Determining your photography rate can be challenging.

In today’s ever-changing climate, it’s important for birth photographers to be able to do what they are fiercely passionate about in such a way that it fills up their core desires and they feel as though they are contributing to the betterment of the society (you are).  It’s also equally, if not more, important that they are adequately compensated so that they may continue to live fully and freely (as long as they’re not on call. Here are some tips on keeping your sanity while on call as a birth photographer).  

It can be difficult to assess how much we should be charging.  At IAPBP, we believe that it’s incredibly important for our birth photographers to be informed in regard to ensuring they are charging enough for their services.  We know our photographers fully enjoy immersing themselves within their work, however, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be adequately compensated for your work.  



Photography rates should reflect the profound impact your photography will have.
Image by Jessica Vink


Read on for tips to use when calculating your photography rate.

  1. Cost of materials.
    This can include anything from the cost of the equipment you’re using to the packaging and shipping of photobooks, or similar items, that you may send out. Don’t sleep on including your expenses for digital files as well.  Digital factors may include, but aren’t limited to, cloud storage, gallery hosting, website fees, and hard drives.
  2. Cost of labor.
    The time you spend on your work is important and should be accounted for.  Think about the time you spend preparing for your shoot, with the client at the photoshoot, and editing images.
  3. Ensure that your portfolio is actively evolving and growing.
    This shows our current and future clients that your time is limited because you are wanted and needed within many birthing arenas. Your talent and time are gifts and should be seen as such.

Now that you’ve got more or less of a blueprint of some fixed costs that you may have, here are some practices to consider that will differentiate you from the others within your field while also justifying your photography rates. 


  1. Tell your potential clients WHY they need your photography services. 
    What is it about your work that creates a unique experience with images that your clients will cherish for years to come?
  2. Continuing connection. 
    Consider sending thank you cards to clients for giving you the opportunity to capture something as marvelous as their birth but then continue sending points of connection to your client (ie: holiday cards, percentage off a follow up shoot, etc.).
  3. Create a brochure with FAQs on it and send it prior to meeting with your client. 
    They’ll know they are working with some that has experience and wisdom tucked within their hearts.
  4. Give praise as much, if not more, than what you petition.
    Be vocal about working with your clients; express what you have loved about a particular client when working with them and why you love getting to do what you’re currently do.

Overall, your photography rate should best represent who you are as a professional photographer.  Generally speaking, your rates should reflect the knowledge and wisdom you’ve gained from experience, your brand, and your specialty: birth. As time presses on and experience builds, you will be able to reflect on your pricing and adjust accordingly as both the market and your talent increases.  As always, be sure to keep tabs on the going rates for birth photographers in your area. 

IAPBP thrives on community over competition, and we welcome discussion and discourse amongst all of our members.  You can become a member here.


Feature Image: Amber May