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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 08 Mar 2005 (Tuesday) 16:11
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STICKY: How Much do I charge? For your consideration

 
jesbrownie
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Dec 29, 2012 06:19 as a reply to  @ post 15401647 |  #586

As a photography enthusiast, I think a photographer should be able to charge with the amount he chooses to charge. But around $1000 for a small photoshoot is too much though unless your *talent* is at par with well known photographers. :cool:


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Go ­ Go
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Jan 04, 2013 08:06 |  #587

As the model Linda Evangelista once said;

"We don't wake up for less than $10,000 a day".

Think about it, most people know photography as a hobby. Good for them.

For me it is my business and I charge people for the use of my images for a finite time period, a finite useage, and for the actual production of the images themselves. Per image!

But hey that's just me...

Great thread BTW!




  
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jackrbrown
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Jan 10, 2013 01:15 |  #588
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artsey
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Jan 12, 2013 01:49 |  #589

Competition is a ****. There's more and more all the time. Can't make a living as a stock shooter? Tough! Supply and demand dude. Can't sell your stock photos? Don't shoot stock photos. Can't shoot good enough to make a living? Reevaluate your life.

Pimps and whores outnumber stars. But Sophia Loren and Bruce Willis still make 20 million a year. You don't have to be a star to make a living but extras don't make jack. You gotta start somewhere. Most people don't even get in the door.

90% of everything by definition is and will always be pure mediocrity. The advantage of knowing that is that doing better than them puts you into the top 10% from the start.

So you're a shutter bug are ya? Pick up a pastelle from time to time. Smear some paint on a canvas. Learn what's been done in other media. There's hundreds of years of artisitc study and development to draw on. You're not going to learn everything from a photography book and pushing a button. You're not even going to learn how to tell the differance between mediocre and top 10 even if you shot a top 10 accidentaly.

Never take business advice from someone who complains about how bad business is.




  
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I ­ weston ­ I
Senior Member
334 posts
Joined May 2011
     
Jan 19, 2013 12:30 |  #590

Basic business advice from a new MBA program student:

Costs that exist outside of your photography work or number of sessions per month - car, mortgage, food, etc... - would be considered overhead. Whether you shoot 20 weddings of 40, these will stay relatively the same. To calculate the costs per session from overhead, divide the overhead total by the number of sessions in a time period.

gas, meeting times, showings, sample prints, etc... add directly to your cost per session.

Start-up costs like camera bodies / lenses / lighting / etc... are sometimes considered part of overhead, but make more sense to be considered financed over a certain time period and recorded as depreciation costs since the equipment still retains a majority of its value. These are one time costs, not regular bills.

One error I see a lot of photographers here make is to price your product based on your costs. I had a roommate who was a design student and after spending 100 hours making a one-off piece of furniture, I asked him how much he would sell it for. His answer was equally ridiculous to some people here - he said he wanted to make 20$ / hour so his piece was worth $2000 plus materials. Wrong, those are his Costs! not the value. No one was going to pay over $2000 for his work because it was simply not worth that. Naivety does not make for a good business model.

The price is not based on the costs, it is based on the market value of the product. It is up to you to figure what your product is worth, then calculate the difference in value - costs to determine if you can be profitable at that rate. If not, don't simply raise prices. See if higher volume will offset some overhead costs or if you can charge session rates to defray the per session costs without affecting print prices.

The biggest mistake someone can make in calculating what to charge is to solely use the costs of making a product.


Nikon D7000, Nikon D3100 18-105mm VR, 35mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.4, 70-300mm VR

  
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I ­ weston ­ I
Senior Member
334 posts
Joined May 2011
     
Jan 19, 2013 13:00 |  #591

To grow a business, you need to develop a competitive advantage in some aspect of your work. In portraiture, a competitive advantage may be as simple as having a great advertising strategy. Of course, if the quality of your images is better than the competition that is an advantage too, but most likely you won't enter the market with that luxury.

If you want that L lens, it needs to be because it allows you to get a shot that you couldn't get without it, and that people will pay for that shot. I think there are a lot of people out there that would pay for the look of the 85L or 135L for instance, and the 70-200 is a sports shooters dream lens. Something like the 200 f/1.8 might get dramatic images, but will you ever recoup the costs of purchase? depends on your market. You need to be able to quantify how these purchases will give you an advantage, otherwise they are wasted expenses.

