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FAST CLASS: The Business of Professional Headshots

Lesson 2 of 11

Pricing

 

FAST CLASS: The Business of Professional Headshots

Lesson 2 of 11

Pricing

 

Lesson Info

Pricing

pricing sexy, sexy money. What is sexier than money? Just a ton of money. You know, I'm a photographer. I love photography. It's a job that I enjoy. But to me there are two types of photographers working in the foot RV industry. Never toppers they do. It is their job. Me. And then there were photographers that it's they eat, sleep, breathe photography. And they carry for cameras with them. Everywhere they go, I got a buddy of mine who if he if you say, Oh, man, I forgot my 24 to 70. But I got one in my car. I got like, I need a life stand in the sand bags like I got into my car like that guy. You know, whatever you need. It's in his car because he just eats, sleeps and breathes photography. And I respect that Those people create the greatest art sometimes. But my mission in life is to not be a poor taka, for I want to do photography for money. I sell photography for my and so for me my job exists so that I can have a life. My job isn't my life. I hear so many photographers saying thing...

s like, Yeah, I was up at 2 a.m. Editing images, and I'm just thinking, Do not have Children or life like Are you insane? Like I'd rather be doing almost anything else in my life. In my free time. You have 24 hours in a day, and assuming that you sleep eight and work eight, you have eight hours a day to kind of do what you want with to hang out with your family, to travel, to chase your dreams. You know, breed unicorns, whatever you wanted to do with your free time. That's the time you have to do it. And so I really have tried to create a business where I manage my time because my job exists so that I can have a life. And so the more profitable the time I spend working is, the more I have freedom. Money on its own is nothing. Money on its own is useless, But money is a means to an end for me to be able to live the kind of life I want, and photography has really blessed me and my family because we're able have a life that we really enjoy we travel a lot, you know, we can make our own schedule if we've got If there's something going on on on a Wednesday at 11 in the morning or two in the afternoon, I can I can change that in my schedule. That's what I love about what I do. Not that so much. I love the taking pictures part. That's awesome. But I love the lifestyle that I have working for yourself, being a creative entrepreneur. The huge part of that is being a make your own schedule. But anybody says, What's the old address? They say If you do something you love, you'll never work a day in your life. That guy was an idiot because if you do something that you love, you work 10 times harder at it because it matters to you, right? Does that make sense? I think it really, really is a paradigm shift that we need to make is creative entrepreneurs is that our focus has to be on making a living, doing something that we love and not letting doing what we love for a living make us hate our lives because can nothing can make you hate your job are hate your paint, your hobby or pure passion as much as when you have to use it to pay your bills. Does that make sense? All right, so I want to talk about the different ways I see people pricing their head shots. I can't tell you specifically what to charge, because if you're in New York City or you're in Atlanta or you're in L. A your market is gonna be a completely different place. So I can't say you should charge X. I'm going to tell you these are what I see people doing. And this is how to use a formula to determine what you're supposed to charge, and then take that back to your business and then apply it there if you want. Or you could think I'm totally done may not do that at all. But you're here, and I have you and you can't go anywhere. So let's talk about the flat fee. This is a type of, ah, way to charge for a headshot session that I see a lot of photographers doing. In fact, we do this partly ourselves. You can have a hybrid system going, but this is one way to look at it. If you say if you want a headshot session, I'm gonna charge $499 that's going to include all the files. And it's going to include three retouched images, all deliver, all delivered digitally. So that's a pretty good average, $500 session is pretty good and you're get, but you're giving away pretty much everything that you would be able to sell later. Does that make sense? So this is a perfect way to charge for someone who doesn't want to deal with in person sales, who's maybe looking to build a business that's all slightly higher volume, a little less boutique, and then someone who win the job is done. You don't wanna have to have another appointment and where you go and you have to sell them more stuff and try to get more money out of them stuff like that. Um, it's a really cool way to do things. I'm not gonna tell you that it's a bad way to do business. These air just the way people are doing this, and this is an option. So flat fee works. If you don't like selling and you just want to get everything up front, be done with it. This is cool. Totally works. Absolutely valid pricing for look, I see