how to

Social Media Photography

Shooting for social media and what to charge for it

It’s been thrown in to the usage for a while but I was thinking about it more recently and then started looking into what people charge for social media photo use at this point. Are people charging based on reach, engagement, time? The numbers are so easy to access for social media I was wondering if a post that will receive an average of 500K views will be priced similarly as an ad in a print magazine with a circulation of 500K or half that, or a quarter? Which is it?

I dug in a little and found this article on It’s from 2014!!! In social media terms thats ancient! Instagram had 300 million users then (It now has over 1 billion)! I was surprised, though. The rate was much higher than I would have thought. Also, take note of the graph: YouTube is huge!!! And it still is! Don’t forget about YouTube!

There was also THIS article, from 2014 as well, but still worth the read. The main thing I got out of it is that rates were rather all over the place at that point which makes sense. But what about now?

I found THIS article on PDN (from 2018). It has a lot of info in it and I suggest you check it out. One thing that I hadn’t considered as much, but this article talks about it, is this idea: Once a photographer posts an image endorsing a brand, competitive brands may not be interested to work with this photographer for an unknown time. Thus taking the photographer out of that marketplace which requires a higher rate to make it worth it!

Keating warns, “Understand that when you’re attaching your name to a brand that there’s a reasonable expectation that a competitor will no longer be interested in hiring you. It’s probably not forever but it’s a period of time, maybe a year, maybe less, it depends on the client.” While clients might ask for some exclusivity, she has to explain, she says, “This is why you need to pay more for this. They [the photographers] will be out of the marketplace for a while.” This applies equally whether the sponsor is paying the photographer a fee or bartering free gear.

I then looked at a couple photographers that came up in google searches for social media pricing. They were all local portrait/wedding photographers across the US who offered social media packages. Not really what I was looking for but still interesting to see. The average prize for around 20 photos was $1500. I don’t know what goes into those shoots but I would think they have small production if any. If you are a local photographer and do 3-4 of those a week you are doing pretty good!

It seems photographers have started treating social media for what it is: Advertising. There is still a lot of education that needs to happen out there but I was relieved by what I found. One thing that the graphs really drove home is the size of Facebook and especially YouTube. I knew the stats but seeing it in this graph really made me realize the power there.

I’d love to get some input on this from anyone who has it. Leave a comment!

Photographic prints on wood

How to mount prints from a laser printer on wood

Here is a video I created to show how I mount laser prints on plywood. This is a way to create wall art that doesn’t break the bank but has a pretty edgy, cool look to it. I printed the photographs here in Santa Barbara at one of the local FedEx places. A black and white 8.5x11 print is $0.14!!! Doesn’t get any cheaper. And you can go up to 32” wide depending on the printers at your local FedEx office!

Laser prints are cool because they have strong contrast and there is no ink that can bleed or fade. By no means would I consider these archival but I have some hanging in my house and studio that are over 10 years old and they haven’t faded! Laser prints became popular in the street art scene for wall pieces and murals and if you haven’t played with them, give ‘em a try.

The video above goes through me making a set of 15 outside my Santa Barbara studio so follow along there but I’ll also give you a quick list of what you need:

-laser print
-1/2” to 3/4” plywood (cabinet grade if possible)
-modd podge glue and sealer (get it at Michaels or on Amazon). I like the matt option. YOU ONLY NEED A SMALL AMOUNT!
-a roller to flatten the print and squeeze the glue around

This does take some practice and you’ll find your own ways of doing it but since it’s so cheap you can play quite a bit. I recommend doing a couple to figure out what works for you.

Most important: Have Fun (and I hope you get some entertainment out of my instructional video…)!