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T4P – Pricing

Tips for Photographers (T4P) is a weekly feature where I talk about a cool tip that I think will benefit my fellow photographers. For more T4Ps, click here!

I feel like every week I answer three or four questions from other photographers regarding their pricing, and my answer for all of these photographers is always exactly the same. It seems like everyone I know is making the same mistake in their pricing, simply picking arbitrary numbers out of thin air without any regard for cost, taxes, and profit. I got a little tired of giving the same speech over and over, so I’ve decided to put everything I have ever learned about pricing into one comprehensive guide.

I spent all weekend working on this, and it truly is special to me. I hope that it is helpful to you! You can download this guide on this page. Let me know what you think!


  1. jenniferL said . . .

    wow! thanks for the awesome resource… can’t wait to read it.

    Posted November 11, 2008 at 2:41 pm | Permalink
  2. Deborah said . . .

    OMG I love you! Thanks so much!!!

    Posted November 11, 2008 at 2:44 pm | Permalink
  3. benjhaisch said . . .

    I’m pumped to read it! Thanks! Couldn’t have come at a better time!

    Posted November 11, 2008 at 4:22 pm | Permalink
  4. Jayne said . . .

    i have been working hard on this all night! you not only are my favorite photographer but you help me, inspire me and teach me more than any one in this whole wide world :) Thanks so much!

    Posted November 11, 2008 at 9:14 pm | Permalink
  5. Terri Campbell said . . .

    Stacy, thanks so much, this has always been a concern and I love how you have explained everything. I know that it isn’t ALL your info, but seriously, I think you should get consent from the friends/fellow photogs that helped you compile all of this info and publish it…it is perfect! I have shared it with other photogs on my fave forum site: http://www.digitalphotopros.com. You are amazingly generous with your knowledge and I appreciate it!!!

    Posted November 12, 2008 at 8:33 am | Permalink
  6. Rachel Absher said . . .

    Stacy, you ROCK. You are such an open, honest person. Thank you for your hard work and for sharing with your fellow photogs!!

    Posted November 12, 2008 at 11:53 am | Permalink
  7. Ashley (who's assisting Darbi G) said . . .

    Can I just say thanks, because I have looked high and low for something current to help a photographer price ANY of their work, especially weddings, and there just isn’t ANYTHING out there!! (BY THE WAY GREAT PHOTOGRAPHS!)

    Posted November 12, 2008 at 2:54 pm | Permalink
  8. Christan said . . .

    When I read the article title I was thinking…..”wow, bold statement”. It only took me 10 minutes to realize that it IS The Single Greatest Guide to Wedding Photography Pricing That Ever Was and Ever Will Be.

    Thanks Stacy!!

    Posted November 12, 2008 at 5:27 pm | Permalink
  9. Jae said . . .

    Thanks, Stacey. I {and I’m sure everyone here} can’t thank you enough for taking the time to write this up and give your opinion. It really was an eye opener and was EXTREMELY helpful. Thank you so much!

    Posted November 14, 2008 at 11:33 am | Permalink
  10. April Chandler said . . .

    O my gosh! That really is the Greatest Pricing Guide Ever! Thank you so much for saving me! It is so easy to understand and I really feel like I can run my business a lot better using your tips! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You are awesome!

    Posted November 14, 2008 at 11:37 am | Permalink
  11. Galina said . . .

    Thank you for your articles, it’s fun and useful read!

    p.s you forgot to add a label (tips for photographers) for this one

    Posted November 14, 2008 at 12:04 pm | Permalink
  12. Kim Kalyn said . . .

    Stacy you are the BEST !! Your pricing guide was so helpful to me and I know I will refer to it again and again. I truly appreciate your openess in willing to share this with other photographers for FREE ! Thank you, thank you, thank you !!

    Posted November 14, 2008 at 7:41 pm | Permalink
  13. Marjorie said . . .

    Just wanted to stop by and say thank you for writing the pricing article. Someone posted it in reply to my question on a PPA site. Very helpful. I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to make sure I do this right, and you cleared a lot up for me. Woo Hoo! Also, very wonderful images you have. I will bookmark this and come back lots for inspiration.

    Posted November 20, 2008 at 7:06 pm | Permalink
  14. Jen said . . .

    Your pricing guide really helped to address some vagueness i felt around my packages. Thanks so very much. I was left with one question and forgive me if I missed this… I didn’t see any pricing comments for editing and upload hours. Was this to be considered as an item under CSW? I edit all myself and spend quite bit of time doing so – I was wondering how you would price for that time. Thanks again Stacy, you’ve been truly inspiring and grounding.

    Posted May 15, 2009 at 11:28 pm | Permalink
  15. stacyreeves said . . .

