Good Chart On How Much To Charge Clients

The Aire

Well-known member
There are quite a few day rate markers you can use in the USA. Keep in mind that the figures shown here are based on the experiences of photographers of varying experience levels.

$50-100. This is the day rate that you may charge at the very start of your career. You are likely to not have a lot of experience and gear. At this point, clients don’t pay usage because they don’t know what it is or have no budget for it.

$500. You’re no longer in a camera club. You are likely to have solid technical knowledge and do not need to ask your peers for advice because the info you need is hard to find out on the Internet. This is the point where you think that you’ve ingested the Internet but still are missing something that separates you from the better photographers. At this point, clients still don’t pay usage fees because there is no budget for this.

$1,200. More successful commercial photographers have told me that not a great deal more is required to go from $500 to $1,200. I’m personally not there yet, but I’ve been told that at this point you need to have a niche and stop being a jack of all trades. When you’re charging this much, you will generally work with an agent who will negotiate on your behalf. However, don’t think you need to charge $1,200 to get an agent — you can get an agent at most points in your career. Just like clients, some agents work with different levels of photographers.

$2,000. Bigger clients and bigger budgets. You’ve probably been in the industry for at least 10 years.

$10,000. You are working on global campaigns for some of the biggest clients in various industries.

Anything above $10,000. You’re probably Annie Leibovitz or someone of her caliber and worldwide fame.

Source
 

Paul Stevens

Well-known member
Man, can you imagine making Annie Leibovitz money? It must be nice. Then again, I bet she deals with a lot of difficult clients. The question is whether it's worth it.
 

Carlhue

Well-known member
I'm sure she asks that question all the time while taking a bubble bath in her Manhattan townhome overlooking the skyline at sunset while her personal massuese is waiting for her. LOL

That's a great list though.
 

Ryan

Active member
Wow, great list! I am nowhere near earning even the first level of photographer daily rate. I am more into video though, that's why my photography skills are almost non existent.
 

Kuki

Well-known member
Oh my! I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to earn $10,000 a day for your work! I don't even know what I would do with that kind of money LOL.
 

Fairytale Studios

Well-known member
Nice! Thanks for sharing, @The Aire.

Does anyone else add an extra fee for difficult clients? I call it the jerk tax. I'm all about making my clients happy and I take pride in my work, but I add to my fee if someone goes out of their way to be difficult.
 

Markshot 12

Well-known member
You can stipulate that in a contract, I'm sure. Lay down the rules and if a client signs off on them and then complains about something they signed off on.........charge them for it.
 

Rapp

Well-known member
Wow! Some of those are crazy but I would love to someday charge that kind of cash for one day! Around here $1,200 is pretty average. I'm not there yet but hope to be soon.
 

Silva

Well-known member
Nice! Thanks for sharing, @The Aire.

Does anyone else add an extra fee for difficult clients? I call it the jerk tax. I'm all about making my clients happy and I take pride in my work, but I add to my fee if someone goes out of their way to be difficult.
That made me chuckle. I like the idea of the jerk tax! Unfortunately, difficult clients come with the job.

Thanks, @The Aire for sharing this list. I had no idea one could make $10K a day!
 

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