Hire a Photographer: Rates, Packages & Costs (2024)

Find the Perfect Photographer for Your Budget

Hire a Photographer: Rates, Packages & Costs (2024)

Find the Perfect Photographer for Your Budget

By Post Modified April 20, 2024 @ 3:46 pm Last Updated on 2 weeks by https://orlandosydney.com/

How much photographers charge in Australia may surprise you

Ready to bring your Sydney photography project to life?

Understanding the cost is the first step. We offer affordable options for a variety of projects, from Corporate Events and Team Headshots to striking Commercial shoots.

Knowing what to expect helps you make informed decisions. Our expert photographers provide competitive rates tailored to your needs, with hourly options ranging from $180 to $330 for project-based sessions, pending the scope.

We understand every project is unique. Get a free, personalized photo or video quote today and let’s discuss how we can bring your vision to life.

Photography pricing 2021

Australian Average Professional Photography Prices (Estimation)

This is how much professional photographers charge in Australia

Type AUD Units
Corporate Event Photography $180-$280 Per Hour
Wedding Photographers $1200-$5400 Per day
Sydney Corporate Headshots $300-$500 Per Session
Product Photography Pricing $50-$200 Per image
Event Photographers $150-$280 Per Hour
360 photo for business $330 Per each
Portrait photography $440-$550 Per Session
Freelancer rates $180-$300 Per Hour
Architectural photography $660-$3300 Per Brief
Construction Photography $1100 $2200
Advertising Commercial Photography $1100-$4000 Per Campaign
Real-estate Basic photography $280-$440 Per Home

Use this chart for a budget estimate, then request a photography quote

Photography Pricing Expectations

The section below will provide you with information on photography pricing expectations. We will discuss how photographers’ prices compare in changing market expectations with rising costs, how much do and should photographers charge, and provide you with some data on how much professional photographers were actually charging.

Photographers’ prices vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of photography, the photographer’s experience, and the location of the shoot. In general, however, prices have been rising in recent years due to rising costs.

How much do and should photographers charge? This is a question that there is no easy answer to. Ultimately, the price that a photographer charges should be based on the value of their services. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you determine a fair price.

One way to determine a fair price is to look at the average of how much professional photographers were actually charging. This data can be found in a number of places, including industry publications and websites.

Another way to determine a fair price is to compare the prices of different photographers. This can be done by contacting different comparable photographers and getting quotes for your project.

Finally, you can also consider the value of the photographer’s services. What are you looking for in a photographer? What are their skills and experience? What kind of results do you expect?

Once you have considered all of these factors, you can start to negotiate a price with the photographer.

How were the average prices and rates determined?

  • Some of the data is from us, a professional photography business in Sydney, Australia.
  • Data and feedback from many hundreds of enquires per year
  • And conducting a web search of photographers websites
  • Conversations with our fellow members in Industry Association and Business Chambers

Photography Pricing and Rates List

List of Average Photography Prices for Australia

  • Beginner Photographers – $15
  • Amateur Photographer – up to $75
  • Photography Student – up to $120
  • Semi-pro Photographer – up to $160
  • Professional Corporate Events – $190-$300
  • Wedding Photographers – $800-$3600
  • Business Portraits – $250-$450
  • Product photographers, per image – $50-$200
Photography Pricing List 2020

Photography Pricing and Rates Chart

Photography Pricing Guide Details

This section provides a little bit of detail in how we estimated the numbers. Some we know because of direct experience. Other values are throughout our network of contacts. And finally, there’s enough detail online to make the other assessments on the going photography rates in Australia.

There are always many variations in all such things these days. We suggest that all Event and Marketing Managers get a quote from a professional photographer that is tailored to their specific needs.

How Much are Photographer Prices Per Hour?

Professional photography in Australia rates average from $350 to $450 for a single-hour booking. The more consecutive hours booked the less it costs per hour. Hourly options ranging from $180 to $330 for project-based sessions, pending the scope.

Always get a quote for even just one hour of photography.

Hourly rates for photographers are sometimes asked. Hourly rates are recommended in a few limited circumstances. The customer and the photographer will need to allow for all the processes and systems professional photographers use to deliver consistent results. If you take shortcuts on the process, sub-standard results will lead to dissatisfaction for both. With that in mind, the hourly photographer rate in Australia is fairly high.

Event photography rates?

Event photography rates varies by virtue of there being at least half a dozen different sub genres of business Photographers. And that’s just in the Corporate events.

