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Photographer rates - How much does a photo shoot cost?

Published on December 20 2021 - 5 minutes reading

"Click-clack is in the box!" If the activity of the photographer is summarized in this expression, it is certain that the cost of a service related to the time spent pressing the shutter release is important.

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In reality, a third of the photographer's time is spent shooting. The rest of the time is divided between the post-production of the shots, and the administrative tasks / sales and pre-sales.

To help you understand the rates of photographers, whether for packages or hourly rates, I invite you to consider the following points that influence the prices of a photo shoot applicable to your projects:

1. Experience and competence:

The first important information you need to know is that there is no regulated and fixed scale (nevertheless, the market trend is around 90 to 120€/hour. This information will vary depending on the many criteria mentioned in this article).

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Professional photographers and videographers can charge whatever they want and the price, even before talking about the nature of the service, will already be influenced by these few criteria.

  • Experience: A professional photographer who has been practicing for a significant number of years will propose higher rates than a junior profile who still needs to build a solid portfolio.
  • Fame: This is a simple rule of supply and demand. Some professional photographers are very coveted and popular. They have a busy schedule, which influences their price upwards. For each project, ask yourself if you need a RockStar or a good professional.
  • Specialization: Some professional photographers have specialized in specific subjects and are true experts. Their photo rates will be higher but the result will be extremely qualitative. Again, ask yourself what level of quality you expect for your project.
  • Location: Even if you hire a photographer for a one-hour shoot, the cost of the assignment can be high if the photographer has to travel a long way. On the road, the photographer does not work. He can hardly canvass new clients or advance on other projects. The price of your photographer will include a form of compensation for this lost time and will increase the price.

2. The required equipment

Depending on the nature of your request, the professional photographer you will call upon may need specific equipment, expensive accessories, transportation, or additional services (such as Make-up Artists / Stylists / Assistants for example).

I will take, as an example, the fact of wanting to obtain a result of Photo type 'Studio' - it will thus be necessary that the price of the buildings or the hiring of those are included in the service.

Another example, if you wish to make enlargements out of the ordinary, your photographer will be able to request the use of cameras which are worth several tens of thousands of euros to obtain a quality rendering. The price of your photographer will be thus impacted.

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3. The time

The price of a photo reportage is of course impacted if the project in question is time-consuming, whether on the shooting or on the post-production. By discussing with your service provider, provided that he has enough experience in the field, your professional photographer should be able to explain and give you a fairly accurate estimate of the time needed for the shooting and editing.

Be aware that some areas of photography will require more extensive retouching - skin and jewelry retouching are perfect examples.

Also consider that if you request a fast delivery (same day, within 24/48 hours) the fee may reflect this additional service.

4. The Supports of use

In order to accurately answer the questions "What is the price of a professional photographer?" or "What is the price of a photo shoot?", the client must be able to communicate the use that will be made of the photos (is it for private or commercial use, for the promotion of a product or service, or for an editorial or artistic purpose), but also on which media the photos will be used: Social networks / Website / Flyers / Magazine / Poster / etc.

There are several guides online that give an idea of the rates charged by the industry such as the UPP, the SAIF or SOFAM. Your Photographer will have his own price list, indexed or not on the above mentioned organizations.

Note that the mention of the Transfer of Rights of Use should then appear on the estimate and the invoice, and to enter within a legal framework, these must mention a given territory, a duration in time and the included supports.

Note that this aspect can strongly influence the price of the photo service but it is better to be covered and in order to avoid any later problem.

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To sum up:

Keep in mind that the price of a photographer or the price of a photo shoot, in addition to the experience and the quality of the work provided, includes:

  • the time spent to take the pictures on site
  • the various expenses related to the service (make-up, hairstyle, transport, accessories etc.)
  • the time spent in post-production
  • the transfer of the rights for the uses of the realizations, which will be defined in time and space
  • the cost and depreciation of the equipment
  • the time upstream to prepare a service: editing a quote, exchanges with the client, contact and recommendation of third party providers, etc.

Now that you have understood the elements that influence the overall price of a photo shoot, we suggest you discover in more detail the elements that will vary the price of each type of photo shoot!

How much does an event photo shoot cost?

The photo coverage of an event is undoubtedly one of the most widespread disciplines in photography. Who has never wished to get sublime photos of his event? Photography is a real asset to promote your event and ensure the promotion of your website, flyers or social networks.

Generally speaking, a photographer specialized in events will charge a rate per hour between 100 and 200€ excluding VAT for the first two hours and (often) decreasing according to the number of hours booked.

In other words, the more hours you book, the lower the hourly rate will be, reaching 80-100€/hour depending on the seniority of the photographer.

Here are several elements which can also lead to an additional cost of the service:

  • Number of retouched photos requested
  • Express delivery time
  • Particular retouching
  • Rights of use
  • The market price: a photographer in Paris will not have the same cost as a photographer in Namur or Budapest.
  • Travelling expenses: If you wish to have a photographer move from Brussels to Paris, the travelling expenses (trains, car..) will be at your charge.

To receive a customized offer for your event photo shooting, submit your project on Utopix and receive several free quotes.

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How much does a culinary photo shoot cost?

It is well known, we eat with our eyes! And what better way to make your next clients' mouths water than to present your achievements with superb culinary photos?

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The price of a culinary photo shoot can vary from simple to triple depending on the degree of quality expected and the quantity. Do you want to make the next photo of your advertising campaign? Or do you simply want to get quality photos of the dishes on your menu for your website?

A culinary photographer will take into account several elements to give you a price for a culinary shooting:

  • Should the shooting take place in a studio (more expensive solution) or at your place in natural light (more affordable solution)
  • Is there a combination of dishes to photograph? How many photos per dish are needed?
  • What is the expected level of retouching ? Advertising ? Web ?
  • Do you need a special staging ? Do you need the services of a food stylist?
  • Do you need your photos to be cropped for display on a white background?
  • What are the rights of use that you wish to obtain?

Each of these elements will define the price of your food shoot. Generally speaking, count at least a few hundred euros for a first quality shoot.

Just like for event photography, where the price decreases according to the number of hours of service, a food photographer will also offer you a decreasing price according to the number of dishes to photograph.

Don't forget that photography can enhance your dishes but it is not everything! Remember to take care of the presentation of your dishes to obtain culinary photos that will make a sensation.

Ready to shoot your food? Get several quotes today.

How much does a real estate photo shoot cost?

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Looking to sell or rent your next property? Quality real estate photos are your best bet to reach your goal faster and easier!

A great real estate photographer will know exactly how to manage the lighting and perspective to show your home in its best light. But how do you know the price of a real estate photo shoot?

Generally speaking, the price of a real estate photo shoot will vary according to the number of photos to be taken and the number of properties. Once again, the principle of degressivity is often applied! Order more photos to obtain a more interesting price per photo.

The retouching work requested can also vary your price: asking to replace a gray sky by a blue one or to remove details on the photos will generate additional costs.

You wish to obtain a customized offer for your next real estate shooting? Submit your project now on Utopix and receive offers from several available photographers.

Maxime Arcari

CEO & Cofounder @ Utopix

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Companies in all sectors, as well as communication, event and advertising agencies, have never consumed and produced as much photo and video content as they do today. On the other hand, the profession of professional photographers and videographers is constantly attracting a growing number of new talents. Our ambition at Utopix is to facilitate and optimise the meeting between a corporate client with a project and the best professional photographer or videographer in the world.


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