This calculator is a rough tool created by the Professional Photographers Association of Singapore (PPAS) to help new and existing photographers in Singapore as well as other Self-Employed Persons (SEPs) in the creative industry to understand and manage their finances properly and plan for viable business/career growth. Folks looking to buy photographic services should also use it to understand the actual cost of producing visual content.

The default values are a set of simulated assets and expenses of a small photography business and purely fictional. Users are encouraged to play around with the values.

*Disclaimer: This tool is purely for self-education purposes and by no means attempts to imply how much one should charge for their services.


Your target personal annual "salary", not business revenue. This is similar to how much an employed person takes home from work including bonuses. Freelancers (Self-employed persons) do not have work bonus, nor overtime bonus, no sick leave, no holidays, no company welfare, so take that into perspective with your income expectations. Do not include currency symbols or separators.
This means the number of days in a month you expect to be making money from photography related work, like meeting clients, doing pre-production and post-production. It is important to note that a new professional photographer doing event photography typically does 2-4 days of shoot per month on average (which CAN increase to 14 days with proper experience and contacts). And unless you are confident of having multiple jobs a day, be careful about considering "half-day" rates because usually a full day's opportunity cost is consumed for a "half-day" shoot.

Business Assets Value and Depreciation

Equipment depreciates over time. Professionally used equipment degrades faster due to the increased usage

Your cameras, lenses, filters, batteries, and all other accessories.
Studio lights, speedlights, reflectors, light stands, light meters, etc.
Value of office equipment
Furniture, studio props, fridge, microwave, massage chair (for visiting bigshot creative directors), etc.

Monthly Business Expenses

These are regular recurring expenses that happen on a monthly basis like office rent, bills, and transportation

Water, electricity bills, building service fees, waste removal fees, etc.
Mobile and Internet service, Adobe CC subscription, website hosting, cloud services, etc.
Monthly transport cost estimate. Example: 20 days of taxi rides cost about $400.
Payment for both part-time and full-time staff
$ /month

Yearly Business Expenses

These are more infrequent expenses like annual camera/lens/lighting/vehicle servicing, but are necessary for proper budgeting

Backdrops, filters, paint, paper, ink, etc.
Advertising, accounting, etc.
Advertising, accounting, etc.
Photographers have to constantly update ourselves with latest software / editing techniques / equipment know-how
$ /year

$ /year
$ /month

$ /month
$ /day

Practical Example:

Let's say an estimation of costs for a 2-day outdoor commercial shoot is needed. So that probably means 1 day of briefing/meetings/planning/signing-of-agreement, 2 days on location recce and pre-production, 2 days of actual shoot, 2 days of post production. That's 7 full days in total which have to spend on that project, not including unforeseen delays and curve balls.

So that means... This 2-day shoot consumes an opportunity cost of at least $

And this is EXCLUDING additional production costs like location license, models, make-up artists, stylists, assistants, props/equipment rental, retouching, proofing, etc...
So costs add up doesn't it? Remember, being a freelancer (SEP) is a Full-Time job. Be vigilant in securing a successful future by not underestimating yourself or your career.


Want to know more about running a photography business or just simply want to improve your skills?
Join the PPAS community now!