The obvious omissions are all the consumer, domestic or personal types of events such as weddings, christenings, and birthday parties. Average rates for an experienced professional photographer are listed on the event rates article for both full day events and per hour shoots.

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How much should Beginner Photographers charge?

Beginner photographers typically aren’t paid, or they don’t usually ask for a fee.

Some beginners and hobbyists are pretty good. Others are really just starting out and have only basic camera equipment. If they are taking a couple of shots for their mate, hopefully, they will buy them a beer. In major capital city CBD, that’s about $10. So when thinking about photography prices for beginners, they just might be happy with the value they are getting from the experience bank they are building.

Do Amateur Photographers charge fees?

Amateur rates are up to $50 per hour. One could argue that by description, an amateur would not earn money from their effort. Let’s go with the idea that they sometimes do, and it’s only a side interest.

There are a lot of the upcoming photographers that will get a free ticket to a show and photograph it. If you don’t mind late nights and solo work this can be fun if you like live music. So a ticket just may be worth $50.

How much to pay photography tertiary Student?

Photography Student’s fee is up to about $120 per hour. That’s about right in AU dollars if they are part way through a multiyear structured photography course.

What are Semi-pro Photographer freelance rates?

Semi-pro rates up to $150 per hour. This description get a few people riled on up photography forums? Like most of the categories, there’s a fair amount of variation up until this point in their career development.

At semi-pro level you’d be building your own network, might start to pick up semi regular shoots with a client. Developing or building your contacts list should be an active part of their process.

How much are Corporate Event Photography Rates?

Professional Corporate event photography prices are from $220 per hour or around $400-$600 for a typical 2 hours run and gun type shoot.

Our recommendation is to book a minimum half day shoot for better value.

Corporate Headshots

See this page for Corporate Headshots in Sydney CBD

This page for Sydney Headshot Prices

And this one for Portraits rates.

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Average Price for a Wedding Photographer

Wedding Professionals* $800-3600. Sydney Wedding photographer’s costs are listed here as a comparison to the business events focused genres.

Beginner wedding photographer’s prices start obviously on the low side as they have limited experience, just check out their Portfolio. On the opposite side, some do top consistent work and charge accordingly. Some wedding specialists near us can easily double the top rates with average photography packages from around $6000 and up.

Many wedding photographer’s prices are quoted for a standard 8 hour day. They typically have a selection of wedding photography packages to offer. 12 hour shoot days are pretty standard.

Typical wedding packages include;

  • Photography hours and photo processing only
  • Photography and print packages in various configurations
  • Packages including photography, second shooter, prints, and couple shoots
  • Occasionally they may add photo booths as options

*As Brides and Grooms know, wedding photography can attract some of the highest costs in photography. And wedding photographers know for the $3600+ fee it will require at least a couple of years full time honing their skills and 20+ hours of a very detailed workflow.

Product Photographers charge per photo from $35-170 for typical e-commerce web product photos. At the high end, lifestyle photography can be up around $1000 plus. Other photographers charge per shoot, for a full product photography price factors article, read this one linked.

Magazine/ National Newspaper and print can attract a considerably higher price and or license usage fees. This will be on top of the actual photo session. We’ve left this off the chart as it’s not based on a per hour basis.

Types of Product Photography

  • Standard product photos
  • Hero and banner shots
  • Lifestyle products
  • Mannequin photography
  • With hand modelling
  • Transparencies
  • Online shopping packages
  • Infographics
  • Product perspectives

Product photos vary such as; Hero images for web banner and printed flyers, Lifestyle products, Mannequin photography, product demonstration with hand modelling, Transparencies or deep etched, E-commerce style product photo packages, Info graphics and product perspectives.

Pre and post production will have an impacted on prices depending on the image final use. Bulk packages will have a lower cost per unit.

Are Photo License Fees Included?

Usage license fees are typically included in this types of photography which may contain some limitations on length of time, number of times and on what product types they can be used.

Articles to read next
Corporate Event Photography Sydney

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Professional Headshot Photography Sydney

Corporate headshots will accelerate the careers of woman and men in business. Be authentic, be current, be the influencer.

Free Photographer Brief Templates

Photography Brief Ideas and Templates. All you need to know for small and large events both indoors and outdoors.

