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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 28 Feb 2018 (Wednesday) 11:30
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Beginner questions (buisness wise)

1 post
Joined Feb 2018
Feb 28, 2018 11:30 |  #1

Hi everyone,

I was hoping i could get some feedback on a few questions i had regarding an online only photography buisness.

my plan is to work through facebook till i can afford squarespace but i don't plan on offering any tangable items just digital albums and i'm having a hard tim figuring up what i should charge. Literally half the photographers around me go through facebook and they don't have prices listed so i can't get a good idea.

I live in a farm town up north in missouri, and i have to figure in 40% for tax's.

I know i can get clients but i don't want to set my prices too high, being as i'm wanting to do digital albums.

so i was curious what you all think i should charge for like.. senior photo's if my basic price is $100/hr, 1 location, best 25-30 images ?

119 posts
Likes: 37
Joined May 2016
Post edited over 2 years ago by archfotos.
Mar 09, 2018 07:14 |  #2

While it is very true that "what the market will bear" seems to play more of a role in determining prices than accounting (looking at $tarbucks)

That said, I believe your first basic step is to do your accounting - put all your expenses into one formula and figure out your CODB.(Google it) NPPA use to have an online calculator to help you do this, but honestly you should create it yourself in excel. Rent, equipment, computer, ISP, Utilities, Retirement, Insurance, etc.. Even if your spouse affords you this hobby you should still factor in all the costs so you can confidently quote your clients realistic and honest prices. Honest for you in that you are making a dollar at the end of the day not paying your clients to photograph them.

What if I told you to charge $700 per session, or $1,600, or $3,200 could you go to your client and look them in the face and quote these rates? You need to know your CODB so you can be confident why you are charging what you charge. The flip side is what if someone asked you to bring $3,500 worth of gear out to their location and do a half day of work at their location and another half day at your office/computer and only wanted to pay you $100 is that worth it? Can you hire anyone else in your community for $100 using their equipment, software, computer, web hosting, etc..? You drop a lens on a paying job your home owners insurance will not cover it.

The beginners problem with CODB is that they overestimate how many shooting days a Pro works - My suggestion would be to keep this number under 70 days per year, until you can prove to your business otherwise.

Everyone has a camera, hiring a photographer is a luxury service don't be afraid to charge a realistic price. I just drove through Missouri and the number of newish/expensive pickups is plentiful in those farming communities. Not to mention overpriced fishing gear and hunting supply stores. My Mom still has my high school portrait displayed. I have many pics I took during those years but that's the one she still has up.

Photography has value, maybe not immediately obvious like a new cheerleading outfit to a growing student but it has a value that can last through the years and it is up to you to fight for the value you want placed on your images.

DC Photographer (external link)

1,041 posts
Gallery: 5 photos
Likes: 41
Joined Mar 2010
Location: From Los Angeles, Living in São Paulo, Brazil
Mar 09, 2018 07:44 |  #3

What ever you do do not set your prices too low.

It is almost impossible to raise them later.......


Colin ­ Glover
1,376 posts
Gallery: 17 photos
Likes: 131
Joined Aug 2012
Location: Southport nr Liverpool United Kingdom
Mar 09, 2018 11:37 |  #4

That's good advice from the folks here. BUT don't go for the same rates as the experienced guys in your area. 25% cheaper max. Two reasons.
1. Don't bug the pros in your area. They might need a favour from you in the future, or you might need them. It works both ways. 2. As said raising prices later on is hard to do successfully. Going too cheap gets you bottom feeders who cant afford much more. The venues are pretty but not wow, such as bottom end hotels and you don't get the wow locations that relly boost your portfolio, and that wow portfolio brings in the work.

Canon EOS 70D, Canon EOS 600D, EF-S 18-55 ii, EF 55-200 USM ii, EF-S 75-300 iii, Tamron 28-80, Sigma 70-210. Pentax 50mm, Pentax 135mm, EF-S 55-250, Raynox Macro adapter, Neewer filters (CPL, UV, FLD & ND4), Fuji HS20 EXR (30X zoom ) & cable release, Yongnuo 560 iii & Luxon 9800A manual flashguns for the Fuji, Hama Star 63 tripod, Hongdek RC-6 remote control, Velbon DF 40 website.

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Beginner questions (buisness wise)
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