Why I'm Moving Away From Hourly Fees

... But not totally.

As a growing photographer (or creative), an hourly fee is what you may most likely start off with, whether it be $60, $200 or $500.

I did fall in that bracket. It was quick, easy and it did work.. .sometimes.

I knew an hourly fee did not make sense as I got specific photo requests from my clients, such as wanting ONE photo (a headshot) or just a few photos. More times than not, it's not because they can't afford your hourly fee, but it's because they just don't need that many photos that comes with your hourly fee package. Even if it's 50 photos for $200.

This doesn't mean that you charge them $4 for that headshot though.

For any photo session that you take on, you must be able to cover your cost of doing business or the cost of taking that one headshot.

$4 MAY just cover your bus money to the shoot. Or just enough to put some fuel in your reserve tank.

For this example's sake, let's use $200 as an hourly fee, and 20 photos or 50 photos as deliverables.

To me, it does not make sense to charge a client $200 to take one headshot and charge another client $200 for their birthday shoot, giving them 20 photos, or 50 photos. But that's my personal opinion. It may work for some photographers, and that's fine.

Citizen Watch - Maryse S. Marius Photography

When Do I Charge Per Hour?

For events. (birthday parties, concerts, social gatherings, theatre plays etc.)

Events usually have a time limit, or expected time frame. Thus, it's easier to charge $200/hr for 3 hours than to tell the client that they buy the photos they want for $30/image. That's just a lot of work. They will have to see what they're buying first.

For events, depending on your workflow, I believe that charging an hourly fee is easiest and does make sense.

You may decide that for every hour, you provide 50 images.

For a 3 hour event, the client should expect 150 images.

Quick Maths:
$30/image for 150 images.
$4,500

Who's gonna hire you Joe?! O.o

The $600 guy may have MUCH better work than you.

Haha. We never know!

How Should You Price Your Work To Sell Per Image / Project? 

Like I said, make sure you're covering your cost of doing business. Also, it would help to do some market research and not price too low or too high. Find a sweet spot that you can work with, and know that eventually, you can slowly increase your price.

Whether it be per image or per project.

If a friend or potential client reaches out to you and says that they need a few photos taken for work or for a venture they're taking on, you may decide that you want to charge $50 per image, for minimum 5 images. That's $250, more than our example hourly fee, which we may normally give 20 or 50 photos for. And you may not even take an hour to take these 5 photos. Amazing, right?

You can also prepare a few packages for special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries etc.

For example:

Engagement session - $300
40 images

Birthday session - $200
25 images

Family session - $500
40 images
(2) 8x10 prints
(4) 5x7 prints
OR
(1) 16x20 print

Using these, you can still have in your mind that for these shoots, you're dedicating an hour (or whatever you decide, half hour, five minutes, a day) to the client, but not necessarily list it in the details of the package.

That's about it for today!

Thanks for reading. Shout out to APPS758.

-Maryse.