I hate to do it: Confused on Pricing

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Kanolton, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. Kanolton

    Kanolton TPF Noob!

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    I really hate to do this on my first post. But I'm a little confused.

    My name is Michael Knowlton and I live in the Atlanta area, for years I've taken photos, but never thought about turning it into a business until a little while ago. I am completely confident in my work, and I don't want to overcharge/undercharge.

    I really enjoy high-fashion/portrait photography. Ultimately, I would like to work with high-end clients, shooting for magazines, or marketing material, and do campaigns with fashion designers.

    However, I understand it takes time to get to that point. I'm not really keen on doing portrait sessions with normal people, or weddings, or engagement shoots. But I understand its going to happen.

    I am incredibly grateful for any help/guidance I can receive.

    Where I get confused is what to charge for, and how much to charge.

    For example. For a portrait session this is how I think it should go. But I want you guys to tell me what is wrong.

    Sitting fee ($X/hr, with a minimum of X hours)
    Then the client proofs the images and orders prints
    Then, if the client should want a high-res digital file for images. Should I sell the CD of the proofs he or she chose, and offer a per image price if they don't want the whole CD?

    I also would like to get guidance on how much. I don't want to limit my clientele by setting my prices so high, and I don't want to undervalue myself.

    I've attached a few of my images from a couple photoshoots this weekend to provide references for the level of images I produce.

    And to sum it all up, I'm just looking for an overview of the different steps of the experience, and what to charge.

    Thanks again everyone. I know its a pain to get these sort of questions all the time.

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  2. williambarry

    williambarry TPF Noob!

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    Have you ever heard of trial by fire? You're going to need to try and find what works for you, and your area. I've seen photographers around here with completely different pricing schemes end up banking regardless, and that is even with the MWACs running around doing crap work for grocery store studio prices.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    It is really helpful if you have some experience or training managing/marketing/promoting a business.

    You really cannot price your service, until you have a good business/marketing plan in place.

    You price for the demographic you are targeting your marketing to, while being certain that your pricing covers your non-reimbured business expenses (including your salary/retirement) and your cost of goods sold.

    Most photographers that are new to business, or the business of photography, market and price to the same demographic they are in, because that is where most of their social contacts are.

    The price of your images should be the same if they are put on paper (prints) or on a disc (digital files).
    You can charge more for larger prints and should charge for the digital files based on their pixel resolution. If you put full resolution digital files on the disc, they should each cost as much as the largest print that you sell.

    Of couse you can also sell matting, framing, and other photo products like hard cover books. You can certainly give quantity discounts if the client purchases multiple images regardless the media they select for displaying those images (print or digital file).

    If you don't already know how, I recommend you get some assistance putting a business plan together. Contact www.score.com and/or www.sba.com.

    Good luck with your business venture. :thumbup:
     
  4. donnaj8887

    donnaj8887 TPF Noob!

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    I also think so.
     
  5. smokinphoto

    smokinphoto TPF Noob!

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    Assuming you have already bought & paid for your equipment, and that it's
    digital, and you are making your own prints, it really boils down to how
    much you value your time. Think about the total amount of time it would
    take you to complete an assignment -- total = time to establish the
    assignment, physically do it, print the results, deliver them, etc. This
    total is probably twice what you'd initially estimate it to be. Then
    multiply it by what you think your time is worth on a per hour basis.
    That's the number you need to charge.
     
  6. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Not a pro photographer - but I will say, don't undervalue your time.

    Most professional services are going to be in the $50-100/hr range. (Not counting attorney fees, or something like that - which could be much higher...lol.)

    Think of when you take your car to the shop - they might be paying the mechanic $20-25/hr, but they're probably charging you more like $65/hr...
     
  7. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    Profit = 1/3 Business = 1/3 Time = 1/3 + vat/sales tax, you also need to factor in all your other costs, equipment/inks/paper etc etc, this is why Pro Photographers have high prices we cant survive printing a shot then selling it on either in file or print form for $2 a go, low prices ensures starvation. H
     

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