How Much Do Melbourne Photographers Charge in 2020?

What your professional photographer is charging in 2020 is more important than ever for planning your event budget.

Corporate event budgets are inevitably more restrictive than in previous years and most clients are trying to make their dollars go further.

How much will photographers charge in the coming year? How do different Melbourne photographers prices compare to each other?

There are lots of different photography prices listed for events in Melbourne or Geelong and if you ask for 3 different event photography quotes, you are likely to get some extremely varied pricing.

Photography Pricing and Rates List

Melbourne Photography Price List in 2020

  • Beginner or Amateur Photographers – Free – $50 per hour
  • Photography Student – up to $50 per hour
  • Semi-pro Event Photographer – up to $150 per hour
  • Professional Corporate Event Photographer ~$250-$300
  • Wedding Photographers ~$1200-$4500
  • Business Portraits ~$150-$350 per person
  • Product photographers ~$100-$200

Below, we aim to provide a little bit of detail as to how the photography price list numbers have been estimated.  Some we obviously know from our own businesses but we have also consulted other photographers in Melbourne who offer comparable services to us.

Photographer Prices Per Hour

Photographers are often requested to give hourly rates for quotes, but hourly rates don’t always provide the full picture.

Hourly rates need to include not only the time at the location to photograph the event, but all the necessary additional costs such as (but not limited to) pre event meeting, parking, post processing of the images and delivery of the images.

This doesn’t even take into account the expenses a photographer incurs simply running their business, which we’ll detail later in the article, and hopefully goes some way to explaining why the average photographer’s hourly rate in Australia is considered, at first glance, to be fairly high.

Professional photography hourly rates in Melbourne average from $250 to $350 for a single hour booking, although most professional photographers have a minimum booking period of 2 hours.

How Much Should a Beginner Photographer Charge?

Beginner photographers aren’t usually paid and are often doing the work for experience and to bulk out their portfolio.

Some beginners can be really good, but some who are just starting out may only have basic equipment, and rarely do they have back up equipment just in case something goes wrong.  Beginner photographers should not be trusted with an important photography job!

Do Amateur Event Photographers Charge Fees?

Amateur photographer rates are anything up to $50 per hour. Sometimes, beginner event photographers are happy to photograph a show or gig in order to get a free ticket.  Perfect music loving younger photographers who don’t have families, dependents…. or bills to pay!

How Much Should Student Photographers Charge?

Photography Students fees are around $50-100 per hour. That’s assuming they have been studying for a while, are competent, have a smart appearance and a positive and outgoing demeanour.

What Are The Costs of Semi-professional Photographers?

Semi-professional rates come in at up to $150 per hour, but are likely to be lower than that.  Semi-pro photographers are sometimes used as a second or back up photographer to photograph details, incidentals and general atmosphere, safe in the knowledge that the main or professional lead photographer is capturing the most important images for the client.

How Much Do Corporate Photographers Charge?

Professional corporate photography prices are from $250 per hour or around $800-1000 for a half day without lighting set up and a more candid style. Full day corporate photography usually comes in at around $2000 depending on the requirements.

How Much Do Business Portraits or Corporate Headshots Cost?

Corporate headshots or business portraits rates are $150-350 per person, with either a minimum cost or a minimum number of staff to be photographed, with around $500 being the average minimum fee. This usually encourages businesses to photograph at least 2 members of staff at a time to get value for money on the session.

How Much Does a Melbourne Wedding Photographer Cost?

Wedding Photographers charge somewhere between $800 and 4500 depending on the location, product requirements and the duration of the booking.

Wedding photographer’s costs are a good yardstick for comparing corporate, business or event photography services.

Beginner, student or newly qualified wedding photographers prices start fairly low as they’re trying to build portfolios and have limited experience of shooting weddings and everything that comes with them from the crazy or random groomsmen to the mother of the bride who loves directing the action all day!

It takes a strong and confident photographer to stand up to these characters and to bring them back into line so they don’t ruin the day or the wedding photos.

I remember shooting an 8 hour wedding for $500 when I first started out with basic equipment and just one flash, which I dropped at the start of the ceremony.

The dark-as-a-cave reception venue was a challenging part of the day and I don’t think I got much that was usable from it. The client received the level of service they paid for and I learned some valuable lessons!

