After learning how to create an invoice for different industries, you will need to know how to create any invoice that pertains to a specific job you may complete as part of your business, such as photography. Let’s learn more about photography invoice.

Define an hourly rate

If you are a photographer, the billing process starts by figuring out how much you are going to charge per hour, as that is the typical way photographers are paid. Figure out your hourly rate by starting with how much money you wish to make each year, and then working backward from that amount. For example, if you want to take home $60K each year, then you have to consider taxes, and equipment charges, and then divide that by the number of hours you plan to work each week or month. Then you’ll have your hourly rate. For more information on how to calculate your hourly rate, visit DIY Photography.

Invoices for photography work are usually made up of two components: the cost to do the actual work and the cost to use the work (the photos). In most cases, the photographer is paid for both parts of the job. There are several different ways you can bill your clients for photography work.

One way you can bill clients for your photography work is for time plus the cost. This type of billing includes the hourly rate it took to actually take the work, along with the cost of the overhead it costs to actually complete the work. This overhead could include mileage if you had to drive to a location, or the cost of a makeup artist if that was part of the job. Time plus cost billing is best used for open-ended projects. The largest disadvantage of time plus cost billing is that the client may feel the need to micromanage how you spend your time, or they may question how long it takes you to complete a job if you go over budget.

Lump sum billing

The next type of billing that works for a photography job is called lump sum. Lump sum billing is simply a single fee for a specified project or amount of work. If the photography job has very defined boundaries, a lump sum billing agreement works best. Lump sum billing also allows the photographer to improve efficiency; since time is not a factor. The problem with lump sum billing is that the scope of the job can easily get out of hand, and if you have already agreed to the fixed fee, then you are stuck doing extra work for no extra pay.

Upset limit billing

The next way you can invoice for photography work is called upset limit. Upset limit billing is calculated the same way as time plus cost billing, but there is a limit agreed upon by both parties. For example, a client may set an upset limit of $500 for a school portrait session, while the photographer charges $100 per hour. If the job takes more than five hours, the photographer still has to complete the job, but cannot charge more than $500. To be honest, there are really no advantages to billing with an upset limit. The disadvantage to upset billing is that if you complete the job before you reach the limit, then you make less money, and if the job takes longer than the limit, then you don’t make any extra money.        

Whatever billing method you decide upon between you and your client, the invoice should reflect those preferences. The end invoice product should look just as any other freelance invoice and should be clear about the project completed and all of the costs that go into the final total.