When you first started your business, did you think you would need to know how to price photography prints? Pricing is one of those responsibilities that comes with owning a photography business that can be boring and often complicated. It can be hard to know where to start and which prices will work best for your clients and business. But in the end, setting proper pricing for your photography prints is a crucial part of your success.
How To Price Photography Prints
To maintain your passion for working with couples and capturing unforgettable moments, your business needs to make a profit each year. There are several expenses that are a part of running a wedding photography business that must be covered. Plus, you need to ensure you are paid as well. When your business makes a profit, you can focus on your growth and the goals you set.
Prints are a large part of that income and growth. And there are many photographers who have yet to take advantage of the power of the print and how those sales can be beneficial for business. When you sell photography prints to your wedding couples, at a price point that makes you a profit, your income can increase exponentially.
Here at ShootDotEdit, we provide post production services for photographers. As a part of our wedding photography editing services, we provide an image storing, hosting, and print-selling service known as Extra. Our service, complimentary to ShootDotEdit Customers, is meant to make wedding photographers more money in print sales (without all the additional work). One of the top things we hear when we work with our Customers is about the best price to set for prints. That is why we put together this post on how to price photography prints to help you bring in more income each year. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Know Your Clients
One of the first steps to take to set proper prices for prints is to know your clients. When you know who your clients are, you can make decisions on prices for prints that will best suit them and your business. Ask yourself a few questions about your clients:
- How much do your clients spend on products and other services?
- Do your clients order prints and showcase them in their home?
- Will your clients encourage family and friends to purchase prints?
As a wedding photographer, you are the expert when it comes to prints. When you become the expert in who your clients are and how they behave, you can set prices for prints that will appeal to them and help your bottom line.
Keep in mind as the expert, you can educate your clients about the value of prints. Many of your clients are not professional wedding photographers, and may not understand the significance of prints. Take the time to educate them about prints and why they do need them as a part of their wedding day.
Related: Are you using any of these pricing rules for wedding photographers?
2. Decide on Print Specifics
After you get to know your clients and study their behavior when it comes to products and services, decide on print specifics. This means you can decide on what exactly you want to offer when it comes to prints. This includes sizes, number of prints, and more. With the research you have from your clients, ask yourself a few questions, such as:
- How many prints did your clients purchase last year?
- What size prints did your clients purchase?
- Was there a size that was more popular than others?
Other questions include how much your clients spent and how much profit you made. We will cover cost further down in this post.
With all the data in front of you about past print sales, you can make an informed decision on what sizes to offer and how many your clients can order.
3. Select a Pricing Model
Once you choose print specifics, you can then decide which model is best to use. If you already have a pricing model, you can reevaluate to see if there are any updates you need to make to accommodate photography prints. There are 2 types of pricing models we will cover in this post: A La Carte and packages.
A La Carte
This type of pricing model allows your wedding clients to choose the products and services they would like for their wedding day, A La Carte.
This type of pricing model gives you full control over which products and services your clients have access to. Many photographers use a tiered system for wedding photography packages to increase price along with desirable services.
The type of pricing model you choose will help dictate the price you set for prints. You may consider pricing your prints higher for A La Carte, as your clients will buy them individually. Or, you might provide a bundle discount for prints with packages. There are several options for you to choose from, and your decision should land on the one that makes the most sense for your clients (and how much they will spend) and what will help you make a profit.
4. Review the Costs
The next, crucial, part of pricing for prints is to review the costs. Earlier, we mentioned how there are several costs involved in your photography business.
These costs are an essential aspect to review, as they will determine how much to charge for prints to make a profit for your business. A few of the most important costs to focus on are:
Cost of Materials
To deliver photography prints to your wedding clients, you first need to review the cost of materials. A few things to think about when it comes to materials are:
- The cost to have prints made
- Are you working with a partner or lab?
- Do you print in some other way?
- Storage for photos that need printing
- Are you storing the photos?
