"You do not take a photograph, you create it," Ansel Adams

Whether you prefer manual or auto mode, it is quite possible to enjoy your natural talent for photography by giving lessons to beginners or experts in this art form.

However, photography courses are not the most common of courses, so it can be difficult to decide on a rate when giving one.

Some professional photographers tend to underestimate their value, while others inflate their rates and risk discouraging students looking for affordable courses. The thing to do is to choose a rate that is adapted to your course.

Take a look at the criteria you need to take into account when fixing your photo class rates!

How Much Are Photography Classes on Average?

What if you could stand out next to other photographers thanks to your attractive rate?

When a student goes via a photo institute, rates are very high...

As with any subject, it is essential to analyze your competition. With the advent of photo-based social networks, such as Instagram, more and more lessons to learn photography are popping up. To find your place as a tutor/professional photographer you will have to scope out your competitors!

Find out how you can teach photography online!

With a nice camera and sharp expertise in aesthetics, a photography tutor will have no trouble finding tutor jobs and students wishing to improve their photo-taking.

Here is a small comparison of the different prices for photo classes in the United States:

  • Photo school intensive: between 500 and 700 USD for twenty hours,
  • Photo workshop: between 60 and 150 USD for four or five hours,
  • Private school photo class: between 50 and 80 USD for one hour of a specialized course,
  • Individual photo class in a photography school: around 400 USD for four hours, and up to 150 USD per hour for a NYC photo class,
  • Photography Association: less than 90 USD for a membership (about ten USD per hour),
  • Photo course on Superprof: 26,27 USD on average per hour.

Many people want to take photo training without spending too much. By going through online photo ads like Superprof, you will not only be able to access a great array  of students, but also stand out as opposed to the expensive photo institutes.

Adjusting Your Rate According to What You Teach

Do you prefer black and white or color photo? Night photo or day photo?

The Level of the Photo Class

When looking for a pro photographer on Superprof, students look at the level of the course first. Logically, the higher your level, the higher your rate will be. Students wishing to thoroughly improve with their art will be more inclined to pay the price for a course that suits their expectations.

As a general rule, photo classes fall into three categories:

  1. Beginner (introductory course),
  2. Intermediate,
  3. Advanced.

It is quite possible to propose several levels when you are writing your ad.

In this case, the photographer must specify the different rates and how they will change according to the demands and expectations of the student.

It is also possible to organize photo classes in small groups (with pupils of the same levels) and thus to offer decreasing rates to students wanting to study the same kind of photography. The more attractive your rate, the more students will recommend you to their loved ones and you will benefit from word of mouth!

Discover also how you can draw more students to your photography classes!

What to Specialize In With Your Photo Classes

Your specialty may be your strength.

Framing and composition, film photography, animal photography... There are many options when it comes to a photography class.

If the lesson addresses the basics of photography for beginners, the rates will remain in low. Conversely, the more unusual the specialty offered, the more the photographer tutor or professional photographer can afford to raise his or her rate.

Here are some specialties that will make the students wonder about you (in a good way!):

  • Black and white photo,
  • Photo studio portrait,
  • Night photo,
  • History of photography,
  • Macrophotography,
  • Cityscape photo,
  • Culinary photo,
  • Wedding photo shoot,
  • Photo reportage (to become a photojournalist).

Also keep in mind that photography techniques will be essential to please advanced students. You should always specify in your ad your proficiency in depth of field, natural light, or white balance.

An advanced course will ensure you can give photo lessons at the best price possible.

But don't let your students forget these important tips from PetaPixels:

1. Buy books, not gear

Having expensive camera equipment doesn’t always mean that you’ll take good photos. I’ve seen some absolutely amazing images shot with nothing more than a smart phone. Instead of having ten different lenses, invest in some fantastic photography books. By looking at the work of the masters, not only do you get inspired, you come away with ideas to improve your own photos.

