Corporate & Commercial Photography Pricing Guide

coworkers walking down staircase of corporate office building

Businesses need professional images to market their company online and beyond. There are countless benefits to investing in corporate photography. A professional photographer equips you with images for your website, visual marketing content, and the foundation of a visual brand for your overall business branding efforts

If you’ve looked into commercial photography for your business, you may notice a lack of concrete information about pricing on most photographers’ websites. That’s because pricing for commercial photography is based on numerous factors and coming up with a “standard” price is near impossible. 

In this article, I’ll provide a comprehensive overview of corporate and commercial photography pricing. Continue reading to learn: 

  • How much a business photoshoot costs 
  • What a commercial photography pricing estimate is
  • Factors that impact a photographer’s rate 
  • FAQs about pricing for corporate photography
  • My philosophy and approach to pricing for clients 

How Much Is A Business Photoshoot?

There is no “standard” cost for a business photo shoot. Commercial photography pricing fluctuates depending on a variety of factors. Some of the most notable factors that affect a business photographer’s rate include: 

  • The photographer’s experience 
  • Your business 
  • Your industry 
  • What you’re looking for in the project 
  • Your budget 

I’ll expand on each of those factors and more later on in this post. 

As a very rough estimate, you can expect to pay anywhere from under $500 for smaller projects to over $10,000 for larger corporate shoots. On the lower end, you’ll likely be working with a beginner photographer looking for experience. With the most expensive projects, you’ll be working with specialized, experienced photographers who are in high demand. 

If you’re looking to get photos for your business on a budget, you can try taking them yourself. iPhone photography has come a long way and some tricks can help you capture high-quality images. No matter how great your camera is, you won’t receive professional-grade images on your own. 

group of coworkers circle around a laptop presentation at corporate conference table

What Is A Commercial Photography Pricing Estimate? 

In the process of finding a professional business photographer, you’ll receive a pricing estimate. This estimate is the approximate total that a project will cost you as the client. An estimate encompasses several fees and expenses that make up the final cost. These fees include: 

  • Photography rate 
  • Non-photography fees 
  • Usage fees 
  • Additional production expenses

Some photographers opt not to break down specific fees and expenses. Instead, they offer one all-encompassing project rate. In the sections below, I’ll break down each of the components that go into a corporate photography pricing estimate.

Photography Rate 

The main fee that a photographer charges for their services is called the photography rate. This rate only includes the physical act of photography. It does not cover additional expenses like travel or props. 

Some photographers use the term “photography rate” when referring to a project rate. It can get confusing quickly. If you feel like the photography rate is high, double-check with your photographer to make sure the rate doesn’t include non-photography fees, usage fees, and other additional expenses. 

Many times, the photography rate will come with a set number of final images to be delivered at the end of the engagement. This is completely independent of any other costs that go into the project. 

Within the realm of photography rate, different options are presented depending on the person. Some photographers opt for an overall photography rate that’s not time-restrictive while others use a more granular day or hourly rate. 

school teacher interacts with students playing blocks

Non-Photography Fees

Outside of the photography fee, you can expect to see non-photography fees included in your estimate. These are expenses that go into a project that isn’t specifically shooting the photos but is considered necessary for success. 

Not all photographers charge non-photography fees and most of the fees are determined on a project-by-project basis. Some examples of non-photography fees you might find in an estimate include: 

  • Pre-production fees: Time investment to prepare for the photoshoot, including creating a shot list 
  • Tech/Location scouting: Time and travel required to scout locations (especially if the photo shoot is occurring off-location or at multiple locations) 
  • Model/talent/casting fees: Time and effort required to cast models or additional talent (if the project requires) 
  • Travel expenses: Time and expenses required for the photographer and any other key stakeholders to travel to your business or the selected location
  • Post-production fees: Time investment for tasks after the shoot (ex. Returning rented equipment, mailing a hard drive, etc.) 
  • Retouching fees: Additional time and effort to retouch and digitally edit photos from the initial session

Usage Fees

Usage fees are additional expenses that the photographer charges for you (the client) to use images captured in a session. Photo licensing and usage rights agreements are a complex topic and vary depending on the situation. 

The important thing to note about usage fees is that they typically define how a client can use the photo and the length of time they’re allowed to use it. Some use cases included print ads, online ads, and website images

Not all photographers charge a usage fee – especially if they’re charging an overall project rate. Specific terms around ownership and usage rights should be discussed and agreed upon before signing the project contract. 

group of construction workers pose for portrait

Additional Production Expenses

Outside of the photography rate and non-photography fees, there may be additional components of a commercial photography production that you have to pay for as the client. As with so much of the information in this post, additional production expenses vary by project and not all corporate shoots will include these expenses. 

Here are a few additional expenses that you may incur in a commercial photography engagement: 

  • Additional staff: Any assistant photographers, camera operators, or production assistants necessary to make the shoot possible 
  • Models/talent: The rate that the model or talent charges to take part in the production 
  • Wardrobe: Any specific clothing or wardrobe requirements are on the client to pay for 
  • Hair and makeup: If you want a professional to do hair and makeup for the models or your actual staff, that expense is included 
  • Producer: If an outside producer is brought in to help with the shoot, you have to pay for that 
  • Equipment/gear rentals: Any additional gear or equipment that needs to be rented to complete the project
  • Location rental fees: Some locations that are outside of your office may charge a rental fee to use 
  • Props: Any extra props necessary to enhance the shoot 
  • Permits: Some locations require you to pay for a permit to shoot there 
  • Insurance: To avoid liability if there are injuries or property damage during the project, some photographers may require you to pay for insurance

Photography Rate, Creative Rate, Day Rate, Hourly Rate: What’s The Difference?

I already touched on how “photography rate” can get confusing when separate photographers use the same term with different meanings. When you’re vetting multiple photographers and trying to get a price estimate, you’ll come across even more ways to describe the cost of services. 

artist in paint covered pants checkered shirts fedora and sunglasses painting outside

It can get messy in a heartbeat when trying to compare estimates that use different terminology. At a high level, here are the most common types of rates for commercial photography: 

  • Photography rate: The fee that photographers charge for the physical act of photography (though some photographers use it to describe an overall project rate) 
  • Creative rate: The total fee the client will be charged for all components of the project.
  • Project rate: The total cost of the entire project (nearly interchangeable with creative rate) 
  • Day rate: The fee that photographers charge for a day of services. Some photographers charge a “day rate” for the entire project, including the pre-planning and post-production tasks
  • Half-day rate: Similar to a day rate, but only for half of the day (typically four hours of work). Half-day rates are often more than 50% of the day rate as the photographer isn’t able to schedule two half-day sessions in one calendar day
  • Hourly rate: The fee that photographers charge for an hour of their time. This typically relates to the actual time of the photo shoot. Some photographers may bill an hourly rate for all tasks associated with the shoot (pre-planning, post-production tasks, travel, etc.) 

It’s important to remember every photographer and company operates under its standards. These terms are often interchangeable depending on the circumstance. Confusing, right? As I continue to emphasize how every component of corporate photography pricing varies by project, there’s one thing you should remember. Always ask prospective photographers what is included in their rate. That way you can accurately compare estimates and select the best option for you. 

group of employees sitting around conference table laughing

Factors That Impact A Business Photographer’s Rate

I touched on it briefly in an earlier section, but several factors impact the rate a business photographer charges their clients. In the sections below, I’ll expand on the most common factors that go into corporate photography pricing options. 

Pricing Structure

First and foremost, the pricing structures discussed in the previous section play a major role in the overall rate. 

If a photographer opts for an all-encompassing creative rate, they may charge significantly more or less than one who breaks the individual fees down separately. Someone who charges an hourly rate may give you a rough estimate of what the total could look like. If the project takes longer than expected, the difference between the estimate and actual cost increases by the hour. 

Type Of Photography 

Another factor that affects a commercial photography rate is the type of photography you’re asking for. Specialization comes with an increased price tag. 

If an industrial client requires their photographer to travel and capture lifestyle shots at one of their manufacturing plants, that requires specialized photography skills, travel, and more. Each of those components comes with a greater cost. 

A company that’s simply looking to refresh its business headshots requires less specialization. It’s an easy one-day shoot with less planning required, and the price would likely reflect that.

group of workers inside industrial manufacturing plant


Location, location, location. When it comes to corporate photography, the location of the shoot plays a major role in the rate. Selecting a photographer local to your business and setting the shoot at your office will likely result in a lower rate. There are no additional travel expenses that you need to cover if their business is located in the same area as your office. 

If you hire a corporate photographer from across the globe, it’ll cost significantly more. You’d be paying for their travel and their photography rate may increase for the sheer inconvenience of having to travel. 


Photography equipment isn’t cheap. The type of gear a photographer uses will directly impact their rate. 

A photographer shooting on a $10,000 camera, will have higher rates than someone shooting on a $400 starter body. Additional lighting equipment or other production gear factors into pricing as well. It won’t be explicitly stated in a pricing breakdown, but it factors into the rate they present to you. 

If the photographer doesn’t own all of the gear required to meet your needs, they’ll need to rent additional equipment. That comes at your expense and will affect the overall rate. Rental gear might be explicitly categorized as “additional production expenses”, but not always.

Amtrak train employee waves at train


One of the most prominent factors in corporate photography pricing is experience. More experienced photographers come at a higher price point. 

A professional photographer with years of experience will inherently cost more. They’ve put in the time to become an expert at their craft. They’ve potentially paid for professional training or schooling. Most importantly, they have a reputation and body of work that enables them to charge more for their services. 

An amateur aspiring to become a professional or a new professional with little-to-no experience is likely to charge less. They’re looking to build their portfolio and make a name for themselves. That doesn’t mean they aren’t worth considering. A small business with a limited budget can benefit from a new professional eager to expand their portfolio.


Certain industries come with a higher price point than others. This is somewhat related to the type of photography but is more specific to the business category. Some photographers spend their careers specializing in a specific industry and are more sought after by those types of businesses. 

A hospital in need of new website imagery requires a specific photographer – one that specializes in commercial healthcare photography. This is for more than just photo skills. It’s about navigating the nuances and legal restrictions of photographing patients at a facility. 

If you categorize your business as a specialized industry, you’ll want to look for photographers with extensive experience in your particular field. Just know, that’ll come with a higher price than general business photography. 

group of medical professionals analyze xray in healthcare facility

Business Size

The size of your business will likely impact the rate a photographer charges you. A small law firm with a handful of employees in one office space will likely pay less for a commercial photography engagement than a major corporation with thousands of employees in multiple locations. 

That’s not always the case. If you’re a small business in a special niche, you still may pay a premium. If you choose a world-renowned photographer to capture your startup of three employees, you’ll pay more. 

In general, though, the size of your business directly correlates with the rate a photographer charges. 

headshot of female law attorney in pinstripe suit


Post-processing refers to any manipulation or edits that a photographer makes after shooting the images. Not all photographers offer post-processing services. If they do, their rate will reflect it. 

Again, this may be explicitly noted in the price breakdown or indirectly considered through a higher project rate. 


The last notable factor that I’ll cover is photo usage. Licensing and usage agreements, as well as your intended use of the images, play a role in the overall cost. 

If a major pharmaceutical corporation plans to put out a print ad in a major publication, the photographer may charge a higher usage fee than a small senior living facility submitting their photo to their local newspaper.

senior living resident walks dog around pond at facility

Corporate Photography Pricing FAQs

I’ve covered a lot of information about corporate photography pricing and the factors that impact it. As much as I’ve discussed, you probably have some lingering questions. 

While I can’t possibly answer every one of your concerns – especially with how much this topic varies by project – I’ve compiled a few of the most common questions I get about business photography costs. 

What Is The Average Cost Of A Commercial Photography Project?

I sound like a broken record – it depends. There is no real “average” when it comes to business business photography pricing. The cost of a commercial photography project depends entirely on the client, the circumstances, and the specific details of the engagement. 

New professionals may charge as low as $150 for a session while more experienced, specialized photographers can charge at least $10,000 or more for their time.

How Does Payment Work In A Corporate Photography Engagement? 

Every photographer has a different payment process specific to their preferences. 

In general, business photographers require a deposit upon signing the work agreement. This is required so the client doesn’t cancel last minute and costs the photographer an entire day of work. The deposit can vary anywhere from 10% to 80% or more. The remainder of the payment is collected after completing the project and image delivery. 

On rare occasions, a photographer may require the client to pay 100% of the cost upfront before any work is complete. 

construction vehicles parked on site next to body of water

Why Is Professional Business Photography So Expensive? 

Before I break down why professional photographers charge what they charge, understand that hiring one is not just an expense. Professional photos are an investment for your business that is used to increase profits and enhance your brand. 

Professional photographers provide a service that you couldn’t expand your business without. Therefore, they charge the appropriate amount to keep their business afloat and proportionate to the value that you’ll get from the images they provide. 

A photographer’s rate doesn’t directly correlate with their profit on a project. They’re not charging you exorbitant amounts of money so they can pocket it all for themselves. Commercial photographers are just like their clients – trying to run a business. 

Here are just a few examples of the numerous expenses that a corporate photographer takes on and which directly impact their rate: 

  • Self-employment taxes (25% of all earnings) 
  • Studio and gear rental fees 
  • Gear expenses (purchasing, maintenance, and repairs) 
  • Marketing expenses 
  • Website expenses 
  • Software subscriptions and fees 
  • Professional training 

Those expenses are all on top of the factors discussed earlier in this post. 

Casey Templeton’s Corporate Photography Pricing 

I don’t have a pricing section on my website because I don’t charge a price. As I’ve mentioned ad nauseam, every corporate photography project is unique. Because every project is unique, my pricing varies by project. There is no “one-size-fits-all” cost, or even “menu of set prices”, for my photography services. 

outside image of corporate office building

With that said, I approach pricing based on several factors of my own. For starters, I don’t charge for travel. I have three categories of clientele that I base my pricing around. 

  • Local. Local clients are smaller businesses with a single office. Because they are less complex projects and closer to home, local projects have the lowest pricing. 
  • Regional. A step up from local, regional clients are businesses that have multiple offices in several states across a region. 
  • National. National clients are large corporations with numerous locations around the country. As I said before, I don’t charge for travel but it’s one of several factors that go into pricing national projects. 

One other unique fee that I charge is called a digital capture fee. The digital capture fee covers: 

Learn More About Custom Corporate Photography Rates With Casey Templeton

There is a lot of information to unpack from this post. You should now have a better idea of what goes into a business photographer’s rates. Most importantly, I hope you understand that there is no “standard” or “average” cost for custom corporate photography. 

Each project is unique and requires different accommodations and considerations. When you’re researching a communicating with prospective clients, asking for clarification about what goes into their rate and what it includes will help you avoid any confusion. 

Casey Templeton Photography offers professional corporate photography services in the greater Nashville area and more. Casey has years of technical training behind the lends and experience in corporate branding across various industries and business sizes. To learn more about commercial photography pricing, or to get the ball rolling on a project, fill out our contact form.

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