Senior Photography Pricing: What To Know

Senior photographs are one of the most exciting parts of a high school senior’s graduating year. Capturing this moment in a student’s life is exciting for photographers, too! The photos you take will end up being viewed by the entire school in the student’s senior yearbook, hung proudly in the family home, and prominently featured on all the graduation invitations. Families and students are looking for all sorts of fun extras and options to make sure their photos stand out and last the test of time! This means when you set your senior photography pricing, you should focus on what makes you stand out as a photographer and what you can do to go above and beyond for your customers. Here are some senior photography pricing tips you should keep in mind when setting your prices!

Be a one-stop-shop

Source: Peerspace

Make life less of a headache for the student and parent you are working with by partnering with other local businesses, people, and services to provide an “all-inclusive” experience. Create a package deal rate that includes everything a student could possibly want on the day of their photoshoot.

Having hair and make-up included in the senior photography pricing will make you stand out to customers. This means you’ll need to start brokering professional relationships with local beauticians and make sure you have hair and makeup artists you can call for shoots who are willing to be available on weekends, after school, and other non-traditional working hours.

You may also want to consider partnering with a local videographer for photo and video packages. Parents will love the idea of a 2-3 minute film that they can send to friends and family post-graduation and also play at the graduation party.

One other fantastic package idea is having a variety of venues for the student to choose from for the day of the shoot. On Peerspace, you can find a variety of fun, beautiful spaces that will help make your photos pop. Go to Peerspace and search for photoshoot location in your area.

You’ll be met with tons of great options for senior photography shoot locations! If you are looking for spaces that include a dressing room for doing hair and make-up and outfit changes, you can search using specific keywords like “dressing room” and also click on “more filters” and select from multiple production equipment options and studio styles.

Offer discounts and specials to grow your business

best lake tahoe family photographer
Source: Instagram / @indigophotography

A great way to grow your business and make your customers feel like they are getting the best deal on senior photography pricing is by offering specials and discounts. Here are a few examples:

  1. Offer a 10% discount to students who refer a friend book with you. Make a few things clear with a discount like this, for example: they can only receive one 10% discount per shoot they book with you. And, they get the discount after their friend has paid or made a deposit.
  2. Give special rates for booking multiple shoots at once. For example, add on a family photoshoot or a prom photoshoot for a discounted rate!
  3. Provide early bird specials to customers who pay in full before the shoot or customers who book more than a few months in advance.
  4. Raffle off a free photoshoot on social media as part of your marketing strategy. Set parameters to enter, like: you must be following my photography Instagram page and you need to tag three friends in this post. Then, one lucky winner will win a free senior photoshoot!

Have a clear pricing structure

best vancouver portrait photographers
Source: Instagram / @katewhytephoto

Make sure there are no surprises for your customers when they look at the bill. Your senior photography pricing structure should be clear and well communicated before the shoot.

Creating package options is a great way to let potential customers know what you offer and at what prices.

Each package should define:

  1. How long the session is
  2. How many outfit changes are included
  3. If multiple locations are included (this might be an option for top-tier packages)
  4. If a consultation is included (we highly recommend this so you can sit down with the student and get to know them, their passions, and their ideas for the shoot)
  5. If you include digital copies of photos with the price and if so, how many

Now that you have the basics set, let the client know about add-ons!

For example:

  1. Hair and make-up
  2. Print products
  3. Digital products
  4. Venue rental
  5. Film session

You may also have additional ideas for add-on services and these can be a great way to set yourself apart from the competition. Feel free to get creative with what you offer and consider fun out-of-the-box ideas, like props the students can incorporate into the shoot or fun accessories that students may not have on hand, like stand-out belt buckles or stunning jewelry.

When to raise your rate

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Source: Instagram / @lindseymorgan_photography

Once you have your pricing set and are growing business with your great package deals and specials, it might be time to increase your prices. Having more business than you can handle is a good sign that you can begin to charge more for your services. Once you up your rate, you’ll be able to buy more equipment, take new classes to better your skill set, and also bring more money home with you!

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