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 also has become one of the leading sectors that employ billions of individuals.
You must manage your finances efficiently to keep a steady flow of income. Nothing can compare to the feeling of being your boss. Invoicing after completion of your work is very important and setting the right approach can keep your business moving forward smoothly.
Here in this article, we will discuss how to create 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 Now if you are planning to get it done by Microsoft Office, then it’s not very wise, as these are outdated.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.
As per research, approximately $10 billion in revenue is generated by the photography business in the US. Not only this, around 180,000 business provides over 200,000 employment
Such a demanding sector where you have a high job opportunity requires absolute professionalism in everything you do. Here’s what you need to follow to create a professional photography invoice!
Steps for photography invoicing:
We have listed some of the important pointers that a photographer should follow when it comes to invoicing your clients.
1. 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.
2. 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 have 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
Why should photographers send professional invoices?
Having chosen such a creative profession, do you feel whether it is necessary to send invoices to your clients or not? Absolutely, YES! Anyone can take pictures on mobile but you with your skills bring images to life. Your hard work gives someone incredible happiness by capturing their precious moments and framing them. But you need to send a professional invoice to let your clients understand what they are paying for.
Invoices should be well-designed and clear so that clients get to know every detail just by a glance. Estimate making and invoicing goes side-by-side. Hence, before you frame your invoice for services rendered you do need to create a photography estimate. Let your artistry reflect through your invoices as well to establish your business credibility.
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 are 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 its clients. Check it out!
1. 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.
2. Upset Limit:
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. 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.
3. 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 and safeguarding it from the economic downturn is vital. Hence, it is also significant to track all your business transactions. Monitor all your photography invoices with the help of online invoicing software to keep track of all your outstanding invoices.
Wanna experience a bonanza year for your photography business? Then, check out these additional tips!
Quick tips on invoicing for professional photographers
To make sure you get what you deserve, you must create an accurate invoice stating the exact information. Here are some quick invoicing tips for professional photographers:
- Travel cost and other expenses: To ensure clarity in your invoice, state every expense correctly. Moreover, you need to get paid for what you have done. If you traveled for your assignment and have come across some other additional expenses, make sure to add up the cost by supporting those with proper receipt.
- Licensing information: If your photographs demand proper licensing, then add all the necessary information in the invoice. This will reserve your rights and will let your clients understand how to use those images.
- Payment due date: Encourage your clients for on-time payment by mentioning the due date clearing in the invoice.
- Correct contact info: To make sure the current project is not the last one, provide great service. Besides, mention correct contact information in the invoice to ensure your clients get back to you in the future.
- Flexibility in payment method: With the evolving technological advancement, business payments have gotten much easier. To make payment convenient for your clients, accept a variety of payment methods for smooth and on-time payment processing.
By now you know what all it takes to create photography invoices. A proper guideline and technique can only simplify the process. 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!