Do you struggle with pricing your wedding photography packages? Many wedding photographers do! We know it’s not easy, especially if you are new to the wedding photography industry. Not only does pricing photography packages depend on your experience, qualifications, and services, you also have to factor in your target market and local competition. Whether you are thinking about modifying your packages or just beginning to set your prices, this blog can offer tips on how to price for profit.
Factors to Consider When Pricing Wedding Photography Packages
There are multiple factors to consider when pricing your wedding photography packages, and we share details on many of them below. But, simply put, you must know your value, the value of your time and your team’s time, and both the perceived value (cost to the client) and actual value (cost to you) of any product included in your packages. Let’s dive in!
1. Know Your Target Market
One of the first things we suggest when building your packages is to know and understand your target market. Who is your ideal client? Where do they live? Do they have high paying jobs? Do they plan big weddings? These are all questions to consider. However, while these might be indicators of how (and for whom) you can price your wedding photography packages, you can’t always generalize your clients. Sometimes you just build it, and they will come.
Suggested Read: Modifying Price Plans For Weddings During COVID
2. Know What Sets You Apart
Just as important as knowing your target market, you can start building your wedding photography packages by making a list of what you, as a wedding photographer, bring to the table – what sets you apart? If you believe that couples will pay more for a wedding photographer with an impressive portfolio, significant experience, and qualifications, then work on how to talk those things up when you go over pricing with your clients.
3. Talk Up Your Experience
Your years of experience can be a selling point when pricing your wedding photography packages. How long you’ve been photographing weddings can be showcased with your years in business and the breadth of weddings you’ve documented. A longer work experience as a wedding photographer doesn’t necessarily equate to being the best in the market, but it does add credibility. When creating your wedding photography packages, you could write a short introductory paragraph that tells about your experience in years and the number of weddings photographed. This way, it’s always there for them to see when reviewing your prices.
4. Sell Your Portfolio
We don’t mean literally sell! As we mentioned above, your years may or may not directly correlate to the breadth of your portfolio. But, if you haven’t been photographing for very long or don’t have a huge number of weddings to showcase, it’s even more important to use what you do have and capitalize on your portfolio’s strength. Putting your best foot forward and showing off the best work can work for you when selling your clients on your wedding packages.
5. Share Your Qualifications
Besides your portfolio, your qualifications, including any special courses and certifications, awards, and recognitions, can impress potential clients. Special mentions or features in bridal magazines and blogs/websites where you’ve been published can also contribute to your qualifications. Since your qualifications indicate your achievements, the more qualified you are, the more justified you are in charging what you’re worth. So, if you do have any notable accolades, you could set the price of your wedding photography packages slightly more than your local competition.
6. Plus Up Your Services
You could also build your wedding photography packages around additional products or services you offer and thus justify a higher price tag. For example, if you work with a team of assistants or provide videography services or drone photography or even shoot on film – these are all things that both set you apart and also impress. You could, of course, price these things separately, or you could use these as talking points for why your overall pricing is what it is. More on pricing structures below!
7. The Value of Your Team
You could also plan your wedding photography package price list based on the team that works for you. Since you will be using more resources, a package that requires all hands on deck could be priced higher than a wedding that only requires you and perhaps your second shooter.
How to Build Your Wedding Photography Packages
Knowing the value you bring and how to sell your value to your clients is, well, invaluable! But check in with yourself on all your selling points and be sure not to underestimate or overestimate yourself as you set your prices. Being fair and able to justify price tags will make it easier for you to build your wedding photography packages for success. Here are a few examples of what we mean.
1. Know Your Worth
Knowing your worth means that you don’t over or undercharge your couples. After considering factors like your experience and qualifications, try to come up with a price that suits the package. If you are still new to the wedding photography business and set your prices too high, you may not attract many clients, even if you have done your target market research. But if you have established yourself as an experienced wedding photographer with several tools in your toolbox, then set a higher price. Couples who want to hire you may already be aware of your reputation and may already have an idea of what you charge and provide.
