How much should I charge for photography services?

The purpose of this blog post is to educate photographers who are looking to understand how they should charge for their services. The blog post seeks to help photographers develop their service costs and share justification for their prices.

What is photography, and what does it entail as a business.

Photography is an art of observation and capturing moments in time and freezing them. I have enjoyed thousands of hours of enjoyment, taking photos, and editing them. When creating your cost, consider the following:

  • Time: Event photographers charge between six hours to an unlimited amount of coverage. In short, the more time you spent photographing an event, the more a client is expected to pay.
  • Travel: Some clients will host their events at far distances. You might have to consider pay a per-mile charge and accommodations for any client event. California’s current travel rate is 57.5 cents per mile;  in 2019 was 58 cents per mile.
  • Editing: A large part of your photographer’s time will be spent editing and retouching your event photos to make sure they look absolutely amazing. Tracking your production per hour (how many photos you can edit in an hour) determines an hourly rate.
  • Images: You should consider an average of photos to create packages to charge. You can decide how you will provide photos to the client, download options, or USBs.

Photography Business

Everyone dreams about making a living off their hobbies. With the rapid development of technology and equipment, photography has become accessible to many people.

Professional advice from me

My last piece of professional advice is to look at the services you provide others vs. local photographers in your area. Meaning photographer 1 takes your photo while photographer 2 takes photos and takes videos. Photographer 3 takes photos and creates slideshows, and photographer 4 is you. It would be best to adapt to what the client wants and needs, so it is natural to learn some of these skills professionally. Professionally as in, you can make or offer something that most cannot.

Below you will see a photographer’s average cost in California.

Costs displayed in graph are based on spend from thousands of couples who recently reported pricing for this service within their WeddingWire review. Pricing varies based on factors including, but not limited to, vendor’s experience, level of expertise, event guest count, date, and geographic region. Source: WeddingWire

How to Justify your photography cost

Cost justification is mandatory for anything you do with your business. A photographer will need to document any service, which may require the business owner to explain the reasons for the cost, which will showcase to the client what is a fair cost.

  1. Time: 8hours x $15 (minimum wage) =$120
  2. Travel: 8 Miles x .575 = $4.60
  3. Photos: cost to Ship, USB, and other items = $20 (rounded off)
  4. Editing: 10min per photo (6 per hour) x minimum (500 photos)= 83 hours of possible editing time =$1,245
  5. Total Cost: $1,389.60


A photographer looking to sell their services needs to understand what they offer, which will take research. Are you just photographing photos, are you editing them, are you sharing them through a specialized item like a USB. Also, what format are your photos? Will you give them high-resolution photos, or will you just give a client their files.