Episode 78: 9 Price List Improvements Photographers Must Make to Become Boutique

9 Price List Improvements Photographers Must Make to Become Boutique


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

Creating a good boutique photography price list can be complicated when you’re figuring it out on your own.

You can copy another photographer’s prices, but what you don’t see are the dozens of little hinges that make a big difference in how much your clients invest with you.

Little things that there’s no way you can understand about pricing, unless you’ve spent years pouring over this strategy of pricing photography.

Over the years, I’ve critiqued thousands of photographers’ price lists, and I don’t think one person has gotten it 100% on the first swing.

Today, I’m going to walk you through 9 price list improvements that you can make to your price list when you’re a boutique portrait photographer.

1. Choose your words carefully

I see photographers using words like “You get a copy of this,” or “prints.”

We want to call our art “artwork” or “portraits.”

If you’re using the word “spend,” replace it with the word “invest.”

I want you to scrub through your price list right now and see if any of these things are resonating.

Every single word on your price list is so important.

2. NO print credits

My belief is that your session fee as a boutique photographer should be for your time and materials to create the presentation for your clients.

It’s a lot of work.

The session, editing, getting the images prepped, building the presentation, etc.

That’s your time, and you have value, and I want you to be respected as an artist.

Years ago I included a print credit.

That created so much confusion for my clients and it devalues your time and talent.

Your session fee should be for your time and materials ONLY.

3. A la Carte Pricing

As a boutique photography business, I really prefer à la carte pricing over packages.

And I know you might fear that because you will actually have to talk to people, but packages put people in a box that doesn’t actually serve the client.

I find that most people are doing packages because they’re scared to death and they want to make it easier on themselves, and it’s not even easier.

4. Pricing with odd numbers

If a consumer comes to you and your prices are $100, $200, $300, they think that you have no idea what they’re doing and they’re just guessing.

If you want to be respected, you want to learn and understand pricing strategy, which should be based on your cost of sales, what it’s costing you, and that’s never going to be even numbers.

5. No more discounting

When you discount as a strategy to attract clients, you are attracting the wrong clients.

You’re positioning yourself as a low-end photographer and teaching your good clients to wait for a sale.

You are devaluing your artwork and you’re not going to have any profit to stay in business.

Discounting actually hurts you.

6. Professional design 

You’ve got to use current fonts, good use of typography, and good use of design.

I know we have fonts on our computer, so we think we can sit and design something ourselves with what we have, but we just can’t.

Get a professional designer to help with your price list or work with my team.

7. Printed price lists

You’ve got to have beautifully printed boutique photography price lists.

You cannot just print them on a sheet of paper on your inkjet printer and call that something valuable, because it’s not.

Your clients look at that and think that you are not professional.

They’re judging your value based on this white piece of office paper with black print on it that’s not professionally designed, and you don’t look valuable and you don’t look worth more.

8. Get the knick-knack paddy-whack off your price list

We’re not in business to sell 3X5’s, holiday cards and a lot of those things.

Those are add-ons.

We do not want to attract clients who just want those small items.

As boutique photographers, we want big, beautiful artwork in our clients’ homes.

Offering little knick knack things is not serving your clients in the way that big, beautiful artwork on their walls does.

9. Keep it simple

We are not The Cheesecake Factory.

We are boutique photographers.

We’re the specialty photographers that don’t have to offer everything, we’re not all things to all people.

When you are creating a boutique photography price list for your business, you want to be very curated and simple.

There are so many ways that pricing can send the wrong message to our prospective clients.

It’s just how it is.

This is why as an educator, as a coach of boutique photographers, we actually have our students create their actual price list in our Boutique Breakthrough course.

We have them sit down, take templates, pick prices that are appropriate for their market, and we make them produce it.

They submit it and we look at it and critique it, and in all my years, I haven’t ever had anyone get 100% perfect.

Some people come back three, four or five times to make sure it’s absolutely perfect before they print it.

If you’ve made some of these mistakes before or you’re stuck and you’re thinking you’re a boutique photographer, but you’re really not, it’s not your fault.

You’ve probably never had a mentor who’s actually running a profitable photography portrait studio, to hold your hand and make sure you’re doing it right.

You are going to be just fine, but it starts with you making the decision that you’ve got to quit competing on price.

You can do this and I am here to help you.

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