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Thread started 02 Jan 2013 (Wednesday) 19:48
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Sorry, another 'How much should I charge' but this is a little more specific.

 
Thomas ­ Campbell
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Jan 03, 2013 17:20 |  #31

Christopher Steven b wrote in post #15440693 (external link)
@Thomas: people who can't afford ferraris but who want a car have the option of buying a used car for $200. Used cars are part of the Automobile market. And newby / developing photographers are part of the wedding market.

And people that can't afford professional portraits probably have access to a free camera.


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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Jan 03, 2013 17:22 |  #32

JohnB57 wrote in post #15440698 (external link)
Define, in your own words (rather than providing a link) "not turning a profit". Go on...

If you don't understand what not turning a profit is, nothing I say can help you. :rolleyes:

If you want to understand how to run a profitable business, I have provided you with plenty of material for you to know how to do so.


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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Jan 03, 2013 17:24 |  #33

@Thomas: you completely dismiss the possibility that someone starting out in photography has more talent than a lay person with access to a camera. The OP has done dozens of shoots. You don't think a client is better off with her as the photographer rather than them borrowing a camera and doing it themselves ? Her clients clearly think they were better off.



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Caffrey123
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Jan 03, 2013 17:29 |  #34

Christopher Steven b wrote in post #15440684 (external link)
Hey Samantha. Here is what I think is your problem / challenge:

It seems that you're getting shoots largely by referrals. By upping your prices you may very well price yourself out of actual conversions by these folks, who perhaps have associated your work with your lower fees. In fact, many of your clients booked you because of your low rates.

My guess is that to maintain your level of bookings at a higher price point, you'll probably have to do marketing aside from the word of mouth that you have going for you. You'll need to reach folks who are totally willing to pay higher rates but who may not be in your circle at present.

Just for background, I'm one of these evil 'start a photography business with low prices and raise prices over time' photographers. It has worked thus far for me, but only because my approach to marketing has put me in contact with a really broad array of potential clients. If you aren't doing so already, I'd get to work on SEO on your site.

Thank you so much for this comment! This is the exact advice I was needing and something I worried about. I am very lucky that my advertisement costs have been next to nothing because of referrals. For example, before Christmas, 5 of my shoots within three weeks were with 5 families all living on the same street. In a military community, everyone is very close-knit. With dozens of families arriving and leaving every year, they are always on the lookout for photographers and they ask their neighbors or a fellow military family first.

However, I am looking this year to branch out into the local community. I have several local clients and have contacts through both the wine and horse industry which is great for finding beautiful locations! The area around me is more affluent than your average military family. I could begin branching out to the local community through advertising and raising my prices slightly.

Many photographers offer military discounts which for many reasons I have not introduced but I am wondering if raising my prices while introducing a military discount for what is essentially the majority of my client base may be the answer? I will continue to move around the world and be surrounded by military families. My next move will be to DC for 4 years.




  
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Dan317
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Jan 03, 2013 17:31 |  #35

Son...do what you honestly feel what is best for YOU. Be prepared to hear negatives :-) when you ask for advice. We are all pratical when it concerns ourselves and idealists when it concerns others. Set YOUR "price" for Your services, no matter YOUR level of experience. Remember, your compensation for your services TODAY are temporary and for the time being, not time eternal. You will , hopefully, find yourself "shooting" your way in or "shooting" your way out of this business. So in effect the street will dictate your self worth and ultimately will "set" your price. Do not be discourged by anyone... that is left for the weak. You have the distinct advantage over most choosing a profession, having been carrying around and using the most complex camera and tools of the trade since the day you were born....your eyes. All that is left now is for your talent to DISCOVER and record "before" you see it.
If that should occur in your lifetime money will be no object...believe me.

Good Luck




  
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Thomas ­ Campbell
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Jan 03, 2013 17:32 |  #36

you completely dismiss the possibility that someone starting out in photography has more talent than a lay person with access to a camera.

I don't dismiss that at all. In fact, I recommend that you learn how to be a good photographer BEFORE you go into business. I don't know what is so CRAZY about learning a craft before you charge for it. That is how it happens in pretty much every other industry.

You don't think a client is better off with her as the photographer rather than them borrowing a camera and doing it themselves ?

I am sure they are. I am saying that she shouldn't be charging so little if she is good enough to deliver a professional product. Find your CODB and COGS and charge a reasonable amount. Don't pull some number out of your ass and just charge that because some dimwit photographer charges the same price.


