Corporate headshots are growing in popularity, and we’re guessing you may have been approached by a sibling or long-lost high school friend in town about taking photos for their company website or social media. And the dreaded question comes, so what do you charge for business headshots?
(Insert awkward silence…)
So do you price a headshot session the same as a regular photo session? Like a mini session? Do you offer additional images for an added price? The panic starts to set in!
Don’t worry, we’re going to cover the basics that every headshot photographer should know!
What should I charge for corporate headshots?
Let’s start on the low end.
Say this is your first gig, and it’s only one client that needs a few photos. This is when you’d likely look at it as a portrait session, just offer fewer images.
So for example, maybe you currently charge $300 for a 1-hour photo session, that includes 20 images. You may just want to rework that offer to a shoot time of 45-minutes and offer five images. Then you can see how long the entire process takes for you, and make micro-adjustments as you go.
What if an entire OFFICE is asking about your pricing? Cue, heart palpatations?
When this happened to me, I priced out what I would charge each individual client and then gave a “corporate discount” since I would be shooting at the same location for the afternoon, which means the lighting set-up was the same and I would just systematically photography each person.
I decided that I would charge $175 per person for two images, although my regular price would have been $200. There were 12 people, so that came to a grand total of $2,100.
I made SURE to mention that I was giving them a discount of $300, because who doesn’t love a deal? I was able to photograph all 12 people in about three hours, so it was a pretty decent day overall. Editing took me another four hours or so, which left me a rate of about $300/hr. At the end of the day, I was really happy with that.
So to answer your question, a headshot can range from $75 to $1,500 if someone wants a full-blown corporate headshot gallery that is highly edited.
Remember, pricing is personal. You need to know how long it takes you to edit, what your cost of doing business is, potential travel time, and what it’s worth to you to put on pants in the morning!
Formal images or informal images?
Pricing is going to depend a LOT on whether you are going for a standard corporate headshot or a more casual headshot, say in an urban setting. With more formal images, you need to factor in external lighting, a studio and a backdrop. That is MUCH more involved than meeting a client downtown and snapping a few images in front of a cool brick wall.
A great headshot is one that you client absolutely LOVES, so at the end of the day, communication is key!
Check out 17 more tips on HOW to take a great headshot.
How many images should I give my client?
That depends on how much you love editing. Ok, maybe not entirely, but you should be aware that professional photographers that focus solely on headshots, spend a LOT more time editing than they do actually taking the photos.
Some photographers will only deliver one image and charge $600. Others will deliver five images for $250, and some photographers offer an entire gallery of images for $1500.
You really need to sit down and decide what YOU want your business model to look like. Quick tip, don’t copy others, as maybe you don’t love editing in Photoshop as much as the headshot photographer you found on Instagram.
Do you want to be well known for that ONE incredible corporate image that may be used exclusively for a website, or do you want to offer a gallery of headshots that your client can use on their website, social media, blog, and other platforms?
Why are headshots priced higher than normal portraits?
The easy answer is this: editing.
You’re likely going to spend a LOT more time editing headshots than any other type of portrait. This will likely include time in Photoshop, and if you aren’t familiar with the nuances of Photoshop, I will send you some patience.
Remember this, your final image(s) should be something you are proud of and photos that your client feels represents them and their personality. Don’t ever feel like you are stuck with one pricing structure.
The beauty of owning your own photography business is that you get to make the rules. You can make adjustments as you go and find what settles naturally!
For more on general photography pricing, check out this article that will give you tips for how to price your work!