Expert Tips for Setting Your Headshot Photography Prices
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


1. Understand Your Market

2. Calculate Costs and Profit Margin

3. Offer Different Pricing Packages

4. Consider Portfolio-Building Discounts

5. Adjust Prices According to Market Demand

As a headshot photographer, deciding how much to charge for your services can be challenging. In this guide, we'll discuss expert tips on setting your headshot photography prices, taking into account factors such as market analysis, costs, pricing packages, discounts, and market demand. By the end, you'll have a clearer understanding of how much you should charge for headshot photography to ensure both profitability and client satisfaction.

1. Understand Your Market

Before setting your headshot photography prices, it's essential to have a thorough understanding of your market. This includes analyzing the competition, identifying your target audience, and evaluating local pricing trends.

Analyze Competition

To determine how much you should charge for headshot photography, start by researching your competitors. Consider:

  • Their pricing structures
  • The quality of their work
  • What services they offer
  • Any promotions or discounts they provide

By comparing your services to others in the market, you can identify your unique selling points and position yourself competitively.

Identify Target Audience

Next, think about who you want to serve with your headshot photography business. Some potential target audiences might include:

  • Actors and models
  • Business professionals
  • Social media influencers
  • Students or recent graduates

Understanding your target audience will help you tailor your services and pricing to their needs, increasing your chances of attracting and retaining clients.

Lastly, get a sense of the local pricing trends in your area for headshot photography. Are prices steady or fluctuating? Are there any major events or industry changes that might affect pricing? By staying informed about local market conditions, you can make more informed decisions about how much to charge for your headshot photography services.

2. Calculate Costs and Profit Margin

In order to determine how much you should charge for headshot photography, it's crucial to consider your costs and desired profit margin. This includes determining your overhead expenses, factoring in gear and equipment, and accounting for your time.

Determine Overhead Expenses

Overhead expenses include all of the ongoing costs of running your business, such as:

  • Rent for studio or office space
  • Utilities and internet
  • Insurance
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Travel and transportation

Calculating your overhead expenses will help you understand how much you need to charge for headshot photography just to cover your costs.

Factor in Gear and Equipment

As a headshot photographer, you'll need to invest in high-quality gear and equipment, such as:

  • Cameras and lenses
  • Lighting and modifiers
  • Backdrops and props
  • Editing software

When setting your prices, consider the cost of these items and how quickly they may need to be replaced or upgraded. This will ensure that your photography prices cover not only your overhead expenses but also your equipment costs.

Account for Your Time

Finally, don't forget to factor in the value of your time when setting your headshot photography prices. Consider:

  • How long it takes to conduct a photoshoot
  • The time spent on editing and retouching
  • Client communication and scheduling
  • Marketing and business development activities

By accounting for your time, you can ensure that your pricing reflects the true value of your work and allows you to make a fair profit.

3. Offer Different Pricing Packages

Now that you have a better understanding of your costs and profit margin, it's time to create different pricing packages for your headshot photography services. Offering multiple package options allows you to cater to various client needs and budgets. This can include a basic package, a premium package, and customized packages for individuals and businesses.

Create a Basic Package

A basic package is an affordable option for clients who need a simple headshot. This package could include:

  • A limited number of edited images
  • One outfit or background change
  • Digital delivery of images

By offering a basic package, you can attract clients who may not be able to afford a more expensive option, while still covering your costs and making a profit.

Design a Premium Package

A premium package is a higher-priced option that offers additional features and services. This package could include:

  • A greater number of edited images
  • Multiple outfit or background changes
  • Professional retouching services
  • Printed copies of images

With a premium package, you can cater to clients who are willing to invest more in their headshots and provide a higher level of service.

Customize Packages for Individuals and Businesses

Finally, consider creating customized packages for different types of clients, such as individuals and businesses. This can help you better cater to their specific needs and make your services more appealing. For example:

  • Individual packages could include additional retouching or multiple looks for actors and models.
  • Business packages could offer group discounts or on-location shoots for company headshots.

By offering customized packages, you can increase your chances of attracting a wider range of clients and further grow your headshot photography business.

4. Consider Portfolio-Building Discounts

As you establish your headshot photography business, it's essential to build a strong portfolio showcasing your work. Offering discounts and promotions can help attract new clients, allowing you to expand your portfolio and increase your visibility in the market. Here are some strategies you can consider implementing:

Offer Promotions for New Clients

Offering a limited-time discount for new clients can entice potential customers to give your services a try. For example, you could offer a percentage off your basic package for first-time clients. This promotion can encourage people who are on the fence about how much they should spend on headshots photography to choose your services, ultimately helping you build a larger client base.

Establish a Referral Program

A referral program rewards existing clients for referring new customers to your business. You could offer a discount on future services or a small gift as a token of appreciation. This encourages your satisfied clients to spread the word about your headshot photography services, bringing in more business and helping you build a strong reputation.

Collaborate with Industry Professionals

Partnering with professionals in related industries, such as makeup artists, hairstylists, or modeling agencies, can help you expand your network and reach new clients. Offer discounts or special packages for clients who come through these partnerships. This can be a win-win situation, as both you and your partners can benefit from increased business and exposure.

In conclusion, offering portfolio-building discounts is an effective way to attract new clients and grow your headshot photography business. With a strong portfolio and a steady stream of clients, you'll be better equipped to determine how much you should charge for headshots photography in the long run.

5. Adjust Prices According to Market Demand

As your headshot photography business grows and evolves, it's essential to keep an eye on market demand and adjust your prices accordingly. This ensures that you stay competitive and continue to attract clients. Here are some factors to consider when adjusting your headshot photography prices:

Monitor Booking Frequency

Keep track of how often clients book your services. If you're consistently booked solid, it may be a sign that you can increase your prices. On the other hand, if you're struggling to fill your schedule, it might be time to reevaluate your pricing strategy. Remember, finding the right balance between demand and pricing is key to maintaining a steady flow of clients.

Depending on your location and target audience, there may be specific periods of increased demand for headshot photography. For example, actors and models may need updated headshots more frequently during certain times of the year. Be aware of these seasonal trends and consider adjusting your prices or offering special promotions to capitalize on the increased demand.

Track Economic Factors

Keep an eye on the overall economy and how it may affect your clients' willingness to spend on headshot photography. If economic conditions are challenging, you may need to lower your prices or offer more flexible payment options to accommodate your clients' budgets. On the other hand, if the economy is booming, you may have more leeway to increase your rates.

Ultimately, the key to success in headshot photography is staying flexible and adapting to the ever-changing market conditions. Continuously monitoring and adjusting your prices based on market demand will help you remain competitive and ensure you're charging the right amount for your headshot photography services.

If you're looking to improve your photography pricing strategies, don't miss the workshop 'How to Price Your Photography' by Kayleigh June. This workshop will provide you with valuable tips and insights on setting the right prices for your photography services, ensuring a successful and profitable photography business.