2. Stay Open to Communication
Even though you may have already set your wedding photography package prices, try to stay open to discussing budget with your couples. They are making an investment, and allowing them to address their concerns is a great way to make sure that they are comfortable with your rates and services. Know ahead if you’re willing to negotiate your prices with couples. If you’re willing to adjust, you may get more clients. However, you might also find that it’s impractical to adjust your pricing each time you have a conversation with a couple. Our advice is only to consider lowering or negotiating your prices in unique situations.
3. Research Local Wedding Photography Prices
Getting an idea about what fellow wedding photographers are charging for their services can also help you set a price for your wedding photography packages. Most wedding photographers will have their price list on their websites, so start your research from there. Once you get an average price, consider what you bring to the table, and start working on your price list.
Different Types of Pricing Models
By now, you know the factors that you should consider while trying to build your wedding photography packages and how to go about the process. This section will take you through 3 different pricing models you can consider and build on.
1. All-Day Package or Flat Rate Pricing
With an all-day or flat rate package price, you present your wedding photography as a package that covers the wedding day from start to finish. It may include a desired product or products, but it has one fixed price that changes based only on what else is included outside of time. You can start with an all-day rate that is your minimum and then use it to build additional packages that change in value-based only on what other products or services are included in the package. Simply stated, you increase the package values by adding more products or services but always keep your base rate the same.
The upside to this structure is that you never have to worry about watching the clock during the wedding day or negotiating your time with a bride. The downside is it promises your time no matter the length of the wedding. This can work in your favor for a short wedding but work against you if the wedding is from 9 AM to midnight. It can also create opportunities for brides to ask for “less time” and thus expect to pay less, which can mean more time on your end answering questions to customizing packages.
A few additional things to consider with this pricing structure. Over the years, we’ve learned that if you present your client with three packages, they almost always choose the middle, so try to build the middle package to be the one you want most of your clients to book. In the case of three packages, your lowest package should not include everything the client wants because they will then choose the lowest package. But, you can use the lowest package to drive the client to the middle by making the difference in pricing between the two really attractive.
2. Hourly or Menu Pricing
When creating wedding photography packages, it’s popular to offer pricing menu items à la carte, meaning the client picks individual items from a price menu you have created. In this model, the client chooses only what they want based on their needs and budget. From time (offered in one-hour increments) to products (digital images, albums of varying cost and size, printed photographs, wall art), everything you offer has a set price.
There are multiple advantages to this price model. First, it ensures you get paid for the time you spend photographing the wedding and allows you to offer add-on products at prices you know are profitable. If you know the value of your time hourly, you can also then use this structure to build packages based on hours – 6, 7, 8 hour coverage – and allow the clients to add on products from there.
If you really want to break it down, you can also charge for travel time, client meetings, and pre and post-production activities by the hour. One caveat to this is that you could find yourself doing a lot of math when keeping track of your time or find yourself up against a bride who doesn’t want to pay for those pre-wedding items, and thus you lose out on crucial parts of wedding planning/connection with your couples.
3. Per Photo Pricing
Some couples may not be planning a big wedding, so they might have a very small budget and only want to pay for the minimum amount of products. Pricing your wedding photography per photo can be ideal for those who only want a small number of images. In this pricing model for wedding photography packages, the rates will depend on your level of expertise and the type of use or license you grant the client. You could provide higher resolution, fully printable images at a higher cost than lower resolution images that are not printable.
Consider All Factors While Building Your Wedding Photography Packages
Since there are so many factors to consider, building your packages can seem challenging. But don’t get frustrated! Do your research, take a deep breath, and begin. Take your time and focus on factors like your experience, qualifications, and target audience. Figuring out what you bring to the table in the initial stages of your planning will help you move on to how you could use these to price your packages. Remember to be open to communicating and even negotiating with your couples and setting prices that you can justify. In the end, make sure you pick a pricing model that suits your needs and that of your couples.
At ShootDotEdit, we aim to help wedding photographers navigate through making business decisions like how to price wedding photography packages. We also try to lessen your editing responsibilities by editing your photos your way! If you want to know more about how we can help your wedding photography business, you can check out our price plans.