Hi All! I wanted to share with you how I put together my rate for my photography services. I'm no expert on this by all means, this is just what has been working for me presently!
1. Think about all your expenses and then think about how much you want to make/ hour. For me right now I do about $100/hour depending on the job. It changes because every job is different, but that's usually my starting point.
2. Make sure you factor in all the work you do before and after the shoot. Are you finding the models and scouting the location? Do you usually do a lot of back and forth with clients when planning a shoot? How long do you think it will take you to edit the photos? Don't be afraid to ask your clients questions like how many hours the shoot will be, how many edits their looking for, how many models etc. to help you get an idea of how much time you think everything will take.
3. Don't forget to add in a little extra money for growing your business or buying new equipment. It's hard to be making the bare minimum and growing your business at the same time. I usually give myself $50 or $100 for that per shoot.
4. This is hard for me to always stick too because when you need that money it's hard to say no, but don't forget to ask for what your worth. Have you been doing photography for 5+ years now? Did you go to school for photography? Are you a photoshop wiz? Do you make people feel their best in front of the camera and give great results? Then charge for it! You didn't just wake up and have these skills, they took time, money, blood, sweat, and tears so don't go giving yourself $50 for a 3 hour shoot when you have 5+ years of skill under your belt.
5. Lastly, don't forget to pay yourself first. Save money for taxes, emergency fund, and your retirement account. It's hard to do, believe me, I know, you get money and you're like 'MONEY!! LET'S BUY STUFF! or pay bills' and then it's gone in the blink of an eye, but let's work together to make sure we save for our futures!
And now some not so fun statistics about women and money:
*Only 49% of women contribute to their 401K and are more likely to end up using social security and having less money than men after age 65.
*On average women in the US will lose their husbands at 65 years old, and most women on average still have 14 years of life left, we need to prepare for that time now. Women are set up at a disadvantage, since we like to know all the facts before we make decisions which holds us back from investing earlier in our lives. Plus the .82 cents we earn per every dollar earned by a man doesn't help, even though more women are getting higher degrees and are taking more positions in male dominated areas than ever before.
As a freelancer, I do not have a 401K, but I have opened up a Roth IRA which is a nice alternative for freelancers who aren't getting matches from their employers. Set aside some time, maybe 30 min two days a week to start learning about investing and how to make your money work for you!
I'd love to know how you figure out your rates and what you charge. Shoot me a message or comment below with any questions and I'll do my best to answer them.
Also check out fellow Los Angeles photographer Champagne Victoria's post about how she prices herself here for more tips!