Pricing Your Photography Services, Part 1: Determining Your Ideal Client & Goals

Photography Service Pricing Pt 1

Welcome to the first post in a 4-part series on how to price your photography services!

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The beauty of just starting out with a new venture is that you have a clean slate and can envision exactly how you want your photography business to be perceived.

This series, which we’re calling Pricing Your Photography Services for Success, is going to bring you through several steps to ensure that you are creating pricing that is profitable, sustainable, and set up for long-term success.

You will go through a planning process, so that rather than just making up numbers or basing your pricing on your competition’s, you’ll know exactly what you need to make in order to reach your earnings and business goals!

So, before we get into the actual numbers, we’re going to ease into the pricing process by envisioning your dream job!

This might sound completely unrelated, but trust me – understanding your own goals and who you want to serve is crucial to creating pricing that is going to allow you to reach these clients and these goals.

So, let’s get right into it and first figure out who your ideal client is!

Step 1: How to determine your ideal client

You may be wondering, why is this important? Shouldn’t I be photographing anyone who will book with me?

The resounding answer to that is NO! Photographing anyone and everyone may be a great way to get a quick rush of clients, but it will NOT be sustainable.

Determining your ideal client will lay down the framework for figuring out how much your clients will be able and willing to pay for your services.

It will also give you a clear idea of who you are marketing towards and how to customize your services based on your audience’s preferences. If your audience was to be “everyone and anyone,” you will have a very hard time attracting people because you will have to keep your marketing vague and unspecific.

To help you with this step, we’ve created a free downloadable PDF, How to Attract Your Dream Clients Workbook, which includes all of the questions you’ll need to answer in order to determine who your ideal client is (they are outlined in detail throughout this post, so be sure to keep reading to the end as you fill it out!)

To figure out the audience you want to serve, consider these categories:

  • Your Specialty: What type of photography is going to be your main focus? (Children, seniors, weddings, etc.)
  • Desired Experience: Is your ideal client looking for a customized, high-attention experience, or are they looking for value photos that they can have ready in minutes? In other words, do you want your business to be high-end, middle-range, or low-cost? (Remember, the more expensive your services are, the less sessions you have to book.)
  • Demographics: What are the characteristics of your ideal client? (Age, income bracket, professions, etc.)
  • Geographics: Are there enough people with these demographics in your geographic area to sustain your business?
  • Psychographics: What about your ideal client’s personality and preferences? Ex: what stores do they shop at? What pages do they “like” on Facebook? What magazines do they read?

As you can see, we want you to get extremely specific about who your ideal client is and what exactly the service is you’re going to offer them…

…The more clear of a picture you can paint for yourself of who this client is, the easier it is going to be to create the perfect service and product offerings to suit their needs, and the easier it will be to create pricing that is in line with these offerings.

Once you have a clear picture of the ideal people in your community that you would like to serve, let’s add on another filter for determining revenue and pricing:

Step 2: Set your goals for the business

This next step is important. Setting specific goals for your business will allow you to better visualize what you need to in order to reach them.

The following questions are aimed to get you thinking about what your workload will look like:

  • Is this going to be a full-time or weekend business for you?
  • How many clients do you want to / are you able to service each week? (Don’t forget to consider the time it will take you for post-production tasks for each client)

Once you’ve filled out the worksheet, you should find your vision for your business becoming clearer and more defined. By taking the time to outline your goals and determine your ideal client, you’re creating a strong foundation to base not only your pricing on, but your entire business model.

Next Steps

Okay! If you followed along and outlined your ideal client and business goals, you are ready to move on to Part 2 of the pricing series!

In the next post, we will jump right into estimating your expenses, revenue, and your salary goals.

Here’s the links for the rest of the series & resources:

I want to hear your thoughts!

In the comments below, please write: what are your goals for your photography business? Do you want to take this full-time eventually? What questions do you have about planning out your ideal business and defining your ideal client?

I’ll be here to write back to each of your comments. 🙂

Ready for more?

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