10 Reasons Why Professional Photographers Charge What They Do!

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by mindundalk, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. mindundalk

    mindundalk TPF Noob!

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  2. robertwsimpson

    robertwsimpson No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just FYI, the only ones that your customers will care about in the least are 7, part of 6, and sometimes 4. The rest are expected, generic, or simply your responsibility. I work at a car dealership, and if I explain that the invoice that you can find on the internet is only a small part of what we have to pay to sell a car (we also have to pay floor plan interest, pay to detail the car, pay the salesman, pay the staff, etc etc), the customer doesn't care. He simply wants what he sees as HIS benefit for the least amount of money possible. The same goes in ANY competitive business. People haggle because they don't see the benefit to themselves as justifying the cost. If you want to preclude that, you either lower the price or increase the benefit.
     
  3. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    Well, there are other reasons as well, but as you said Robert, customers don't care about them.

    One of these reasons, is that taxes immediately take up about 1/3 to 1/4 of what you make thus if you make 3k from a wedding, you only have 2k, then you subtract off deliverables which brings you down to maybe 1300. Thus at the end of a 3000 dollar wedding you're only actually making 1300 dollars, and from that you're also possibly paying a second shoot a few hundred dollars, which drops you to say 1k. For this 1k you're putting in at least 40 hours into the wedding between consults, etc.

    This 1k per wedding then has to pay for insurance, wear and tear on the camera bodies, gas, marketing expenses, etc.

    From there if you could shoot a wedding every weekend you may be ok. But in many locations you're limited to a short wedding season.

    There's a reason that professional photographers in general make only 30,000 per year. Yes, some make much more than that, but as an average it's not all that much.
     
  4. Chris Cummins

    Chris Cummins TPF Noob!

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    I've done posts like this. It makes you feel good and might (if you're lucky) get a link or a retweet from some other photographer but that's about all it accomplishes.

    You could do what I do and boil it down to my favorite reply to price objections: "Wouldn't you agree it is better to pay more than you expected rather than less than you should?"
     
  5. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    I knew I had a good reason to stay out of wedding photography. :D

    skieur
     
  6. jubb

    jubb TPF Noob!

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    I'd just sum it up with, hopefully their work speaks for their price.
     
  7. mindundalk

    mindundalk TPF Noob!

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    The problem we seem to be having here is on one hand you have the professional photographer like me ( on the street paying rent and all the rest that comes with ) and then on the other hand you have the 9-5 guy whom already has a job(not photography related and then at the weekend does a wedding a week and only charges 500-1000 euro probably cash in hand so the tax man never sees it and doesn't have any over heads like me.

    That makes it tough...
     
  8. robertwsimpson

    robertwsimpson No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That happens no matter what industry you're in. We have to compete with the guy selling cars out of a trashy corner lot, or the shop down the street doing work for half the price. We have to present a list of benefits that comes with buying or servicing your vehicle with us, and then we have to meet or exceed those expectations that we've created. The successful businesses do that. Some people are willing to pay extra for a better result. To some people, price is the only thing that does or will ever matter. That's just how it is.
     
  9. bennielou

    bennielou TPF Noob!

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    Ok, no offense, but "craziest post ever".
    I am a full time wedding photographer, and if I made $30 grand a year I would have hung up my cameras a LONG time ago. We make 4 times that.

    Your taxing is also wrong. In my state the State Sales Tax is 8.25 percent. For a $5000 wedding, that is, $412.00 But fear not!!!! I get to take a portion of that off my Federal Taxes, as well as my studio, my programs, my cameras, my electric, expendibles...on and on and on. I'm totally not getting this "1/3 to 1/4" figure at ALL.

    Also, if you are taking up 40 hours on consulting a week, then you need a better stragegy, ie, charging enough that you don't have a ton of tire kickers. The people who will contact you will be vetted, and if you are a good photographer, and a good salesman, you will book them at the price you request.

    Hopefully, as a business person, you have figured in your camera costs per shoot, and any needed repairs. For instance, I had two 5ds go down within a month. With CPS, my cost for repairs (2 thrown mirrors, and one shutter), less than $400....this after five years with the same cameras.
     
  10. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    take a look at WPPI's stats... the stats say that the "AVERAGE" make about 30K per year (take home) actually I believe that average for those without a studio are about 30k per year and average with a studio front are 27k per year.

    I think you have your taxing wrong... that or you need to get an accountant. Sales tax is nothing to do with it, often times that is added on top of what you collect anyway. Income tax is the killer. The average american has to pay 1/3 to 1/4 of his income in taxes anyway. Then, beyond that as a business owner you have to pay additional taxes.

    some people do make a great deal per year as I stated. I have no idea what you charge, but if you are charging 5k a year you're probably up there anyway as you are definitely above the "average" wedding photographer's price range.

    I am not here to argue with you about what you make, I am merely pointing out what the average photographer makes, and that is shown to be right around 30k per year. I know some that make upwards of 200k per year though they are few and far between, and others who make well less.
     
  11. bennielou

    bennielou TPF Noob!

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    But you don't want to be the Average, do you? You have pros, sometimes part timers who are in that Statistical mess. The people I know, personally are making $80 and above, but that is just the people I know. I don't hang around landscape artists and soforth, but they are also professionals and might make less.

    I have an accountant. That is why I know exactly how things go. Just a question for you, and feel free not to answer it: Are you a professional photographer, do you charge the required State Sales Taxes, and do YOU have a tax pro working for you? It's ok if you don't, but I've been doing this for a long time, doing it right, and I'm pretty solid on Tax issues.

    Yes, we are charging above average rates, but it all goes back to the math. Your math is simply not correct, and that is what I had the most issue with.

    Yes again, photographer's net varies on a variety of issues. But to grow and expand, or even consider it, they need real numbers.
     
  12. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    LOL!

    Yeah, but there is a value in knowing what the average salary is. Obviously you aren't tied to it in either direction. You aren't guarunteed the salary just because that is what most people make, and you aren't tied to only making that much, but it is a guideline.
     

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