How to maximise your photography budget

Helter Skelter Media

The first thing you need to do is work out what it is you want to photograph and why! Being clear informs your choices. It helps you to assess the available photographers so that you choose the most suitable one for your project.

Evy photographer is different and most professionals have highly developed skills in a specialist area. A Wedding Photographer will have excellent organisational skills, great people skills and location lighting skills. Product Photographers have highly developed studio and processing skills as they have to deal with a totally different set of problems.

The key to stretching a photography budget is clarity. The aim is to get the most you possible can out of the photographer and the images they create on the day.

Where will the images be used?

Web site?





The answer tells you what media will be needed and what resolution will be required – Web images can tolerate a lower resolution than print, a mural will be many times the size so very high resolution images are needed.

If the target media are brochures or web sites, your graphic designer will want to zoom in on the detail of an object somewhere in the layout. You will need high resolution close ups as well as shots of the object in context. A good photographer will anticipate this, but don’t leave it to chance. Be as explicit as possible in the brief.

Mood? What are the qualities you want the image to project? Different angles and lighting inspire completely different reactions,  If you can shoot multiple setups in one session then you’re getting better value for money. You will have sets of images you can use at different times in various media. How much reuse can you get out of a single image?

Who is responsible for what? If you’re using a graphic designer to produce leaflets, you don’t need the photographer to deliver prints. Clarify who does what.

Photographers charge more proportionately for shorter bookings. Typically there will be an hourly rate, a half day rate and a day rate. Some charge by the image for catalogue shoots. Don’t be afraid to clarify this..

The photographer should be working to get the best out of the shoot for you. It’s a creative relationship based on clarity and trust that can deliver outstanding results. If you think there are hidden prices or that you are being guided badly, then ask for clarification and keep asking until you are happy.

To summarise – this is how to maximise your photography budget.

Be clear about what you want the photographs for and where they will be used

Try to get photographs that can be used for a variety of purposes

Insist on a meeting with the photographer to discuss the brief

Be clear about the pricing and make sure that it works for you

Choose a photographer you can work with.


At Helter Skelter Media, we’re always happy to talk!