Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 26 Oct 2013 (Saturday) 15:02
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

What should I charge (threads)...

 
Foodguy
Goldmember
Avatar
1,324 posts
Likes: 217
Joined Mar 2012
Location: Having too much fun in the studio
     
Oct 26, 2013 15:02 |  #1

fwiw...

I typically go into the proposal process not thinking "what should I charge'' as much as ''what can I charge'' or more aptly, ''what do you think they'll pay?''

I've been at this for a long time and after all these years still find (as it was in the beginning) that if my pricing doesn't jive with somebody's expectations or budget, then I typically don't get the project....and that goes on the upper end as well as the lower end.

I understand the need to ask 'What should I charge' type questions for people that are venturing into areas in which they have no reference points. By the same token,I think that trying to answer these questions by use of a formula that only considers their end of the equation (time, materials, etc.) misses the most fundamental part of the equation.

<in a mood for offering unsolicited advice> :lol:


My answer for most photography questions: "it depends...'

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
Nightstalker
Goldmember
1,666 posts
Likes: 4
Joined Feb 2007
Location: North West UK
     
Oct 26, 2013 18:33 |  #2

It is fair to say that something is only worth what someone will pay for it - this can be a car, a house or photography services.

Value is always in the eye of the purchaser - the way to increase the price is to build value to the client not to tell them how much your mortgage is.

Anyone else got any insightful statements?


  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
the ­ flying ­ moose
Goldmember
1,640 posts
Likes: 76
Joined Dec 2006
     
Oct 26, 2013 19:04 |  #3

I think a lot of it has to do with things that people wouldn't think of in choosing a price point. Most people who have never operated a business have little to no idea about the extras that are involved. Its not as simple as showing up and taking photos. You have to factor in driving time, editing time, supplies, gas for the car, physical media, prints (if they are offering that service), equipment maintenance, new gear, business license, taxes and probably many more things that way over my head.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
memoriesoftomorrow
Goldmember
3,846 posts
Likes: 293
Joined Nov 2010
     
Oct 26, 2013 19:07 |  #4

Foodguy wrote in post #16401206 (external link)
I typically go into the proposal process not thinking "what should I charge'' as much as ''what can I charge'' or more aptly, ''what do you think they'll pay?''

I think a lot depends on the genre. I go into the scenario with "this is what I charge". A potential customer can take it or leave it.

Nightstalker wrote in post #16401560 (external link)
Value is always in the eye of the purchaser - the way to increase the price is to build value to the client not to tell them how much your mortgage is.

It is a pet hate of mine when you see photographer's blog posts, forum posts and facebook statuses trying to tell everyone why they charge what they charge and that they have bills to pay too. Well so does every other business on the planet and you don't see them constantly moaning "I'm not being paid what I'm worth" (other than in some other creative industries).

Our industry needs to get our head around the fact people will pay for what THEY believe has value, the sooner the better too. If you can' get people to pay what you think you are worth then the plain and simple truth is you aren't worth what you thought you were.

Feeling the need to plead your case as to your own value is a sure sign you've over valued yourself.


Peter

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
OhLook
insufferably pedantic. I can live with that.
Avatar
21,304 posts
Gallery: 81 photos
Best ofs: 2
Likes: 9871
Joined Dec 2012
Location: California: SF Bay Area
     
Oct 26, 2013 23:19 |  #5

I may be trashed for saying this, but I don't think much of setting rates by charging what the traffic will bear. It makes life expensive for those who have little bargaining power when it comes to their own income.


PRONOUN ADVISORY: OhLook is a she. | A FEW CORRECT SPELLINGS: lens, aperture, amateur, hobbyist, per se, raccoon, whoa, more so (2 wds.), shoo-in | Comments welcome

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
memoriesoftomorrow
Goldmember
3,846 posts
Likes: 293
Joined Nov 2010
     
Oct 26, 2013 23:43 |  #6

OhLook wrote in post #16402051 (external link)
I may be trashed for saying this, but I don't think much of setting rates by charging what the traffic will bear. It makes life expensive for those who have little bargaining power when it comes to their own income.

That is why you have suppliers in the market who charge different prices to one another. I can't afford a Ferrari... that is just life. If people can't afford something that is tough.


Peter

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
breal101
Goldmember
2,724 posts
Likes: 10
Joined Aug 2006
     
Oct 27, 2013 03:35 |  #7

I believe what Foodguy is saying is that there is no one size fits all pricing scheme. A large company with a big budget will pay far more than an internet start up can afford to pay for instance. This is an important factor in figuring bids. The more information one has the easier it is to determine just what the potential client may be willing to pay. But, at the end of the day it still becomes a bit of a guessing game.


