Photography Sessions and Print Costs. Where do they come from?


Three black and white snapshots with a photo envelope and pieceThree black and white snapshots with a photo envelope and pieceAgainst a white background is arranged three black and white snapshots of a little girl in 1961 and 1962 on top of a yellow vintage photo envelope and a piece of brown negative.


A few years ago, when I starting to plan for making photography a small business, one of the things I looked for online was information about how much I should charge. Unfortunately, there wasn't a whole lot of good information. A lot of advice was about finding an ideal client (apparently one who purchased only designer handbags, drove six figure vehicles and had an unlimited amount of disposable income) and setting your price high enough to make a six figure salary as a photographer. (Excuse me while I roll around laughing here!) As you can tell, I wasn't too impressed nor helped by this type of advice.

So, if any of you are wondering how I set my session fees  and my print and product fees (which I just lowered significantly as I want more people to purchase prints), here is the list that I came up when figuring out  what to include in my cost of doing business. After taking a look, what do you think of my session and product fees?    Session and Pricing Info   Contact me here!


Session Fee (This is the photo session fee)

  • Knowledge of Camera technology and use, posing, lighting, etc.
  • Gas within Colchester County to and from shoot 
  • Time spent with texts, emails and phone calls 
  • Time spent taking the photos (Up to two hours)
  • Editing: Knowledge  
  • Editing: Time (Hour long shoot usually takes up about three hours of editing/processing time)
  • Monthly fees for online music and slideshow programs used
  • Website hosting cost
  • Cost and maintenance of two or more cameras, camera cards, lens, lighting, misc gear
  • Cost and maintenance of computer and two monitors
  • Cost of external hard drive(s)
  • Cost of card readers
  • Cost of backdrops and stands
  • Cost of Advertising
  • Marketing materials
  • Yearly business fee
  • Yearly insurance fee
  • Yearly photography association membership fees
  • Education costs (tutorials, books, etc)
  • Perks to clients (complimentary items)
  • Financial service costs (consultant, banking...)


Print and Product Fees (No department store printing!)

  • Costs of prints/products plus 15% tax
  • Time for final editing (polishing, re-cropping)
  • Time spent doing and sending invoices
  • Photo packaging cost
  • Gas to and from the printers
  • Gas to and from the client's on photo delivery day



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