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Unveiling the Worth of Lifestyle Photography Packages

CEO Tinh Phung
Let's delve into the intricacies of lifestyle photography packages, specifically focusing on the rates. As a seasoned lifestyle photographer, I often encounter clients who are either new to booking a lifestyle photoshoot or are unfamiliar...

Let's delve into the intricacies of lifestyle photography packages, specifically focusing on the rates. As a seasoned lifestyle photographer, I often encounter clients who are either new to booking a lifestyle photoshoot or are unfamiliar with the pricing structure for photographers. In this article, I aim to shed light on the factors that photographers take into account when determining their rates. Whether you're a prospective client seeking clarity on the value of photography or a fellow photographer looking to better articulate your worth to clients, I hope you find inspiration and insights within these pages.

Lifestyle photography packages include a shot list of custom images that are unique to your lifestyle and the feeling you want to communicate with your images.

How Much Do Professional Photographers Charge?

Years of Experience

It goes without saying that a photographer's years of experience behind the camera play a pivotal role in pricing their services. Personally, I embarked on my journey as a lifestyle brand photographer in 2014, and since then, I've honed my skills over the course of nearly a decade. My initial paid branding photoshoot was priced at $1800, and I have set my standards accordingly. When potential brand photography clients approach me with rates that fall below this benchmark, they are often met with a resounding "No."

Throughout the years, I have primarily specialized in lifestyle photography for personal branding and small business branding purposes. However, I also cater to personal clients who seek lifestyle images for gallery walls, photo gifts, or photo albums. Each photoshoot has contributed to my invaluable experience and equipped me with the ability to provide exceptional service to my clients, as I understand their desires and requirements.

Lifestyle Photography Packages

Lifestyle photography packages are unique to each photographer and vary by location and how experienced the photographer is.

Every single photoshoot I've undertaken over the last decade has been an opportunity for growth and improvement. As a professional photographer, I recognize the importance of delivering the images my clients seek. My wealth of experience enables me to provide an exceptional overall experience, as I intimately understand their wants and needs.

Creative Direction

Not every photographer possesses the ability to act as a creative director. Allow me to demystify this role, as the term itself may seem somewhat ambiguous. A creative director holds the responsibility of conceptualizing and guiding creative visions from inception to final delivery. Typically, agencies equipped with an in-house creative director collaborate with clients and teams to align creative visions with specific goals. The fee for working with such a creative agency is often substantial.

In my case, I assume the role of a creative director for my clients. From the very beginning, I orchestrate the various elements necessary for a successful project. This entails conducting consultation calls, preparing comprehensive photoshoot prep guides, crafting custom shot lists, curating mood boards, sourcing props, and scouting locations, among other tasks. The entire photoshoot hinges on creative direction, and I take immense pride in ensuring its success.

Being a creative director is no small feat; it requires tact, skill, and strategic thinking. While many creative directors have dedicated teams to handle various aspects of the job, I personally oversee and execute every detail to perfection.

Styling Photoshoots

Styling a photoshoot is an aspect that often goes unnoticed when clients approach photographers. However, it must be emphasized that a skilled stylist plays a pivotal role in creating captivating and eye-catching images. Consequently, styling forms an integral part of the pre-planning process for a photoshoot. It encompasses considerations such as food styling, prop selection, wardrobe choices, and more. This preparatory work typically requires an additional team member to manage.

Over the years, I have had the privilege of styling numerous photoshoots, whether it be arranging products, props, food, or wardrobe. I thoroughly enjoy this creative process, which demands a keen eye for detail, skillful finesse, and strategic thinking. While some photographers opt to hire freelance stylists and charge clients extra for this service, I take pleasure in assuming this role myself.

Image Editing & Retouching

Did you know that many photographers hire professional freelance editors to refine their final images? This service is generally included in the total photography rates, whether the editing is done by a separate editor or by the photographer themselves. As a photographer, creative director, stylist, and editor for my clients, I exercise complete creative control. Hence, there is no need for me to outsource editing tasks, thereby eliminating additional expenses for my clients.

