2016 and the Cost of Running a Video and Photography Business, By the Numbers

As a filmmaker & photographer, you might only see pressing the big red RECORD button on my camera and setting up a few lights, but trust me when I say there is a lot that goes in to what it takes for me to have even gotten to that point. Business costs, time, maintenance, training, are just a fraction of what it takes myself, and other working professionals, to operate legally and at a standard of quality that enables us to (try) and make a living.

The cost of doing business hangs out in a fog for most of the year, but when it comes time to do taxes, the numbers start to materialize and become enlightening, and sometimes even cringeworthy.

Here’s a somewhat random collection of numbers to provide some insight on the past year for Wilkinson Visual, and myself personally. Gear, costs, time, and other things that are in some way all related and all a part of the equation of what it looks like when your life revolves around running a video production and photography business for a year.



Days spent away from home



Cameras and Lenses Cleaned Before Each Job



Business Insurance, CPA, Registration and other fees



Flights for Jobs in 2016



Miles Driven for Jobs in 2016



Supplies, Hard Drives, Equipment, and Vehicle Maintenance Costs



Number of (billable) hours spent editing projects



New Clients



Clients Who Defaulted on Payment (Wooooo!)



Articles Written on Fstoppers.com



Rock Pitches Climbed (according to Mountain Project)



% of business income that came from freelance/contract gigs, not full production services