Photography is difficult to price because there are so many aspects involved in delivering your final product. We are selling both goods and services! I see many photographers make the mistake of pricing an 8×10 at $20. It stands to reason that since it costs $3 and then it is marked it up almost 7x then it should certainly be making money! However, I have yet to see a business model that can be profitable selling $20 8×10’s, other than the very high volume chain studios. Now there is nothing wrong with being a high volume studio if that is what you are developing your business model to be, however being an on-location studio you cannot charge high volume studio prices and expect to remain in business for long.
The X factor when calculating your pricing is failing to account for your TIME. An 8×10 is much more than the paper it is printed on, it is all of your time that went into making that final print. We make money in our business model on the products that we sell to clients. Those products need to not only pay for our hard costs in creating the product but also your time preparing that item. This is especially important in calculating your prices for albums and prints, as those items tend to have the most time associated in producing them. In addition, you must remember that you should be making enough during each session to pay yourself for all of your time spent working on your business, such as marketing and website development. Remember, the only time you are bringing money into your business is through your sessions. They must be priced appropriately to allow you to stay in business. Now, how on earth do you determine what profitable pricing is? Enter the COGS, or Costs of Goods Sold.
To develop your COGS you MUST factor in your time in creating that product:
|8×10 Print + mounting||$9|
|Process Time 15 min||$15|
|4 x COGS||$108|
While you need to do your own calculations in order to come up with your pricing, generally 8×10’s should be priced at LEAST $50, often much more, in order to have a chance of being profitable. Many people aren't sure what to price their time at either. If I were to outsource my editing I would pay $60/hour so that is what I used in this calculation. Your business costs may be more, as if you have a retail space then you will need to have a higher per hour rate of pay for those extra costs.
Looking for some more pricing training? Forget what every other pet photographer is charging -- the best thing you can do for your business is set your prices based on YOUR business and YOUR goals. It’s time to stop following the pack and let your rates lead you to a sustainable business!
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- The #1 thing you need to know BEFORE setting your prices
- My simple formula to set up your pricing structure for success
- How to increase your prices without losing customers
Oh, and did I mention this is a free training? Grab it below.
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