Albums are one of the most time consuming and expensive products that professional wedding and studio photographers can offer. Knowing all of your costs can help you price more realistically. I’ve seen people selling a 20 page portrait album for $175. Not only will this ensure going out of business or working 80 hours a week, it hurts the industry in general. We need to make sure we are educating our clients as to why albums are expensive, but also educate our peers.

Calculating album costs can be a bit more difficult than calculating prints. There are a lot more variables that go into albums compared to one off products. Let’s take a quick look at possible costs that go into albums.

  1. The cost of the album from the album company.
  2. The cost of any extra pages or cover upgrades from the album company.
  3. The cost to design the album (whether you do it yourself or outsource it).
  4. The cost/time to make any changes by the client.
  5. The time it takes to order/deliver the album.

For example. (and these are made up numbers, but they should be close to real album costs)

  1. $250 for a 10×10 30 page album.
  2. $100 for a cover upgrade.
  3. $50 (for two hours of design at $25/hour)
  4. $25 (for one hour of design changes)
  5. $15 (for one hour of office work)

Total costs = $440

Now we need to use a cost multiplier to come up with our retail costs. Professional Photographers of America recommends a 30% cost of goods (last time I checked). This means that if an item costs you $30, you would charge $100. So, your costs are 30%.

You can calculate the retail cost like this:

$440 ÷ 0.30 = $1466.66

If you are at the top of your market, you’d want to use a lower cost of goods. Dividing by 0.25 or 0.20 will give you a higher retail value.

I hope this final tip helps you price your albums better and gives you the confidence to stick to your prices when clients ask for a discount.

If you would like a more automated approach to pricing, Prosper™ at Fundy Software has a free 2 week trial, which automates this math for you.

Fundy

Fundy is the creator of Fundy Software. For free trials of their award winning Album Builder software or other photo tools, please visit www.fundysoftware.com

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