This guide will help you create photography invoices that will get you paid faster.
The photography business is much more than capturing clients, clicking, editing, and delivering photos.
When we talk about business, we’re also talking about finances.
It doesn’t matter whether you work as a freelance photographer or have your own business – it’s essential to know how to create a proper photography invoice.
However, many photographers don’t give enough importance to managing their finances, leaving it as a second priority on their list.
The importance of photography invoices cannot be underestimated: this is how you will receive payment, and it is also part of your brand’s communication with the client.
Proper invoicing has an impact on your bottom line and business growth. Invoicing is an art that all photographers must master.
This guide will lead you through photography invoice templates with the best pro tips and a lot of examples to help you unlock this skill.
Plus, you’ll be able to download a free invoice template to start creating your own.
Table of Contents
What is an invoice?
An invoice is a commercial document that allows you to charge for a professional service rendered, such as photography services.
It usually consists of a detailed list of your services and lets the client know the cost of your service. In addition, they serve as a useful tool for monitoring the flow of income in your business.
This control is important even if you don’t shoot for a lot of clients, and it is still easy to keep track of who hasn’t been paid yet.
It’s called being ready for growth. If your finances are already figured out, you can grow without it becoming an issue.
How To Make a Photography Invoice
What should be on a photography invoice?
First of all, let’s talk about the essential information that you should include in your photography invoice to make it as effective as possible.
A well-structured invoice has key components to make it clear:
- Your business information – include your photography business name, your business address, and contact information such as email and telephone number;
- Client’s information – include your client’s name or business name and their contact information such as address, email, and phone number;
- Invoice number – assign a unique number to each invoice you create so you can keep track of them;
- Date – don’t forget to include the date when the invoice was issued;
- Description of services: list the photography services you provided in the invoice details. Also include the date, location (if applicable), and any additional information that helps you track down what was offered;
- Itemized charges – break down the quantities and rate for each service provided. Include everything that you charge for;
- Additional costs: don’t forget to add taxes at the end (if applicable).
- Total due – Include a total at the bottom so the final amount to be paid is clear;
- Payment terms – clarify your payment terms, including due date, any late payment fees, accepted payment methods, etc;
- Payment information – give your client clear instructions on the type of payments you accept. It can be through credit card, online payment, cash, bank transfer, or whatever method you accept. I like to add all of my banking details to the document. See our guide to the best ways to accept photography payments.
By providing your client with a clear and detailed photography invoice, you show professionalism and ensure that they understand the terms and conditions of the payment details.
This way, you guarantee your payment with no issues.
Pro Tips for an Effective Photography Invoice
If your photography invoice template looks amateurish, it will give the wrong impression.
It suggests that you may be inexperienced, disorganized, or not putting enough effort into your work.
Creating an effective photography invoice template goes beyond a list of items and prices. You must create a document that is clear and conveys your professionalism while encouraging prompt payment from the client.
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Optimize your invoicing with these professional tips for creating photography invoices that work:
Personalize your invoices
Your client hired you because of your experience. Make sure your personal touch is all over your workflow, including the invoice template. Include your business logo to make the presentation more professional.
Address your clients by their names and always reference specific details from the project you created together.
This will make them feel welcome and included in every detail. Everything they’ve requested has been taken into consideration.
Use professional photography invoice templates
Either take the time to create a standard professional invoice template that reflects your brand and visual identity or use a ready-made free invoice template available on a broad number of websites and software. Just remember to customize the template to your brand.
After all, you want to stand out and leave a good impression. The more detailed your photography invoice, the more professional you will look.
I personally took one suggested by Apple’s native Pages software (equivalent to Microsoft Word) and customized it on my own.
Set clear payment expectations
When working with agencies and businesses, you run the risk of not getting paid immediately or on time. Delays do happen.
That’s why you must make it clear to the client that your work is as valuable as any other and that you have to get paid.
Communicate your payment terms and conditions in advance, including all the details about payment methods, fees, and consequences for late payments.
My pro tip is to always send a message to my client a few days before payment is due, just to make sure all is ready of if there’s anything I can assist them with.