this more often than I see anything else is when you say okay, so each look is X amount of dollars, and so you have the ability toe up cell, but you're doing your front and loading your sales. Does that make sense because in the terms of sales, your front end loading or you're back in loading your sales? And so you're trying to up sell your client or your potential client by selling them as much as you can at the beginning. A lot of wedding photographers air like that. We're used to that. You're trying to sell them the biggest package. Yes, you want them to buy the small collection with two hours of coverage, and they get nothing with that. But no, you want them to buy the 7 $8000 Big collection. But with this sort of business model, it's good. It's just another way to do things. I see a lot of people moving to that in person sales after the fact. That's fine, but again, it's just another way to do things, pricing by time. I've done this to where you say 30 minutes session. Whatever we shoot in, there doesn't matter. As many looks as we can cram in there and then you try to sell them what you shot after what is the most popular way of doing pricing by time, everybody does it. Session fee, session fees of pricing by time. You're saying if you have a portrait business, the session is $250. Nothing comes with it except my time. And then I'm gonna try and sell you stuff after the fact. So that's a pricing by time. And so we to put that in a headshot business by saying we sell our time in 20 minute blocks. So an edge 20 minute block, I say, I don't know. We get whatever looks we can get done. But you pay this block, this block, this block and then you sell after so think of set of session fees is pricing by time with me. Then there's pricing by image. I see this. This is new, comparatively in the market, especially in the head shot business. This where it gets a little more boutique again. This is mostly front end loaded sales. So you see photographer selling packages where this comes with 10 images for $1200 $120 an image, whatever. And then you can still do an in person sale or whatever after the fact. But you again, you're sort of shifting some of the sales toe after, but you're getting a larger by in a lot of times pricing by image, because you're not necessarily putting a time constraint. You could say, OK, every session is two hours, and this is how many images we get done in that session. So these are the four main things, and I see different combinations of it. There may be some stuff out there that you do that I have even thought of yet, which is totally possible. But this is the thing I see the most common. But I think that it's a backwards approach to building your pricing. To think about. How I want to charge is secondary to thinking these two things. The two things you need to decide before you decide your sales strategy and your session average. These are the two main things you're gonna need to when you figure out what type of business you want to have and how much you want to charge for a headshot session. And there are different business models and they work in many different ways, and I'm not gonna tell you what to do again presenting options. Here's how you figure out the first thing you need to figure out which is gonna be your session average. How much do you want to gross a year? Gross is how much you bill out, not what you take home. Figure out that number now. If you're a member of the professional photographers America, the PP A. They do a benchmark survey which basically tells you how much you're supposed to be making in the photography business in order to bring home a profit. So if you are basically a home based studio individual person, you're the only person in your business to make a livable amount of money. You probably need to be building out a year somewhere around 80 to $100,000 that will give you if you have your business set up the right way, that will give you a livable amount of money. And so let's just use that as sort of a baseline. Okay, Um, so you know that you want a gross a year and you divide that by how much do you want to work? How many sessions do you want to shoot? This is managerial accounting. This is taking something complicated making really simple. How much do you want to make? How much do you want to work that's gonna give you your session average? Let's break it down a little further. Okay? So looking at this, if you have all this other areas of your business when it's gonna be maternity weddings, portrait's babies, dogs, whatever you do and you just want to add a little bit of extra revenue so you want to $20,000 extra a year in revenue by opening up a headshot professional headshot portion of your business and you want to shoot 50 sessions yourself Chechen average is going to be $400 to gross that amount of money that seems pretty fairly self explanatory. So basically you're looking for sort of a medium volume business strategy, and you're basically you're pricing models would be really good to do a flat up front or to do well by the look pricing, because that's sort of the business that you're building. You see, you start with how much you want to make and how hard you want to work, and then it gives you how much issued charge instead of the other way around. You