Pricing Your Work and Keeping Track of All Aspects of Your Production

Something all photographers have to deal with on a daily basis is how to price their professional work. It’s something that’s not easy to quantify, and each job is usually a different monster requiring its own unique budget.

Chris Hau, a photographer and videographer based out of Ontario, Canada, and his business partner, Lizzie, have created a video trying to explain in their own opinion on how to price your photography. They brought up many good points such as breaking down each individual task of a project into an Excel worksheet to calculate time and equipment required to make the production happen. Along with that, they recommended comparing your work to other photographers in your area just to see what others are charging and to get a good idea of what the typical budget in your area looks like. They then go on to explain the logistics behind sending an estimate to the client and how important it is to get things in writing to avoid any unwanted contract disputes going forward.

Now, most of these ideas may seem small, but using all of them together will allow you and your client to be clear on all of the logistics, timeframes, and work to be delivered. This will ensure that no one is left in the dark and you’re aware of all aspects of your production.

Chris Ramsey Jr.'s picture

Chris Ramsey Jr. is a Denver, CO based outdoor lifestyle and adventure photographer/videographer. He is constantly pushing himself physically, mentally, and creativity to further his freelance work.

When he's not behind his computer you can find him in the mountains enjoying the great outdoors.

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This was something I struggled with as a hobbyist. My pricing process changed completely after a year or so into it. It's so easy to get sucked into doing extra stuff that is not part of the budget.

They don't get into the main things that were hammered into me early on:

First, know what you need to earn. Bottom line, you have to make enough to pay your bills.

Two, know the continuing costs of owning the business (such as insurance) that you have to pay whether you have clients or not.

Three, the costs each job incurs...the "cost of sales."

Every job has to pay a bit for all three.

Four: The only inflexible factor is your time. Every single hour you're in business costs you money. You can't get more than 24 hours in a day. So you always have to account for the ROI of every hour: How much money is that hour making to pay those costs.

The info in this is really for like people who haven't even started professional photography yet or who are just getting into it while living in their parents house. Chris's philosophy based on the content i've seen from him is undercut to get "free travel" or "free gear". Some article I read about him had him living at home with his parents (no problem there) by choice so again, no kids to feed, no mortgage to pay.

I just don't know how serious I can take his word given his very limited experience outside of being a one wheeling youtuber.