    Hi Jen, since we don’t charge our clients for our editing time, nor do we pay ourselves hourly, there’s no real point in calculating the time you spend editing into your price. The only reason you might calculate editing in is 1) if you pay someone else to edit the photos, or 2) you’re pricing a specific type of editing, such as album design, major retouching, etc., something you wouldn’t normally do for the average wedding. Hope that helps!

    Posted May 17, 2009 at 7:01 pm | Permalink
  16. Chasity Furse said . . .

    hey stacy. it is amazing that you took the time to do this and offer it up to so many. i can’t seem to access the link though. i can get the spreadsheets but i get an error message when trying to access the pricing guide. is it just me?

    Posted June 3, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Permalink
  17. Dee Dee said . . .

    WOW – Thank you SO much!!

    Posted August 8, 2009 at 10:50 am | Permalink
  18. Juanita Ramirez said . . .


    I read over your guide, and I thought it was well-thought-out, and you made some great points about charging what you’re worth. Nevertheless, your story about selling the $5500 package to the two poor college students is a little bit disturbing to me. Do you think that independent photographers have a responsibility to clients not to charge them more than we know they can reasonably afford? This seems to be like what the mortgage sellers were doing before the meltdown.

    Also, I hesitate to cite the PPA guidelines for anything regarding pricing. Their responsibility is to prop up the industry so photographers can make money. They are a trade association (cartel :) ) and they could put any arbitrary number out there.

    In the end, though, I thought it was a great guide that provided valuable information and I’m grateful for that. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

    Posted February 18, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Permalink
  19. stacyreeves said . . .

    Juanita, with all due respect, you seem to be casting judgment and making assumptions about people that aren’t fair. First of all, I had no clue about the college students’ situation until after they booked me. It was only after the contract was signed and the deposit was paid that they told me their original photography budget and their overall wedding budget. Second, even if I had known, it’s not my place to babysit my clients and manage their money. Would you have had me tell them “No, I’m sorry, I can’t take your money, I think you’re too poor”? How rude and inappropriate would that have been, not to mention insulting to my clients. The point of sharing the anecdote was to show photographers that you can’t judge someone based on their job or socioeconomic background. Different people have different financial priorities, and we should treat every bride like a high-money bride, because they might end up being one. Furthermore, the PPA study was done to educate photographers about the reality of life in the industry and is completely fact-based. It wasn’t some article written based on opinions of how things work or judgements about business models or suggestions on how to make money. It’s purely a collection and publishing of user-submitted data. Even though you would expect people to say they’re actually making more than they really are, the results showed that most photographers are losing money or barely breaking even. Before the study came out, no one would have believed that statement, because the only press you hear is about rockstar photographers who bring in five-digit wedding packages and live the high life. By surveying hundreds of studios across the country from all genres and business models, PPA was able to give a realistic look at what’s really happening in the industry financially. I’m not sure how or why you could see that as some kind of negative activity.

    Posted February 18, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Permalink
  20. Ben Makinen said . . .

    Nice work here Stacey. I will recommend this to band leaders who shortchange themselves and their musicians.
    All the best!

    Posted September 17, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Permalink
  21. Amie Geyer said . . .

    Excited to read this!!!
    Thank you!

    Posted July 19, 2011 at 8:06 am | Permalink
  22. Tom Welsh said . . .

    Dear Stacy,
    I am an expert wedding photographer with 33 years of experience, (I started at 16). The last few years I have been banging my head trying to figure a new pricing strategy. This resource should be required for any photographer applying for a business license. This has been done very well and is much needed for our industry. Thank you and best wishes.

    Tom Welsh

    Posted August 16, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink
  23. Dawn Stephens said . . .

    Thank you. I appreciate the input.

    Posted January 18, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Permalink
  24. Denise Avila said . . .

    Thank you Stacey I haven’t even read it yet and I know coming from you it will be great.

    Posted May 9, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink
  25. Myonie said . . .

    Thank you for sharing that wealth of knowledge!

    Posted July 18, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

3 Trackbacks

  1. By Walking On Air « Rain (Notebook) on November 11, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    […] Reeves, a photographer I mentioned before wrote up this incredible article on pricing weddings… giving me information that I’ve been looking for! I’m so in […]

  2. […] to publicly thank Stacy Reeves for her blog post from yesterday – she’s produced an amazing price guide for wedding photographers which is going to help me in my pursuit of a successful business. Stacy is so kind and generous, […]

  3. […] thank Stacy Reeves for her blog post from yesterday – she’s produced an amazing price guide for wedding photographers which is going to help me in my pursuit of a successful business. Stacy is so kind and generous, […]

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