Obviously, there’s nothing I can assist them with in regards to paying me, but it’s a friendly reminder to them that payment is due soon, and I’m paying attention. I do need to get paid.
Send invoices promptly
As soon as you complete a project or the first part of it, send the invoice to your client.
Make sure they have all the details presented in the contract you sent before doing the project and that every line of your photography invoice matches the photography services provided.
A lot of businesses have specific timetables to pay for the services they hire, and if you delay too long, they can say they will only be able to pay you in their next financial cycle.
Let your client know you received the payment right away.
Thank them for taking the time to make the payment on time, ask them for feedback on the process, and close the project.
Follow up on unpaid invoices
If, for any reason, your client delays the payment, send a friendly reminder asking if everything is okay and if they can keep up with the due date.
Be flexible if your client is having a hard time for any reason, but remind them that the payment is important to you too.
Readjust the payment expectations if needed and remind them of the late payment fees. Keep it friendly and professional to maintain a positive relationship.
Choose a proper invoice numbering system
The invoice number must be indicated at the top of each invoice and be easy to identify.
Without it, and depending on where you are, an invoice is not considered a legal document. The general rules for invoice numbers are that they should be sequential, avoid gaps, and never repeat a previously used number.
One helpful way to stay organized is to use an invoice numbering system that includes the date. That way, you can know immediately when each invoice was created. For example, your first invoice for the year 2020 could be “20201”.
I use my photography invoice template to bill clients, but I also use a Google Docs spreadsheet to keep control of everything.
Free Photography Invoice Template PDF Download
We’ve organized a free photography invoice template to help you get started.
Just tap the image above, then make a copy of the Google Docs (it does not request access) so you can edit it with your own details.
You can find more free photography invoice templates online, but this basic one will get you started.
Download it, customize it and amaze your clients with a simple, clear and effective professional photography invoice.
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More Photography Invoice Template Examples
Canva is a great source of free photography invoice templates that you can edit and download.
Here are some customizable photography invoice template examples that have been designed with photographers in mind.
These photography invoice templates from Canva are beautiful and easy to customize. You don’t need to be a master editor to change the colors, add your own photos and fonts, and make simple design changes.
Enjoy these free invoice templates right now.
Recommended Invoicing Software for Photographers
When it comes to handling the financial side of your photography business needs, incorporating invoicing software can significantly simplify the entire process.
We highly recommend Freshbooks, and here’s why it deserves your attention:
User-Friendly Interface: Freshbooks distinguishes itself with its user-friendly, intuitive interface, which caters to both experienced professionals and those who are new to accounting.
Time-Saving Automation: You can automate recurring invoices and automatic reminders for your photography clients, freeing up your time and reducing the administrative workload on your plate.
Polished, Professional Invoices: You can send professional invoices that reflect positively on your photography business, leaving a lasting impression on your clients.
Effortless Expense Tracking: Managing your photography business’s finances becomes a breeze with Freshbooks, thanks to its seamless expense tracking feature.
You can also use other payment apps and specific photographer studio management software such as:
- Square Invoices
- Zoho Invoice
By incorporating invoicing software such as Freshbooks into your workflow, you can streamline your invoicing procedures, allowing you to focus more on your true passion — capturing the beauty of unforgettable moments through your camera and getting paid fast.
Photography requires time, consistency, and commitment.
With all the competition out there, it can be difficult to make a name for yourself as a professional photographer.
This can lead to many photographers failing to properly invoice their clients.
Many would consider this to be just another document, but the reality is that invoicing has a huge impact on the success of your business and your profit margin.
In conclusion, effective photography invoicing is crucial to help you get paid on time, control your earnings, and project professionalism.
Use the invoicing tips in this article to guide you, download the free photography invoice template to get started, and explore the software listed above.
You’ll be well-equipped to manage your finances efficiently and ensure you get paid promptly for your photography services.
Hello, my name is Leo Cavazzana, I’m a professional photographer and film director. As a photographer, I’ve been photographing our natural world for the past 8 years and worked on assignments with NatGeo, BBC, and UN on all 5 continents. As a film director, I’ve been directing commercials and campaigns for brands for the past 4 years. I’m passionate about sharing about the world and photography with others.