Understand the true cost of running a photography business and learn to price your services fairly – all in about an hour.


How to Price Nonprofit Photography

A Course From NGO Storytelling


Frequently Asked Questions

+ Exactly what will I learn?

In addition to these nine videos, we provide fillable worksheets and several bonuses including our cost of doing business calculator (with our real numbers), a podcast on the realities of being a humanitarian photographer, a script for negotiating with clients and several email templates. And of course you can always email us with questions and comments.

Introduction Video: Welcome to our course! Time: 3 minutes 21 seconds

Video #2: The Cost of Nonprofit Photography – We break down the average costs photographers may have in their business. While everyone’s costs will be different, it’s important to know what professional photographers bring to the table in terms of gear and expertise. Time: 2 minutes 41 seconds

Video #3: What is the Standard Rate of Photography – Everyone wants us to tell them the magic number to charge nonprofits for their business to be successful. There is no magic number. But we teach you a simple formula that will help you find the right number for you. Time: 2 minutes 13 seconds

Video #4: Services A Nonprofit Photographer Could Provide – Have you ever been curious about what services you should provide? We go through a sample invoice to show you the services and service descriptions that we provide to our clients. Time: 2 minutes 12 seconds

Video #5: Your Cost of Doing Business Calculation – We walk you through calculating your cost of doing business and show you how to break down those numbers into your daily or hourly rate. Time: 7 minutes 01 seconds

Video #6: Let’s Talk Budget – While we could do an entire course on budget negotiations, we share the most direct question you can ask when you’re negotiating for a job. Time: 3 minutes 18 seconds

Video #7: Copyright – Understanding copyright can be a bit of a headache for photographers. We share the basics of image licensing, the costs of different types of licensing and ways you can change licensing to fit your budget. Time: 3 minutes 52 seconds

Video #8: Other Ways to Price Nonprofit Photography – We share two possible pricing scenarios – one based on a per picture rate and the other based on licensing already-existing images – and show you how your cost of doing business calculation is always a strong starting point for any rate quote. 5 minutes 3 seconds

Conclusion: You did it! Now we hope you will go out into the world and charge a fair rate for your nonprofit photography services. Time: 26 seconds

Bonus Podcast: 11 minutes 52 seconds

+ This course is right for you if...

You’re a photographer, photojournalist, visual storyteller or a person with an interest in photography and you are confused about what to charge for your services. This course is a short, self-directed study on setting the prices that are right for YOUR business. The experience is designed to give you specific tools that will help you understand what you need to do to stay in business.

+ This course might not be for you if...

You want help creating and negotiating contracts, finding clients, creating shot lists or learning what to do on assignments.

You want us to give you an exact number to charge. Every photographer’s numbers are different and we’ll teach you how to calculate yours. And that number can change on a regular basis based on your overhead, how many days a year you work and how much income you bring in.

This course might not be right for you if you're an experienced photographer with established business practices that are working for you. We believe that experienced photographers can learn something new from this course but it's likely more beneficial to photographers in their early to mid career.

This course is not right for you if you want to know how to find work with nonprofits. We haven’t made that course yet. But we did do a podcast on the subject.

It’s not right for you if you’re looking for a one-on-one business or life coach.

It’s not right for you if you don’t want to do any legwork. Accurate calculations require reviewing past receipts and estimating future expenses. If you’re expecting us to hit the easy button for you then this isn’t the course for you.

It’s not right for you if you’re looking for an easy way to make money. There is no easy way to make money in the photography industry. It requires creativity, varying income streams and lots of sticktoitiveness. You really need to love it to be here. We can only show you how to set your numbers so that your business has a real chance of success.

+ What's not covered in this course?

This course won't help you negotiate contracts, find clients, create shot lists or learn what to do on assignments. This course also is not a replacement for a solid conversation with an accountant about taxes or financial planning. If you have questions for us, send us an email at hello@ngostorytelling.com.

+ Where does this course take place?

Everything is online, so you can go through the materials at your own pace anywhere in the world for 3 months (which is how long your password will be valid). The course is short, so we encourage you to go through it as soon as possible and start making changes to your business.

+ How much time do I need to commit?

We’ve been in your shoes and know how hard it is to be in charge of everything in your small business. You juggle being a photographer, editor, accountant and marketer, too. We made sure to create a course that doesn’t require hours of your time but gives you practical, useable business skills. If you watch all the videos, fill out all the worksheets and listen to the podcast all in one go, you should be able to finish everything in about one hour. We strive to give you the fundamentals of pricing in a short amount of time so you can apply them to your business immediately. Now that’s an hour well spent!

+ What do other people think of this course?

So glad you asked. Visit our course homepage and scroll to the bottom to read some reviews.

+ How much does this course cost?

