Family Portrait Photography Pricing: What To Know

Professional family photographers have a lot to consider in growing their business. And family portrait photography pricing varies based on several factors. There’s building a portfolio, gaining clientele, and then there’s pricing. Pricing is one of the most difficult aspects for both beginners and professionals because of the many factors involved. On top of the general factors in photography, the type of photography affects the price as well. This article focuses on what to know about family portrait photography pricing.

Unlike other types of photography, like graduation portraits, seasonal, family portrait photography is year-round. Once you build a client base, expect newborn portraits requests, holiday cards, and the everyday family portrait. The prospect of year-round income is exciting, but there are also many costs. For example, unlike wedding photographers, who generally go to a setup location, family portrait photographers are usually required to curate the set. We’ll go over everything related to family portrait photography pricing so you’ll know what to charge.

Overhead costs

camera and laptop
Source: Pixabay

The iconic phrase “it takes money to make money” is certainly true when starting a business. But that doesn’t mean an owner can’t recover these costs. When determining your photography pricing, it’s essential to calculate your overhead costs, including editing software, backdrops, studio rentals, cameras, lenses, etc.

Most beginners make the mistake of not including these costs in their pricing. You can undervalue your work, or worse, leave yourself in the red. Some beginners might get sticker shock when they include the overhead costs in their pricing, but it is important to remember your craft is a business. Just because you’re happy to do your job doesn’t mean you should do it for less than your worth.

If you still want more competitive pricing, think about reducing overhead costs. Reducing these costs will allow you to lower pricing or increase your net profit. Websites like Peerspace helps creatives find quality studios, complete with lighting, backdrops, and props. If you want to reduce overhead costs, utilizing sites like Peerspace can save you money. Not only are the costs of lighting and backdrops not coming out of your pocket, but you are saving time not setting backgrounds. Time is money!

Save time. Save money.

dslr camera
Source: Pixabay

Speaking of time is money. Time is another factor photographers overlook. Don’t make the mistake of only including shooting time in your pricing. A photographer spends hours setting up, editing, and maybe conducting some research to produce quality photographs. It is important to include these hours into your pricing. Otherwise, you run the risk of undervaluing your work.

Communicating with your clients will save you a lot of time and a lot of money. Every family is different, which makes every family portrait unique. Before the day of the shoot, confirm the number of people, babies, and pets. It may seem intrusive at first to ask these questions, but in the long run, your shoot will run smoother.

Shooting multiple people is hard. To get the fireplace mantle-worthy shot, you must find a photo where everyone’s eyes are open, they aren’t moving, and all look relaxed. Knowing how many people are showing up and their ages will help a photographer prepare for the shoot. 

Now more than ever, owners see their pets as members of their families. Pet owners include them in family portraits and give their four-legged friends maternity shoots. Confirm with your clients if they bring their pet and ask them to bring a toy or their favorite treat. If you choose to use rental sites like Peerspace, check ahead of time if your studio is pet-friendly, or you could be looking at an additional fee.

Reevaluate with experience

what is a dslr
Source: Pixabay

As mentioned before, reducing your overhead and materials cost can increase your net profit, but as you gain experience, you may want to spend more. Equipment is often the highest expense. Professional cameras start at $3,000 and go up.

Many beginners choose budget-friendly options under $1,000, such as the Nikon D3500 and the Canon EOS M50. However, photographers can spot quality differences in these cameras. Investing in a more professional camera will produce better-quality images and will save you time editing. Time saved is money saved. Once you gain some experience and have built a client base, determine if it is time to invest in higher-end equipment.

If the idea of spending thousands on equipment makes you hold your breath, you’re not alone. Many photographers opt for photography insurance for a greater sense of security. There are multiple types of photography insurance, such as liability, property insurance, and business income insurance. Shop around if you’re considering coverage.

These additional costs may seem daunting at first, but you don’t have to absorb them all. Once you gain experience, it’s recommended to reevaluate your family portrait photography pricing. Many creatives feel uncomfortable charging more for their work. Others fear their prices aren’t competitive. When it comes to photography, especially when capturing memories of loved ones, clients appreciate the expertise and pay more for professional photographs.

The final product

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Source: Unsplash

As more people share photographs on social media, photographers may send digitals copies to their clients instead of hard copies. Digital products save money for the clients and the photographer. Since families love to send hard copies to their elderly members, display them on top of the mantle or hang them from the refrigerator, family portraits are an anomaly. It is wise to do some research and curate multiple suggestions for your clients. Offering digital packages or hybrid packages for family portrait pricing can everyone money.

The average

portland studio with cyc wall
Source: Peerspace

Photography pricing involves several factors such as experience, specialty, and location. There are many ways to decide family portrait photography pricing, but there are some standard prices. The average portrait photographer charges $150-350 per hour. Packages usually start at between $200-$300 and increase with experience.

In metropolitan areas, family portraits packages can range from $300+. If you need some guidance in your pricing, reach out to other photographers. Many photography communities, including the Peerspace community, receive feedback, brainstorm, and learn tips. It is recommended to go to meetups, read blogs, and visit photography pages to learn about the average cost in your area. 

The bottom line

The bottom line is that family portrait photography pricing is a complex multifactored decision. Your photography pricing is up to you. But remember being lucky enough to enjoy your job doesn’t negate the price of your worth. Photography is still a business.  There is no limit to your potential, and your pricing should reflect that.

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