Creating Your Ideal Photography Business

Lesson 27/48 - Identify Pricing Strategies


Creating Your Ideal Photography Business


Lesson Info

Identify Pricing Strategies

Okay, so let's look back. What are the five pricing strategies that we talked about? Let's quickly review them so that as we look at these pricing structures that you submitted, we can search for those strategies and try to identify them in use in the field. So, to review we have session fees. The session fee has two purposes. It is the gateway to your business. A high session fee leads to fewer clients contacting you or booking you. A lower session fee is a lower barrier of entry to your business, okay? It's the gateway that filters who's coming into your business. The second thing a session fee does is it helps offset the final sale. It allow you to collect some of the money upfront. That money's forgotten and then you have to have a lower final sale amount. So that's how the session fee works. Minimum purchase is a way to set an expectation for your client and say, "You should expect to invest at least this much with me." And, it also offsets the burden of that final sale because it...

happens in advance. That money is spent and forgotten. Incentives are rewards that you give your clients for doing what you want them to do. It's the treat, and so incentives can only, or should only be used whenever your client does what you want them to do. You never start these below your target sales average. And usually they build as your client invests more with you. These are inexpensive things that are really desirable and in demand for your clients. Bundling, this is the value meal, this is the package. So, it's putting products together in a way that allows you to sell what you want to create and combine it with something that the client wants anyway, and give your client a better price in the process. This is really great for clients that are really stretching their budget to invest with you. This is maybe a lower-end client but it doesn't mean they're not going to invest a lot, it's just the way they're used to buying, okay? Your high-end clients don't care about a bundle or a value meal. And then pre-design is the idea that it's hard for our clients to understand or conceive what it is that we can create until you actually show them what it is. So it works really well with products that require a lot of design like an album or a custom design piece for the wall, something like that. You've gotta shown them the possibilities before they're willing to invest in.

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.