How To Price Your Products


Creating Your Ideal Photography Business


Lesson Info

How To Price Your Products

Let's start with the big one, the burning question. How do you price your products? Basically in this section, we are gonna cover which products you're gonna offer, the price that you need to charge for 'em. And then we're gonna talk about something called a per hour figure. And then we're gonna come up with your target sales average. So what is it that every session that you do is worth? And that will give you power to walk into the sales room and ask for what you need. So let's go. We're gonna start out with products. Deciding which products you want to offer is one of the most important business decisions that you can make. It's the foundation of any business. So as you think about which products that you're going to offer, you need to think about: Why do clients want to select you? What is unique about you? What can you offer that nobody else offers? There's absolutely something that is interesting and unique about you and you just have to figure out what it is. So in our business ...

we built a wedding and portrait division in Boulder, Colorado. That was kind of the first leap off point for our business and what we specialized in was capturing the emotion of people in dramatic environments. So that's pretty neat. Not a lot of people go out to dramatic environments. There's definitely some. So we would take studio quality lighting way up onto a mountain, or a glacier, or down a river. And we would take people to amazing places and create dramatic images. And the intention was to create decor for the home. It was to create books that told a story. Albums that told the story of this incredible experience with this client. It might have been for a wedding client, might have been for a family, it could have been for an engagement session or a senior portrait; all of those things. But they all had the common thread that we were out on location in beautiful places doing incredible things. So that's what was unique about us. So as you can imagine, that was a lot of work. Carrying hundreds of pounds of equipment up miles of trail. And so for us, it was really important not to compete on price because it was a whole expensive operation to make it run. So for us we decided right away, "We don't care what other people are charging, "we've got to take care of us "and we're not gonna compete on price." So the flip side of that is we decided to compete on service. It was our job to give these people incredible experiences. So when they showed up in the Aspen Grove at dawn and there was still frost on the ground, we had hot chocolate ready or we had coffee ready and treats. It was a wonderful experience. They got there to a place they'd never been, they didn't even know existed and they're like (gasps), "Oh my gosh, this is amazing!" And we had everything there to make 'em comfortable and make it easy. So that was our job, was to compete on service instead of price. And then I think we talked about what was unique to what we did. So as you think about this class, hopefully you can start writing down some ideas. What's unique to you. There are people out there that are like baby whisperers. They can go in and babies do amazing things. I've never understood that. I can't do that. But there are people that do amazing things like that. Everybody's got an incredible talent, so you just have to be able to articulate it. And for you, if you don't know what it is, ask your favorite clients. They'll tell you. They know exactly what's unique about you. And so if you get stuck on this one, ask people that know you. Ask your clients that you've worked with and you'll get some ideas about what's incredible about you. And I forgot to tell you. This is really important. This is how I organize it, you can do it a different way. But anytime I go to a workshop, I make the last page of my notebook my salsa list, my action items. And so as you guys are thinking about things that you're learning in this workshop, somewhere, wherever it is, make your action items that are mild, medium, and hot, okay? The hot ones are, "I've gotta go home "and get it done this week." The medium ones are, "I've gotta get it done this month." And the mild ones are, "I gotta do sometime "whenever I have time." Those are the ones that probably don't get done. But for you right now, one of the hot items is, How are you gonna compete? Price or service? Make that decision. You can't do both. And what's unique about you. Ask your clients if you don't know.

Class Description

"If you're struggling to figure out the business process of photography, this class is one of the clearest and most concise I've ever seen. If you're experienced but the business side and pricing are eluding you, you will find clarity here. I own at least twenty CreativeLive courses and hands down, this one explains pricing and strategy better than any others I've purchased or watched live." - Julie, CreativeLive Student 
Join Kathy Holcombe as she shares techniques and strategies to develop the photography business you desire. Whether you’re making the leap from part-time to full-time or starting your very first business, the amount of work can be overwhelming. From what products to offer, how much to charge, how to pay yourself or the legal considerations - start ups often sink before clients are even booked. Kathy will show you the ways to grow your business from the start. This class will cover: 

  • Defining what product you are selling and how much you should charge to make a living 
  • Photography business basics and how to track your income compared to other businesses 
  • How to write and create your business plan 
Kathy Holcombe and her husband Peter built one of the top wedding portrait studios in Colorado, then jumped in an RV with the entire family and began traveling the country full-time, and added a successful commercial division. Together they have built multiple successful businesses and have honed in on the important factors that every photographer should consider when building a business. 


1Class Introduction 2How To Price Your Products 3Which Products Will You Offer 4Methods For Pricing 5Mark Up Factors On Products 6What Is Your Per Hour Figure 7What Is The Feasibility Of A Product 8Target Sales Average 9Session Fees Pricing Strategy 10Minimum Purchase And Incentives Pricing Strategy 11Bundling Pricing Strategy 12Pre-Design Pricing Strategy 13Album Pricing Strategies 14Example Pricing List 15Business Basics Overview 16Tracking Product Lines In Your Business 17Track Your Session Counts 18Know Your Sales Average 19Importance Of Data Analysis 20Overview Of Costs 21Professional Photographers Of America Benchmark Survey 22Creating A Vision For Your Business 23What Do You Want To Accomplish 24Take A Leap Of Faith 25Refine Your Vision 26Products That Sell 27Identify Pricing Strategies 28Portrait Pricing Strategy Example 29Album Pricing Strategy Example 30Online Pricing Strategy Example 31Fine Art Prints Pricing Strategy Example 32Packages Pricing Strategy Example 33Sales Strategies Overview 34Portrait Sales Session Overview 35Sales Strategy for Portrait Sales 36How to Present Images to Client 37Sales Strategy for Wedding Sales 38Album Pre-Design 39Marketing: Define Yourself 40Who is Your Ideal Client? 41Who is Your Ideal Partner? 42How to Start a Partner Business Relationship 43Marketing Strategies that Work 44Product Lines: Business Plan Part One 45Workload: Business Plan Part Two 46Sessions: Business Plan Part Three 47Expenses: Business Plan Part Four 48Clients: Business Plan Part Five



I started my business a year ago with little formal technical photography education. It's hard to admit but I've been winging it, figuring out each small task that goes with photographing a session, editing one, and working with clients as I go. I may be doing things backwards, but now that I feel like I'm more comfortable in those small, specific parts of business, I need to figure out how to make this business sustainable and profitable. Kathy's class felt perfect for this time in my business to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of what I want to focus on and where I want to go (and how much I want to pay myself!). She uses realistic, specific numbers: something that's SO helpful and I feel like I rarely see in the photography community. And she breaks everything down in an organized and easy to understand way. The classes were easy to follow along with and Kathy's positivity and patient manner is inspiring and motivating. The fact that she used to be a school teacher is clear. Thank you so much Kathy (and the rest of the Holcombes)!

Jenny Farrell

I am so glad I was able to attend this course in person and receive all the wonderful and practical information Kathy shared with us. I also really enjoyed the connections with other audience members and side conversations with Creative Live peeps as well as the Holcombe family. What an inspiration this family is--lots of practical info, but also a great pep talk to not sell yourself short and get out there and do what you love, but use sound business practice while doing it. Thanks so much for these incredible two days.


Fantastic course! Very helpful instruction and how-to guide for anyone considering starting up a photography business. Kathy was an excellent instructor, with a wealth of knowledge and experience. I gained a good understanding of the practical everyday aspects of running this kind of business, and how to create my own vision.