Why photography is expensive in Netherlands?

Photography services in the Netherlands are a subject of debate due to their high cost. This is because professional photography requires specialized skills and expertise, and staying up to date with the latest trends and techniques can be costly. Additionally, photographers in the Netherlands face high tax rates, making it challenging to save and invest in their businesses. Finally, photographers must shoulder the responsibility of finding and retaining clients, which can be time-consuming and costly. Let’s talk about it more.

1. It is a business

Not a hobby

Photography services in the Netherlands are often subject to scrutiny for their high cost. Although many people may view it as a hobby or a sideline business, photographers emphasize that it is a legitimate profession. Photography requires expertise, client communication, contract negotiation, and meeting deadlines, much like any other business. It is not a hobby that can be taken up by students or stay-at-home moms looking to earn a little extra money.

2. High taxes

Netherlands - the country of taxes for everyone

Photography in the Netherlands is subject to high tax rates that can reach up to 50% per year, affecting photographers’ income. While small entrepreneurs earning up to 20,000 euros annually may not be required to pay taxes, this limit makes it difficult for photographers to obtain a mortgage or bank loan. Additionally, photographers who work with legal entities are subject to taxes. With the need to invest in their business and secure clients, working up to 20,000 euros annually can be unprofitable, prompting some photographers to seek salaried employment instead.

3. Marketing

Investments to keep running business

In the Netherlands, marketing is crucial for a successful photography business. Establishing a strong brand identity requires significant investment, including advertising on social media platforms, Google, and other publications. However, achieving this can be time-consuming and requires a lot of effort. Alternatively, hiring a team to handle marketing duties can save time, but it can also be expensive. Regardless of the approach taken, marketing is an essential aspect of building a successful photography business in the Netherlands.

4. High-End gear

With permanent updating of gear

The cost of photography gear can be quite expensive, with just one high-quality lens costing around 3000 euros. In addition to lenses, there are many other pieces of equipment that photographers need to invest in, such as cameras, tripods, lighting equipment, and accessories. These expenses can add up quickly, and it’s not uncommon for photographers to need to renew their gear regularly to keep up with advancements in technology and maintain the quality of their work. While the cost of photography gear may seem daunting, it’s a necessary investment for photographers who want to produce stunning images and build a successful business.

5. Stability

Difficulty to maintain stable level

Keeping a photography business stable is a challenging task. Attracting and retaining customers is not easy, and it requires constant effort and planning from you or your team. As a photographer, you need to plan your schedule and income for the upcoming year, taking into consideration that your life revolves around your filming schedule. When working as an employee, you may only have to focus on a portion of the responsibilities, such as taking photos, while the task of finding clients may be the employer’s responsibility. However, when working for yourself, you have to take on the entire responsibility of finding and retaining clients, making it a 500% effort.

4. Accounting services

Outsource or pay by yourself

As a photographer in the Netherlands, managing accounting services can be a costly expense. It’s essential to maintain accurate financial records and reports, which often requires paying for accounting services. Additionally, self-reporting and other financial management tasks can be time-consuming, taking away from the time that could be spent taking photos and growing your business. As we all know, time is money, and every hour spent on accounting and financial management is an hour that could have been used to increase your revenue. Therefore, it’s crucial to factor in the cost of accounting services and the value of your time when running a photography business in the Netherlands.


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