So after you’ve planned a photoshoot and photographed the images – next step is to send an invoice for the job. Invoicing your clients can be a tedious job, especially if you haven’t discussed the terms of the job you’re offering to your client.
Especially when you’re not quite sure what you should be adding to it to make it more professional looking to reinforce the trust of your client.
Whether you’re working as a freelance photographer or have your own photography business, it’s essential to know how to create a proper invoice.
Because frankly, it’s what enables you to get paid. But almost as importantly, your invoices can be another way to show clients that you’re a professional photographer.
The truth is, sending an amateurish looking invoice will have an effect on the fact whether your clients will return to you once they need a photographer.
The best thing is, once you’ve created it once, you can use it for multiple occasions.
How To Make a Photography Invoice
You can create your invoice in multiple ways; If you’re familiar with Adobe Indesign you can create one from scratch, but there are also great free templates on Canva, where you can even personalize it for your business.
Whether it’s a huge photoshoot you’re invoicing or it’s your first photography job ever, there are specific things you should add to all of your invoices.
What Does a Photography Invoice Need
1. Client information
This includes your clients full name or the name of the company, address, phone number and VAT number if they have one.
2. Photographer information
Your invoice needs to also show who is the one invoicing; this will include your full name or the name of your company (LLC), VAT number and address information. I would also add the phone number, just to have all the information if the client needs to contact you regarding something on the invoice.
3. Invoice number and date
When adding the invoice number, start numbering your invoices with a system (like 001 or #1). This way it is easier to keep track of the clients and you will have all of your invoices organized. Unless you send the invoice on the day of the photoshoot, it is advisable to always add a due date 2 weeks ahead from the day you’re sending the invoice. For example, you had the photoshoot on the 1st of May but get to send the invoice on the 5th of May – the due date would be 19th of May.
4. Description of services provided
Before you send the invoice, you’ve previously sent your client a cost estimate – this already had the necessary information for the photoshoot, unless there were changes in the amount of images or other services.
In the cost estimate you’ve provided information such as:
- the amount of images provided
- extra fee for additional images
- fee for the actual photoshoot (/hrs or fixed price)
- travel expenses
- image usage rights
- editing services
- amount of revisions
- the cost of any additional services
It has already been discussed with the client prior to the photoshoot, whether you’re going to be delivering 5 or 15 images – this way you can calculate the fee in advance. The total amount you charge can also change if your client decides to purchase more images or wants to prolong their usage rights.
5. Itemized list of charges
Add your description of the product or service that your client purchased; if it is a service, add hours it took you to finish the job.
If you’re selling multiple products such as many images of additional images, add the number of items you’ve included and their total price.
6. Payment terms and due date
This is one of the most important things to add to your photography invoice; make sure your client is aware of the due date for the payment, and add the late payment terms in the lower part of the invoice. This way your client has been informed about the fees that will apply once they decide to pay the invoice late. Generally the due date is set 2 weeks ahead of the day you send the invoice.
7. Any applicable taxes or fees
Even if you’re not working under an LLC, add a description to the invoice that your VAT rate is 0%, this way your customers know what they pay for. Otherwise, calculate the VAT rate to be included as an additional sum, and not something you deduct from your service fees.
This should already be added in your cost estimate the first time you discuss prices, so that your client knows X % of the total amount is taxes.
8. Image license terms
Image licensing terms can vary depending on the specific platform or use case, as well as the individual content creator and the license they have chosen to apply to their work. The rights your client has for social media will be different from the ones for printed image. You should also look into the different time frames that you sell the image licenses for; generally the license is sold for 1-2 years and after that, the client needs to purchase the rights again if they wish to continue using the image.
9. Add your logo
For a professional look, adding your logo and personalized fonts communicates a clear brand image and creates trust in your client for future collaborations. Even a signature or a thank you note is a great touch to add to your invoice.
When Should a Photographer Send The Invoice
Generally, you should send the invoice after the photoshoot as soon as possible, ideally within a few days. This ensures that the client receives the invoice promptly and can process payment in a timely manner.
A common payment term is “Net 15”, which means the client has 15 days from the date of the invoice to make payment. However, you may choose to offer a longer payment term depending on your preference.
You may also want to consider sending a payment reminder a few days before the payment is due, especially if it’s a large amount.
After you’ve sent the invoice, be prompt in sending the final images to your client, so that you can check the task off your list.
To get you started, we’ve provided you with a FREE photography invoice template that you can send out to your clients.
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