Cost to Run a Photography Business

The costs to start a photography business can easily amount to around $20,000 in camera and simple lighting equipment. You don’t need to have everything day one, but keep the investment required in mind when you are working out your margins for profit. This will buy enough camera kits for most freelance photography assignments.

Like most professional services providers, there will be a considerable time investment pre and post-event. Take into account booking preliminaries (aka preparation). Time is money, you’ll need to calculate the time required for doing research, educating yourself, hiring graphic designers for collateral. Market research on understanding your target market and demographics.

To do this properly it can take a fair amount of time and it gets allowed for in the prices or rates quoted. One business mistake entry-level photographers make is not allowing for the fact you are a freelancer and all the extras that mount up quickly that will cost you big dollars at some point.

What are the hidden costs of running a photography business?

  • Super contribution of 11%
  • Personal Tax average 30%
  • Allowance for 4 weeks paid annual leave
  • Allowance of 10 days paid Sick leave and Family Leave

Super guarantee rate increase

The minimum super guarantee (SG) rate you must pay for each eligible employee is 11% of their ordinary time earnings (OTE). This is scheduled to progressively increase to 12% on 1 July 2025

You’ll need to ensure your payroll and accounting systems are updated to incorporate the increase to the super rate. The scheduled rate increases and dates can be found at ato.gov.au/SuperRate

And if you’d like to make co-contributions, allow for that in your calculations of the cost of doing business.

Do photographers listed on aggregate booking services websites take this into account. Maybe or probably not. Should they, yes.

Cost fee structure

Professional Photographers average out their total costs of doing business when creating their fee structure. One factor that is often overlooked is the processing of the photos.

All our event photos are processed in house using professional software such as Capture One Pro on Eizo monitors that are hardware calibrated. Back of house costs add to the rates charged. They also add a significant amount of value in the quality of the delivered photos.

We understand the cost of doing business. If your budget is tight we don’t always recommend the hour by hour price method. It may cost you more as the hourly fees or rates may be higher. We suggest hiring for either half or a full day. When hired on full day rates basis, usually the professional photographer stays on location much longer than just the standard 8 hours. For half day rate, they may need to get to their next booking, not always but…

Sustainable photography pricing?

With anything much under $180 per hour pricing, we doubt you’ll get very useful image content that captures the essence of the occasion and your business.

For example, if you require a photographer to relate to your executives or be comfortable in the boardroom. Or in front of a very large audience who would you select as the photographer?

Someone who is starting out that you found on a third party aggregation website, or with no experience in the business world? Nope, you’d want someone who has spent a fair amount of time in similar situations. All professional photographers we see have invested in their own branded website and has shown commitment to their craft for a long time.

If they are running a business and spend considerable time in; the prelim preparation phase, on location hours and then post assignment work they certainly won’t be charging only $100 an hour.

How much does it Cost to Start a Photography Business?

Gaining years of experience has a time cost. The time and effort of being on location and $20 000+ in tools and camera equipment, you’d want an appropriate return on investment.

Most Studios invest even more than that as quality specialist Lighting equipment for off camera shooting can easily add up to $10 000 on it’s own.

​Business Start Up ​Camera ​Equipment ​Budget

  • Basic lighting from $2000
  • Camera bodies from ​$​5000
  • Lens kit $12 000
  • Accessories ​$​1000
  • ​Camera ​Bag ​$​500

One cost that also needs some consideration is the time gaining experience and education. Building up a solid Portfolio of work takes time and planning, so allow for that cost.

Would you only pay yourself less than $20 an hour as a professional photographer ? And that’s before tax. Wouldn’t cover insurance or transport, not in Sydney at least. Once you factor in the 20%-30% tax photographers have to pay as an independent contractor, that time may have as well have been volunteer work. We’re not dissing volunteering, we think it’s incredibly important and do so ourselves. Check out our about page.

Happy to hear your point of view on this, send us an email if you agree or otherwise.

Do I pay Tax on Photography Fees?

While on the subject of Tax. If you are in Australia you will need to select Code 69910 for your tax return or BAS quarterly submissions. And don’t forget to pay your GST. The tax office is very diligent in collecting every dollar owed.

Tax Code 69910 applies to most “Professional Photographic Services”
Generally described as “providing still, video or computer photography services, including the video taping of special events such as weddings.
Primary Activities includes; Portrait photography service, Professional photography service, Street photography service, Studio photography service, Video filming of special events (e.g. birthdays, weddings) and Wedding photography services. This is very similar to insurance certificates for public liability for photographers.