don't just say, how much do I charge? And then you just sort of throw yourself out there into the universe and you get what you get. You have to have a plan, how much money I want to make. How many sessions do I want to shoot? And what does that give you? Gives you a concrete goal? Do you want 50 sessions a year? Then you know that you need to shoot four sessions a month. So if you get midway through the month and you haven't booked four sessions for the next month, you know you need to start beating the bushes and getting that work so you have a physical target that you can hit every single time. Doesn't that make it so much, somewhat more approachable, have a business. Now here's another one. If you want to make 100 $50,000. This is gross. This is not what you keep and you want to shoot 100 sessions and cause this would be an example of making headshots. You're basically your primary business, OK? Shooting 100 sessions, years roughly, shooting two sessions a week at a $1500 average. Now that seems like a lot. I know photographers that do this plug this into any other type of portrait photography can think of babies, whatever. Think of it the exact same way. So now you know that you need to shoot 100 sessions and your average needs to be $1500 per session, and then you make the amount of money you need to live. Does that sort of demystifies the whole thing a little bit? It's not that hard to figure out. So don't ask another photographer what you should charge. Ask yourself how much money do I want to make and how hard do I want to work? And then now you, now you know how much you need to charge, and then you build your business model around that number, and I would say take the number and sort of double that number and go for that sort of because the higher you shoot when you fail, the better off you are. Do you know what I'm saying? Like if you're going like we have here and then you end up down here, that's OK, But you can add this to your business as something that supplement what you're already doing or build an entire business around it. Now it takes a For example, if you were to take that $150,000 you're gonna shoot 500 sessions, you know that's gonna bring that number down to $300 a session. You now have a moderately high volume headshots business. But how you gonna get 500 sessions you can? It's doable. I've seen it done, but you have to create a business model around that. Here's a number that you need to remember 1.5. Your final sale will most likely be somewhere 1. times the buy in price. Think about that. If you plan on having a $1500 average, your clients that you be buying in at 1000 bucks, you will do better than that plenty of times, and you will do worse than that. Plenty of times, but a hard and fast, not hard and test a very flexible but very useful rule in this case is your final sale on any session. Portrait headshot otherwise is gonna be about 1.5 times what they bought into. So if you are expecting to have a $500 sale and they're buying it at $100 you're gonna be disappointed a lot. If you are trying to get a $2000 sale with a $250 buy in, you're gonna have a hard time. That's not gonna happen to you a lot. I think if you find that you charge for a $250 for a portrait session, you're gonna find that your that your sales are gonna be around 4 to $500 pretty consistently. Does that make sense? The photographers, I know that I'm making the most money in these boutique businesses. You're buying a lot of the products up front and you're paying a substantial portion will end up paying in the beginning, and then it's up selling on top of that a couple of weeks later when you do it in person sales. But think about that. That's gonna be pretty pretty true for most people

Class Description

FAST CLASS:

Try a Fast Class – now available to all Creator Pass subscribers! Fast Classes are shortened “highlight” versions of our most popular classes that let you consume 10+ hours in about 60 minutes. We’ve edited straight to the most popular moments, actionable techniques, and profound insights into bite-sized chunks– so you can easily find and focus on what matters most to you. (And of course, you can always go back to the full class for a deep dive into your favorite parts.)

Full-length class: The Business of Professional Headshots with Gary Hughes


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Professional headshots are in demand! Learn how to break into this lucrative genre of photography in The Business of Professional Headshots with Gary Hughes.

Professional headshots are an easy addition to nearly every photographer’s list of services and in this class, you’ll get up-to-speed on everything you need to know to launch a headshot business.

You’ll learn:

  • 6 Primary styles of corporate headshots
  • The gear that gets the job done
  • Basic posing theory
  • How to get clients and manage inquiries
  • Retouching, organizing, and delivery tips and techniques

You’ll also get to watch Gary in action as he demonstrates shooting and retouching a variety of headshot styles.

If you want to bring home more money and book more business during your slow times, don’t miss this comprehensive guide to running a lucrative headshot business from Gary Hughes.

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