How to calculate the cost of a photo shooting

The price is one of the main things anyone consider while purchasing a good or a service.

But how should we calculate the rate of a photo shooting? How does the professional photographer “make the price”?

Here I try to list some suggestions to understand what is behind a quote.

First of all, the professional photographer must consider both the hours worked during the event itself, and the time needed during the editing phase. For this reason, for some types of photo shoots the number of photographs delivered can be decisive on the final price: the photographer’s work is not limited in the shooting itself, but continues beyond this moment because the development includes a careful selection of the best pictures and the post-production process to make all images homogeneous and with no defects.

Another important point is the costs of the equipment: not only high performance cameras, lenses and flashes but also computers, software licenses, editing programs and storage systems.

If the photographer owns a studio, it is necessary to keep in mind all the costs for rent and utilities, but also the payment of his assistants and collaborators, as well as the expenses incurred for advertising and marketing.

Keeping in mind that this is a work that has to do with art and artisanality, it should be necessary to consider all the investments that the professional does in training, which are not only courses and workshops, but also purchase of books, meetings with other professionals, visits to exhibitions and travels.

Some photographers pay annual fees for professional registers or associations and then – last but not least – a professional with a regular VAT number or a company owner is required to pay taxes, and this affects his income a lot.

Briefly, these are the most technical aspects which sometimes the user who asks for a photo shoot quote does not really consider.

But there is another thing that I would like to add: to hire a professional photographer also means acquiring quality, experience and knowledge of the work. It is not a small thing if you consider that, thinking about a wedding, to have the ability to work non-stop for 8, 10 even 12 hours always keeping a high quality standard and without ever losing a shot, it is something that you only learn in years.

For a photographer, the shooting itself is “the last” phase of the work: first comes training, research, curiosity, growing in a specific sector while getting inspired by every form of art, maintaining a high quality standard and improving day after day.

I think this is something that is invaluable and that immediately distinguishes a true professional from a simple amateur who, certainly, will propose his work for half of the price.