The True Cost of Being an Equine Photographer

  • Camera body: £1500
  • Lens 1: £1000
  • Lens 2: £750
  • Spare battery: £50
  • Battery grip: £75
  • Memory cards: £75
  • Computer: £1500
  • Camera bag: £50

And so on, and so forth. Next, make a list of all the little necessities you’ve bought to get through shoots – polos, baby wipes, a leather headcollar, all those small expenses. You’ll be surprised at how quickly they add up.

Now, make sure you’ve got all your digital expenses accounted for. These can include Adobe memberships, website costs, marketing expenses, custom emails, CMS, online courses, Canva accounts, and anything else you may use online to further your business.

Finally, tot up the miscellaneous necessities: insurance, your photography education, the utility bills you pay for your studio space, and the cost of keeping your car on the road.

Once you see your own outgoings, you might be slightly horrified – and that’s okay. It’s doubly okay if it makes you rethink that £100 shoot fee you’re charging. Isn’t your time worth more than that? Isn’t your equipment worth more than that?

What many people don’t realise is that when they invest in a photoshoot, they’re not just paying for nice photos – they’re paying for years of experience, a considerable amount of training, and a huge investment, both financially and in time and sacrifice. They’re not buying into someone’s hobby, they’re buying into someone’s passion and drive. That has to come at a cost.

Stop undervaluing yourself. You wouldn’t try to haggle for a professional camera at well below market value, but that camera is only as good as the person using it – so why would you consider yourself less of an investment. With an idea of the initial and ongoing financial investment you’ve made, you can start making some clear decisions about exactly what your time is worth. Then, your business can really soar.