How much does commercial photography cost?

Average cost in 20149: $285 See National

$135

low cost

$285

avg cost

$600

high cost

The average cost for a commercial photographer is $285. You are likely to spend between $135 and $600 total. Exact price may vary depending on your area and project details.

Updated June 1st, 2017

Next Step: Find out exactly how much your project will cost.

Commercial photography is used for sales, branding and marketing purposes. Photographers work out of their own studios, at their customers’ places of business, outdoors or in other locations. Businesses use photography for editorial purposes, print or catalog advertising, online advertising, websites, large displays (for trade shows) and internal business uses. These pros specialize in photographing fashion, jewelry, food, products, artwork, real estate, architecture, and more. Photo delivery formats include DVD/CD, online gallery, flash drive, album, or physical prints and proofs. Clients can request any amount of finished and edited shots. Several factors affect the cost of commercial photography.

Reputation and experience

Commercial photographers with high-profile clients or a long-standing career as well as those who have shot for well-known ad campaigns may charge higher rates than photographers without the same reputation.

Equipment and overhead

The cost of purchasing and maintaining professional photo equipment affects a commercial photographer’s rates. For example, Jim Greipp of Pau Hana Productions in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, works out of a 5,000-square-foot studio and shoots with a $20,000 Hasselblad camera. He also carries $2 million in liability insurance and has enough lighting equipment for almost any job. Photographers with the right space, equipment and experience can deliver a much more polished end product than someone who is just starting out or working with lower quality photography gear. In general, photographers with more equipment or a large studio to manage have more overhead, and overall costs to clients are higher.

Products

Straightforward product photography (without complex sets or models) is typically the least expensive type of commercial photography. Photo sessions are generally either held in the photographer’s studio or at the client’s location. Rates vary widely, depending on the reputation and overhead of the photographer. Pau Hana Productions charges $350 to photograph a product in the studio with three different views.

Per-project pricing

Some commercial photography requires live models or other elements that typically cost more than basic product photography. The number of final photos requested, models used, travel expenses, retouching fees and specifics all can increase pricing. Here are two project fee examples from Pau Hana Productions:

  • Magazine cover: $425

    • $300 for photography

    • $85 for travel

    • $40 for photo retouching
  • Medical device brochure: $2,100

    • $1,200 for photography

    • $600 for a male and female model

    • $300 for photo retouching

Day rates

Some commercial photographers charge half- or full-day rates for their services. This type of pricing structure works well for event photography as well as some product photography. Here’s an example of day rates for commercial photography from WestBoundary Photography in Rio Vista, California, charges $1,000 for a half day (4.5 hours) and $1,500 for a full day (8 hours) and $200 for each hour over a full day. The company adds 20 percent of the total cost if the photographer is required to file a permit. For example, many national parks require a permit to shoot commercial photography in the park. These fees can vary based on the logistics and degree of difficulty of the job for WestBoundary Photography.

Minimum rates

Some commercial photographers charge a minimum rate for services, especially for projects on location. This minimum rate covers the labor, equipment and transportation costs of the professional. WestBoundary Photography charges a minimum rate of $650, which covers two hours of onsite work.

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Recent reviews

Studio M Productions, Inc.

Micheal Microulous Is a superb photographer . The result of the finished product shoot was truly beautiful and successful . Micheal has an amazing photography studio. He is completely equipped to shoot a diversity of projects in the highest definition.. Not only did Micheal create a beautiful professional shoot of products, but he worked efficiently to meet our deadline at a fair cost to the scale of our project . I will from here on ,use M studio as my "go to" photography studio.

Gary Rohman Photography

Gary photographed some artwork for us and delivered it according to our specifications. He was fast, efficient, and cost effective. Couldn't be happier.

Royal Photography & Evidence Store

Royal is really professional and knows exactly what he is doing. He tailors his work to your specific needs; and even arranged a model for a very affordable price to be involved in the photo shoot. Overall a really good and positive experience.