Need help calculating what to charge for prints

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by epp_b, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm starting to have some people ask me for prints, and I need to figure out what to charge for them.

    These are not clients from scheduled or contractual sessions, these are people who have stumbled upon my website or discovered it by word-of-mouth and want to buy prints.

    My understanding is that it's a balance between market demand ("how much is the customer willing to pay?"), seller demand ("how much money do I want to make?") and exclusivity ("is there a similar photo they could buy for less money somewhere else and is a limited edition print run?").

    I think have an upper-hand in exclusivity. Some of the pictures I'm being asked for are requested for specific reasons. For example, someone wants to buy a print of a specific (and rather unique) car in a drag race because the car belongs to a friend. And other than that, the vast majority of my photos are taken around where I live during unique conditions (eg.: very unusual clouds, ever-changing construction areas, etc.).

    So, I've considered:


    • my time spent out shooting
    • the cost of printing
    • my time supplying the printer will the photo and picking up the print
    • my time spent packaging
    • That I live in a small hick town of cheap Mennonites (of which I am one ;))
    • The print media itself: professional 8x10 inkjet print on glossy photo paper (both the ink and paper is waterproof and includes a 200-year guarantee against fading)


    I won't want to be too low that I'm undervaluing myself, but I don't want to be too high that I scare off potential customers. I was thinking of starting at $30 for this particular media and size (not matted or mounted)

    Based on the information, what do you think of that price?
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  2. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nobody knows? :(
     
  3. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    Think about your business model. Are you aiming for a high up-front fee and no prints, or no sitting fee and simply print money, or the many different fusions in between? - etc.

    I know these are from another website, but they're good reference all the same: here. Here. Here.

    A list of his articles.
     
  4. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    To be honest, right now, I really don't know. My main work is not in photography, so right now, I might just be happy with supporting the hobby.

    But thanks, I'll take a look at those links.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009
  5. Big Mike

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

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    As FC alluded to...you should have a business model/plan laid out. That will give you something to work from. Also, as mentioned, there are any number of ways to structure your products & pricing. Front loading the sitting fee....or end loading with higher print prices etc.

    I went to a seminar this year and one (very sucessful) photographer was getting away from selling prints at all. Instead, he had a line of products. The smallest/lowest priced thing on the menu was 'Desk Art', which is a framed 8x10 with a display easel for $150. Just about everything he sells, is either framed or printed on canvas & wrapped etc.
    The best part is that these are value added products. It may be hard to sell a simple 8x10 print for $150, but if you laminate it, put it into a nice frame and include a metal easel, now it's a fully finished product that has a lot of value to the client. Your cost is maybe $30-$40 instead of $3 that an 8x10 print costs...but you make a lot more profit.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    just saw this posted somewhere...
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Yep, that's exactly how you set your prices, if you expect to make money. Many just pull numbers out of thin air not realising it's costing them to sell images, in other words negative cash flow.
     
  8. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the help, everyone. I'll take these things into consideration.
     
  9. jubb

    jubb TPF Noob!

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    Thanks FC, I enjoyed the articles.
     
  10. Sam6644

    Sam6644 TPF Noob!

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    decide how much your photo is worth.

    then factor how much the print, shipping and handling costs you, then mark that up 35%

    Decide how much you think your art is worth. Then figure out your cost for printing and shipping and such. Then mark up your cost and add it to your art and quote them that.
     
  11. LarissaPhotography

    LarissaPhotography TPF Noob!

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    I'll second the whole determine your business model idea. We charge up front for our sitting fee, but like to give low cost professional prints after the customer has paid for our time. This means that we get a guaranteed profit each session we do, and we don't have to spend time in order appointments. I realize we're in the minority here, but it's working for us so far.
     
  12. Heretotherephoto

    Heretotherephoto TPF Noob!

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    This kind of goes with pricing here. We have always sold our prints mounted in mattes and occasionally framed. We have never sold online however. We just think having the print matted makes it easier for someone to slide it into the frame of their choice. For internet sales would you guys suggest just the print of keep them in mattes?
     

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