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Caffrey123
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Jan 03, 2013 17:38 |  #37

RandyMN wrote in post #15440724 (external link)
I want to be a Ferrari- Top of the line model. And I still want to keep my regular job while being a Ferrari part time, and only when I want to be one. I don't want to start my engine for any one but those worthy of a Ferrari.

This made me laugh!!

I guess you could compare it to modelling. Naomi Cambell's famous "I won't get out of bed for less than $10,000" quote. Just because there are models (photographers) worth that much to some companies (clients) does not mean that a less experienced model (photographer) should be heard saying or thinking the same thing.

Maybe I should just approach the industry thinking I am the Kate Moss (before the cocaine) of photography and raise my prices to $1000 for a 1 hour session, quit my day job and buy thousands of dollars worth of equipment, insurance, health insurance that I don't need, a web designer, a personal assistant etc. Everyone needs to start somewhere and rather than going full attack, I would like to take it slow so that I don't get knocked down too hard or find myself in a situation that I cannot handle.




  
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Dan317
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Jan 03, 2013 17:43 |  #38

Son...do what you honestly feel what is best for YOU. Be prepared to hear negatives :-) when you ask for advice. We are all pratical when it concerns ourselves and idealists when it concerns others. Set YOUR "price" for Your services, no matter YOUR level of experience. Remember, your compensation for your services TODAY are temporary and for the time being, not time eternal. You will , hopefully, find yourself "shooting" your way in or "shooting" your way out of this business. So in effect the street will dictate your self worth and ultimately will "set" your price. Do not be discourged by anyone... that is left for the weak. You have the distinct advantage over most choosing a profession, having been carrying around and using the most complex camera and tools of the trade since the day you were born....your eyes. All that is left now is for your talent to DISCOVER and record "before" you see it.
If that should occur in your lifetime money will be no object...believe me.

Good Luck




  
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Caffrey123
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Jan 03, 2013 17:48 |  #39

Thomas Campbell wrote in post #15440780 (external link)
I don't dismiss that at all. In fact, I recommend that you learn how to be a good photographer BEFORE you go into business. I don't know what is so CRAZY about learning a craft before you charge for it. That is how it happens in pretty much every other industry.
.

I have explained that I was shooting in 2011 for free to build up my porftolio, confidence and finding my strengths and weaknesses. I absolutely love working with children in particular so my business model is geared towards that. I worked with around 15 families for free before I created my website, applied for my DBA etc. I felt comfortable with charging $150 last year and after upgrading both my lens, camera body and gaining a years more worth of experience I felt it was time to charge more. My next price point will be what I will stay with for a significantly longer period of time.

I did learn how to be a good photographer before I entered the business but that does not mean I do not continue to grow and become more valuable as time goes by.




  
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glumpy
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Jan 03, 2013 18:12 |  #40
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To me a significant part of the problem here is definitions.

The OP is refering to herself as being in business when clearly she is playing tiddly winks in her hobby and expresses a desire to have nothing to do with a real business.

For those that don't understand what business costs are, a few Basic ones would be income Taxes, public liability/ indemnity insurance, business name registration, workers comp ( if you have it there) , payrol tax, sales tax, Advertising costs, Equipment allowance and depreciation, Wages and the list goes on.

One cannot simply say " They don't apply to me", They apply to all businesses. If you don't have a significant proportion of them, you are either operating Illegally or you have a HOBBY that derives income rather than a business.
I suspect a portion of the former is at play here and a significant amount of the latter.

The OP is offering up many excuses here to justify her position, some of them quite laughable and as I mentioned before, has not provided a single fact or numbers to justify her position but has offered an excuse for that too. :rolleyes:

IN answer to the question which again is quite laughable given the assertions of knowing business etc, YES $225 is ridiculously under priced.
IF one says they are now experienced and IF they feel they have the skills nessacary to charge for their work, then this price is detrimental to them and the industry as a whole Wether they are working from home and playing tiddly winks and pretending it's a business or not.

IF you really feel you work is so good and brings so much joy to people, start off at $500 which will be a fair return for your efforts, make the people appreciate your talents and efforts properly and not undermine the rest of the photographers in your area or the industry in general.

The OP is now in the hypocritical situation of trying to defend her professionalism , skills and experince but at the same time Justify NOT charging an amount commensurate with those skills, talent and experience!

