Photography can be a lucrative business when creativity meets the right productivity tools. Whether you are just starting your photography business or have been an experienced photographer for years, you understand how essential it is to be compensated for your services on time. Online invoices are the messengers that carry your value, trustworthiness, and respect to clients. A digital invoice has convenient, online payment options for a secure checkout versus cash or check that isn’t always traceable. Let’s explore the top 7 reasons to use a professional, online invoice for your photography business.
1. Professional client experience
Imagine this scenario: a photographer approaches a high-end client and says “so, uh, you owe me $3,500 for the shoot last Saturday, I accept cash or check, I really enjoyed capturing your special day.”
When a project is finished, many photographers still request payments in this informal manner. The following are the major drawbacks of this unprofessional approach:
- No due date which prolongs the payment process
- Missing individual pricing and description of services provided risking liability for photographer
- Limited payment options since not everyone has access to cash or uses checks
- No invoice provided as a legally binding document to prove a transaction was made
- Unpleasant and unprofessional client experience
Not only will this method of requesting payment increase your liability as a business owner, it sends the wrong message to your client. A professional invoice for photographers will have a clear breakdown of each service, price, and total amount due so the client has a visual of exactly what they’re investing in and why. If a client goes past due, you’ll have the online invoice easily accessible to send payment reminders.
By using a beautiful invoice template, you can create an invoice in less than a minute. The client will see a description of services offered, hourly rates, payment details, payment terms, due date, and other invoice details your client needs to see before they secure the payment.
You can create beautiful, unlimited invoices using the free invoice generator and present your business in the best light, wow your clients, and track every transaction legally. Try the free invoice generator, no account required.
2. More earnings
Tipping is never expected in the photography industry, but it should always be welcomed. With cash or check payments, asking for a tip from your client can be uncomfortable and improper. The ability to enable tipping on your invoices is a subtle gesture that gives your client the option to tip you without asking directly. It’s worth mentioning that a reasonable tip for photography services ranges from 10%-15% of the total service price, and most wedding photography packages average $2,000.
You can also use the free invoice generator to offer discounts, include taxes, and enable tipping in the most professional way.
3. Convenient payment options
Online payments for creatives are the new standard for processing and receiving payments. Checks are difficult to monitor, slow, and less secure than more modern options. Although cash is a payment option some freelancers still use, it’s not feasible to meet up with the client to collect a large sum of money for a retainer before the shoot. One of the main drawbacks of using cash as a freelancer is that it cannot be tracked later, unlike a bank transfer or credit card payment.
High credit card processing fees are one of the reasons freelancers resort to unprofessional cash or check payments. However, not all payment processing platforms are created equal. Payment processors like Stripe make payment transactions secure with a low fee. Instead of paying the standard 2.9% credit card fee, use ACH and only pay 0.8% capped at $5 per transaction. In other words, you can receive secure payment between bank accounts without paying high processing fees.
The goal of this is to offer as many preferences as possible to ensure that consumers don’t abandon or prolong transactions because of limited payment methods.
The advantages of utilizing the Bloom payment system are:
- No added payment processing fees
- Square, Stripe, Cashpp, Venmo and ACH payment integration
- Available in over 25 countries and supports 135+ different currencies
- Set retainers
- Auto-charge payments
- Offer tipping and discounts
- Add sales tax
- Partial payments available
- Automatic payment reminders
- Downloadable and unlimited reports
Read more about payment processing fees here.
4. Eliminate late payments
The satisfying feeling of receiving payment should never be delayed in your business. Imagine asking your client to pay a retainer, waiting days or weeks to cash your check, and then asking again for the rest of the payment. This not only prolongs the payment process and strains your income, but inconveniences your client.
Creating and sending an invoice when your client books is a sure way of receiving a signed contract, retainer, or full payment in minutes. At the least, having the client pay the retainer right away secures the client’s booking in your calendar and prevents last minute cancellations and double bookings.
If your client needs to request any changes or add-on services, you can easily adjust the digital invoice. When reminding clients to pay their invoice, avoid sending back and forth emails and set up automated payment reminders instead.
5. Pre-filled templates
As a professional photographer, you will have repeat services, similar invoices and quotes sent to clients. Instead of manually making an invoice from scratch for every wedding client, you can customize templates for packages to make invoices in minutes.
For example, you may have a commonly used and standard priced item for every wedding package like editing and delivery. Instead of entering this manually every time you generate an invoice, it can be saved as a staple invoice item. Additionally, you can make a photography invoice template that auto populates all invoice items you need for particular packages.
6. Dedicated payment page
When you send your detailed invoice or quote, your client will see a dedicated modern payment page. This is a beautiful presentation of your brand and the entire invoice that can be downloaded in PDF.
The client can pay with their chosen secure method and save the receipt for their records. A clean design makes it easy to navigate the payment process from adding a contract to collecting payments. All contracts can be viewed and signed on the payment page.
7. Add contracts to invoice or quote
Legally binding contracts are a big deal, and waiting for a client to sign one can prolong the booking and payment process. Instead of using a separate tool for signing contracts, add a digital contract to your invoice. Enable auto-countersign, use contract templates, and include custom project variables to make contracts the easiest part of booking.
Digital payments in action
Creativity is only a fraction of what makes a wedding photography biz work. Every freelance photographer benefits from a seamless workflow, especially when it comes to the payment process.
Forged in the North, a successful collective studio based in NY manages over 150 bookings with a team of ten photographers. For years, the client management software for photographers keeps the wedding business working for owners Ryan and Heidi, so they spend less time managing and more time behind the lens.
Ryan says “Bloom is a modern, easy-to-use studio management system. I can send a custom link with an easy ACH payment option for all my clients. It’s the best solution I’ve found for creatives looking to amp up their professionalism and make the best impression on potential clients.”
Today, the couple has seen incredible business growth, and they have a message for all freelancers: leverage modern digital payments and streamline your business professionally because it makes all the difference in earnings. Their story wouldn’t be complete without ongoing vision. The true reward for the founders is lifelong client relationships, creating with like-minded artists, and inspiring creatives to succeed. Last but not least, they attribute a significant portion of their profitable business to the management software for photographers.
Learn more about how Bloom can help you manage your business!