Guide To Invoicing Wedding Photography Clients

invoicing wedding photography clients

Image by Fox & Kin

Knowing how to create the perfect invoice when invoicing wedding photography clients is an absolute must for all photographers. Your goal isn’t just to look professional, but you also want to get paid! This guide will help you determine how to charge clients, what to include on your invoice, and what to do if you have an unpaid invoice.

How To Charge Clients

There are a few different ways of structuring your pricing packages. We’ve covered a couple of the most common ways below.

Time plus cost

Time plus cost means you’re billing your client based on the time it took you to complete the project, along with any costs you may have incurred. These costs can include photography gear rentals, travel expenses, and even outsourced editing companies.

Paid by project

Unlike time plus cost, paid by project is a lump sum payment. For example, if you charge $1,000 for a three-hour shoot, you would then invoice your clients exactly$1,000. However, this does not mean that you can’t itemize your invoice. If you quoted your clients a set price but want to show them a breakdown of how you came to that number, you can do so in the invoice. In fact, we recommend that you do.

How to know if you’re charging enough

Wedding photography is valuable, and because of this, you need to price yourself accordingly. To do so, start by researching other photographers’ costs, look up the pricing in your area, take what gear you use into consideration, and more. To get the lowdown on pricing yourself, check out our ultimate guide here

What to Include When Invoicing Wedding Photography Clients

Name Block, Company Name, and Business Address

Name blocks are typically made up of your first and last name, company name, and business address. They should be stacked, just like you’d expect them to look on a piece of mail. If you have a logo, we also recommend adding it right above your name block.

This may sound obvious but you want your clients to know who the invoice is coming from. Making sure that your invoice is properly branded and clearly labeled will help you avoid the “I didn’t get an invoice from you” excuse because it’ll be easily searchable. 

The word “invoice”

If you’re sending out an invoice of any kind, it’s very important that it contains the word invoice. Since it has a breakdown of prices, most people will correctly assume it’s one even without the word, but adding it will help avoid any confusion about what to do with it

The client’s information

This is more beneficial for you than your client. For your sake, this helps you keep track of who you have and haven’t invoiced already. It’s also a best practice for your business finances to help you correctly identify the amount they owe. For your clients, it’s helpful for record-keeping purposes.

An invoice number

If you’re invoicing multiple clients at once, having an invoice number will help you track each individual invoice. Keep a spreadsheet with each invoice number, amount owed, and whether or not it has been paid to stay organized.

This also helps with any taxes you’ll owe. When paying taxes, you may need to align income to a specific invoice. You can do so easily with invoice numbers!

Invoice date and payment due date

Before you even shoot an engagement session or wedding, you should be sending your couple’s a photography contract. Within that contract, you should outline the payment terms with specifics like how much they owe and when each payment will be made. Including these details on the invoice acts as a reminder for them and makes it easy for you to follow up if an invoice is paid late.

Line item breakdown of services and dates of services

Whether you’re sending a time plus cost invoice or a paid by project invoice, you should have a line for line breakdown of your services. For you, this could mean per edited photo, per hour, hours spent shooting, and hours spent editing. This gives your client an understanding of your pricing and what they’re spending their money on.

Prices

Along with each line item listed, there should be a price for it when invoicing wedding photography clients. For example, an hour of your time may cost them $500. You’ll clearly state this next to the line breakdown. At the bottom of the invoice, you will then total these costs for their final total owed. Be sure this matches your contractually agreed price.

What payments you accept

If you accept a wide variety of payments, be sure that your clients know. If you’re using invoicing software a payment will automatically be collected—more on this later. If you don’t use invoicing software and you prefer payments via Paypal, credit card, or a bank transfer be sure to make this clear.

Notes about the service

Most invoices will include a field for notes at the bottom. This is where you can put any reminders or important information you deem necessary. If you have a contract agreement that says they pay 50% before the wedding and 50% upon completion, make a note of this here. This is also a great place to mention late fees that may apply.

If none of this applies, you can also use this space to thank them for their business. They will appreciate the small gesture!

Photography Invoice Example:

invoicing wedding photography clients

invoicing wedding photography clients

How To Follow Up On Unpaid Invoices For Wedding Photography

Let’s face it–there will be instances where an invoice goes unpaid. To prepare for this, it’s wise to have a past-due invoice follow-up protocol in place. The timeline for following up on invoices should look like this:

  1. the initial invoice request is sent on a weekday 
  2. a follow-up email is sent one week after the invoice is due
  3. another follow-up email is sent ten days after the invoice was due
  4.  then a final reminder is sent one month after 

When sending these reminders, be friendly but firm about payment dates. The last thing you want is to be rude to your clients. The wedding photography business thrives on word of mouth, after all. We’ve drafted a great example of an email you can send below.

Hi {client’s first names},

I haven’t received your payment of $1,000 for Invoice #105, which is overdue by one week. I would appreciate it if you could look at this on your end and let me know if I’m missing something.

If the payment has already been sent, please disregard this email. If you’ve lost this invoice, please let me know and I’d be more than happy to send you another copy.

Thank you,

If your client continues not to pay, be clear that you won’t release their image gallery until full payment is received–unless your contract says otherwise. Thankfully, their wedding gallery is a good incentive to pay. 

Though it’s frustrating to be missing payments,  keep in mind that they want your photos and there’s a good chance they’re just busy in the aftermath of the wedding.

Best Software For Invoicing Wedding Photography Clients

Honeybook

Here at Photobug, we absolutely love Honeybook. This software allows you to create branded, customized invoices in less than 30 seconds. According to their site, Honeybook users get their invoices paid 3x faster than with other software. It gives you real-time updates when your client views and pays the invoice, plus your clients can pay from any device with any major credit card or bank account.

FreshBooks

Although FreshBooks first launched in 2003, it was rebranded in 2017. With this rebrand came seriously great accounting features. Freshbooks allows you to send unlimited invoices and estimates, and because it’s cloud-based, you never have to worry about backing up your work. This also means you can access your invoices anywhere you go.

QuickBooks

QuickBooks is the perfect software for photographers who are looking for something that goes beyond invoicing. While it does include an easy-to-use invoice feature, it also allows you to track expenses, pay bills, and more.

Many photographers don’t realize that your invoicing wedding photography clients is a part of client communication. It has an effect on their happiness as well as your business growth. Now that you’re an invoice pro, be sure to check out these other business finance tips that will help your business succeed. 

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