04. Pricing your photography

In this chapter Karl goes over pricing your photography and discusses day rates, outside services (retouchers and models etc) set building and props, agents, equipment and studio rental as well as looking into charging usage fees and finding a balance in what to charge.


  1. Hi Karl
    Great course however it would be greatly appreciated if you could do a course on how to price everyday portrait pricing as maybe an equation i.e. Time + cost – mark up – price.
    The portraiture market is a nightmare at the moment as everyone with an iPhone is a photographer add to that the so called ” lifestyle photography” of some high street studios a few years ago selling pictures where everything was crazy crops and grossly overexposed for high prices that people quickly where able to emulate on there mobile phones of compact cameras and you have the current market. Trying to find a niche is a nightmare. I would greatly appreciate something on pricing headshots for businesses.

    Much obliged Stephen

    1. Hi Stephen, I understand where you are coming from on this but my answer to this would be based on the information I provided in Chapter 7 of this course. If you watch that first and then let me know what you think.

  2. Hi Karl,
    I’m one of your big fans from Saudi Arabia, I have seen most of your YouTube Videos and purchased your product photography course and I can’t wait to attend one of your workshops.

    I have a photography business in Saudi Arabia and our pricing strategy is different, we charge for the number photo for example:
    1- If you are a hotel and you need photos we charge for the number of photos you need.
    2- If you have a product we charge for the number of photos you need for that product.

    We are doing so because when photographers get better they spend less time to produce great work.

    What do you think of that?
    Do you use Day Rate for product photography that you do at your studio?

    Thank You for the great knowledge you shared 🙂

    1. Hi Ibrahim, that is interesting but the problem I see with that pricing in the type of work I shoot (especially in product and advertising photography) is that it might take all day to set up just one shot to get it perfect. So in Europe and the USA we generally charge by time in half day or full day units and then there is an additional fee for the more photos supplied to cover the post processing time.

  3. Hi, Karl. Love your materials, they are very helpful. I especially fancy the ESTIMATE calculator.

    Is there any way to make that Excel file editable so I could personalize it? The cells are currently locked, except for the ones where you input your numbers. 🙂

    1. Hi Rich, agents like to see a great website/collection of images that is not the same or too similar to someone else they already have on their books. So do you research when looking at different agents. There are plenty of listings for agents, most of them are based in the bigger cities, they of course have websites and you can see the standard of the photographers they represent. Remember that an agent is really only interested in one thing: Money. They talk a good game and they make lots of promises but they are only interested in you if they believe they can sell your work and get there 20%. Although as I explained in this course they are good at getting you higher fees and occasionally bigger jobs. I’ve had friends of mine who have had agents and then swapped agents and then got fed up with their agents and left them. I’ve had other friends who love their agents and have been with them for many years. Approach them by letter/email with links to your work and see if you can set up a meeting.

  4. Hi Karl. This video ends leaving me hanging about the usage fee calculator. Is there a second part that I’m missing?


    1. Hi John, the pricing part is also available as a download sheet with the relevant information. The usage calculator is another download tool that is purely for calculating usage as described in the video which is something different to pricing your actual day rate for photography.

  5. Hi Karl,
    I found this video and documents really helpful.
    Although I’m not sure how to apply it on retouching service, that I provide to other photographers. I have some price chart but sometimes I have feeling that I’m underpaid for some jobs.
    Could you help how to price retouching service?

    Thank you,
    Zeljko Dangubic

    1. Hi Zeljko, that’s a tricky one, you will need to look at good retouchers fees and compare to work that out. I think good retouchers work from about £50-£75 per hour upwards.

  6. Hi Karl,
    Hi Karl,
    My name is Victoria Machin and I am a photographer based in Miami, Florida.
    I have an OPPORTUNITY of a LIFETIME as a client of mines want to hire me to photograph her and her partner in Africa next year. She will pay for all my Travel expenses and my Studio Manager’s expense for 13 days but I will be out 13 days away from my business and I have a studio to keep running. How do you suggest I should charge her for this for my work? Besides her covering travel expenses which would be close to $12,000 per person what do you propose I should charge for my work? Let me know your thoughts. Is there a formula to go by for something like this? Thank you in advanced.

    1. Hi Victoria, some lovely wedding work on your website by the way! Your time is your time if you weren’t travelling then you’d be working on something else so your client has to appreciate that. However when I get commissioned for extended projects of many days then I usually offer some sort of discount, so if a project is going to take 7 days then it would be my day rate less maybe 10%. I guess you will need to consider your day rate and what is expected of you day to day photography wise. Also it is worth noting that I also charge travel time for getting to and from overseas projects because this is also time lost from your business or your personal life. You then need to weigh up how much you want to do the project and what it will provide you in terms of pleasure, kudos, portfolio material etc and then consider if you want to win the project if you are willing to negotiate your rates based on those factors. Sometimes these things sound like an amazing opportunity and sometimes they are but they are always still hard work and not a holiday! If you do take the project then also remember to have your assistant video you working so you can maximise your vlogging and publicity material from it. Good luck, Karl.

      1. Wow Karl! Thank you for your quick reply! I completely understand.
        So we were able to educate our client and proposed her with some great incentives and we closed the deal!
        We have been booked to Africa all expenses paid plus our day rates. I am so EXCITED and looking forward to photographing some AMAZING images!

        Thank you for your great advise. I must say I get very inspired by your ideas and creative projects! Love your courses!
        Warm Regards


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