Making Money in Photography

A recent thread on Instagram

Hey Neil, do you mind if ask you a couple of questions related to the business


Thank you. I've been offering packages sessions for 1 hour but I'm not booking clients with that number. Am I charging too much? I've providing the edits in that hour? Is that too few?

Have you worked directly for any agencies that send paying models your way? Seems like everyone just wants to "test".

So..... good questions

First off, I’m retired from business so am not trying to make a living off of photography. It does seem like a difficult field to get paid for.

It seems like if you want to make money you sort of have to go into more challenging areas such as events, e.g. weddings or take photos of little kids and their families

They are open to paying money

With models it does seem to be mostly trade

If you’re able to get yourself into the top circle of photographers then you may be able to get agencies, brands or publications to pay, but seems like there is less money in this than the last

My advice would be to find a service area like events or families to pay the bills and use the pretty girls to fill up your portfolio

That is if you want to make money. If you’re just after fame try to shoot with the best models you can

Hope that helps

I do know a few photographers who focus on tweenie girls. Their parents are open to paying real bucks to build their portfolios.

Thank you, this is some of the best advice I've ever received. do you know what are reasonable rates to charge people for events?

Events is what you can get away with. I’d recommend you look at others doing the same thing and serving the same area. If you go down the wedding path, you’ll want to get some images to show you can do it. Maybe a friend or discounted price.

In any case, your nice fashion shots will help you differentiate.

The downside of events is managing the customer. Are you a calm person?

Yes I am very calm under stressful situations, I was in the marine corps and I've been to Iraq a couple of times lol. Do event photographers just dump jpegs or do they present images to purchase individually

That’s part of the art form. Usually it’s a package price for X images. Then the customer can opt for more at Y rate per image.

Depending on the business and the customer you can try to get as much as possible upfront and/or try to monetize after the event

Hmmm I have to go research some pricing. Thank you so much for all the info, it is extremely useful

Oh another question, how many edited images do you think is fair for a one hour portrait session

I've checked out other photographers rates and what they provide but I believe they are giving away too many images

And I've calculated my codb and my current prices would keep me in the negative every week. I do get a lot of requests via my social media marketing but people aren't willing to pay

So.. the easy answer is you charge whatever you can sell

The more complicated answer is that it depends on branding and pitch

I took a workshop with John Russo, a celebrity photographer. He charges for his team $20k to $30k for a day of shooting

He has a brand and is well known in celebrity circles

Folks are going to pay for his brand and the type of product he creates

Ideally, you want to think about how to differentiate your services so that it’s not just about price. What can you offer that is unique or better than others?

Btw, there is one other category where one can make money - senior photos.

You’re not just selling pictures your selling emotion and experience

Hope that helps

It does, Thank you for taking your time to answer my questions. I will definitely put some of this new knowledge to good use.

Neil Bainton PhotoComment