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Photography Prices in Australia Compared

Australian Photo Rates

How do Australian photography prices and hourly rates compare with other countries? Big cities are expensive places to live and work and would have a significant impact on how you set your prices. Get in touch and let us know if your rates are much higher or lower. A few examples for comparison below.

Hiring a specialist photographer is going to require some investment, that goes for any specialised field. A professional photographer is also a game changer for your peace of mind and getting great results.

Prices and Hourly Rates Comparison

Photography Pricing Comparison Table USD to AUD
Type Units USD AUD
Hobbyist photographer Per Hour $110 $157
Amateur photographer Per Hour $80 $115
Student photographer Per Hour $120 $170
Semi-pro photographer Per Hour $170 $240
Professional photographers Per Hour $270 $385
Wedding photography Per Wedding $1700-3700 $2430-5286
Portrait photography Per Session $150-370 $214-528
Headshot photography Per Session $120-450 $170-600
Product photographers Per Image $35-170 $50-240

Professional photography in Australia prices compared

The London Event Photography Company has these rates listed and covers the basics. Flat rates for all the different genres of event photography. Current rates advertised in 2019 http://londoneventphotography.org
Pound Sterling converted to Australian Dollars (Mid May 2019)

  1. Two hours photography, £350 – AU$644
  2. Three hours photography, £400 – AU$736
  3. Four hours photography, £500 – AU$920
  4. Five hours photography, £600 – AU$1,104
  5. Six hours photography, £700 – AU$1,287
  6. Seven hours photography, £800 – AU$1,471
  7. Full day (eight hours) photography, £900 – AU$1,655

And in Hong Kong by joshtakesphotos.com. Currency converted to Australian dollars in October 2019

Hong Kong vs Australian Comparison Table Photography Pricing
Type of Shoot Details HKD AUD
Event Photos 2 hour Shoot $4200 $790
Studio Portraits Package 2 Hours approx 100 images $4500 $845
Studio Portraits Package 3 Hours approx 100 images $5500 $1,036
Location & Studio 3+3 hours 300 images $7800 $1,470
Print and Frame Packages Canvas, acrylic, metal $3000 $565
Image Retouching Packages 8 images approx $2000 $376
Photo Booth 3 hours Photography $4500 $845
Photo Booth Package Instant Printing 3 hours, 500 glossy $9000 $1,695

How much do photographers in Melbourne Victoria Charge?

Event photographers in Melbourne charge on average $250-$350 per hour. Melbourne wedding photography is similar to other major Australian cities at $1100 and $4400 per package.

Approximate Melbourne photographer costs by hours for basic photography coverage.

  • 1 hour photoshoot, $350
  • 2 hour photoshoot $440
  • 3 hour photoshoot $550
  • 4 hour photoshoot $770
  • 5 hour photoshoot $880
  • 6 hour photoshoot $1,100
  • 8 hour photoshoot $1,330
  • 10 hour photoshoot $1,660

Plus taxes and travel and some may have photo limits and extra charges.

How Much Do Salary Photographers Get Paid?

Photographers get paid depending on years of experience, branding, network and some luck.

For beginner Australian photographers starting their journey, one question they may face is. Do I look for a salary photography job? Or do I start marketing myself and become freelance?

According to the research by Pay Scales, beginner photographers can expect to be paid around 30% above Australia’s minimum wage. Which in October 2019 is $38, 521.60 pre tax. With average photographer salary of AU$54,903.

Below is from data sourced from Pay Scales.

Photographer salaries from 1 to 20 years experience

  • 1 year experience or less AU$50,000
  • 1-4 years experience AU$51,816
  • 5-9 years of experience AU$55,604
  • 10-19 years of experience earns AU$60,966
  • 20 years or more AU$62,857

Across Australia photography salaries vary;

  • Sydney +5%
  • Melbourne +3%
  • Perth 0%
  • Adelaide 0%
  • Brisbane -4%
  • Gold Coast -9%
  • Newcastle -34%

Again according to the data Of note, the data sample size varies quite a bit, the lower years of experience, the sample sizes are pretty small. 1 year experience sample size is 14. Where as a photographer with between 10 and 19 years experience, the sample size is 88.

Would these salaries sway you to work for someone else or yourself? Is the attraction to run your own side hustle and charge as a freelancer instead of working on a fixed salary too much of an attraction for you? On salary you’d also be paying tax with less deductions, so check out the ATO tax calculator for that. And before you dive in too deep in either salary or freelancing talk to a professional on the subject.