Cooperative advertising is one of the best competitive advantages you can get, because it is often free and often leads to purchases, not curiosity. This is huge in photography because visibility to customers can allow you to succeed where others have failed. You see a lot of this in fashion where stylists, photographers, designers, and models all work together to form a close network of services. When someone gets their hair done at a salon, they see images from a coop photographer. When someone is booking a wedding package, they see hair and makeup by a stylist. If a person likes the work, they may book the coop business as a part of the deal.

Developing these business relationships can bring steady work and be very lucrative.


Nikon D7000, Nikon D3100 18-105mm VR, 35mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.4, 70-300mm VR

  
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Michaelclark
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42 posts
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Location: Leiden, Netherlands
     
Feb 11, 2013 07:01 |  #592

To grow up your business you first learn tactics about the photography


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doofuss
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Feb 16, 2013 08:55 |  #593

I am far from being a commercial / pro photographer and certainly don't make a living from selling photos that I have taken, but on occasion I do have people contact me to purchase prints of some of my pics.

I recently returned from a holiday to Hawaii, and whilst there I looked at a few of the tourist type calendars, coffee table books and post cards etc that were being sold there.

I grabbed the contact names and details of a few of the publishers and made contact with them when I got back home providing them a few sample shots of my trips to Hawaii to gauge their interest in possibly purchasing some.

In reply they stated their standard rate of purchase price was $100.00 per image, but that if I sold my pics to them, I would also have to relinquish all copy rights to every photo they purchased from me.

Seriously, $100.00 per pic and relinquish all copyright permissions....Not on your life would I consider that.

As I said at the beginning of my post, I am not a commercial pro photographer, I am just an enthusiast who sometimes gets lucky and takes a reasonable quality photo, so forgive me if I sound like a newbie, but I would be really interested to hear from professional people in the industry as to what would be a reasonable expectation dollar wise for selling pics such as these below on the open market.

Am I expecting too much, or is what I was quoted the sort of industry norm?


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Canon 1dx & 7d gripped, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L, Sigma 120-300 f2.8 (sports), Sigma 70-200mm f2.8, Sigma 24-70 f2.8, Canon EFS 17-55mm f2.8, , Canon EF 50mm f/1.8, Sigma 8-16mm f4.5 - 5.6, Sigma 2 x teleconverter, Canon 600EX-RT Speedlight.

  
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enice128
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Location: New York
     
Feb 17, 2013 10:14 |  #594

I myself am going thru this similar experience right now. I've been doing private events such as weddings, sweet sixteens, birthdays, etc. for a couple of years or so. I get paid either by the client or by the DJ who deals w the bride/groom for example. I take mostly candid shots which I what I do best but some posed as well. I give the cd/DVD to them at end of party w/o a watermark as well as post them on my site. However my passion is sports photography & lately w all my upgraded gear I'm taking the full plunge into it. I'm still keeping my share site to store the pics but in the middle of launching a sports photography website. I reserved the domain on for a year so I hope to get it launched by spring which means I have a lot of work to do! I'm also creating my own custom logo. What I do is this....since my daughter is too young right now, I take pics of anybody I know like friends/family who have kids that play either school or private sports like little league. I shoot them for free for the day with the hopes of working with their kids in the future one-on-one. I'm looking to shoot their kids when all the summer outdoor sports begin like baseball, soccer, lacrosse, etc. Some photographers either charge up front which I'm looking to do & then either offer prints, digital downloads, or both. I haven't decided yet. The most important thing to me is gaining the trust of these parents where they will eventually call me to capture their kids' precious moments. One example is if u check put my site below in my signature, the wrestling pics I took for a close friend's son. I figured I'd might as well shoot the entire team of 4-5 kids. Now there is an upcoming award dinner where I plan to print 2-3 5x7 of each kid along with my business card & a hand-signed letter thanking them to giving me the opportunity to photograph their kids for the day. You have to understand that some parents r funny & protective when it comes to shooting their kids which is totally understandable. I dont want to scare them away & in the future they're saying to themselves "uh oh here's comes that photographer guy"! And from what I've learned, sports photography is extremely tough & competitive with possibly years of free shooting. My goal is to do this, launch my site & start making $ on the side hopefully turning my passion into a dream job....which brings me to the other part of my sports photography passion which is shooing higher level & pro sports. Hey u gotta start somewhere right! I've also contacted a local independent baseball league team with the intentions of shooting for them (for free again since they won't pay me at first) looking to obtain credentials eventually leading to press passes. Plus, u can only have so much kids shots on ur site. These pics will look amazing on my future site. I already know I will have to rent a 300 or 400 zoom for the day bit no a problem at all!


