Effective pricing can seem complicated, yet it is vital for any event photographer.
You, too, are probably wondering: where to start, and how much do I charge to photograph a corporate event?
Thankfully, pricing isn’t that hard once you understand the process:
- Add together your expenses, overhead, and wanted profit.
- Research the local market.
- Decide on a flat hourly rate.
The above is a simple way that works for most. Now let’s zoom in.
How Much to Charge for a Corporate Event Shoot in 2022?
Here are the approximate rates for corporate event shoots as of writing.
Compare them with your local photographers’ pricing and hopefully clearly see which bracket is appropriate for you right now.
- Student: $50-$100 per hour
- Amateur / Entry-level: $50-$150 per hour
- Professional: $75-$250 per hour
- Expert: $250-$500 per hour or more
What to Consider Before Setting Your Rates as a Corporate Photographer?
It might be tempting to undercut the competition if you are breaking into the corporate event photography niche. But this tactic ultimately hurts the industry—including you.
So how much should I charge to photograph a corporate event, you ask?
Let’s find out. Here are the factors to consider when calculating your pricing.
Calculate your annual business expenses, and divide them by the projected number of photoshoots.
This way, you can cover your overhead as the year progresses.
Be sure to include material costs, including prints and camera equipment, and ongoing expenses like cloud storage and hosting.
Sometimes, you might even hire an assistant or rent/acquire lighting.
The Cost of Your Time
You and only you decide how much your time is worth—and the market tells you whether it agrees or not.
Would you prefer to scramble around, running from one underpaid shoot to the next?
Or would you rather have a select few high-ticket clients every month?
You could buy all the photo gear in the world.
Still, there is no substitute for professional experience as a corporate event photographer.
Honing skills like crowd control and communication come from field practice.
With experience, you can run a big corp shoot like a boss—with confidence, effectiveness, and repeat business as a result.
Comparatively high rates signal value. Period.
If your work isn’t on par with the competing event photographers, make it so.
Undercutting is a race to the bottom, the one race you don’t want to win.
Instead, focus on clients that want the best of the best, have the budget, and understand the value. Create solid relationships with them, and enjoy the occasional referrals.
How to Structure Your Rates as an Event Photographer
For event photographers, it is most common to have an hourly rate.
It works great for corporate events because it ensures you get paid for any extra hours spent shooting at an event.
Be sure to price yourself within the typical local going rate. Although challenging, it’s crucial to get your pricing right.
Let’s have a closer look.
Research What Other Photographers in Your Area Charge
I can hardly overstate this point. You want to be the right-sized fish in your pond.
Do your research and look into what other corporate event photographers charge in your area.
Note their rates, services, and unique selling points, and perhaps set up a spreadsheet to organize your findings.
Once you figure out your own ‘magic number,’ it should position you well to be competitive and profitable from the get-go.
Agree Upon the Terms With Your Client Before the Event
Particularly with fixed rates, it’s vital to clarify expectations with the client beforehand.
During the initial meeting, be sure to understand their needs and communicate what they are getting.
Having all the nuances of the terms clarified before the shoot keeps things smooth and professional throughout the project.
How to Negotiate Event Photography Pricing
Pricing negotiation is much like any other negotiation. It’s delicate, critically important, and can potentially benefit everybody involved.
Here are some key points to consider when negotiating corporate event photo rates with your client.
Always be willing to walk away – not every shoot is yours to do, and certainly not at any cost.
Anchor your price – make it clear how much you charge for a given type of project from the start.
Be professional and consistent – have standardized pricing materials at hand, and let your communication skills shine.
Are you considering breaking into the niche but breaking your head with questions like ‘how much should I charge to photograph a corporate event?’
It’s simple. Figure out your costs, overhead, and profit, research your local market, and set your hourly rates accordingly.
Get rid of your imposter syndrome, create a pricing list, and hone your negotiation skills.
Then, wow your clients and build genuine, lasting relationships while getting paid handsomely for your efforts.