For newer or beginner photographers looking to start charging and growing their paid customer base and need information on how to actually price up their photography. This photography pricing calculator might help https://www.themoderntog.com/photographers-pricing-guide-business-projections-and-calculations/

The above commentary from Pay Scales data expressed below in 2 Charts. One, the Australian photographer salaries From 1 to 20 years experience. And the other a chart on the average Photographer salary in Australia by a few locations.

Chart - Australian Photographer Salaries From 1 to 20 Years Experience

Chart – Australian Photographer Salaries From 1 to 20 Years Experience

Chart - Average Photographer Salary in Australia by Location

Chart – Average Photographer Salary in Australia by Location

What does the above charts and data tell you?

Another data survey by Seek says pretty much the same thing as far as income is concerned. https://www.seek.com.au/career-guide/role/photographer. The salaries are fairly consistent between Pay Scales and Seek. Seek has a data sample of 83 live jobs at the time of the research.

It can be a little daunting when you’re starting out and trying to work out rates that are both competitive and commensurable with your level of skill. So hopefully this section of the article helps.

Do you have a resource that would help others and would like us to link to it? drop us a note and we just might write about and link to it.

Photography pricing Influences

Many factors play a part in determining what photography businesses charge, some of which are:

  • Style and Consistency – As you look through our work, you’ll see consistency in a style of photography and post-production that is unique to us, you can depend on this consistency for your event.
  • Service – At any point in time, before, during, and after the event, you’ll have easy access to your head photographer, we pride ourselves with responsive personal service.
  • Post Production – we personally post-process our raw images, we do not farm them off to some overseas mass production house. We use the latest desktop workstations with the latest specialist software to give you dependable and consistent results.
  • Photography Equipment – We use professional grade equipment, use only genuine Nikon lenses, no cheap substitutes. Our Eizo monitors are hardware calibrated and very accurate, We have great confidence in our equipment.
  • Backups – All images are backed up immediately upon entering our studio, then they are backed up twice, catalogued and logged into our system. We have strict QA processes we always follow before, during starting the post-production work.
  • Qualified Second Shooters – We’ve screened countless photographers to find the right people to work with us. Their experience, manner, can do attitude with an eagerness to offer a high level of service is a must. We also look at their equipment list and their years of consistent results
  • Years of dedication to their craft and their own unique view.
  • Overheads and location can play a huge role in costs of doing business. Big cities and near the CBD adds convenience and overhead.

This list could be very very long, if you would like more information, contact us.

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Photo of Professional Photographer Orlando Sydney. Headshot. By Orlandosydney.com

Orlando Sydney’s Biography

Professional Photographer, Orlando Sydney has over 20 years experience in the commercial and corporate sectors. Over his career he has attended and photographed 100’s of business and corporate events. Service excellence has been demonstrated at events ranging from 100 to over 10 000 people in size.

With professional experience in Marketing, Business Development & Strategy, Sales, Floristry, Construction, FMCG, Commercial Real Estate Interiors, Textiles, Electronics, Manufacturing, Workplace diversity and culture. And has been based in Surry Hills Sydney, Australia for over 11 years serving the business community.

Our Expertise is demonstrated with over 1000 photos that are on display on Orlando Sydney Corporate Photography, plus over 120 detailed articles and pages about photography, and many hundreds of satisfied clients. Orlando Sydney Corporate Photography is a member of 3 National Associations and the local Chamber of Commerce Sydney CBD. That combined with behind the lens experience with his first camera in the early 1990’s gives Orlando Sydney a unique perspective in delivering outstanding service.

Has Working with Children Check Clearance, WWCC. When it is required, just ask for the number at proposal time.

Connect with him on these social profiles

Connect with Orlando Sydney on Twitter X, and on LinkedIn.

Admin on Flickr for Sydney in B&W and Monochromatic tones photography group since 2009.

Short Film Credit

Short Film; Room 87 (2015) Associate Producer and stills photographer. Premiered at Cannes Short Film Festival.

Interviews, Site Reviews & Featured Publications

Mentions & Quotes

Disclaimer: We strive to provide accurate, up-to-date content and invest considerable time in researching and writing our articles. Content that photographers and buyers of photography services will have an interest in. However, our general research is meant to compliment yours. Please consult your own lawyer, accountant, or other licensed professional for information specific to your circumstance.

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