How to Write a Photography Bid

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A photography bid is a proposal that a photographer submits to obtain a contract or assignment. Bids are for jobs such as photographing weddings and shooting school and family portraits. It is important that a proposal contain every aspect that contributes to the shoot. A bid must include basic information about where you plan to shoot, the equipment you will use, supply costs and a description of your creative style. If your bid lacks details, you may lose the job to someone who has provided more specifics.

Begin the proposal by introducing yourself and stating the job you are seeking and the name of the client or organization.

Describe the project in detail, including the location or locations you will use for the shoot, the equipment you are using, models (if applicable) and props. State the things you will provide for the shoot, and what the client must provide, so there is no confusion about your costs.

State whether you or the client will have proprietary ownership of the photos you will take. This is important, especially if you want the right to display the pictures in your studio or on your website as examples of the kind of work you shoot.

Provide a breakdown of fees. List your fee first, which is the amount you receive for your photographic services. This includes your skills, knowledge, prior work experience and insurance. List any equipment fees beyond that of your camera, lenses and tripod. Even if you own this equipment and do not have to rent it, list a fee based on what it would cost the client to rent similar equipment. Separately list other fees such as models, stylists and travel charges that are applicable.

State the costs of post-production, including printing or developing, editing, transfer to CD or other media. Provide a contingency fee of 10 to 15 percent of the total cost of the project. Explain that this fee will be refunded if unused. State the final cost of your services with all fees included.

Specify the kind of payment you accept, and if you want a portion of your fee as a deposit on your services. List credit cards you accept, whether you take checks and if you offer a cash discount for payment in advance.

Conclude by thanking the potential client for the chance to make the bid, and provide contact information including your mobile phone number and email in case they have any questions or need clarification. Be sure to state your unique value proposition: why you are the best photographer for this project. Indicate that you will send them a formal contract for signature if they accept your bid.


Follow up with your prospect after a few days to make sure they received your bid. If your bid is declined, send a thank you note to the client along with your business card for future consideration.