your price sheet with ShootProof, we include the most common print sizes and items that we see studios offer, and the suggested markup pricing for your items. You can further customize your sheet by adding or removing items and adjusting the prices, too.
Organize your price sheets well
Look at your price sheet from your clients’ perspective. Is it easy for them to find what they want to buy? Make sure your products are organized so that clients can find what they’re looking for quickly.
We often suggest displaying items priced high to low.
Create a price sheet in your ShootProof account, and we’ll automatically arrange your prints and products into six main groups:
- Fine Art Prints
You can rearrange the groups on your sheet with our simple drag-and-drop feature. Adding, pricing, and editing items in each group is just as simple, too.
Get started with ShootProof
Pricing Tip #4: Work with the Right Printing Lab
To make a healthy profit from selling your photography prints and photos, you have two options: buy a professional printer, or partner with a professional lab.
If you work with a professional lab that creates and delivers your products for you (like one of ShootProof’s many lab partners, for example), you can focus on selling prints and products to your clients while the lab does all the heavy lifting.
Choose from any of these professional lab options through your ShootProof account:
- Bay Photo Lab
- Miller’s Professional Imaging
- White House Custom Colour
- Black River Imaging
- Richard Photo Lab
- Loxley Colour
- Atkins Pro Lab
- Technicare Premier Photo Lab
Pricing Tip #5: Show Your Clients the Value of Prints
Your galleries and price sheets are all set up to sell, but you still have a job to do. You have to show your clients why they should invest in a print or a print product. Don’t just tell them to buy prints and call it a day.
Here are a few tips for selling your prints and products:
- Display your work for inspiration. Hang up tangible prints in your office or studio. You can even hang your work behind your laptop or computer so that they’re easily seen during video meetings. Have a dedicated page on your site that shows examples of all the products you offer in real settings to motivate them. You want to remind them to complete their session with a finished product to display and enjoy in their home. Bonus: Include testimonials from past clients to help establish trust.
- Talk about sales early. Work your prints and products into the conversation right off the bat — as early as booking. You’ll get a feel for what your client wants and is willing to spend later.
- Personalize the sales process. Again, selling is all about showing, not telling. It doesn’t have to feel sleazy, either. Schedule sales meetings where you can show your clients their images for the first time and help them choose prints and products.
- Send reminders. Add email campaigns to your workflow and earn even more from your sales. You could wish past clients a happy anniversary or happy birthday and remind them to buy a print to celebrate.
Take the time to explain why prints and products are worth the investment to your clients, and watch your profits increase.
Pricing Tip #6: Be Confident in Your Pricing
Confidence is key when selling your photography products to make a profit. Don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth, emphasize high-value products, and talk about sales early with new clients. When you’re confident about what you offer, your clients will feel more secure about their investment.
Pair your confidence with a tool that’s optimized for selling from the get-go and watch your photography business thrive. That’s what we do at ShootProof.
Our built-in selling features help you create custom price sheets and sell prints and products developed by top-tier labs — directly from your galleries. From booking to selling to marketing and everything in between, ShootProof helps you sell your photos (and make a profit) with ease. Start your free trial with ShootProof today!
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Images by Laura Michele Photography via Two Bright Lights