The scariest part of creating your photography packages is deciding how much to charge. You want to get paid well, but don’t want to price yourself too high for your market.
The first piece of good news I have is that you can change your prices on a dime! That’s the beauty of being your own boss. Don’t be afraid to raise your photography package prices because you can always change them back the very next day.
The second piece of good news is that there are so many ways for photographers to make more money. Literally…so many! It all comes down to what makes sense for your business.
So, today I’ll break down how to raise your photography prices and give you some helpful hacks to increase revenue without raising your session fees.
Determine if you actually need to raise your prices
This may seem silly because if you found this article you probably want to raise your prices. But stick with me! The question isn’t if you want to raise your prices, we all want to make more money.
The question is if you need to raise your photography prices.
Do The Math First
Before you make any pricing changes, look at your numbers to see if you need to raise your prices and by how much. Even though we’d all like to make significantly more each year, you do not have to raise your prices every year. In fact, if you’re at a comfortable point financially, it’s ok to not raise your prices at all.
My life hack is using pricing calculators to help me determine if my photography packages are priced right. The pricing calculators in my template shop do all the work for you to look at everything from your cost of doing business to travel time. It saves tons of time and is a lifesaver if you’re not a math person!
Ask Yourself If Your Photography Pricing Model is Set Up For Maximum Profit
Next, look at your pricing model. The truth is most photographers are leaving money on the table. We tend to think making more money means we need to raise prices on our packages. There are several ways for photographers to make more without raising photography package prices, though.
Curating irresistible product collections and pricing them right is a great way to increase revenue without raising your package prices.
Most photographers use either the IPS Model or Shoot and Share Method. (More on those in this article on how to build packages that sell.) I always recommend the IPS Model because it allows you to maximize your profit from each client. If you’re giving galleries away as part of your package, it may be time to switch up your pricing model.
When should you increase your photography prices?
Once you’ve determined it’s time to raise your prices, do it! There’s no ideal time to increase. I advise all my clients to reevaluate their prices annually to make sure they’re maximizing their revenue potential.
That being said…
Don’t Change Your Prices Too Often!
I’ve heard people say you should increase prices every 6 months, or every proposal until you get a major kickback. That may be ok when you’re just getting started, or if you have a short sales lifecycle. (Meaning, people inquire, pay right away, and have their session dates very soon after.)
But if you have a longer sales lifecycle, like maternity photographers or newborn photographers..Do. Not. Do. That! If people typically take a few weeks to decide to book with you, it may be off-putting to find out you’ve raised your prices.
You may also price yourself out of the market if you’re increasing too often. Most photographers should shoot for increasing prices once a year.
Two methods to raise prices
The most unnerving part of raising prices is the fear of not getting booked. It is a risk, but if you need to raise prices to afford your lifestyle and business expenses, then it’s a risk you have to take.
There are two ways to raise your photography rates – gradually and right away.
Raising Your Photography Rates Over Time
If you have serious FOMO, then gradually raising your rates is for you. This method allows you to gauge how potential clients react. Gradually raising your photography prices is different than continuously rating your rates because you have a defined end price in mind. You’re just working your way up to that.
I like to do this method over a two-month period. Take the amount you want to raise your price to and dive it by 2. That’s how much you’ll raise your price on new proposals each month. It looks like this.
Current Price: $2,000
Ideal Price: $3,500 package
3500 – 2000 = $1,500
1,500 ÷ 2 = $750 increase each month
Proposal Prices During Increase:
Month 1: $2,750
Month 2: $3,500
If you choose this method, make sure you set an expiration date on each proposal price and you honor their price.
Doing It Right Away
Ready to rip the bandaid off? Many of my new photography clients and clients with short sales lifecycles choose to raise their rates all at once. The key to raising your rates right away without losing all your clients, or new sales, is to tell your audience in advance.
How to tell people you’re raising prices without losing clients
I like to give at least 3 weeks’ notice. Then start mentioning it everywhere – in your Instagram Stories, in your email marketing, and on your proposals during that time. Let people know if they’ve been thinking of booking you to do it now before the price increase.
Seeing a deadline may get some people to book you right away. Which is great for you!
It will also soften the weight once you do start charging more.
You deserve to get paid well
As a photographer, you have so many ways to increase revenue. You deserve to make whatever you want! If you’re ready to make more money but aren’t sure how to best price your services, let me help!
Grab one of my plug-and-play pricing calculators to do all the hard work for you. Find your perfect package price in minutes, no tricky math necessary.