In addition to some of the common costs, portrait photographer's incur additional costs as follows:
- Studio Rent
The studio rent, utilities and staff would be factored in with the original base rate.
Your base rate is the amount you need to make (per average shooting hour) to break even.
Portrait photographers can charge for the following services:
- Sitting Fee (a standard charge for shooting the initial portrait)
- Portrait Packages (standard shooting time, proofs, retouching, CD or prints)
- Portrait Sessions (same as Portrait Package, but includes consultation before the sitting, online proofs, prints, CDs and framing
- Print Packages (no sitting fees, proofs and retouching all included in price with specific numbers of images)
Prints Only (a "per print" price that covers all costs based on the number of people in the portrait)
The only variable would be the cost of assistants for larger groups.
In my area, portrait sitting fees range from $75.00 to $150.00. This number is influenced by the number of people in the shot. The number of breakaways, clothing changes and scene changes. Over all $100.00 per sitting fee is the average. To be competitive, I stay in the middle range. I figured my costs and know that I can make a profit over my break-even amount.
The prints are priced out pretty much the same way. I add up my pigment costs, paper costs and add a 25% markup to cover imaging fees. I do not charge extra for imaging on portraits. Some photographers have a separate fee for retouching.
To charge by per print or print packages, you will need to figure all your costs and determine the markup you want to add. Then, figure the cost of the various print sizes. This will be the total price. Some clients prefer a print package cost. That way they know what they are getting and they do not have to make the choices after the shoot.