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How much should you charge as a beginner photographer?

When it comes to starting a photography business, one of the most difficult questions a beginner photographer must ask themselves is, “how much should I charge?” It can be challenging to determine an appropriate rate without overpricing or underpricing your services. As an assistant of SEO writer, I have researched this topic and compiled some helpful tips to assist any beginner photographer in determining a suitable rate.

Factors that Affect How Much to Charge

The rate at which a beginner photographer should charge primarily depends on several factors, such as:

  • Experience level: As an entry-level photographer, you are just starting out, and the fees that you charge should reflect this. While it’s important to factor in your experience and skills, it is also necessary to price your services accordingly to what clients are willing to pay for an inexperienced photographer.
  • Location: Where you work also determines how much you should charge. Photography prices can differ from place to place, so research what similar photographers in your area charge and adjust your pricing accordingly.
  • Equipment: Photography equipment can be expensive, and as a result, some photographers factor in the cost of rental or buying of tools. A good approach to determining your pricing is to factor in the cost of equipment with a modest profit margin which helps in covering the cost of equipment over time.
  • Type of Photography: As an entry-level photographer, you might specialize in either wedding photos, events, or portrait photography, each of which would require different fees. When figuring out your rates, you must understand what niche of photography you are interested in and price your services accordingly.
  • Competitive landscape: Researching and understanding what your competition is charging is crucial in figuring out what you should be charging. Look at the prices of photographers in your area and consider how you can keep up without sacrificing quality.

How to Determine Your Rate

As mentioned, several factors go into determining what you can charge as a beginner photographer. However, there are different criteria that can help you determine your pricing model such as:

  • Hourly rate: One option is to provide an hourly rate and charge for each hour of work that you complete. The hourly rate for beginner photographer can range $50-$150 per hour
  • Per image rate: It may be required to assess your pricing by the photo. You can charge a flat fee for each photo that you take, and the cost would vary based on the number of photos the client requests. A median rate ranges $25-$125 per image
  • Session fee: This pricing plan involves charging a fee for the session or event, which could include several hours, rather than charging per image or hour. It is advisable for photographers who specialize in events, such as weddings, this could be appropriate and serves as an hourly rate.


Setting a competitive yet reasonable price for your services is crucial in establishing a successful photo business. Do a deep dive into the different factors that affect how much you should charge as a beginner photographer, consider various pricing approaches, and understand that pricing metrics are flexible, it is an ongoing process of adjustments and fine-tuning based on clients’ demand, and the results will pay off in successful and thriving photography business.


How do I figure out how much to charge for photography?

As a photographer, setting your prices can be a difficult task. If you charge too much, you risk losing potential customers, but if you charge too little, you may not make enough to cover your expenses and make a profit. Here are some steps you can take to ensure you price your photography services accurately and fairly:

1. Determine Your Expenses: The first step in setting your prices is to figure out how much it costs to run your photography business. This includes expenses such as equipment, insurance, marketing, and website costs. Make a list of all your business expenses.

2. Calculate Your Overhead Costs: Once you have a list of your business expenses, calculate the total amount of money needed to cover these expenses for the year. This will give you your overhead cost.

3. Estimate Your Number of Jobs: Next, you need to estimate the number of jobs you plan to work on in a year. This will help you determine how much of your overhead costs should be added to each job.

4. Calculate Your Hourly Rate: Divide the number of hours you plan to work in a year by the number of jobs you plan to work on. This will give you an estimated number of hours you’ll spend on each job. Divide your annual overhead cost by the number of jobs you plan to work on in a year to determine your overhead per job. Add your overhead per job to the estimated hours per job. This will give you your hourly rate.

5. Determine Your Profit Margin: Determine how much profit you want to make on each job. A profit margin of 20-30% is common in the photography industry.

6. Finalize Your Pricing: Once you’ve calculated your hourly rate and profit margin, you can determine how much to charge for a photography job. Multiply your hourly rate by the number of hours you estimate it will take to complete the job. Add your profit margin to this amount to get your final price.

It’s important to note that when pricing your photography services, you should also take into consideration the industry standards and your level of experience. Look at what other photographers in your area charge for similar services and adjust your pricing accordingly. By following these steps, you’ll be able to set prices that are fair, competitive, and ensure you make a profit.

How do I price myself as a freelance photographer?

As a freelance photographer, pricing yourself can be a daunting task. Setting your price too high might cause potential clients to turn away, while setting your price too low might undermine your worth. Therefore, it’s essential to get it right.

Firstly, you need to know your worth. To charge appropriately for your services, you first need to have a good understanding of the value you bring to your clients. What sets you apart from other photographers? What do you offer that is unique? What skills do you have that make the client’s experience with you special? Are you specialized in a particular type of photography? You need to answer all this to determine the value you bring to the table.

Secondly, consider the length of the project. Short-term projects may require a day rate, where long-term projects may require a contract or retainer arrangement. Generally, freelance photographers charge hourly or daily rates, and the fees vary depending on the project’s complexity, location, and deadline.

Thirdly, consider your experience. When you’re first starting, the rule of thumb is to charge less than other professionals. You can consider the following pricing guidelines: semi-pro photographers with their first client should charge around $50–$150/hour; and $25–$125/image. Professional photographers, who have been paid for their work before, can charge a higher rate of around $75–$250/hour and $75–$250/image. Keep in mind that these are just guidelines, and you can adjust them based on your level of experience, skill-set, and the market you serve.

Lastly, research your competition. Take the time to research your competition to understand market rates in your area. Find out what other photographers are offering and at what price point. Then, you can set your fee accordingly.

Pricing yourself as a freelance photographer is all about understanding your worth and the value you bring to your clients. Know your skills, consider the length of the project, and research your competition. your price point should be a reflection of your unique value proposition.

How many pictures do you need for a 1 hour session?

When it comes to photography sessions, one common question that people have is how many pictures they should expect to get from a one hour session. The answer to this question can vary depending on various factors such as the type of photography being done and the skill level of the photographer.

However, as a general rule of thumb, you can expect to get between forty to fifty shots in a one hour photography session. In the first thirty minutes, you can expect to have twenty or so decent shots. This is because the first thirty minutes are typically used for warming up, getting everyone comfortable, setting up equipment, and testing various settings.

After the initial thirty minutes, the photographer will have a better understanding of the lighting, location, and poses that work best for the person or subject being photographed. Therefore, the next thirty minutes will likely be more productive, resulting in more quality shots.

It is also important to note that the number of shots a photographer takes is not always an indicator of the quality of the work. In some cases, several shots may be taken to ensure that the subject’s best possible image is captured. In other cases, a photographer may only take a few shots, but they will still be of high quality.

Lastly, it is always essential to communicate your expectations to your photographer before the shoot. By doing so, you can set a clear understanding of what you want to achieve from the session, and the photographer can offer insights on how best to achieve your goals while managing your expectations.

A one hour photography session can result in approximately forty to fifty shots. Nevertheless, the key to a successful photography session is not the number of shots taken, but the quality of the images captured. Communicating your expectations and goals to your photographer will help ensure that you achieve the desired outcome.