2. Read your camera’s manual

The best way to know what to do with your camera is to actually read the manual. So many people miss this really important step on their photographic journey. Every camera is different, so by reading the manual you’ll get to know all the funky things it’s capable of. 

3. Slow down

Take time to think about what is going on in the viewfinder before pressing the shutter. How are you going to compose the shot? How are you going to light it? Don’t jump straight in without giving it some thought first. — Brad Marsellos

Find more helpful advice on how to start teaching photography

The Equipment and Where Your Class Will Take Place

Some tutors offer lessons in atypical or professional photo places. This kind of quality has a price.

Does your class take place in a photo studio? Why not increase your rate?

In most cases, the photo class will take place outdoors, in the city or in the countryside. Photography often requires you to travel somewhere, so you can often ask for some money for public transportation.

Giving a course in a photography studio remains the most fun for the tutor and student. If the latter has his own photo studio, he or she will have the opportunity to raise the rate of his or her course, which will give the student access to a high level of professionalism.

The kind of material used during the photo lesson quickly increases the price of the course:

  • Professional tripod,
  • SLR camera,
  • Photo editing or image editing software (Photoshop type),
  • Flashes for studio photo,
  • Polarizing filters,
  • Drone photo,
  • Digital devices, etc.

Of course, students have the option to bring their own camera. Nevertheless, beginners seldom have the high quality material needed to become great photographers. The tutor can eventually loan the student a camera, according to his or her preferences, and thus increase the price of his or her lesson.

Fixing Your Rate According to Your City

To set your teacher photographer rates, you need to study your city's options.

The average price of a dance lesson will undoubtedly depend on the average income of the people in your area. In general, photo teachers in the NYC region or in the Miami area will be willing to spend more, although this may vary depending on the competition.

Discover average prices for photo classes depending on your metropolis:

  • NYC photo course: 30 USD,
  • Los Angeles Photo Course: 26 USD,
  • San Francisco photo course: 24 USD
  • Miami photo course: 23 USD,
  • Chicago photo course: 23 USD,
  • Boston Photo Course: 16 USD
  • Philly photo course: 24 USD

There's a significant difference in the rates between teaching photography in New York and photography in Philly...

To organize a photography workshop, an introduction to photography, or to teach digital SLR image processing, you will have to take into account the size and demand of your city.

The fewer photographers present in your city, the more students you will be able to attract!

Fixing Your Rate According to Your Tutoring Profile

Are you a studio photography pro?

Have you ever given classes and workshops to help your photo students immortalize a moment in automatic mode?

Your experience and diplomas will mean you attract a great amount of students!

It's not just about taking beautiful photos when it comes to being a photography teacher, the photographer must prove that he or she is somebody in his or her field (selling his or her photos at an exhibition, taking pictures at major events, owning material, etc...).

The student will automatically look at your experience as a photographer. You will need to know a little more than the basics to teach photography.

There are certain diplomas and training programs that attest to your level as a photographer:

  • High school photo,
  • BA in Photography,
  • MFA in Photography,
  • PhD in Photography

Of course, these diplomas are not always easily attainable, and therefore very much sought after by students looking for a tutor. The more art certifications the tutor has, the more he or she can afford to increase his tuition fee for an hour of photography training.

Being a good photographer is amazing, but being a good tutor is better!

Yes, knowing light painting, post production, or how to deal with long exposure is not necessarily synonymous with good tutoring. The tutor must first of all be a pedagogue who shows patience when listening to his or her students.

On Superprof, our students have the opportunity to leave a positive or negative comment about their tutors. This is an opportunity for the photographer to build a solid reputation as a pedagogue and thus attract the eye of new learners of photography.

So why not live off your passion by giving in-home photography classes?

Now discover this complete guide to teaching photography...

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As an Englishman in Paris, I enjoy growing my knowledge of other languages and cultures. I'm interested in History, Economics, and Sociology and believe in the importance of continuous learning.