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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 25 Apr 2007 (Wednesday) 17:11
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First Job -- how much to charge?

 
aji23
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Apr 25, 2007 17:11 |  #1

Hi All! I was given a very lucrative opportunity today; my first "big" job. Now, I must admit I have had very few "small" jobs to begin with, so I am a little overwhelmed right now.

The gig? about 600 total pictures of... Socks. For an online merchant's print and web catalogue. I have to speak with someone tomorrow on the phone about this, and so I'm trying to prepare as much as possible. I have no Terms & Conditions, no Statement of Work or Scope of Work; these are things I'm putting together as we speak.

My First Big Question is simply, how much to charge? From browsing on the web, people are either charging per hour or per item. But at 600 or so items, charging $10/item seems pretty expensive for a beginning. On the other hand, I don't want to say I'll take $1,000 and then find myself in a quagmire of work that I should have charged $5,000 for.

So... Any suggestions? Or questions to probe the matter more deeply? I will be speaking to them tomorrow, and find out more then, but any advice now would be very much appreciated.

I should also mention I will need to buy some gear for this job too, including a product softbox, a lightstand or too... heck, I don't even have an external flash yet :) So my Second Big Question is:

Should I be humble and turn the job down, or sink my teeth into it?

Thanks in advance for any comments...

Andrew




  
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PhotosGuy
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Apr 25, 2007 22:24 |  #2

Questions to ask:
What's their budget? (The big question!)
Reshoots are extra.
All the same exact shot for all, or some "group shots" & other variables?
Socks will be delivered without stickers you'll have to remove?
Got room to store them? Sometimes approval takes weeks.
You provide one file & they resize for web & print?
Where are you located? Have you asked local competitors what they'd charge for say 100 shots of something similar, like potholders?


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aji23
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Apr 26, 2007 07:10 |  #3

Thanks for that input!

Are these all questions to ask of them?

"Have you asked local competitors what they'd charge for say 100 shots of something similar, like potholders?"

Did you mean, should I find this information out, or ask this of them? Because according to the person who landed me this job, this company haggles a lot. So I don't imagine they would answer something like this openly...

Any further input would be much appreciated. Thank you very much.

Andrew




  
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Davy-Kelly
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Apr 26, 2007 08:06 |  #4

aji23 wrote in post #3106948 (external link)
Thanks for that input!

Are these all questions to ask of them?

"Have you asked local competitors what they'd charge for say 100 shots of something similar, like potholders?"

Did you mean, should I find this information out, or ask this of them? Because according to the person who landed me this job, this company haggles a lot. So I don't imagine they would answer something like this openly...

Any further input would be much appreciated. Thank you very much.

Andrew

I'm pretty sure that he meant that you should do some of your own asking round other competitors. ;)


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Bon
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May 03, 2007 08:44 |  #5

i dont know about price, but you should check out this site (external link) for ideas on lighting and tents and such. if you haven't seen it, it's great! good luck


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Dorado
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May 03, 2007 10:49 |  #6

I hop you charge more that $1000! Dont forget postproduction fees also.

You need to find out their budget, what media the images will be used in? Web only, web+Print? Each media will increase the price you charge. They only get to use it for the media they pay for, and they can later pay your for more usage if they like.

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chtgrubbs
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May 03, 2007 22:50 |  #7

My estimation is that this would be two weeks of work with post-processing, cataloging, and so forth. So how much do you need to make a week? I would say $2K to $3K.




  
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vwpilot
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May 04, 2007 10:59 |  #8

First off, get it out of your head that its "your first big job." That doesnt mean anything.

Too many people think they need to give away the farm on their first gigs in order to "get the job" or "get their foot in the door." Thats just totally wrong. Its a job, they client doesnt need to know or care that its your first one, all they need to know is you can do the job and if you do it at the price they agree to, they will be happy....PERIOD!

If it gets screwed up because of lack of experience, then it happens. Even seasoned pros screw things up at times, you just work to fix it at that point. You dont need to price it low in case you screw up or because of lack of experience. The only thing you DONT do is charge more to account for your lack of experience, such as charging hourly for what will take you two hours and a seasoned pro will do in 1 hour.

If a pro figures on one full day of work and the going rate is a $1000/day rate, charge $1000. If it takes you two days...fine, that is your lack of experience, but your not charging $500 because you THINK you arent good enough and then doing two days of work for that $500.

There is certainly a premium to be paid for highly experienced photographers. But that is a premium for their knowledge, it doesnt mean that a newbie charges less than any normal shooter. There are two rates, the normal going rate and the premium rate for the best of the best shooters or someone that specializes in something very unique (like really good food photographers can demand a premium).

So charge the normal going rate. For all newbies, if you think you can do the job and client thinks you can do the job, then they should be expecting nothing less than to pay a going rate and you should expect not to get paid anything less. Dont broadcast its "your first time," they dont need to know that. All they need to know is you can do it and how much.

That said, for that amount of products and post processing, I can easily see that as being a $5000-$6000 job unless they are after the most basic of setup shots and they will all be the same so you can just roll through the shots one after another. Then maybe a little less, but you still got to figure that its going to take you several days at least and most going rates are $750-$1500/day. And if its by the image, $10/image is absolutely NOTHING and thats still a $6000 shoot if you charge that.


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S.Horton
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May 06, 2007 18:55 |  #9

<<So charge the normal going rate. For all newbies, if you think you can do the job and client thinks you can do the job, then they should be expecting nothing less than to pay a going rate and you should expect not to get paid anything less. Dont broadcast its "your first time," they dont need to know that. All they need to know is you can do it and how much.>>

I strongly agree with vwpilot. Our first pro gig was time/materials, no questions asked, they paid, we did the job, everyone is happy. We charged more than at least one 'competitor' I know of as well.

You're being talked to, that's good. Stay cool, ask questions, take your time. I hope you get the work!;)


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First Job -- how much to charge?
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