This level of control allows me to ensure that I fully understand my clients' unique requirements, delivering precisely what they desire before, during, and after the photoshoot. Consequently, my rates encompass all the behind-the-scenes efforts involved in providing a seamless service.

The Value of Images

Lifestyle photography packages are unique to each photographer and vary by location and how experienced the photographer is.

We can all agree that when clients approach photographers for a photoshoot, the desired outcome is to obtain content that can be utilized to sell products or services, or even to create cherished memories for personal clients. Consider this scenario: a beauty brand posts a photo of their eyeshadow palette on Instagram, generating 500 sales solely from that single image. The brand's revenue would amount to $14,500. It is evident that imagery possesses the formidable power to convert viewers into customers, ultimately driving profits not just in the short term but also in the long run.

If one image can wield such influence, imagine the impact a beautifully curated gallery of 50+ images could have on your brand or small business. In fact, many of my clients have witnessed a substantial increase in revenue since collaborating with me, some even doubling their profits within six months. The results are truly remarkable and undeniable.

My Time Investment

As the saying goes, time is money. Every photographer assigns a different value to their time, and I am no exception. I hold my time in high regard and ensure that I only dedicate it to clients who recognize its worth. Consequently, my lifestyle photography packages are priced accordingly.

Studio Time (Pre & Post Shoot)

It is crucial to recognize that, while you may spend only an hour in front of my camera during a photoshoot, I invest a significant amount of time before and after the session in the studio, working tirelessly behind the scenes on your project. This time investment includes tasks such as initial consultation calls, pre-session planning meetings, the creation of photoshoot prep guides, styling arrangements, custom shot checklists, wardrobe consulting, brand questionnaires (for brand photography), travel time, photo usage licenses (for brand photography), and the editing of final images.

For instance, a 2-hour photoshoot entails an average time investment of approximately 15 hours, depending on the complexity and scope of the project. Furthermore, I have a tendency to exceed expectations and over-deliver, as attested by my clients. Thus, it is essential to understand that photographers deserve to be compensated for all the labor and effort they invest.

Costs of Running a Business

Lifestyle photography packages are unique to each photographer! I reveal what goes into my rates in this post.

While this may seem like a no-brainer, it is worth mentioning that running any business incurs substantial expenses. This holds especially true for photography businesses, which demand significant financial investments. I bear the responsibility of covering the costs of various equipment (cameras, lenses, lighting, memory cards, computers, editing software), website fees, client booking software, email services, email marketing software, online image gallery software, and numerous other operational expenses. Moreover, I am obliged to pay yearly fees for business ownership, legal fees to ensure compliance, business insurance fees, personal and business taxes, as well as rent and utilities for my workspace.

Business Investments

Running a business also entails investing in its growth and development. I have personally pursued formal education in photography and consistently invest in continuing education and courses to enhance my skills as a photographer. Business investment also extends to hiring professionals like freelancers and assistants who contribute to the smooth execution of various projects. Additionally, I enlist the services of business coaches, website and graphic designers, social media experts, SEO specialists, attorneys, and accountants, all of whom provide invaluable professional services that come with associated costs.

Naturally, expenses such as rent, utilities, and personal living expenses must also be covered from the income generated by my business.

Lifestyle Photography Packages & Rates

If all of this seems like a lot to consider, that's because it is. Beyond time and creativity, running a photography business demands significant financial investment. Thus, the skills, products, and services provided by photographers, like myself, require a substantial investment from clients.

So, if you've ever pondered the cost of lifestyle photography packages or questioned why photographers charge seemingly high prices, take a moment to understand the value we offer. Consider our expertise, experience, behind-the-scenes efforts, time dedicated to each project, the costs associated with running a photography business, and the eye-catching results you'll witness from your photoshoot.

Choosing Wisely and Investing Well

Hiring a professional lifestyle photographer is not a decision to be taken lightly. It can make all the difference between a run-of-the-mill photoshoot and awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping images. My advice is to choose your photographer wisely and invest in their services wholeheartedly. I hope this article has offered you a clearer understanding of how photographers determine their lifestyle photography package rates. As you can see, it is a complex process that takes into account numerous factors.