How to Charge for Headshots

Developing a business that focuses primarily on photography headshots is a great niche market strategy. In order to keep up with your competition, it is important that every few years you refresh your knowledge of current market rates. As technology changes, prices change as well. Below is a quick reference guide on how to understand pricing and how to develop your own headshot photography price list.

Materials You Will Need

  • Pen and paper
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Computer

Step 1 - Understand Your Costs

First, let's talk about what it costs to produce a proper headshot.  Below you will find a list of common factors that must be reviewed to calculate your costs. Take out a pencil and a piece of paper to jot down some notes.

Your Fixed Overhead: What is your monthly nut? What is your required rent payment, utility payment (not including the lighting you use for headshots) and any other fixed costs required to operate your photography studio? Write out a list of each monthly expense. Next to the expense, write how much it costs. Add each of these numbers together. The resulting sum is your fixed overhead cost of business.

Step 2 -  Determine Your Price List

Determine what value you place on your time. Usually anywhere between 3 and 10 percent is used for the photographic talents of a studio headshot photographer. Begin to develop a price list based on your hourly rates and the things you are willing to include in those packages. For example, you may be willing to include two or three printed photos as part of the package. Clearly details these components in your headshot price list.

Step 3 - Print Cost

Print pricing is usually separate from the headshot pricing. If you are printing the photographs yourself, determine the price yourself. If you are outsourcing, add a handling fee or an additional percentage to your business price list. Provide this price separate from the headshot photography price. Be as candid as possible with your clients to avoid any chaos or confusion at the end of the process.

Popular Cameras for High Quality Photos: