A solo pet photographer that runs their own studio makes about $62,000 per year or $31 per hour.
An employee pet photographer earns from $9 per hour up to $20 per hour or $18,000 to $40,000 per year.
See our calculations and research below.
Let’s assume you are fully booked. You’re running 8 sessions a week on average. This assumes you built up a client base and are keeping new business coming in through good marketing.
You charge the national average of $250 per session then you sell printed pictures a la carte for $25 each. Your average customer buys $250 worth of pictures.
Most of the photographer’s we researched for this say clients pay $500 up to $1,800 in printed pictures. However, let’s be more conservative with our estimate.
That’s $250 * 8 sessions or $2,000 per week. That’s about $100,000 in revenue for the year assuming you work 50 weeks out of the year and take a 2 week vacation.
Total monthly revenue = $8,333
That’s revenue. Now let’s check out some average expenses.
Assume you lease a small commercial space that doesn’t get much foot or vehicle traffic. It goes for $15 per square foot and you lease 200 square feet. That’s $3,000 per month.
Assume you also spend about $5,000 for a camera, some basic studio lighting equipment, and a basic computer with photoshop or Gimp. You used a SBA business loan at 8% with a payback period of 5 years. According to Bankrate.com that comes out to about $102 per month.
Total Monthly Expenses = $3,102
Total Monthly Profit Before Taxes
Revenue minus expenses equals profit = $8,333 – $3,102 = $5,231 which comes to $62,772.
A solo pet photographer that rents their own studio space and owns their own business can make approximately $62,772 per year. Not too shabby! This assumes they are charging an average rate based on rates from existing photography businesses in Los Angeles, Denver, and Atlanta.
Of course, if you work from a home location you can greatly increase this amount. Plus if you start hiring photographers at $15 per hour you can keep the extra $16 an hour your business makes on average, focus on marketing and grow massively.
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How Do You Price Pet Photography?
Prices range wildly for pet photography. We went ahead and research two pet photography studios from each of these three cities: Denver, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.
Most charge about $250 for a 1 hour photo session then you buy pictures a la carte for $25 each and up. A very rare few charged less than this.
It seems that even around the country in different sized cities you see very similar pricing for these services.
|Denver, Colorado||Denver Pet Pics||$150 and up|
|Denver, Colorado||Wag Your Tail Photography||$350 for one pet, 60 minute session, 5 images with personal printing rights|
|Los Angeles, California||WooDoo Pet Photography||Sessions starting at $50 and up with $1 per mile traveled and $5 per printed picture|
|Los Angeles, California||Diana Lundin Modern Pet Photography||$250 per 1-2 hour session then you order pictures a la carte with most spending about $500 in printed pictures.|
|Atlanta, Georgia||Petfolio||$250 per session, $25 to $50 for individual prints|
|Atlanta, Georgia||Puparazzi Portraits||$375 for a 1-2 hour session then you order pictures a la carte. Prints start at $75 each and most spend $1,800|
Is Pet Photography Profitable?
If you can get the hang of the marketing required to average 8 sessions a week and you charge the national average, you can expect to make over $60,000 per year after expenses from a pet photography business. Yes, if done well it can be wildly profitable.
How Much Does An Animal Photographer Make?
In June 2020 an animal or pet photographer makes $9 per hour up to $19.50 per hour. Some sources claimed up to $28 per hour but most of the high end jobs seem to range from $18 to $20 per hour.
|Source||Low Rate||High Rate|
|Ziprecruiter.com||$22,000 ($11/hr)||$56,000 ($28/hr)|
|Indeed.com, Utah||$22,000 ($11/hr)||$36,000 ($18/hr)|
|Indeed.com, Texas||$18,000 ($9/hr)||$24,000 ($12/hr)|
|Indeed.com, California||$35,000 ($17.50/hr)||$39,000 ($19.50/hr)|