How much to charge for a photoshoot

Photoshoot Price Calculator – Never Knowingly Undercharge!

5 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating
(1 customer review)


The Photoshoot Price Calculator quickly and easily prices a photography assignment. In just a couple of minutes you can

  • Calculate a photo-shoot price based on the client’s needs and your true costs
  • Know how much money you’ll really make
  • Filter out time wasters

Product Description

Photo-shoot Price Calculator — Never Knowingly Undercharge!

How much to charge for a photoshootBefore I developed the Photo-shoot Price Calculator spreadsheet, the biggest problem I faced was knowing how much to charge. It’s a tough call…

…go in too high and they’ll go elsewhere

…go in too low and you’ll be working your butt off going nowhere fast

That’s why I created it. I needed a tool I could use within my photography business to help me price assignments fairly and consistently.

I wanted a tool to help me understand how much work was involved and what my costs were, then use this to produce a price I could quote with confidence.

It was a game changer. I’ve used it for all my pricing since 2011. In 2012 my profits doubled; in 2013 they tripled. It works for packages and bespoke projects alike across every genre I’ve tried it with.

If you’re serious about growing a profitable photography business from the ground up, you need to know what to charge.

photo-shoot price calculator tool
Must have tool if you need to work out a photo-shoot price

What does the Photo-shoot Price Calculator do?

Calculates the true cost of the shoot — knowing how much it’ll really cost you to do the job is the first step to making a profit and a must-have figure for every photo-shoot price you calculate. If you don’t know this figure you could be making a loss and not even knowing it!

Calculates your Gross Profit — discover what you’re really earning once you take your true costs into consideration.

Works out how much effort to fulfil the brief — discover how much time you really need to deliver the finished results. The tool encourages you to consider downstream processing so you know how much work there is before you give a price.

Profit traffic lights — Visual indication of profitability lets you see instantly if your price is aligned to your targets. The tool shows you a Red, Amber, Green (or RAG) indication based on your profit margin so you can immediately tell if you’re charging too little (or too much).

photo-shoot price calculator lets you price for profit
Work out a photo-shoot price that’s profitable for you and fair for the client

Price breakpoints — the more they spend, the more they save. Enter your own price breakpoints to offer volume discounts on larger assignments.

Suggests a booking fee — based on the total price and your session fee. (Getting a firm commitment from the client is the best way I’ve found to avoid no-shows, cancelations and last minute alterations.)

Determine your effective hourly rate — the photo-shoot price calculator tells you how much you actually earn.

What’s included with the Photo-shoot Price Calculator…

  • Photo-shoot price calculator spreadsheet (XLSX file)
  • User manual
  • Case study examples for headshots, commercial and wedding photography prices.

Frequently Asked Questions…

Can I use it for wedding packages?

Yes — we have a case study pdf file that shows a sample calculation for a high-end wedding that’s included with the product


Will it work for product photography?

Yes — all you need to know is the number of items and the number of images per item from the client. Enter these into the ‘Subjects” and “Images per subject” fields.


Can I set custom price breakpoints?

Yes — it’s very easy to do and there are instructions in the user manual on how to do it. You can also override them too if you need to price up specials and one-off products.


Can I add my makeup artist’s fees?

Yes — use the “Prep team” field and enter the sum total of your entire prep team’s hourly rate (makeup artist, hair stylist, assistant etc.)


Can I enter a one-off price rather than use the pricing breakpoint table?

Yes — There is a field for entering custom prices and overriding the pricing table.


I don’t charge for my time, do I still need to enter an hourly rate?

Just enter an hourly rate of zero. The tool still calculates the amount of effort for you but the cost impact for your time is zero. It’ll still calculate your effective hourly rate so you can see what you’re actually earning. You may be surprised by the figure.


I don’t charge a session fee. Can I still use the tool?

Yes, of course. Just enter zero into the session fee field (and presumably set the inclusive images to zero too)


The profit calculation is showing up red (or purple), what can I do?

There are several things you can do here.

  1. Increase your session fee and/or price per image to increase your total price. Be careful not to go too high though or you’ll price yourself out of the market.
  2. Reduce your costs. For example, is your hourly rate too high? Are your labour estimates accurate? Are your direct charges correct?
  3. Talk to the client and get more clarity on what she actually needs and her budget.
  4. Check your RAG status threshold levels. Are they too high?



The Photo-shoot Price Calculator is intended to be used for guidance only. It is the User’s responsibility to define their own pricing strategy of the products/services they offer.



Additional Information

System Requirements

PC or Mac with Microsoft Excel 2008 or later installed.

Download File

ZIP archive, approx. 580KB containing two files:
+ User manual (pdf file)
+ Photoshoot Price Calculator (xlsx file)


Single user license.


Copyright © 2017 theLightMatters/Gavin Thorn Photography. All rights reserved.

1 review for Photoshoot Price Calculator – Never Knowingly Undercharge!

  1. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    i never knew how much to charge for a shoot before and it paid for itself in one job

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