Pricing...NEED ADVICE

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by B Kennedy, May 5, 2009.

  1. B Kennedy

    B Kennedy TPF Noob!

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    I have been shooting various events lately, from action to Sweet 16's to weddings. I recently have been contacted to photograph a "pre-prom" party at a house. There is going to be almost 25 students going to be there, as well as all the parents/aunts/uncles/etc. Apparently they had a similiar bash like this last year for their junior prom, but the parents were so busy at hosting the party they didn't get any pictures. So I told them I was interested and I threw a few numbers at them. I'm wondering how to price this event though. Should I throw a unit price for DVD's with rights to all images at maybe like $20-$25 a dvd. Of course assuming I will probably only get maybe 10 - 15 pictures of each student along with group shots. I would then probably charge like $100-$125 for my time. And then depending on how many guaranteed DVD's to be sold, I would offer the parents of the house a free copy of the images as well as a few prints. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Let me know what you guys think.
     
  2. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    Don't give the parents of the house a free copy. You said you were interested and just because they didn't come to you to get pictures, you still need to charge them the same as you would for all of the other parents - no accommodations for the host parents. I guess if you have already told them they can have a free copy, then you might be out more than $125 (or whatever you end up charging.) Everyone is catching up with technology and they WILL copy the pictures. If they have the rights to it, then technically they are able to copy them (unless you say otherwise). More than likely not, they will still copy them.

    If there are going to be alot of people there, I would look at the CD. With this many, most wont think about it after the face. If you are able to burn right there that would be great. I think $25-30 would be better for the pictures. Are you charging the other parents the $125 for your time or just the people who you told was interested?

    Make sure to include a copyright release for the photographs. Of course you would probably know that with the wedding and other events you have covered.

    I think your priceing per DVD/CD is spot on

    ~Michael~
     
  3. B Kennedy

    B Kennedy TPF Noob!

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    My intent was the $125 the cost only for the parents of the house for my service, and that was depending on if they can guarantee me DVD sales. I definitely would end up charging more than the 125 if only like 1-2 parents ordered the DVD becuase of course they all know each other and would just pass them around. Should people rather wait to look at the pictures online on my website and choose to order then, I would end up charging more around $250-$300. I like to offer the host's free pictures, not many...maybe an 8x10 as well as a few 5x7s and a DVD with custom designed label. But again, if they couldn't guarantee and put either down payments on the DVD's or pay in full up front then I would charge more for my service. And I explained all of this too to the Mother and she was really great about it, she said she would spread the word and get back to me. Thanks for the reply!
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    IMO your price is seriously low for what will be several hours work at the minimum.
     
  5. Muay_Thai_Dan

    Muay_Thai_Dan TPF Noob!

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    i never shot any events...but just thinking about it...the price sounds really low as well.

    im imagining you being there for a few hours, and then youll beaditing for bunch of hours... 125bucks?? might as well do it for free?

    also, why would they buy more than one DVD from you? if i was them and u offered a DVD, id buy one and burn it for everyone else... id just charge them for my time and service mainly...and the DVD would be a bonus if anyone else other than the host buys....

    just my thoughts...and then again, if u charge too much, they might fined the next guy who will do it for dirt cheap...but all you can guarantee is better photos than the other guy...quality speaks.

    dunno if what i saying is ridiculous lol...but thats what came to my mind..
     
  6. B Kennedy

    B Kennedy TPF Noob!

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    you did make a lot of sense, and the $125 price was the price I gave if she could guarantee me DVD sales up front, as in at least 10 different parents purchased DVD's. But I do feel that most people won't, so I would then most likely charge around $300 for my service as well as provide the host with a DVD, then any pictures ordered off my website would just be a bonus. I just wanted to pose it to the host of the party that I could make it less expensive for her if she got me DVD sales. Who knows, we'll see what she comes back with in a week. Thanks for the advice!
     
  7. smn_xps

    smn_xps TPF Noob!

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    Since you know the cd will be copied this is what i would do:

    25 kids so likely 15+ families. $20 per cd, minimum 15 cds = $300

    I would put the best half of the shots on un-edited with a couple of the best shots all dolled up.

    don't forget to inclued your advertising with the cd.

    jerry
     
  8. Reese's PB Luver

    Reese's PB Luver TPF Noob!

