A big challenge for freelance photographers is what to charge. Being talented at photography doesn’t automatically equip you with the skills necessary to run a photography business (for more on that topic, I recommend reading The E-Myth by Michael Gerber).
Dealing with the business side can be extremely difficult. There are many resources online – but nowhere that gives a concise, straight-forward answer for every category. We’d like to grow and develop this article into the most accurate the internet has to offer on this topic. So if you have any suggestions for improvement please leave it in the comments. We’d love to develop a rate calculator in the future for photographers to use as well.
Full day including Ceremony & Reception; Solo; 10hrs max. base fee – $1500
Have an assistant? (Charge $500 per assistant) – $2000
Will it be more than 10 hours? – $2500
Do you have more than 5 weddings under your belt? – $3000
Do you have 10+ weddings under your belt? – $4000
Have your wedding photos been published in well circulated wedding magazines? – $5000
Are you one of the top wedding photographers in your city/state/country? – $10k
All of the above + destination and/or super wealthy client? – $10k+
Shooting your first wedding but have other pro photo experience? – $250 -500
Shooting a close friend/family members wedding? (Never, ever shoot weddings for free!) – $500
Shooting an acquaintances wedding? – Give them a 10% discount, if they truly deserve it.
Live in NY or LA and/or have a long commute or added expenses? – Add on $100+
1/4 day, 1 loc, 3-4 setups, all pics, 10 final edits – $300
1/2 day, 1-2 loc, 4-6 setups, all pics, 10-15 final edits – $500
Do you have more than 5 engagement shoots under your belt? + Add $50
Do you have 10+ engagement shoots under your belt? + Add $100
Have your engagement shoots been published online or in print? Are you in high demand? + Add $100
All of the above and/or super wealthy client + Add $200 (1/4 day $500 | 1/2 day $700)
Is it your first engagement shoot but you have other photo experience? – $50-150
Shooting a good friend’s engagement pics? – $150
Shooting an acquaintances engagement pics? – $250
1/2 day solo photographer w/ solo artist 1-3 loc 4-5 setups for album packaging/promo w/ 10 edited finals – $500
1/2 day solo photographer w/ band (3-6 members) 1-3 loc 4-5 setups for album packaging/promo w/ 10 edited finals – $1,000
Full day solo photographer w/ solo artist 3-5loc 5-10 setups for album packaging/promo w/ 20 edited finals – $750
Full day solo photographer w/ band (3-6 members) 3-5 loc 5-10 setups for album packaging/promo w/ 20 edited finals – $1,250
Have an assistant? – Add $100 for 1/2 day & $250 for full day
Have a make-up artist? – Add their fee, don’t subtract it from yours.
Have wardrobe? – Add their fee, don’t subtract it from yours.
Paying for a location? – Add the location fee.
Have you done more than 10 photoshoots with musicians and/or are you in high demand? – Add $100 – $1k
Is the musician an extremely good friend that can’t afford you? – Discount your services up to 50% but never lower.