How Does Your Photography Pricing Compare?

By Sarah Petty

When starting a new photography business, one of the biggest hurdles is deciding how to price your photography.

So we at the Joy of Marketing, an educational resource for over 90,000 professional photographers, surveyed 1,828 professional photographers about pricing photography.

The survey respondents are from 15 countries and specialize in portraits and/or wedding photography.

So how does your photography pricing compare to our survey respondents?

Here are the Joy of Marketing Photography Pricing Survey findings:

2015 Joy of Marketing Photography Business Pricing Survey - How does your photography business price compare?

The results of the Joy of Marketing Photography pricing survey.

HOW MUCH DOES A PHOTOGRAPHER MAKE?

53% of photographers surveyed responded that their photography is priced too low.

And we aren’t surprised by this finding.

Many photographers feel the ability to do what they love on their own time outweighs their lower earning potential.

And the average United States- based photographer earns $38,350 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That’s over $6,000 less per year than the national average wage of $44,888.

Raising prices and learning how to profitably price photography could help offset this gap.

A whopping 95% of survey respondents do not think their photography is priced too high, indicating a potential trend for photography prices to increase in the upcoming years.

PHOTOGRAPHY PRODUCT PRICING

75% of survey respondents offer both digital AND printed products. And only 18% exclusively sell digital photography products.

For those who sell photography prints, 60% of respondents charge less than $50 for an 8” x 10” print.

This is a troubling indicator for photographers trying to build a profitable business. Here’s why:

According to Professional Photographers of America, the non-profit association for professional photographers in the United States, a photographer needs to price an 8” x 10” photography print at $51 to cover their costs. This is based on a photographer valuing their time at $30 / hour.

Most photographers who responded to our survey are losing money pricing their 8” x 10” print at $50 or less.

The 33% of photographers who are pricing their photography prints at $51 – $100 are likely somewhat profitable.

The top 7% of survey respondents report that they are pricing their portrait photography at more than $100 for an 8” x 10”.

As far as session fee pricing, Smartshoot conducted a similar survey finding that the average portrait photographer charges anywhere from $230-$954 per session depending on the length of the session, studio time needed and equipment required.

CONFIDENCE IN HOW TO PRICE PHOTOGRAPHY

82% of photographers surveyed stated that they are clueless or only slightly confident that their prices are profitable.

And just 18% of photographers surveyed feel confident that they know how to price photography and their current photography prices are profitable.

Many photographers doubt their math skills and use competitors’ pricing as a baseline for setting their prices, thus leading to doubt and uncertainty about their profitability.

For more information on how to price photography, here are a few of our top resources:

5 Photography Pricing Tips

3 Small Pricing Tweaks You Can Make in 30 Minutes or Less

Now it’s your turn. How does your photography pricing compare to our survey results?

Want to learn more?

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