"Try to go out empty and let your images fill you up." Jay Maisel

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
OhLook
insufferably pedantic. I can live with that.
Avatar
21,304 posts
Gallery: 81 photos
Best ofs: 2
Likes: 9871
Joined Dec 2012
Location: California: SF Bay Area
     
Oct 27, 2013 13:44 |  #8

memoriesoftomorrow wrote in post #16402077 (external link)
That is why you have suppliers in the market who charge different prices to one another. I can't afford a Ferrari... that is just life. If people can't afford something that is tough.

The Ferrari example isn't exactly analogous. Presumably, a new car is priced at the cost of making and selling one plus a reasonable profit. Setting photography prices as high as you think the customer can afford is like the Ferrari dealership manager telling the salesman "Here comes a billionaire onto the lot. I think we can get ten times the list price out of him." Does that happen?

What customers can afford is up to them. If you say "My rates are _____," and make them the same for everyone, it's fairer than sometimes charging extra just because you can.

This is a moral argument, not a business-based argument.


PRONOUN ADVISORY: OhLook is a she. | A FEW CORRECT SPELLINGS: lens, aperture, amateur, hobbyist, per se, raccoon, whoa, more so (2 wds.), shoo-in | Comments welcome

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sfaust
Goldmember
Avatar
2,304 posts
Likes: 2
Joined Nov 2006
     
Oct 29, 2013 22:07 |  #9

OhLook wrote in post #16403296 (external link)
The Ferrari example isn't exactly analogous. Presumably, a new car is priced at the cost of making and selling one plus a reasonable profit. Setting photography prices as high as you think the customer can afford is like the Ferrari dealership manager telling the salesman "Here comes a billionaire onto the lot. I think we can get ten times the list price out of him." Does that happen?

What customers can afford is up to them. If you say "My rates are _____," and make them the same for everyone, it's fairer than sometimes charging extra just because you can.

This is a moral argument, not a business-based argument.

A very valid point, but IMO it is a business-based argument. Keep in mind that a single image could be as valuable as a 20yr old used car, or valued as expensive as a Ferrari, regardless of what it costs to produce it. Charging based on the perceived value to the photographer for the skills needed, time expended, and/or costs to produce the image, doesn't work in the photographers favor. They will either be too much or too little most of the time, and thus loose work and money.

The value of a full length portrait on a seamless to a retail client is far different than the value of the same portrait to an advertiser that will be using it for billboards, POS displays, magazines, etc. The cost, skills, time, etc, to product the image are the same. The client, how the images is used, and the value to both the photographer and client are very different. Its not a case of seeing deep pockets, and trying to take advantage of them. Its about understanding the value of photography in different markets, and keeping your rates competitive in those markets.

If I asked a photographer to price a 1/2 day shoot of a person on a white seamless background, and to deliver one final edited image, what would it cost? Would the cost be the same for; a starving model looking for new images for his/her portfolio; a liquor/beer manufacturer who will use the images nationwide; a restaurant to be used on their website home page; a celebrity for a magazine cover? The costs, time, skills, etc, are all the same.

This is what makes it so hard to for new photographers to price their work. Its easy to determine the fixed costs, such as how long, what skills are needed, expendables, expenses, etc. Its far harder without ample experience to know when a $2,000 shoot is really a $21,000 shoot, especially when all the fixed cost parameters are the same.


Stephen
Commercial Photography (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
nathancarter
Cream of the Crop
5,474 posts
Gallery: 32 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 609
Joined Dec 2010
     
Oct 30, 2013 13:15 |  #10

Foodguy wrote in post #16401206 (external link)
I've been at this for a long time and after all these years still find (as it was in the beginning) that if my pricing doesn't jive with somebody's expectations or budget, then I typically don't get the project....and that goes on the upper end as well as the lower end.

Any advice on your process of feeling this out, especially when dealing with a new client?

Does your initial conversation usually include, "What's your budget for this project?"


http://www.avidchick.c​om (external link) for business stuff
http://www.facebook.co​m/VictorVoyeur (external link) for fun stuff

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
bigjon0107
Senior Member
897 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Oct 2006
Location: Texas
     
Oct 30, 2013 13:24 |  #11

OhLook wrote in post #16403296 (external link)
The Ferrari example isn't exactly analogous. Presumably, a new car is priced at the cost of making and selling one plus a reasonable profit. Setting photography prices as high as you think the customer can afford is like the Ferrari dealership manager telling the salesman "Here comes a billionaire onto the lot. I think we can get ten times the list price out of him." Does that happen?