Canon 1D MK IV / Canon 50L 1.2 / Canon 16-35L 2.8 II / Canon 70-200L 2.8 II / Canon 1.4x ii extender / Canon 580exii Speedlite emcphotographyblog.shu​tterfly.com

  
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timk519
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Joined Dec 2007
     
Feb 18, 2013 10:13 as a reply to  @ enice128's post |  #595

If you're shooting for free, then you're shooting yourself in the foot. You need to charge _something_, even if it isn't much.




  
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cdiver2
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Feb 18, 2013 12:09 |  #596

KennyG wrote in post #442053 (external link)
I know one couple who have spent getting on for $50,000 between them for camera gear - MK-II's, 300 and 600 lenses, etc. They tread all over working photogs territory and give away their work for free. Their work isn't that good (good gear - no talent), but when it is free you can imagine everyone wants it.

One danger about giving work away for free is you could be taking bread out of the mouth of people who need to earn their living from it. If you want to do something for free, just be aware of the impact on other photographers, if there is any. You could find yourself a pariah, just like those above.

Giving for free is not just in the photography world. If you have a light in the house that shorts out and a friends say's no problem I can fix it for you, do you think about the bread you are taking out of an electricians mouth. Your wife has a flat tyre and calls a uncle Fred that lives close by do you think about taking bread out of the garage owners mouth..and the list go's on. There are thousands of people that are handy at doing something on the side and make a few extra bucks at weekends/evenings. This has gone on for eons and will continue to do so.
My pet peeve is people posting photographs on the Internet and then unscrupulous people steal it. I some times post a photograph on this board but only leave it on for a couple of days to lesson the chance that it would be stolen.




  
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JAPE
Senior Member
289 posts
Joined Mar 2011
     
Mar 03, 2013 16:00 |  #597

bump, lets keep this thread going. I am an amateur photographer and I have a bridal shower that I am going to shoot this month. The event is 2hrs, so I was thinking about charging 250-350 for the 2hrs. where I would give them a cd of the edited images. What do you guys think about that? I would love the communities opinion. I know the market is different based on geographic location.


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I am new to photography and am Eager to learn. So feel free Critique my photos :)
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egfmba
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6 posts
Joined Nov 2008
     
Mar 05, 2013 17:02 |  #598

JAPE, i'm actually shooting a bridal shower, 3 hours long, CD of the edited images for $250 this month. it's for a friend of a friend, so that's why it's on the lower end, but FWIW, that's my input. i've been shooting for 4 years, and i'm shooting with a 60D (now) as well. good luck with the party!




  
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JAPE
Senior Member
289 posts
Joined Mar 2011
     
Mar 05, 2013 22:16 |  #599

egfmba wrote in post #15680808 (external link)
JAPE, i'm actually shooting a bridal shower, 3 hours long, CD of the edited images for $250 this month. it's for a friend of a friend, so that's why it's on the lower end, but FWIW, that's my input. i've been shooting for 4 years, and i'm shooting with a 60D (now) as well. good luck with the party!

thanks for your response egfmba :) One question, what would you usually charge if it wasn't for a friend?


Gear List

-Canon 60D, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-105L

I am new to photography and am Eager to learn. So feel free Critique my photos :)
Flickr (external link)

  
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Crystal ­ Madsen
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Location: Spokane, WA
     
Mar 10, 2013 19:08 |  #600

I dont know if I would ever charge for a consultation. You are loosing so many potential clients before they even sit down with you. Make your money back for your time lost in the consultation on the shoot.




  
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How Much do I charge? For your consideration
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