As if it should need stating, If one is experienced and talented enough to deliver a professional standard product then there is no justifyable REASON ( as different to excuses) NOT to charge their work out at a professional level price point.
If one does not have those skills and talent, Then they shouldn't be charging anyone anything in the first place.

The op has also gone from saying she will never do this full time to now indicating that she is looking to do it full time in the future. There are a lot of hypocricys in whats being stated here to make me think this is all a moot point and any advise is a waste of time.

As I said earlier and is even more clear now, it's apparent the OP is here to hear what she wants to and little if anything else. I am quite certain that her mind is already well made up. I believe nothing anyone says here is really going to make any difference to what she ends up doing which was decided before she even posted.


From RDKirk: First, let me check the forum heading...yes, it does say "Business of Photography" and not "Hobby of Photography." Okay. So we're talking about making money, not about hobbies. By "business" I am presuming activities that pay expenses and produce a profit over the long term.

  
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RandyMN
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Jan 03, 2013 18:17 |  #41

Glumpy, it sounds like you just summarized your case in a courtroom. Were these your closing arguments?




  
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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Jan 03, 2013 18:23 |  #42

Gavel in one hand, pitchfork in th'other..



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Jan 03, 2013 19:35 |  #43

This is an interesting thread. I recently picked up my first "portrait" lens, and am thinking of trying my hand at it. Who knows, I may be good :) Up to this point, I have only shot landscapes, so I a newb to portraits and such.

With that said, I am going to be taking classes on lighting and such before I try my hand at this. Now on to the pricing ordeal. You have to figure out what your costs. You say you don't really have any, but that is not true. What is your time worth? Say you are shooting on your free time and shoots last what, 2 hours or so? Then you are editing the photos as well. You NEED to factor in WHAT YOUR TIME is worth. The insurance on my gear (computer, camera, lenses, etc) is roughly $20 a month extra, on top of my renters' insurance.

Also, like stated before, you need to factor in taxes and such. When I sell a print (16x24 for example), I factor in all of this stuff; time spent getting to these places, my equipment costs, editing time and what my material costs are (I use Millers' for my prints) - plus editing.

I would say if you aren't comfortable raising our prices, take some classes. Strive to become a person who can charge that amount, and be confident in that. Take my opinion for what its' worth, as I am no pro in portraits (or in photography in general:) )


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nccb
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Jan 03, 2013 22:46 |  #44

Won't the market dictate this a little here? If you're getting too many bookings and having to turn people away, then raise your prices - this should serve a few purposes....1) it will take some of the booking headache away, 2) it will up your profitability chances. If you're charging $175, pulled the number from nowhere, and have costs that you want to overcome to make a profit, then ignore the vitriole from Thomas and glumpy but pull out the constructive things they've said and see if there's a formula that works. Figure out potential taxes, website costs, and so on and do the math to see where you fall. I don't think it's invalid, however, to also see what others around you are charging. Mix it all together and see what that number is.

I don't really buy the argument that someone like the OP is diluting the almighty oh-so-awesomely-high-paying photography market. I'm no econ major though. It seems that she is just offering a completely different product class altogether, and the market will determine if her product dictates her price, and same for the high end guys. Using another analogy, I don't think the execs pushing a $3K Apply Macbook are really concerned with the $250 walmart asus netbook sales. They're just different markets. The people who see the value in the $3K macbook are not going to buy a netbook, and vice versa. Even though you can surf the web on both.


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Jan 03, 2013 23:16 |  #45

glumpy wrote in post #15440930 (external link)
The OP is refering to herself as being in business when clearly she is playing tiddly winks in her hobby and expresses a desire to have nothing to do with a real business.

For those that don't understand what business costs are, a few Basic ones would be income Taxes, public liability/ indemnity insurance, business name registration, workers comp ( if you have it there) , payrol tax, sales tax, Advertising costs, Equipment allowance and depreciation, Wages and the list goes on.

One cannot simply say " They don't apply to me", They apply to all businesses.

I don't know where you're located, but in the U.S. what you said would be wrong. Legally, what counts as a business varies with the jurisdiction. I have reason to know this because I'm self-employed (not as a photographer). My city government's definition of a business differs from the IRS's. Payroll tax? Wages? Neither by the city's definition nor by the IRS's does a business have to have employees. Advertising costs? A business doesn't have to advertise. Et cetera. In fact, the only item on your list that applies to all businesses is income tax, and then only in years when they make a profit.


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Sorry, another 'How much should I charge' but this is a little more specific.
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