Commercial Photography Pricing Guide

Commercial Photography by Anthony Dawson

Welcome to our commercial photography pricing guide. This although not listing prices which vary on the complexity of the job, is intended to give you a understanding of what to expect when hiring a professional photographer.

So, when you first ring a photographer, they should ask a sequence of questions to determine where you classify in their personal rates, then work up from that on what else is required like site surveys, any additional equipment, costs, and the employment of models. Were its simple we can give you a quote there and then, but where its more complex we take your details then email you a quote that is a detailed breakdown of the costs involved.

The Photographers Daily Fee

The daily photographers fee is pretty simple, if the content will only take one day to shoot, that’s what is charged. If it takes 2 days, double it, its really simple.

We have several tiers where our personal fee’s for our work is concerned, but in all of them we have the time required for organising the shoot, the time spent shooting and all post production worked into that value.

Depending on the job at hand you can expect to pay £100 per hour for a very small, simple, quick shoot for a small editorial, to £5000 for a very large shoot that incorporates many creative and skilled people that include make up artists, hair stylists, wardrobe stylists, designers, models, transport, assistants, and all the hours required just to bring these people together which can span weeks in itself.

The Costs Of Other Creative’s and Skills

On top of the daily fee, there will be additional costs added onto the quotes where other professionals are required. All these people are only hired on a day rate, and where children are concerned in the UK there are very specific laws governing how long they can work which have to be factored in.

For models, the agency rates for fairly standard commercial work on a smaller scale (for an SME for example), is around £150 per model, per day in Scotland but varies considerably considering on location and agency, and for larger work they rightly command a higher fee. Generally their hired time on a day rate is 8 to 10 hours.

Others like hair and make-up vary considerably, but are hired on a day rate too as they are required to stand in and assist/top up and adjust as the shoot progresses. Generally they require at least 2 hours to work before any shooting can commence.

Where assistants are required for the day, which is essential when you are dealing with a team of people more than 5 strong, I pay them in line with what the others are earning at a day rate, as they will have no involvement outside of that.

Materials and Equipment

Some times, for certain jobs there will have to be specialist equipment hired, as well as wardrobes, vans, and other things. A great example of this was a recent shoot that involved getting the cameras wet (submerged would be a better term), so special waterproof casings had to be hired (and imported from the US as no where in the UK stocked them), at a cost of £3000.

Transport Costs

Its not uncommon that we have to travel to jobs, or those others that are involved. And because of this it is added onto the cost of the work involved. But there are occasions where to do the job properly we need to arrange overnight accommodation too. But because the actual work can extend over 2 days, we do not charge for an extra day in this instance, just the travel costs.


Creative licensing is also a consideration into the cost, the duration of usage, the areas the images will be used, all this is accounted for and included in the quote. This is charged on par with international standards of which a great source of reference is Magnum Photos who set the industry standards which all other professionals generally match. Depending on the use this can be included in the service fee where its again for a small single use article, to £15,000 or more if its an international campaign.


This should be all you need to know to get started, and to understand how much is involved in a shoot.

In the meen time, remember to check out our galleries here, or our commercial photography page here.