8 Photography Invoice Templates
Work smarter, not harder. How you invoice your clients can determine whether or not you are leaving money on the table. Let’s look at different invoicing approaches, their pros and cons, and find the one that makes the most sense. Each method comes with photography invoice template in Microsoft Word and Excel.
When you invoice hourly, you get paid for the time it actually takes to complete the task.
- Have control over your time.
- Get paid for work that takes longer than you estimated.
- Can focus on quality without feeling rushed.
- Can’t give a client a solid figure.
- Client expectations don’t always line up with the amount of time that activities take.
- Clients unhappy that it took longer than they thought and want to renegotiate after the fact.
Trouble-shooting Hourly Method:
- Know your client’s expectations in terms of hours before you start.
- Discuss best and worst case scenario with estimates of cost.
- Foster trust with the client that you are an experienced professional who uses time wisely.
- Be prepared, have the expected time details of the project determined, and be organized to help avoid any cause for dispute later.
Hourly - Word
Clearly communicate with clients how your time was used. Ensure the client has everything they need to send payment and to contact you.
Hourly - Excel
Clearly state hours worked, the date the payment is due, and any special terms. Easily edit it in Excel, add formulas, and keep track from sheet to sheet and spreadsheet to spreadsheet.
Lump Sum Invoicing
In Lump Sum invoicing, you and the client settle on a fixed price for the service.
- Know exactly how much you’ll make on the job.
- If it doesn’t take as long as you thought, you come out ahead.
- The client knows exactly what they will pay, avoiding disputes later.
- You won’t feel like someone is watching how you use “their” time.
- You make the same amount even if the job takes longer.
- Really need to know how long the job should actually take in order to settle on a price that is fair for both you and the client.
- If it takes longer than expected, you will be out the time and money.
- Clients can be very demanding, and will often ask for extra work that they expected to be included in your lump sum price, which would put you in the position of losing money to keep your client happy.
Trouble-Shooting Lump Sum Method:
- Determine your client’s expectations regarding what is covered in the lump sum before you begin work.
- Know the value of your time and how long each aspect takes.
- Take a stance beforehand on whether “the customer is always right” or “I’m flexible and accommodating, but won’t be taken advantage of.”
LumpSum - Word
Keep things simple for your client. Your client knows exactly what they will be paying, so there is no confusion later.
LumpSum - Excel
Keep the billing clear and straightforward with the Lump Sum Template. The client has everything they need to send payment and contact you.
Time Plus Cost Invoicing
Hourly invoicing where the client pays (typically through you) for materials, transport,etc.
- It is clearer to the client what they are paying for.
- You are never out for extra materials that you may need.
- There is flexibility for during-project or last minute decisions for you and the client without you losing out.
- The invoice looks more complicated to the client/takes longer to explain.
- The client will not have a set price before hand, which can be disconcerting.
- The client may try to “nickel and dime” you …. “How much can I save if we don’t do this? What about this? And this? What’s that for? Do you really need it?”
Trouble-Shooting the Time Plus Method
- Talk to your client beforehand about what materials cost.
- Clearly communicate if a client decision will increase the cost of the project.
Time plus Cost - Word
Display how your hours were used and how much goes to materials, travel, etc. Well laid out columns mean that everything is clear to you and the client.
Time plus Cost - Excel
The client can see a clearly itemized list of your expenses (travel, materials, etc.) with this template. It's simple to fill out and easy to explain to the client.
You are billing for a service, plus your expenses (materials, travel, etc.), plus you retain the ownership of your images, and sell a license for the client to use them over a certain period of time and for certain purposes, with or without attribution, etc.
- The images are yours. After the client’s license expires, if it is not renewed, you may sell, license, or distribute them.
- The client knows exactly what they are paying for, the terms, etc.
- You may make additional income if the client renews the license.
- Need to keep track of the client over a longer period of time to assure they are not using images inappropriately during or after the license term.
- More complex to explain to the client.
Troubleshooting the Service-Expenses-Licensing Method
- Be sure the client understands that they do not own the images.
- Set up a schedule to periodically check with the client regarding usage, need for renewal, or new services.
Services Expenses Licensing - Word
Maintain total control over the services and how your images are used in the future. Easy edit it in Word to explain the terms of the licensing agreement in simple yet clear language.
Services Expenses Licensing - Excel
Clear and concise Licensing template to ensure the client understands your licensing agreement. Edit it in Excel to meet your unique needs with formulas.
Regardless of the method you choose, make sure it works for you and your client. Clearly communicate with your client about how your billing works, so there are no surprises or misunderstandings later.