- How much do you pay for storage?
- Are you paying for a gallery hosting service?
- The amount and size of prints you offer
- The good news is, you just answered this in the above section.
- Framing, mounting, and shipping
- Who takes care of that?
- How much does it cost?
- Final delivery
- Do you need to purchase shipping supplies?
- How will you deliver this?
There are more questions to ask depending on your workflow, but those are a great start. Once you decide exactly what you need to successfully order and deliver prints to your wedding clients, you can then write down how much it will all cost. Total that up and that is your cost of materials.
Related: What are quick pricing optimizations you can make in your photography business?
Cost of Labor
Next, you must review the cost of labor. Your time is money and the time you put into photography prints must be documented. To discover how to price photography prints with the cost of labor, first think about:
- Image prep
- How much time does it take to prepare the images before printing?
- Color correction
- Are you doing it all yourself or outsourcing to a photo editing company?
- How much time does it take to prepare the images before printing?
- Order time
- How long does it take to place an order with the lab?
- Packaging time
- How long does it take to package the prints once they are ready to send?
- How are you delivering the prints? By mail? In person?
Just like the cost of materials, there are several factors to include with as your labor time. Once you have all those items listed, add them together and you will have your cost of labor.
Since prints will be a part of your overall pricing structure, make sure to include other expenses into your costs. This includes everything it costs from the beginning (when you first meet the client) to the end (when you deliver their final products). Separate your costs, materials vs. labor, and add those to your totals. Then you will have a clear picture of what your overall costs will look like so you can set prices for your prints.
Related: Sprouting Photographer’s Bryan Caporicci breaks down 5 wedding photography pricing tips you need in your business.
5. Research Your Local Market
As you find out your costs, the next step is to research your local market. Even though you have a unique business and clients, it can be helpful to know what other photographers are charging in the area and if your prices are in line. Avoid using their exact pricing structure (because you have different businesses), but knowing if you are undercharging or overcharging can make a big difference in pricing. This will help you know what to mark up to set on your prints so you can make a profit. And, it can help you remain an attractive option to clients in your local market.
6. Create Simple Pricing
As you settle on the prices for your photography prints, be sure to make it simple. Your clients are dealing with a lot before the wedding day. They have many decisions to make about their big day that it can become overwhelming. Anything you can do to make things simple will help. This especially means simplicity in your pricing. Make it easy for your clients to understand the price of your prints (and easy to buy) so they are more motivated to purchase.
Also, think about your clients’ loved ones who may purchase prints from you. They likely have never worked with you, as the bride and groom have, so this will be their first impression of you. Make it a positive experience so they can share all about you with their family and friends. Learn more about how to build a pricing page for your photography business to provide this experience every time.
A few other tips about prints…
Once you price your prints, it is time to sell them. Here are a few tips to help you make print sales a major part of your photography business and increase your sales.
- Make it a part of your workflow. Just like you have systems in place for other parts of your wedding photography business, incorporate print sales into your workflow. That way, you will not need to find a last-minute solution to sell prints to your clients. Prints will be a part of your wedding workflow from start to finish.
- Educate your clients. We mentioned this earlier but thought it was so important we wanted to share it again. Educate your clients about prints and their value. Let them know what purchasing prints can mean for them and how you feel about prints. When your clients understand why prints mean so much, they will be more likely to purchase them.
- Show off prints in your studio. What is better than telling your clients about prints? Showing them prints! When you have prints in your studio, your clients can physically see them and envision them in their homes. It is just like an album. When clients can hold and look through an album, they can more easily see themselves owning one. Make sure to have some of your best work as prints in your studio so all your clients can see.
In addition to these tips for how to price photography prints, how else can you ensure you make a profit each year? Our Pricing Calculator for Wedding Photographers allows you to identify incorrectly priced areas of your business, accurately calculate your average profit for the year, and confidently set prices for your product and services.