Photography is an art, and according to the words of Destin Sparks- “Photography is the story I fail to put into words”. This is an amazing profession that lets you capture great moments of nature, as well as people to cherish later on. Whether professional or amateurs, photography is of great interest to many and is also an engaging hobby. But this has also become a well-established profession and helps you generate decent revenue. Besides, photography has become one of the leading sectors that employ billions of individuals.
You must manage your finances efficiently as you do your work. This would help you earn a steady flow of income. There is nothing like being your boss, but there are few challenges as it may seem to you. Invoicing after completion of the work is very important. Hence, with the right approach, you can keep your business moving forward smoothly. Here in this article, we will discuss a few points that will help you create your photography invoices. Check it out now!
Opting for Invoicing Software
Opting for an online invoicing platform is a smarter option nowadays. This not only helps to get your invoices ready but also saves a lot of time and money. Now if you are planning to get it done by Microsoft Office, then it’s not very wise, as these are outdated. Finding quality invoicing software not only proves your business to be professional, but also will help you with customer satisfaction. Online software helps with automated invoicing processes, which includes financial reports, expense tracking, etc. These are easy-to-use platforms that get all your invoicing work organized with ease.
Let us now understand what steps are needed while you create your photography invoice. Keep reading!
Steps for photography invoicing:
We have listed some of the important pointers that a photographer should follow when it comes to invoicing your clients.
Rate your photography services diligently
Rate your work thoughtfully as that would be your source of revenue. Photography work involves various complex projects, and hence, you must rate it wisely. Wedding photos generally cost less than wildlife photography. Moreover, clients prefer professional and experienced photographers, and they accept your rates accordingly. But despite all such factors, there are some other parameters that you need to keep in mind while you rate your photography services. These are the difficulty of your project, location, quality, fuel cost, etc. Moreover, you also need to decide as to how you are going to charge your client. Once you are all set with the above-mentioned factors, you can arrange your invoice accordingly.
Add the payment terms
It does not need much time or experience to understand that some people might disappear without giving your payment. Hence, you must have a proper agreement with necessary payment terms, which must include the steps that to be taken in case of a payment dispute, non-payment, or late payment. Make a separate column to mention all the terms precisely and clearly.
Under this header the points that must be included are:
- Timeline of payment
- Late fee that will apply, if payment due date is missed
- Mention whether you have received the deposit or not.
- Types of payment you accept
- Also, you must mention whether you would deliver the project before or after payment.
These terms will help your clients understand your business policies and speed up the payment process without delay.
Include all the relevant information
Whether photographers or other business professionals, nobody likes to wait long for their payment, even after job completion. Sending incomplete or wrong information may mislead your clients and create confusion. Even in some cases, your invoice may get rejected by the clients. Ensure that you put in all the necessary details that include contact information, job description, hourly rates, subtotal, etc. A detailed invoice will assure your clients that there is clarity between both of you and the money is well spent.
Design a professional invoice
Your invoice represents your brand, and hence, it needs to be attractive and professional. When you are implementing an online invoicing platform, they ensure that your invoices are perfectly well-organized. Therefore, it is recommendable that besides mentioning your business name, do include your company’s logo. The online platforms give you the freedom to design your invoice from their customized option, and therefore you do not need any designer to create your invoice. Moreover, as mentioned earlier, the detailed information about your business enterprise, along with contact details and project description, make your invoice more professional. Make your invoice clear and present it in readable font to avoid confusion and chances of delayed payment.
Track all your business expenses
Being busy with your work is great for your business, but you must make sure you manage all your additional expenses and include them in your invoice while charging your client. Monitor and track all your business expenses thoroughly. Photography work involves a lot of traveling, which includes hotel stay, gas mileage, location booking (in some cases), and other project-related costs. Ensure you add the cumulative amount of these expenses in your invoices as these are part of your job. Just make sure to be transparent and keep the receipts as proof to avoid legal issues.
Know your taxes
Know your taxes that you are entitled to pay. Your location in the country will decide, which taxes you are required to pay, which may be federal, state, or both. Determining the tax amount is important as that gets included in the total amount that your clients owe to you. Being a business professional, you have to be punctual about paying your taxes. Hence, know it and state the amount in your invoice.
Establishing a professional photography business
Establishing a strong business foundation not just depends upon your services, it also relies on the profits to stay open. Take your finances seriously to minimize the risk of non-payment or delayed payments. Setting up the rates wisely, implementing efficient billing methods, and tracking your business invoices is a must for maintaining professionalism in your business.
You must be wondering what is there in billing methods? The photography industry executes three different kinds of billing methods while billing their clients. A clear idea about this would help you to strengthen your finances. Check it out!
Time And cost method:
In this system of billing, you would bill your client depending upon the time you invested in the project. Accordingly, you need to add all the direct costs incurred like travel expenses, hiring various equipment, hotel accommodation, etc. Generally, the markup gets added in the time and cost method. A photographer can charge around 15% to 30% markup to cover all the efforts and time that have been put into the project.
There are various titbits in business finances, and one such that helps you create your invoice is the billing method. Upset limit is one of the billing methods where you bill your clients as per the time and cost methods to the specific upset limit. Like for example, a professional photographer sets his/her upset limit to 10 hours and charges $200 per hour. In case, it takes around 12-13 hours to complete the work he cannot charge more than $2000.
Lump Sum Method:
Charging a specific price for a particular task or set of tasks is known as the lump sum method. This billing method does not restrict you from billing individual tasks. Rather, you can set your prices for specific tasks and bill accordingly. Besides, in case the scope of work varies then you can add the extra charges as per the time and cost method.
Establishing a strong photography business also depends on how you track all your business transactions. Monitor all your business invoices with the help of online invoicing software to keep track of your unpaid invoices. Otherwise, you may run into a severe economic downturn in your business.
Get Billbooks to speed up your invoicing process. It helps in minimizing your load by keeping a record of all your paid and unpaid invoices. With this online invoicing software, you can immerse yourself in your photography work without worrying about getting the invoices ready on time. Isn’t that amazing!