Shooting The Breeze is a photography blog by Gavin Jowitt, an award-winning Sydney-based photographer, offering valuable articles and advice on corporate, industrial, and architectural photography; life and photography in Sydney; and running a successful photography business.

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How much do photographers charge in Sydney?

Published On: 24 March 2023By Categories: Commercial Photography, Sydney Life, Sydney Photography
Aerial photography by Gavin Jowitt - Sydney Photographer

The world of photography is vast and diverse, and the pricing landscape for photographers in Sydney is no exception. This article will explore the various factors influencing the cost of photography services in Sydney, including different genres of photography, experience levels, and pricing structures. By understanding these factors, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision when hiring a Sydney photographer for your next event or project.

Genres of Sydney photography and their impact on pricing

In Sydney, photographers offer services across a wide range of genres, each with its unique pricing structure. Some popular genres include:

Commercial PhotographyCommercial photographers produce high-quality images for businesses to use in advertising, marketing materials, or product catalogues. Due to the technical requirements and high level of expertise, commercial photography prices tend to be higher than other genres, with rates ranging from $200 to $500 per hour or more.

Corporate PhotographyCorporate photographers capture images for businesses and organisations, including team corporate headshots, office environments, and company events. The pricing for corporate photography depends on the scope and complexity of the project, with rates typically ranging from $200 to $350 per hour or more, and package deals are available for larger projects or multiple services.

Portrait Photography – This genre encompasses various sub-genres, such as family portraits, headshots, and personal branding photography. The complexity and duration of these sessions may vary, affecting the overall cost. Portrait photographers in Sydney typically charge between $150 and $500 for a session, depending on the type of shoot and the photographer’s experience.

Event Photography – Event photographers capture the atmosphere and key moments of events such as conferences, parties, and corporate functions. The pricing for event photography depends on the event’s size and duration, with rates ranging from $100 to $300 per hour or more.

Wedding Photography – Wedding photographers are responsible for capturing the special moments of a couple’s big day. Due to the high stakes and the need for a comprehensive portfolio, wedding photography prices tend to be higher than other genres. Rates can range from $1,000 to $5,000 or more, depending on the photographer’s experience, package offerings, and event duration.

Post-Production services and rates

Post-production is an essential aspect of the photography process, where images captured during a photoshoot are selected, edited, and refined to create the final product. In many cases, the time spent on post-production can be as significant as, if not more than, the actual photoshoot. The post-production process typically involves the following steps:

Image Selection – The photographer reviews the captured images and selects the best shots for further editing and retouching.

Basic Editing – Adjustments to exposure, contrast, colour balance, and cropping are made to enhance the overall look of the images.

Retouching – More advanced editing techniques are applied to address specific issues in the images, such as removing blemishes, smoothing skin, or enhancing specific details.

Image Delivery – The final edited images are delivered to the client in the agreed-upon format, such as digital files, prints, or an online gallery.

Sydney photographers may charge separately for post-production services or include them in their package pricing. When billed separately, post-production rates typically range from $80 to $200 per hour or more, depending on the photographer’s experience and the complexity of the edits required. Some photographers also offer tiered editing packages, allowing clients to choose between basic editing, advanced retouching, or a combination of both, depending on their needs and budget.

Experience levels and their impact on pricing

Experience plays a significant role in determining the rates photographers charge. In Sydney, photographers are generally classified into three main categories based on their experience level:

Beginner Photographers – These photographers may have limited experience but offer affordable rates to build their portfolio. They generally charge between $50 and $100 per hour or offer lower-priced packages to attract clients.

Intermediate Photographers – With a few years of experience under their belts, these photographers have developed their skills and built a solid portfolio. Their rates range from $100 to $250 per hour, depending on the genre and project complexity.

Professional Photographers – Highly experienced and skilled, professional photographers charge a premium for their services, with rates often exceeding $250 per hour. These photographers typically have a strong reputation and a substantial body of work showcasing their expertise.

Pricing structures: hourly rates, half-day rates, and day rates

Photographers in Sydney employ various pricing structures, such as hourly rates, half-day rates, and day rates. Hourly rates are the most straightforward, with photographers charging a set fee for each hour of work. This structure is common for event photography, where the photographer’s presence is required for a specific duration.

Half-day and day rates are more common for commercial and wedding photography, where a project or event may require a photographer’s services for an extended period. Half-day rates typically cover 4 to 5 hours of work, while day rates cover 8 to 10 hours. These rates can range from $500 to $2,000 for a half-day and $1,000 to $4,000 for a full day, depending on the photographer’s experience and the project’s requirements.

Sydney Headshot Prices

Headshots are an essential part of many professionals’ portfolios, particularly for actors, models, and corporate professionals. Sydney headshot photographers offer a variety of packages to cater to different needs and budgets. Prices for headshot sessions typically range from $100 to $500 or more, depending on the photographer’s experience, the number of images provided, and whether professional retouching is included.

Some photographers offer tiered pricing structures for headshot sessions, allowing clients to choose from a basic package with limited images and retouching to more comprehensive packages that include multiple outfit changes, a higher number of retouched images, and additional services such as makeup and hair styling.

Why Photographers Charge These Rates

Several factors contribute to the rates photographers charge for their services:

Experience and Expertise – As mentioned earlier, a photographer’s experience level significantly impacts their pricing. More experienced photographers often have a proven track record of delivering high-quality work, which justifies the higher rates they charge.

Equipment and Overhead Costs – Professional photography requires substantial investment in equipment, including cameras, lenses, lighting, and editing software. Additionally, photographers may have overhead costs such as studio rentals, insurance, and marketing expenses. These expenses need to be factored into their pricing to ensure a sustainable business model.

Time and Effort – The time and effort involved in photography go beyond the actual photoshoot. Pre-shoot planning, post-production editing, and client communication all contribute to the overall time spent on a project. Therefore, photographers must account for these additional hours when determining their rates.

Quality and Service – When hiring a Sydney photographer, clients expect high-quality images and professional service. This expectation drives photographers to invest in professional development, honing their skills, and upgrading their equipment to deliver the desired results. Consequently, photographers charge rates that reflect the quality of their work and the level of service they provide.


Understanding the factors that influence photography pricing in Sydney is essential for making an informed decision when hiring a Sydney photographer. By considering the photographer’s experience, the genre of photography, and the pricing structure, you can find a professional that meets your needs and budget. Remember that investing in high-quality photography is often worth the expense, as the images captured will serve as lasting memories and valuable marketing assets for years to come.

About the author
Gavin Jowitt is an accomplished corporate communications and branding professional with over 30 years of experience as a creative director and photographer. Awarded Australian Commercial Photographer of the Year in 2019, Gavin has built a reputation for delivering high-quality photography that enhances stakeholder communication. Gavin works with a wide array of public and private sector clients, guiding them in creating versatile photography libraries while offering extensive corporate, industrial, and commercial photography services throughout Australia.

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As a professional Sydney-based photographer specialising in corporate headshots, I recognise the significance of top-quality images for building the professional profiles of your key personnel. My expertise is crafting professional headshots highlighting confidence, character, and professionalism.
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