Ask the experts: Pricing events

October 2015 issue

Ask the experts: Pricing events

Q. I’ve been doing pretty well with my photography business, which is location family portraits. One of my clients has asked me to shoot an event, though. How do I price that?

A. There’s no simple answer to this question because before you can determine any pricing, you have to know your numbers. Determining your numbers takes work, but it’s an essential part of being an entrepreneur. You can’t just price your services the same as someone else’s; prices must be based on your unique business model, financial expectations, and income goals.

Three important numbers for you to determine as you start developing your pricing:

  • Your day and half-day rates. Figuring these requires that you calculate all the time involved in making the photographs: preparation (including planning, packing, and traveling), taking photographs, and post-production. Also figured into your day and half-day rates is the value of the images you’re providing, which includes a base price for electronic use, the geographic reach of the images, and their length of use.
  • Your sales average goal. Your sales strategy should include the average sales goal required to reach your overall financial goal. You have more of a chance of hitting your sales goal if it is pre-determined and your pricing structure supports it. You’ll find a financial tool that will help you determine your sales average and session goals at
  • Your income goal. How much do you need to earn? Your business financial goals should satisfy your personal financial goals.

Bridget Jackson, PPA Education Department

Tags: event photographypricing

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