How Much Does Photography Cost?

Oh, my. How often does this question come up? I mean, besides every day!

If you are using photography in your marketing, or are thinking of doing it, then the answer comes down to “how much money do you plan on making?”

Sounds like a lame way of side stepping the original question, but it is a very important starting place.

One exercise I took a manufacturing client through last year started like this:

“What kind of a budget are we trying to keep the photography within?”

“I don’t know.”

“Okay, how much do you get for an average sale?”


“So, if the photograph we are talking about making convinces someone to buy, it is worth a piece of that $250.”

“Sure, but we are going to be printing 10,000 of these things and using it on the web site. It better get more than one sale!”

“You bet! How many units are you projecting to sell this year?”


“So, at $250, thats $1,250,000, gross. 1% of that is $12,500. I won’t say that number should be your photo budget for that product. But, would you agree that it puts it into perspective?”


We talked further about the mechanics of the image and what it would take to produce an image that would create the desire in the target audience. We got a stylist involved and a few other creative professionals. In the end, we did the shot. To set your mind at ease, the final estimate was less than the 1%.

His company moved 5,782 units that year. He told me that the photography was head and shoulders above what his competition did, and that made the difference.

How many units do you plan to sell this year?

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