What customers can afford is up to them. If you say "My rates are _____," and make them the same for everyone, it's fairer than sometimes charging extra just because you can.

This is a moral argument, not a business-based argument.

I have had similar thoughts run though my mind when pricing, but when it comes down to it the people with larger budgets are going to be using the photo more then say a small internet company. It is not necessary that the rate changes, but just charging according to what the photo use will be (licensing) and working with your clients on an individual basis to find something that fits their budget.


Jon Eilts
Gear List
SportsShooter (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
OhLook
insufferably pedantic. I can live with that.
Avatar
21,304 posts
Gallery: 81 photos
Best ofs: 2
Likes: 9871
Joined Dec 2012
Location: California: SF Bay Area
     
Oct 30, 2013 13:27 |  #12

sfaust wrote in post #16409841 (external link)
A very valid point, but IMO it is a business-based argument.

I meant that my argument was a moral one rather than a business-based one.

The value of a full length portrait on a seamless to a retail client is far different than the value of the same portrait to an advertiser that will be using it for billboards, POS displays, magazines, etc. . . . Its not a case of seeing deep pockets, and trying to take advantage of them.

Agreed--but early posts suggested the deep-pockets interpretation.


PRONOUN ADVISORY: OhLook is a she. | A FEW CORRECT SPELLINGS: lens, aperture, amateur, hobbyist, per se, raccoon, whoa, more so (2 wds.), shoo-in | Comments welcome

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sfaust
Goldmember
Avatar
2,304 posts
Likes: 2
Joined Nov 2006
     
Oct 30, 2013 14:15 |  #13

OhLook wrote in post #16411215 (external link)
I meant that my argument was a moral one rather than a business-based one.


Agreed--but early posts suggested the deep-pockets interpretation.

Gotcha, re-reading it I see that now.


Stephen
Commercial Photography (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Fernando
Goldmember
Avatar
1,628 posts
Likes: 5
Joined Jan 2007
Location: Round Rock, TX
     
Oct 31, 2013 16:15 |  #14

The art and skill of negotiation is lacking for a lot of business owners...and consumers. I'm great at it in a business setting, but shut down in a retail setting. I've been through negotiation training a couple times and depending on the scenario it becomes second nature. I didn't pay full price for anything when my wife and I got married. Well, except the church. My wife refused to let me even try. I'm not sure I would have had to guts on that one but venue, food, photographer, etc., were all negotiations.

My dad is one of those that simply refuses to pay sticker on anything. House and car are obvious but he'll flag down a manager at Home Depot or Fry's to get a better price or a volume discount. I've seen people try to negotiate on price at the grocery store, though not my dad.

The seller is trying to maximize, the buyer is trying to minimize. It's basic human nature and as long as everything ends up in the grey range known as "fair" people feel ok.


Fuji convert - Ping me if you have any Fuji gear or legacy glass you're moving.

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
1000WordsPhotography
Senior Member
518 posts
Likes: 133
Joined Aug 2009
     
Oct 31, 2013 16:50 |  #15

As a system architect I support sales teams that sell multimillion dollar opportunities. I've always believed exactly what OP says, the name of the game is to find out how much money they really have (as opposed to what they will tell you they have) and how you can get as much of it as possible. Verizon doesnt pay list when they buy software, neither does Honda. So how do you get back to the real value of what you are selling?

I'm not a big negotiator with my customers. But typically with my proposals I give them 3 options in the proposal. The one that fits their budget, The one that covers their needs and the one that gives em everything. In general thats how I think about the options I give them.

I also give them the option to add things into the package so they can mix and match.

But if a customer calls me to say can I get that package for this price I just say its not something I'm capable of doing. Sometimes they go somewhere else, sometimes they stay with me.

At the end of the day you can't be afraid to put two questions front and center in your process:

- Whats your budget for this project?
- Are you prepared to either accept less than you expected to get or expand your budget (if their budget is not in the right range)?

If you can't comfortably have a discussion on these topics. While looking a customer in the proverbial eye (in case its phone or internet) and not fidgeting or wavering then its going to be really hard for you to qualify which opportunities you have that are good and which are not so good.


Twitter: @1kWordsPhotog
Instagram: @1000WordsPhotographer
Facebook: Here (external link)
Portfolio: Here (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

3,165 views & 0 likes for this thread
What should I charge (threads)...
FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is aamsergie
1223 guests, 250 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.