You want to start selling your photos, but you aren’t sure how to price the products you're going to be offering. Below are some tips on pricing prints and products that you can sell through your website.
A good starting point is to consider your business model. Is the final product (digital or print) your sole source of revenue or are you collecting payment (session fee) for your time and talent separately?
As a landscape, fine art, or freelance photographer you're not necessarily receiving payment for capturing the photos so all your profits are built into the sale of your images in the form of digitals, prints, and products. Because of this, your overall expenses and time must be factored into the pricing of the products.
On the other side, event and portrait photographers collect payment for their time and at least some of their expenses upfront. The pricing of digital files and print products need not include any expenses covered in the session fee; however, you will still need to take into account remaining expenses and post processing time.
Once you understand what type of business model you're using, you can then take into consideration some other factors that can impact how you price your products.
Know Your Clients
Firstly, know the client that you're selling to by asking yourself a few questions:
- How much are your clients likely to spend on products and other additional services?
- Are your clients likely to order prints and display them in their home?
- Are clients likely to bring other family and friends to purchase prints or services?
For example, it is very likely that wedding and family session clients will want to purchase prints of their photos. A headshot portrait, brand, or food photography client may only need digital versions of their photos. However, as the photographer, your clients may rely on you to let them know the importance or benefits of having prints of their photos. Don't be afraid to take the time to educate your clients and upsell your printing options for their photos.
Know Your Products
Once you understand the type of clients that you're working with, you can then decide the specifics of the products you're offering. This includes sizes, types of products, and more. With the research you have of your potential clients, and any past sales data, you can determine what sizes of products clients are more likely to purchase, how many products they're purchasing, and if there's a more popular type or size of print. You must also consider your editing style into what types of products you're offering. If you commonly crop your photos into a specific aspect ratio, then it would be appropriate to offer print sizes in that same aspect ratio.
When you know the specifics of the types of products you're going to offer, you can choose a pricing model for the products that will work best for you:
A LA CARTE
This type of pricing model allows clients to choose the products they would like to purchase, separately priced as individual products.
This type of pricing model gives you full control over which products your clients are purchasing together. Many photographers will use packages as a way to get clients to purchase more products at a lower cost to them than if they were to purchase a la carte. For tips on pricing your photography packages, see HERE.
The type of pricing model you choose will have a big impact on the price you set. Products you're selling A La Carte will likely be priced higher because your clients are purchasing them individually. While bundling together products into a package may allow you to discount the price of products in that package.
Review Your Costs
Once you've figured out what type of business model you intend to follow, who your clients are, and what type of products you're going to be offering; you must then begin to review your costs to determine the pricing of your products.
Cost of Products
Firstly, consider how much the products are going to cost to print and ship. With Zenfolio, this is simplified because you're being provided the services of our integrated partnered printing labs. Rather than considering the various materials of producing your products, you'll just have to consider the base lab costs of printing and shipping through these partnered labs that are provided for you.
Cost of Labor and Other Expenses
Next, you must take into consideration the cost of everything involved with the completion of the photos, to make them ready to sell. Time is money and the total time that you dedicate to the photos being used for selling products should be taken into consideration. This may include travel time, session prep time, time spent shooting, post-production time, and even cost of gear. Keep in mind that this may only apply if you're not already charging a client for your services to capture the photos. If you're charging a client for a session, then most of these expenses may already be calculated into the amount the client is paying for the session itself.
Just like printing labs have their cost of materials and producing the products, there can be several factors that go into your cost of labor.
Research Your Local Market
With all of this being said, one important aspect of all of this is being competitive among other local photographers. You don't want to overprice your work, but you also don't want to undersell yourself, when comparing to other local photographers. It is a good practice to regularly take a look at other local photographers that are selling products of their photos and see what they're charging according to their amount of experience.
It is common to price products 4-5 times above the base cost of producing the product.
For example, 8x10 prints are one of the most commonly purchased print sizes. With a base cost of 2.40 from our partner lab Mpix, a total selling cost 5 times the base cost would have the client paying 12.00. With the base cost of the product and Zenfolio service fee taken into consideration, this would leave you with 8.41 of total profit from one 8x10 print.
It is also helpful to create simple pricing for your clients. When possible it is recommended to round to the nearest whole dollar.
Click the button above to schedule a consultation for further help with pricing products to sell through your Zenfolio account.
- Upsell print products when you meet with your clients. Whether this be during your first consultation with the client, or through communication after you've conducted your session shoot with them; let the clients know that they can purchase prints directly through you. Having the clients purchase through you will not only further support you, their photographer, but they will also get more quality prints than if they were to go to a cheap printing lab with digital photos.
- Have sample prints and products for clients to see. When a client books you for your services, they use your portfolio in making their decision of choosing you as their photographer. Having sample products for clients to see when you meet with them can influence them in purchasing products directly through you.