Experienced and creative wedding photographers charge considerably more than beginners, with the average cost of an 8 hour wedding package being about $3000-$3500.

You’ll find cheaper budget options for wedding photography in Melbourne from around $800, but they’re usually best for more intimate weddings at venues such as the Melbourne marriage registry in Spring Street.

Compare these prices to awards night or event photography and you’ll see that photos for corporate events are actually very reasonable and in line with the amount of work and professional photography experience required from them.

Product Photography Pricing

Product photographers are yet another niche area and charge quite differently often quoting charge per photo from between $35 through to $250 per finished image for average sized businesses or usage.  At the top end of the photography charging scale, product photography for lifestyle advertising or luxury items can be up around $1000 per image, excluding the creative fee and expenses.

Usage license fees are often included in these types of photography which may contain some limitations on duration of use, territory and type of media eg billboard, social media, print.

Event Photography Pricing

Full day events usually consist of around 8-10 hours, with the average cost of an event photographer day rate ranging from $200-$350 per hour, depending on the client, location and amount of work involved.  A promise of a good buffet lunch for the photographer usually brings the fee down a little!

Prices for event photography in Melbourne have a minimum average charge of $400-$700 which equates to about 2 hours, with a full day of corporate event photography usually coming in at around $1800-$2500 excluding GST.

Event Photography

As you can see event photography pricing varies depending on the event, the client, the end use of the images and everything else in between so it’s best to supply your photographer with plenty of detail in order for them to quote your event accurately and to save any confusion at a later date.

For example, if you want your event or conference photographer to take some business headshots of your staff during the lunch break, make them aware of this as they may need to bring additional equipment such as light stands, reflectors and softboxes to achieve the professional look you’re expecting.

Event photographers will also often quote separately for additional services such as business headshots, although are likely to offer some form of discount since they’re already on the premises.

Get A Quote

How Much Do Photographers in Melbourne Get Paid?

This is a tricky question to answer, especially with so many Melbourne photographers working as freelancers for themselves, but as a general guide, an experienced corporate or event photographer in Melbourne can expect to earn approximately $80,000 – $100,000 per year.

This obviously depends on how picky they are over jobs, their rates, their level of experience, amount of advertising they do, the state of the economy and customer reviews amongst other things.

Keep in mind that many photographers shoot more than one style of photography and while the majority of their income may come from awards nights, conferences and events, they may also be supplementing this income with photographing events suchs weddings at weekends or doing local family shoots which can be easy to pick up with word of mouth advertising.

Can Photographers Earn Passive Income?

Passive income that photographers often earn after completing an assignment or if they shoot material specifically:

  • Stock Photography royalties from agencies such as Alamy.com and Getty Images
  • Sales of images on products via RedBubble or FineArtAmerica
  • Copyright Agency (if published in Australian Magazines, newspapers or books)
  • DACS (if published in UK magazines, newspapers and books)
  • Repeat fees when images have been used on television after the initial agreed run

Secondary usage and submission to stock photography libraries is obviously subject to the agreed usage, copyright assignation, model releases and any restrictions the photographer may want to place on the image to determine how the images can be used.

Over the years, we have earned a reasonable portion of our income from photography that was shot years previously and has been licenced elsewhere for use on television or in print.  Some years this figure has been as high as 20% of our annual income which is quite nice when you consider there was no extra work involved for us!

If you’re looking for a way of starting out with stock photography then feel free to get in touch as we have plenty of tips to help you.

The first sage piece of advice that we can offer to other stock photographers is to AVOID the microstock sites like Adobe, Shutterstock and the like as they all pay peanuts!

We’d rather sell one image for $150 via a reputable stock photography outlet than sell 150 images at 50c each.

Request Your Photography Quote

As you can see, there are many factors that affect what a Melbourne photographer will charge for their services, ranging from experience through to their business overheads and which types of photography jobs make their business viable.

We encourage you to call for a chat or drop us a line to discuss your photography requirements and discuss your budget (and budget restraints!) openly with us so we can work out the best photography quote to suit your needs and achieve the best result for you.

Get In Touch!

Do you have a question about corporate or event photography?
Would you like some advice?
Feel free to send us a message or pick up the phone – we’re always happy to answer any photography questions you may have.
  • Call us on 0450 586 561

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