The Pricing Paradox: Why Most Photographers Miss Out on Profits

You’re not charging enough.

Yeah, we can say that with absolute confidence because it’s true for 99.9999% of photographers out there.

And we hate to break it to ya, but googling “What should I charge for wedding photography?” or trying to get your hands on your competition’s pricing guide isn’t going to cut it.

(At least not if you want to be profitable.)

Because here’s the thing—there are only so many weekends in a year. And if you’re anything like us, we don’t really want to be working every single Saturday for the rest of our lives. 🫠

And if you’re basing your pricing off your competition who may have a VERY different lifestyle than you or different goals for their business, you’re going to find yourself looking at your booked-up calendar and your lower-than-you-hoped-for bank balance and wondering where you went wrong.

It’s time to step back and evaluate your pricing strategy. If you’re ready to start charging what you’re worth (and even get the super-secret intel into the earning potential that exists in the industry!), keep reading!

1. Know Your Cost of Business

Understanding your cost of doing business is the cornerstone of setting the right prices. Calculate your expenses, including:

  • Gear
  • Marketing
  • Travel
  • Editing time
  • …and like, wayyyy more things. (Our list of expenses in our photography business is currently 32 line items long!)

Clarity on where your money is going will empower you to set a baseline that ensures your business stays profitable.

Psst…need a quick and easy way to jump into this? Grab our Pricing Calculator for Photographers here → 

2. Determine Your Annual Income Goal

What's your financial target for the year? Be specific about what you want to make annually. This goal will guide your pricing decisions and help you create a roadmap for achieving your desired income.

A lot of photographers we coach will have some idea of roughly how many weddings they want to shoot each year, but they don’t actually know what they want to realistically earn.

Both are important, so don’t skip this.

3. Don't Underestimate Your Worth

Many photographers claim to operate in the luxury market but price themselves like budget photographers.

Ensure your pricing aligns with the quality and value you provide, as well as with the budgets your ideal client is expecting to pay. 

We’ve found that most photographers misjudge their market position. Use concrete data to place yourself accurately in the market based on your pricing, ensuring you attract the right clients for your business.

‘Cause guess what? You’re probably losing just as many leads because you’re too cheap as you are for being too expensive. 🤯

4. Back It Up with Numbers

Avoid pricing your services based solely on what you think you should charge or what your competitors are charging. Dive into the numbers—know the market, understand your costs, and evaluate your value proposition. 

Base your rates on your actual costs, the income you aim to achieve, and the clients you want to serve, ‘cause data-driven decisions lead to sustainable and profitable businesses. 👏

Done-for-you pricing research

Download our free guide on investment levels by budget tiers for wedding photographers! When we had planner Birds of a Feather Events on during our Planner Relationships Glowup, she mentioned some of the numbers in this guide below and our students went WILD! 🤯 Now, we're sharing those numbers with you, too! Use this info as a jumping-off point to continue your own market research and start leveling up your earning potential!


This is just a quick breakdown of how to price your photography, but we go in-depth into the step-by-step on how to actually do the math, calculate your CODB, determine your pricing, and more in our Pricing Glowup! Learn more here →