Starting a photography business can be exciting and challenging, especially when determining how to price your services. While pricing models vary across countries or regions, one common mistake many beginner photographers make is creating a price per image or video. In this blog post, we'll dive into why pricing per image or video may not be the best approach for your food photography business, and I will share more about the correct way to price your services.
When you work with companies and create images of their products, you are doing commercial work. These images are used on e-shops, websites, packaging or social media, and other marketing materials. Such an image requires a lot of time to build and attention to every detail, as the product must be perfectly placed and the scene perfectly thought through.
Things often (always) go differently than planned, and you spend more time creating the final photo than expected. And here is the first reason why pricing per image doesn't work.
When you price per image, you create a fixed price before you start working on a project. Taking one image can take you about 1 hour, some time for the post-production, and you come up to a final price of 150 euros, for example.
However, challenges happen constantly, and very often, it's not so simple to create that final shot you had in mind. In the end, you spend more hours creating one image and then lots of post-production work that you didn't expect.
For this reason, it would be wiser to estimate your price based on hours working on the project than to charge per image.
Let me show you this example.
My client asked me to create these two images. I thought it would be fast and simple, as the images are very clean and minimalistic. However, I was working on creating these two simple shots the entire afternoon, as we faced many challenges capturing the ice cream. Moreover, I also had a lot of retouching work the day after.
If I charged per image, I would lose a lot of money on this project because of all the unexpected hours I needed to complete the shoot
You can't expect that the shoot goes smoothly and all works as planned. Keep this in mind, and if you price a fixed fee per number of images, I recommend following another pricing model based on the time you spend working on a project. And if you are unsure how to follow this pricing model, we will discuss this in the next blog post.
Ready to improve your skills with free resources?
Join my VIP e-Library and get access to all my free resources, our training replays and grow your food photography skills and business.