The course fee is $129 unless otherwise stated due to a sale. It must be paid in full upfront before starting the course. We know how hard it is to commit your hard-earned cash to training when you’ve got bills to pay and gear to buy. But staying in this business means valuing what you create. We can help you calculate a creative fee that is fair both to you and the nonprofit organizations you work with. You may feel awkward asking organizations that do such life-affirming work in the world to pay you. But remember: your professional pictures and stories will help them share their mission and bring in funds. Also, they are businesses – ones that must show a zero balance sheet at the end of the year, granted – and so are you. Just as they invest in great people and technology to keep their organizations running, you, too, can invest in yourself with this course to further your professional development and keep your business running.

+ Do you offer payment plans or scholarships?

Not yet. This is the first time we’ve offered this course so we won’t be offering payment plans or scholarships this round. We hope to do this in the future.

+ What type of payment do you accept?

We accept Paypal. If you're on a mobile device and you have the Venmo app, you can pay via Venmo AFTER selecting that you will pay via Paypal (we know – a little confusing). Contact us if you don't have access to Paypal and Venmo and we'll try to work out a solution.

+ Can I get a refund if I'm not satisfied with the course?

Yes! Please read about our 30-day refund policy here. This refund policy applies only to the course. The refund policy does not apply to the Cost of Doing Business Financial Worksheet. We do not offer refunds for the Cost of Doing Business Financial Worksheet.

+ How long will I have access to the course?

Unless otherwise stated due to a special situation, your password will work for 3 months from the date the course opens. After 3 months, the course will close and your password will no longer work. For the first 2 months of the course, we will reply to course-related emails within 48 hours. We’ll still answer email for last month of the course but it might not be within 48 hours. Since the course is short (about one hour), we feel 3 months should be more than enough time to complete it.

+ How is this course different from other online training?

Most photographers don’t want to share how much they charge for photography. This makes it challenging to find information when it comes to pricing your photography. We believe that transparency regarding costs and pricing helps to build up the photography industry. This is a tough field and photographers often underestimate the price of their work, undercut the market and have trouble earning a living. We’ve been sharing our thoughts on pricing for years at NGO Storytelling. This course goes even more in-depth with real numbers and real examples.

+ What makes this course different than what I can find on the Internet for free?

You know we love Google! But it just doesn’t have the 20 years of combined experience working with nonprofits that Laura and Crystal have. Instead of spending hours culling through random articles on the internet, let us show you a step-by-step process for setting your numbers.

+ I'm happy to give away my photographs. Why should I take this course?

We know that there are times where you might need to work for free to build up a body of work but please don’t do that forever. If you are giving away your images you are undercutting the photography industry, taking away jobs from people who depend on their camera to pay their bills and creating expectations in nonprofits that photography has no monetary value. Check out Crystaline’s rules for doing pro bono work and her experiences here and here working for free. This course will help you figure out a fair price to charge nonprofits.

+ I don't know any photographer who has successfully negotiated getting paid by a nonprofit. Why should I be the first?

The good news is that you are not the first. Crystaline and Laura have worked in this industry for 20 combined years — and we have almost always been paid. What we’ve learned is not all nonprofits start out willing to pay you. Sometimes you have to convince them that your photography is worth paying for. You aren’t alone in trying to navigate this space. A whole community of photographers, writer, and storytellers at NGO Storytelling strive to create better stories for nonprofits and get paid to do it. This course will give you the skills to figure out what a fair wage is for you.

+ I can't afford the full course. Are you offering any knowledge a la carte?

Yes! We've created a custom cost of doing business (CODB) financial worksheet. This spreadsheet is chock full of business categories where you input your business expenses, the amount of income you'd like to earn after taxes, the amount you'd like to save for retirement or other benefits and then – with the magic of built-in formulas – calculates the minimum monthly, daily and hourly earnings you need to run a profitable business. Bonus: when you download the sheet, it's already filled in with Laura's real numbers from a recent year of business. It's always fun peeking into someone else's financials! Go here to learn more about our CODB financial worksheet. You'll need Microsoft Excel or a free Google Drive account to open the worksheet.

+ When is enrollment for this course?

Enrollment opens on Friday, May 31, 2019 and closes at 7 p.m. EDT on Friday, June 7, 2019. The course is only available for purchase during this time. If you’re traveling or have another commitment during the enrollment period, let us know at hello@ngostorytelling.com and we'll work to accommodate you. The course will then open to students on Saturday, June 8, 2019. All students receive access to the material for 3 months from the date the course opens.

+ Will this course be offered again?

This course may be offered again in the future as our schedules allow.

+ What if I have another question not listed here?

Email us at hello@ngostorytelling.com or check out www.ngostorytelling to see more of our work. We’re happy to help!