What is the price of a photo?

It is very difficult for most people to estimate the price of a photo. Whether you are a photographer or a customer, here is a small checklist to help you calculate the actual price of a shot.

The real price of a photo

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Generally, customers will ask you directly: how much? Without understanding that, depending on the type of photo, according to the collaborators, the equipment and transportation needed, and especially the creative research that will take care of you for weeks, the price can vary considerably.

Friends and esteemed confreres, it must be borne in mind that for most people, this question implies: “How much do you take to press a button? “. And that what they buy is neither your experience nor your talent (by the way, most people are unable to do the share of things between a good and a bad cliché) but the fact that you own a “good” or “bad” photographic case. Because for most potential customers, a pro photographer is nothing but a button press that is “good” because it has expensive equipment.

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And whether you do a report photo on a football field next to your home or a fashion photo with 30 collaborators at the top of the Himalayas, it’s kif-kif burricot: in both cases, you press a button. So “how much? how much?

So, rather than explaining at length why, I will propose, dry and without explanation, a list (not exhaustive) of the rates below which it is impossible to go” if you want to win a SMIC beast. Trust me, my chief accountant calculated everything 🙂

Basic price of a photo

  • Classic report without travel: 150€ TTC/hour
  • Displacement: 0,6€ TTC /km (for more precise rates according to your capacity read here)
  • Photography in studio equipped 1h: 175€ TTC/hour 10% per person photographed extra
  • Product photograph (packshot type) 1h: 175€ TTC/hour (attention, for “complex” products type of wine, count 30% more working time on the first product, to establish the charter. The average price of a photo of a packshot wine bottle is around €30 (incl. VAT)
  • Complex product photography (car type) without preparation of the object (cleaning etc.): 300€ tax incl.
  • Preparation of a complex product: 180 €TTC/hour
  • Photography/poster (depending on media): from 380€/hour to 800€/hour
  • The photos will operated commercially on a medium for a single country: 25% to the overall rating
  • The photos will be exploited commercially on several media for a single country: 30% to the overall rating
  • The photos will be exploited commercially on a medium for all countries: 35% to the overall rating
  • The photos will be exploited commercially on all media for all countries: 40% to the overall rating

In addition to these “basic” rates, the participation of employees or not:

  • Participation of a hairdresser: 120€ TTC/ 1 photo hairstyle (attention, preparation time is counted in the working time of the photographer)
  • Participation of a make-up artist: 110€ TTC/1 full face make-up (attention, preparation time is counted in the working time of the photographer). 100€ TTC/hour for bodypainting (count 5-6 hours for a full body)
  • Presence of a model (agency rate): from 1.000 to 1.500€ per day
  • Assistant tray/assistant light: 60€ TTC/hour
  • Technical assistant/manager: 50€ TTC/hour

Explanation of prices

For a full-time professional photographer, the average profit represents (depending on the status of his company) between 30 and 40% of the turnover, once deducted all professional expenses, taxes and social security contributions. I am obviously not talking about investments in equipment, which are precisely made with profit.

First of all it is necessary to understand that the taking of a snapshot does not stop or begin, when pressing the trigger.

For a day of shooting, there is an average of post-production day (editing, image processing, possible retouching). In addition, to obtain contracts and run your business, it takes quite a few days of accounting, client solicits, archive management, communication etc.

The price of a shot therefore includes: the shooting itself, the related expenses (make-up, hairdressing, transportation, accessories etc.), the time of development and editing, the assignment of rights for immediate uses or the lump sum assignment that defines the uses, the amortization of the material and time in time necessary for the preparation of a contract (discussion with the customer, exchange of email etc.)

Therefore, the rate can be calculated by a ladle as follows. For a shooting that will have reported, for example, 1,000 euros gross of revenue to a photographer, he will have worked 3 days: 1 day of shooting, 1 day of post-production, 1 day of accounting and discussion/preparation with the customer. Reducted to 30% profit, and deducted VAT, it will have earned 178 euros net per day, for days that last on average 9 hours (GNPP figures).

To make a living in the photo it is therefore necessary to calculate countdown: how much I want to earn per month?

Let’s imagine that you wanted to earn 2,000 euros net. Which means, along with the charges, that you have to earn 3,000. As we have said that the average payee mass in the photo is 30 to 40%, this means that my turnover must be, depending on whether you are subject to VAT or not, of 7,500 and 10,000 euros.

Imagine that you perform 10 days of shooting a month, so this will mean that every day of shooting will have to be sold at a price of 750 euros if you do not pay VAT and 1,000 euros if you pay it.

It’s the This is why serious professional photographers consider that a fare between 750 and 1,200€ excl. VAT is the minimum to earn a living for a day of shooting (with limited and defined rights assignment). I urge everyone to take these tariffs as a basis for discussion.

IMPORTANT: For the single sale of a photo to newspapers or magazines, the number of copies sold is based on the number of copies sold. Prices are not the same for a magazine selling 5,000 copies as to another that sells at 100,000 (for indicative scales I cannot advise you to get the UPP scales (click here).

If you want to know a little more about this topic, read my article on photographers and money.



Nath-Sakura gathered all his knowledge and his photography methods in this large 396-page manual. Printed in 4 color process and in 21×21 cm format, this manual answers all your questions about photo and light control. Whether natural or artificial light. He also discusses in depth the issue of artistic direction, model direction and lighting equipment. Rather than an umpteenth book of “photographic recipes” as you can find, this book will teach you, with intelligence and simplicity, to master the light. This will allow you to understand the phenomena and better succeed the entire graphic chain of high level image realization. You can view the full summary and order the book by clicking here