Cost of doing business

Before I started out as a professional photographer I decided to seek advice in business management. To be able to price the service I would be providing, I needed to know the costs to provide it.

I also referred to the Swiss Photographers' Union USPP

They provide a base pricing for photographers in Switzerland to refer to. This can vary on the equipment the photographer uses and their experience or notoriety.

I recently posted the image below on my facebook page:

It summarizes the main issue at hand: when people first contact me they ask for my pricing, without actually thinking about all the work involved before, during and after the photo shoot. Most people only think about the time I spend actually taking the photos (e.g. 1-2 hours for a maternity session, 3-4 hours for a newborn session, etc.) and forget about the time we spent exchanging emails or talking over the phone. I generally spend at least an hour before the shoot checking all my equipment and setting up beforehand or scouting the location for an outdoor session.

After the actual shoot it takes time to transfer the images to several backups so that I ensure no images are lost. Then there's the culling of images (i.e. selecting the best photos) and lengthy optimization process (image editing) which can take up to one hour per image depending on its complexity.

I love every part of the journey with each client. Receiving the first email or phone call, to actually providing the final full resolution digitals. I'm very proud of the images we create together and I know that they fully reflect my pricing as it is based on my cost of doing business.