How do you set your prices?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Clawed, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. Clawed

    Clawed TPF Noob!

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    I am not really a professional (and by that I mean I do not have my business set up yet). I am trying to get into weddings and do the occasional family portraits where I can. However, business is starting to come in faster than I ever imagined it could, and now I am scrambling just to come up with pricing for my potential clients (this mostly pertains to on location portraits). I wanted to know a good approach to this. How do you (or did you) figure out how to price your services when you first went into business?

    Also, it couldnt hurt to ask the additional question- what is the first step to getting my business started? Should I first register my trade name with the secretary of state?

    This is all new to me and I did not really anticipate the interest there is for my services. Thank you all very much in advance for any advice you can give (there are so many great people here on TPF). :thumbup:
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Setting up a business is usually under the municipal jurisdiction, so I'd start there. Or better yet, find an accountant and tell them you want to start a small business. They should be able to give you some good advice and point you in the right direction.

    As for prices, I think the best advice is to check what other photographers in your area are charging. That should at least give you an idea. Don't let your lack of experience influence your prices. One of the worst things you can do, is to set your prices too low.

    I'd suggest you sit down and think about your business plan. Figure out how you want to present your services and prices etc. There are any number of ways to go about it...you just have to find what you are comfortable with and what works for you.
     
  3. Lyncca

    Lyncca TPF Noob!

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    I just wanted to pipe in and say that you have really nice work! Good luck :)
     
  4. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Strong work for sure. A quick pricing guide can be found here NPPA: Cost of Doing Business Calculator

    Calling other photographers and getting their prices will give a general idea of what you are up against. By no means should you base your prices on theirs.

    As far as starting a business; that will take you writing out your future. You will have to figure out your niche, advertising budget and about a million other details. Take your time and do the research. The more you figure out before you start the better off your business will be.

    Love & Bass
     
  5. Clawed

    Clawed TPF Noob!

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    Thank you guys for taking the time to respond (it's always very much appreciated). I am probably going to take some time to construct a business plan. I think this will allow me to take a hard look at where I want to go with this and then I can seek help in order to effectuate that plan.

    As far as pricing goes- I have completed a couple of small jobs already, and I really priced myself so low as to not make it worth my while. It's just difficult to get out of the mindset that "I do not have enough experience, so I should charge accordingly." On the other hand, it can be very painful to shoot (and post-process) because of carpal tunnel, so I figure I definitely need to make it worth it.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Visit www.ASMP.org. Click on the "Business Resources" tab there on the left, then select the "Pricing Guides" section.

    One of the things you're looking for is the CODB (cost-of-doing-business) calculator.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009

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