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So you understand that getting professional photos done for your business is less of an expense, more of an investment (if you're not quite there yet, head back to Part One of this series where I'll explain why professional photography is a great investment.) But if you’re asking yourself, “what do I need to budget for a photoshoot?” than you are in the right place.

Understanding the different costs associated with a professional photo shoot is so important when defining your budget. Often I will have people book me and then have zero budget for anything else. To be blunt about it, in many instances, this is a waste of money. You need to maximise what you are spending on the photographer to make what they are shooting really shine. Do your products or yourself justice, and ensure you appropriately budget for the other costs outside of your photographer’s fees.

Photographer - Let’s start with the obvious, if you’ve booked a photoshoot, you will need to pay your photographer. When considering your photographers fees please keep in mind their expenses - their time preparing for the shoot, doing research, contacting locations/models, sourcing props, equipment, studio, education, courses, time out buying props etc, like all creatives there are unseen costs, you need to consider more than just the hours your photographer is on location.

Location - For the majority of lifestyle or styled product photography, hiring a location is an absolute must! And in the age of co-working spaces, pop up studio's, AirBnB and shoot location directories (like Aloca), it could not be easier. You can do the research yourself and find a location that suits your brand, or some photographers can scout locations for you. (I have a long long list of locations at various costs from hours of scouting!) The hire cost varies from place to place but as a rough guide, you can utilise a co-working space for around $50, hire a studio space for around $300, a small styled home for around $400 and a large uber luxe home for around $2,000.

Props - Sometimes the props that accompany your product in a shot are just as important as your product itself. What these props do is further tell the story about your product and who it is targeting. So it's a good idea to put a small budget aside for purchasing props, i.e.: fresh flowers, food, stationery, candles, etc small things like this that compliment your brand + product are super important. You should allow about $50 - $100 for this.

Snacks - If the shoot is more than 4 hours you should provide some food and drink. This doesn’t necessarily mean ordering from an extravagant catering company and putting on a five star spread, but providing something easy and simple to eat on the go - a platter of fruit, some pastries or sandwiches, will ensure your shoot team maintain their energy throughout the day. This one doesn't need be expensive, suggest budgeting around $50 for a few people.

Models - Often friends + family can be great ‘models’ for a shoot, however depending what type of product you are promoting, hiring a professional model will certainly pay off. They have the expertise when it comes to posing, positioning, working in commercial photography environments and the all important acting to get that perfect look for your brand. Model fees vary based on their level of experience or following but you can expect a mid level model for around $200 - $300 for an hour.

Hair and Make up - Again depending on your product, this may not be necessary, but if you have hired a model and you will need to be shooting their face up close (for example a jewellery range) then getting professionals to look after hair and makeup will help give your imagery a more quality, professional look overall. Again, this will vary based on the level of experience of the artist, but you can expect around $200 for a basic hair and make up look for one model.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times when a location isn’t required, the photographer has the ideal props on hand + people aren’t needed to get the shots you want, so the additional budget isn’t necessary but best to be prepared + be aware of these costs upfront.

If you're looking at your budget and it's a little tight, read on the next part of this Budget Series for some tips on how to maximise your photoshoot budget.

Or get in touch with me and we can work through your budget together.


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