When you begin to monetize your photos, computing the best price for them is a real struggle. Photography market is complicated, diverse, and has a lot of variables. Besides, you are new to this market and you have to balance your expectations with the correct value of the photo. If you charge too much, you’ll have no clients. If you charge too little, you’ll work for nothing. So, how to best price your photos?
Some say that you have to put in balance all your background in photography. This means any related education, courses of any kind, and books and tutorials. If you paid for them, they should be reflected in your price. So there will be a slight difference between the price of a picture taken by an art student and the price of a picture taken by a road worker? It wouldn’t be fair, the picture’s artistic value is the only thing that matter. Still, your price should grow according to your experience, popularity, and portfolio. If you have awards, exhibitions (personal or in a group) or magazine appearances, your price should be higher as well. All these add commercial value to your pictures as they could eventually become collectibles.
Some say that you have to put in balance the cost of your equipment. So you should price more a picture taken with an expensive camera or lens? No, the gear can indeed increase the value of a picture, but the value is what you should price, not the gear. If you are in the right place at the right moment and shoot a great picture with your phone, that picture should be expensive.
Accessibility is based on the effort you made for taking that picture. If the picture needed several weeks of hiking and hours of staying by with your camera, waiting for the perfect moment, you should ask for a higher price. But this also applies only if the picture is good. You can still take an amazing picture just outside of your house. But the fact that a picture is rare and achieved in extreme conditions will raise its price.
Number of Copies
When you sell a photo you have to think of how many copies do you intend to sell. If it is a stock picture, the price will be lower. If it is a limited edition or an exclusive sale, the price will be higher.
Really, how much?
A picture can cost from 1 dollar to 1 million dollars or more. There is no scale in between. If you plan to be a full-time photographer, you should also think how much money do you need to live. Establish a price per hour and evaluate the price of a picture in hours of work. Don’t overdo it. You will need paying clients to give you that price. You can always change the prices when you have a constant clientèle.