One of the most difficult things for me when I began my photography business was figuring out how much to charge for my work. It doesn’t help that I have an aversion to anything math related (much to the chagrin of my culture), but coming up with that magic number to make it worth the drive to Timbuktu to traipse through rattlesnake-filled fields lugging a too heavy sofa for a photo session and then going home to spend another late night editing in front of the computer, it’s a labor of love, especially when you are first starting out.


So how do you know how much to charge? There are a few considerations, beginning with what niche you are after? Are you going to be the Wal-mart of photography studios, where you offer your services for bargain basement prices or more of a boutique style studio, which prices you higher? A major thing to consider is how much do you need to make to pay your bills, put food on the table and finally leave that day job? The answer to how much you should charge isn’t a one-size-fits-all, which makes it one of the most difficult parts of starting a photography business.

For me, I asked some close photography friends to share their pricing with me, sat down with my math-savvy friend and filled a steno pad with numbers. It was painful. There are pricing softwares, workshops, and specific calculators you can use, but here’s an easy method to figure it out – and it only takes some simple math.


In the following clip from CreativeLive, newborn photographer, Kelly Brown says that figuring out what to charge is “actually very simple.” She shares her pricing formula beginning with her cost of doing business. Actually, Kelly admits that when you start, it is easier said than done as she points out the numerous costs of doing business. After you come up with that number and how much you want to pay yourself, you have to think about how often you want to work. With all these numbers floating around, you then divide the first and the second numbers and voila, you have THE magic number of how much you should charge. Then you bang your head on a table and cry. (Just kidding).

It actually is fairly easy, so go grab those calculators (and some chocolate) and get to work.

To see more from Kelly, watch her CreativeLive class (last day is today!) here.