If you’re looking to grow your photography business, adding custom handcrafted albums to your wedding photography packages is an excellent way to increase your annual revenue by at least 30%. If you do it right, album sales could be more than half of your annual revenue. But many photographers aren’t sure how to price their albums so that they will cover all the costs involved in making the albums and include their profit as well. But good news. You’re in luck! In this blog, we’ll tell you exactly how to price wedding albums for profit with the below 4 steps.
Just a side-note, the following technique can also be used for any other type of professional handcrafted photo album (newborn album, family album, etc.) that you want to sell to your clients. This isn’t limited to wedding photo albums only.
There are three primary costs involved in pricing your album:
- The cost of the album (hard costs)
- The labor/amount of time that goes into designing the album (soft costs), and
- Your mark-up
In order to price your albums correctly, you need to know what all of your costs are.
STEP ONE: Calculating Your Hard Costs
Your hard costs for the album are the actual fees that you pay to have the album made. This includes the actual cost of the album as well as any other fees such as supplies, materials, and shipping.
For example, an album costs $240 with shipping charge of $15 and custom packaging fee of $25. That means that the total hard cost for the album is $280.
STEP TWO: Calculating Your Soft Costs
Your soft costs for the album is everything non-material (labor and design time) that goes into producing the album. Here’s an example looking at the time it takes for a photographer to produce a finished album for a client.
- The album has an average of 4 images per page
- The album has 15 spreads (30 pages)
- The photographer takes approximately 2 minutes to retouch an image
- The photographer also takes approximately 8 minutes to design each spread
Using the above information, we can conclude that it takes this photographer 240 minutes to retouch all the images for this 30-page album, and 120 minutes to design the entire album. (Please note that the average time listed above is just an example. You must know how much time it usually takes you to retouch images and design an album spread in order to calculate your costs correctly.) Then we add in the time that’s needed for corresponding and making revisions with the client (60 minutes), ordering the album (15 minutes), packaging the album (15 minutes) and delivering the finished product to the client (30 minutes). The total time for your soft cost would look like this:
- Retouching: 240 minutes
- Design: 120 minutes
- Making Revisions: 60 minutes
- Ordering & Packaging: 30 minutes
- Delivery: 30 minutes
Total Time: 480 Minutes
Then you take the total time for your soft cost and multiply it by your hourly rate to get your total soft cost. If the photographer’s rate were $40 per hour, then it would look like this:
Total Soft Cost
= Total Soft Time in Hrs (480 minutes / 60 minutes) x Hourly Rate ($40)
= 8 Hours x $40/hour
STEP THREE: Calculating Your Total Album Cost
Once you know what your total hard and soft costs are, you just simply add them up.
Total Cost of Album = Total Hard Cost + Total Soft Cost
= $280 + $320
STEP FOUR: Adding in Your Mark-Up
To mark-up the total album cost to include your profit, take your total cost for the album and multiply it by three.
300% Mark-Up: Total Cost ($600) x 3 = $1,800
Then multiply the same total hard cost by five.
500% Mark-Up: Total Cost ($600) x 5 = $3,000
What you get is the price range ($1,800 – $3,000) that you should charge your client for this 15-spread/30-page album. Pick a number somewhere between the two that seems most reasonable to you and your clientele. If you are trying to make your albums more affordable for your clients and easier to sell, then stay closer to the 300% mark-up number. If you are serving a high-end clientele, then you can mark it up closer to the 400% or 500% mark. The price you get after marking up your total cost may seem steep to you, but remember, you are selling a custom, high-quality product. This is an once-in-a-lifetime purchase for your clients and if you show them an amazing sample, they will see the value of the product.
We hope this has been helpful to you and that you’re on your way to growing your photography business with albums.
Our company, Serendipity Albums, specializes in hand-made, custom albums. Feel free to visit our website to explore our different album options. If you need assistance with album design, we have partnerships with several album design and album design software companies. Visit our Partners page for the full list. Also, when you become a member of Serendipity Albums, you will receive special offers from some of our partners.