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    I don't know what your area is like cost-of-living wise, but your prices sound cheap. You're going to give away your art - and your right to make money from selling prints of them - for just $1-2 per piece of art (per photo)?! (If you had 20 photos on each CD and sold the CDs for $20-30 like you said.)

    Charge per hour (i.e. $125/hr. or more - this is per hour of taking the photos, but the cost includes taking as well as your time later editing, CD-making, Web uploading, print-making, etc.) and charge for your art for what it is worth if you're going to do the CD thing. Otherwise, charge per hour and let them buy prints from you instead of doing the CD thing.

    The CDs should have just that person's photos on them, not everybody's photos, (plus the group photos) so that each person will buy a CD. You could also require each person to buy the CD before you include them in the shoot. This way, parents are much less likely to copy the CDs for everybody (which they will likely do even if your release doesn't permit it - they'll say they didn't understand or didn't know, if caught).

    Don't be afraid to charge for your art! That is what the person is wanting and buying, after all. It is easier to do when you're talking about once-in-a-lifetime events like senior prom, too, though art should never be given away for free or cheap whether it is an event or a portrait sitting or what.

    What are your wedding prices?
     
  9. B Kennedy

    B Kennedy TPF Noob!

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    haha I've been waiting for a post like this. I started up my company last fall as a side job. I work as a construction manager during the day and I'm quite happy with the money I'm making, one could say "i'm comfortable." So beating people up on pricing isn't as much of a concern to me, although I DO NOT want to be undercutting anyone, and that is definitely not my intention, I just really love photographing, and the joy in a clients eye/voice pays wayy more than money ever could. And I'm sure that's why most of us get into photography. With that said...here goes

    I'm only going to be photographing for about an hour as time will be tight. The editting process I don't believe is going to be too time intensive, I'm planning on roughly 2-3 hours from start to burning DVD's, expecting that I get roughly 100-150 images. The cd's would have all the images on them for all to use and yes when you break down the price it does come down to cents/ picture. But then again, who is going to spend 50, 75, 100 on a pre-prom party when they very well will be taking their own pics. Of course they won't look as properly exposed and high quality as mine.

    I can't agree more with your last few paragraphs, I will only charge 125 if they guarantee me DVD sales as well as paying up front, else i will end up charging around 300 for the day and then everyone can order prints online.

    I have only photographed a few "low-budget weddings" and my pricing has ranged from 1000-1500 depending on the client and what they were looking for/# photographers wanted.

    Thanks so much for the reply, hope I didn't rile you up too much;)
     
  10. vinski

    vinski TPF Noob!

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    daily minimums, industry standard pricing keeps all contractors in business... photo or construction.

    Cheers
     
  11. Reese's PB Luver

    Reese's PB Luver TPF Noob!

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    If you don't want the money (not even for your retirement savings? Or spouse/children, if applicable, if something should happen to you? Or for a rainy day [like economic issues, where many in the construction/real estate industry lose their jobs/businesses]?), you could donate it to charity. (For instance, you could donate the money to these prom kids' school for this shoot.)

    Charge what your photography is worth. If you charge cheap, it is telling everybody your photos aren't that great/you think your photos aren't worth much. While there will always be bargain hunters who aren't put off by sloppy photography (not saying yours is/isn't sloppy - I haven't seen it - but some low-priced photography is), most ppl believe in "you get what you pay for" and will choose a higher-priced photographer.
     
  12. modlife

    modlife TPF Noob!

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    I have been shooting a lot of random events lately - I charge $75/hr with a 4 hour minimum.

    I don't include ANY photos or DVD - I hand out a TON of cards and make sure to process and post right away.

    Get model releases from the organizer only that covers "guests".

    Sell the DVD and photos, including individual downloads online.

    On average I sell 5 photo downloads at $30 each, plus around $50 in prints, and my $300 minimum. I rarely see an event last more than 2 hours or make less than $500.

    The bonus is all of the traffic that comes to my site and the ad revenues I make from it.

    Plus - google "atl photographers", "engagement session", or even "comp cards" and you randomly see my site pop up in the top slots from all of the traffic....

    My site is 4 months old and getting over 200 hits/day and generating 1-3 leads/day.

    The site is Atlanta Photographers
     

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