How I calculate the prices for my professional photoshoots

The price for a photoshoot isn’t just fixed to reflect the quality of the photographer’s work, it is calculated based on costs.

How much money does a photographer earn?

Let’s say that a photographer earns 389 Euros for a one hour photoshoot and 5 edited pictures. You’d probably think that they’re trying to get rich, but let’s take a closer look …

In France, you have to anticipate 35 to 40 percent of taxes and social benefits, that means that the photographer actually earns about 280 Euros. But remember: a one hour photoshoot also includes travel to and from the location and post-production. That means editing multiple pictures, including beauty editing, which is more intricate and laborious.

Thus, a one hour photoshoot actually means that the photographer will be working for almost six hours. That’s an hourly wage of 57 Euros.

calculate prices for professional photoshoots

How much money do you need to live?

Living expenses depend on where you live and how you live. A freelance photographer in Paris has a more expensive life than a photographer in Berlin; in France, a photographer has to pay their health insurance like everyone else.

Daily cost of living

Here are some things that might influence the final price of a photoshoot:

  • Rent, electricity, ancillary charges
  • Living expenses
  • Insurances
  • Retirement funds
  • Depreciation of photographic equipment, such as cameras, lenses …

fashion photographer prices in paris

Rent, electricity, ancillary charges

In Paris, it costs about 1,500 Euros to rent a 60 sqm apartment.

Living expenses:

Food and other living expenses cost about 2,000 Euro per month.


Health insurance and the French mutuelle cost 350 Euros per month.

Deprecation of photographic equipment:

I have to buy a new camera every other year because of wear and tear of the camera’s inner life. I also have to clean and adjust my lenses.
Cost per month: about 200 Euros

This means that I need 4,050 Euros per month to live in Paris. A car is not included in that calculation; it would mean an even higher cost of living.

To earn 4,050 Euros, I need to invoice 5,700 Euros per month, because I have to pay taxes.

eiffeltower prices photoshooting

My work schedule

5,700 Euros per month sound pretty great, but how many hours do I need to work to earn that much money?! Sure, there’s the time I spend at photoshoots and post-production, but I also spend a lot of time on marketing, customer acquisition and writing up offers. I don’t get paid to do that. That means that I only have about 25 hours per week to earn money and make a living!

Let’s say that I can do work that earns money for 100 hours a month. 

5,700€/100 = 57 € per hour

To live in Paris I need to earn 57 € per hour.

I spend more than one hour on each photoshoot

Usually, a photoshoot that lasts one hour means that I’ll be working for 5 to 8 hours, not even mentioning customer service and all kinds of troubleshooting.

Example: a one hour photoshoot

  • Travel to and from the location, preparations: 1,5 h
  • Photoshoot: 1 h
  • Post-production and editing: 4 h

6hx57 € = 342 € for a one hour photoshoot

In my experience, a one hour photoshoot is often a lot more work than my example. But in the end I love being a photographer, whether I do work as a concert photographer or as a wedding photographer!

Concert Lenny Kravitz Paris 23/11/2014

You need money to live, but it’s also important to love your work. As a photographer, my work is more than a few jobs that need to get done, but it’s also passion and dedication!

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