Money,. money?.

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Dollface, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. Dollface

    Dollface TPF Noob!

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    I'm thinking about putting my prices up.. quite significantly

    I *know* I am undercharging, but I don't want to be scoffed at, and I do need good constant work, but I'm afraid of missing out on jobs if I put them up.

    I'm going to tell you what I charge, and my website - so that you can see if I am charging too much or too little for my work.

    $20 per item + a studio use fee of $30 everytime I need to go and shoot.
    $120 an hour for wedding photography ( I don't do prints, I work on the photos, burn them to cd/lightscribe, so they can do their own prints. I also work 9-5pm in an office)
    $80-$120 per hour for portraits

    This year - I have done 4 weddings, another 3 booked, a fashion shoot, promotional items for australian sports codes - major. portraits

    All prices in Australian $

    Help!!

    :scratch:
    :scratch:
     
  2. 2framesbelowzero

    2framesbelowzero TPF Noob!

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    do be afraid to miss-out on the jobs that aren't actually worth your while,
    as you realise you need to charge a little more anyhow.


     
  3. Azuth

    Azuth TPF Noob!

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    Dollface. I work in sales, photography is just a hobby from me. When it comes to price, the price should always be set by what the market will stand. Sorry for war & peace but you might find this helpful.

    I recently did a sales exercise, in which I had to sell a service product to two other people from my firm. They'd been given a budget and breif on what they could spend. I was given no information in regards to money at all. My final asking price for the work turned out to be 90% of their maximum, and one of the guys asked me afterwards if I knew how much money they had. I told him, I had no idea, but I watched his eyes. If you throw out a figure that blows someone away, the eyes always show it.

    If you need to go lower after throwing out a large figure just say "Of course that's for the premium package that includes (make stuff up that they don't need) X hours retouching, X 8x10 framed prints." Now the price might not normally include those, but by indicating it does it allows you to reduce the price for not giving them those things.

    If you do good work and consistently under price yourself you also reduce prices for others. You're then bringing down the market value of the service you provide and making it harder for others to earn a decent living. Undervaluing what you do makes no sense.
     
  4. 2framesbelowzero

    2framesbelowzero TPF Noob!

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    sorry typo - i mean do*n't..
     
  5. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    IMO you shouldnt worry about raising your prices. It's pure business. If you feel your work and effort is worthy of more, then by all means feel free to raise your prices. There are a couple things you must realize, though. IF you raise your prices significantly, your target 'audience' is going to shift, and you will need to alter your advertisement methods accordingly. Also, you must make sure to judge your own work for quality, and judge it strictly. If you saw images from another photographer that were at the same level as yours, what would you expect them to sell at? If you feel you are still undercharging, then raise away! Don't worry about people scoffing at your prices. If they do a few times, big deal. If you get people consistently refusing because of your prices, then you need to lower them. I've had clients lightly 'scoff' at some of my prices, but that didnt stop them from making a nice sized order. they never said anything about the prices being too high after they received their prints. as long as your work backs up your prices, dont worry about it.

    As for your actual prices, could you specify what you mean by '$20 per item'? For wedding work, especially when you're giving them all your final images, i think you could definitely raise your price. What you are charging isnt ultra low, but i think you could get more. portraits, however, are much different. I'm assuming that by portraits you mean family/senior/business/etc. Unless the market is much different between australia and the states, what you are charging is relatively high. Most professionals over here charge about $40-60 USD (~55-80 australian dollars) at the most, and receive most of their profits from prints. That might be a wiser choice than to raise your shooting price more than it already is. For what i charge, which is a little higher than average for our market, i never get arguments from clients about my sitting fee. I'd like to keep it low so that they dont feel as guilty about spending more on prints.
     
  6. Dollface

    Dollface TPF Noob!

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    Thank you everyone for your comments - You certainly have given me some areas I need to investigate!!
     
  7. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    Here in the US we have been so use to lower gas prices than the rest of the world, when the prices jump to $2.75-3.25 per gal. it is pretty sharp for us. Translation:
    Prices of everything goes up. I try to keep my prices stable, and a bit under for rural customers, but even I had to make a decision to raise mine.
    Now I am at $120 US per hour for EVERYTHING. Regardless of of what.
    So don't feel bad. As Donald Trump says..
    "... it ain't personal, its just business..."
     
  8. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Do you think it's possible that you are missing jobs because they are too low? Many folks do not understand the value of art at all without a price tag. ;)

    I don't have a clue about exchange rates, but your wedding photography rate seems low for sure. If you are giving them the files to print themselves that is a huge savings for them. Where I live, in what I think is a fairly cheap market in the USA, you would be a very good bargin at twice your price.
     
  9. Philip Weir

    Philip Weir TPF Noob!

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    Hi Dollface,
    Just recently joined the site and noticed your bits and pieces and your recent question. I can't comment on your wedding prices except to say, if you are charging $120 per hour and giving them a CD of the retouched images then you are undercharging. The $120 per hour is O.K. but as I understand, most wedding photographers make most of their money on the reprints, not the attendance fee. I checked your Website and your work is quite good. Your prices for studio still life is way too low. I am charging about $175 plus for a basic product shoot [that's for a one of, not multiple items] I have my own studio, which I occassionally hire out, but the photographers that use it are charging about the same as me. Happy to advise you. Philip. www.philipweirphotography.com
     
  10. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    I know that you probably are not addressing my rates, but keep in mind that where I get the $120 an hour is actually to serve rural customers. Unfortunately due to that actions of the US government, oil companies, developers, and even tourists, people in rural areas especially natives, have little money these days. The oil prices have now put a near kibosh on any of my business, and I haven't had a single order in three months. So when you say that you can charge even more...great. At least you have business. What I fear is that the energy prices may put myself and many others out of business altogether.
     
  11. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    A friend of mine wanted more spare time, and in an attempt to get fewer but better paying customers, he raised his prices. He only ended up with more people asking for his time. There's a real psychological aspect to finding the sweet spot. Underpricing can lose you as many customers as overpricing.
     
  12. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    I don't know what the exchange rate is. But my wedding is comming up and we are paying $900 for photographers time (6 hours) and pictures on a disc. I believe it comes with 2 hours of retouching. Which is really not that much. He does not add a percentage to prints. So what he pays for prints and albums is what we pay. So we will probably do that through them as well. I have stepped back from dealing directly with him. As being a semi serious photographer I don't want to step on his toes. I just asked a few questions and am satisfied that he will be just fine.

    Now he is one of the lowest priced photographers I checked with. He is less than 1/3 of my Fiances' family photographer. But she was already booked, and we checked 18 months ahead of our wedding. She only does packages though.

    While trying to find a wedding photographer I did noticed the meduim priced ones were booked up way in advanced. The less expensive ones not so much. And the really expensive ones, I just said thank you. :)
     

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