How do you charge your clients?

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by garry_watson, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Hello friends!
    A couple of days back I met a very disappointed student of mines who had recently started his own photography business. He was very upset because he could not make much money because his calculations went wrong! He thought if he will charge $75 an hour, he would be able to make significant amount of money (something around 75 X 8 X 5= $3000). This is a very frequent myth among newbies, so I thought of explaining you how much should you charge your client; rather how should you set your financial expectations.
    Never think you can earn $75 dollars if you actually asked your clients for this. Since you are a newbie, you will not get as much business as you expect. Say if you managed to get half of the work for your entire week, you will make on an average just 35 dollars an hour. Wait, your one-hour shoot is almost two hours or probably more than that if you include traveling time. So your per hour average becomes even lesser, say approximately $ 25. Now include the post-processing time, the time you will need to send proofs to your clients and then correct them as per their requirements, etc. Again, your equipment cost, your operational costs, print outs, etc. will further decrease your per hour average.
    Honestly, you wonโ€™t be able to even make $ 20 an hour if your dream earning $75. Therefore, before you start to quote your client or keep setting your expectations sit down and calculate all these expenses. Hope you now have a clear idea of what to charge your client.
  2. $75 an hour, five hours, once a week. And they call this glamorous living!
  3. Me, I charge $45 an hour for everything, but then I have no real overheads or large expenses.
    One method to determine what to charge is;
    what you want to earn for the year divided by the number of weeks you work divided by the billable hours per week.
    Example: $100,000 per year * 48 weeks(4 weeks off for your vacation) * 30 billable hours = $69.4 per hour.
    Of course you will need to have the thirty billable hours every week for the year so you have to decide which hours are billable to begin with.

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