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Free Pricing Guides Help Budding Photogs Navigate the Business Side of the Industry

One of the challenges if you’re just now carving out your niche in this crazy world of professional photography is figuring out how to price your work. How exactly do you determine how much your photos are worth, what expenses can you expect to run into, what contracts are you likely to run into and what exactly do they mean?

All of this and more is explained in a series of free guides that PhotoShelter has released over the course of the last year. Starting with Magazine Photography, then Corporate & Industrial Photography and finally finishing off the series with a guide for Photojournalists.

Magazine Photography

The first and most popular of the three guides takes you through the potentially lucrative but very confusing world of magazine photography. In it you’ll find tips from Wonderful Machine CEO Bill Cramer about what you should expect, in addition to:

  • Six tips to help you profit from working for magazines.
  • The most common magazine shoot expenses
  • FAQs, including if/how to charge clients for a rental fee, rush fee, or a cancellation
  • An overview of the three basic types of magazine contracts, including the biggest win-win for photographers
  • Online resources for pricing and negotiating with clients
  • And more

You can get your own copy of the free guide by clicking here.

Corporate & Industrial Photography

Next up is the guide for budding Corporate & Industrial photographers. There’s a lot of corporate and industrial work to be had for photographers, but this is where a good understanding of contracts can really help you maximize your potential.

This guide covers:

  • Breaking down contract language
  • Types of assignments and their relative value
  • How to find new clients
  • And more

You can check this guide out for yourself by clicking here.


Last on the list, and perhaps most important given the changing landscape of this specialty where more and more news photographers struggle to get paid at all, is a guide for photojournalists. The guide is packed full of negotiation pointers and resources that every budding photojournalist should check out. Additionally, you’ll also find:

  • What are the four types of clients photojournalists typically work for?
  • How do you turn news media prospects into paying clients?
  • What are examples of fees, terms, and contracts you’ll likely encounter?
  • To what extent are rates and terms negotiable?
  • What type of insurance do you need?
  • And more

The world of photojournalism might not be the easiest to break into successfully right now, but if you want help navigating the treacherous world of news photography without going broke, you can get the free guide for yourself here.

That’s all three guides that PhotoShelter put together. Obviously they didn’t cover all of the different types of photography, but then again, many of the tips found in these three guides will apply to most if not all types of photography.

Every photographer needs to know how to deal with clients, understand contracts and properly negotiate a reasonable fee for their work. Otherwise you’ll be just another of those people who get taken for a ride or, worse yet, give away your services for free and devalue the entire industry.

P.S. Successful professional photographers in our readership: If you have additional tips that aren’t found in these guides and you’d like to help your fellow photographers out, drop some wisdom in the comments. We know it’ll be appreciated!

Image credits: Photographs by Michelle McLoughlin, Jonathan Gayman and Jason Grow, courtesy of PhotoShelter

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