Pricing

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by TrueColors, May 2, 2010.

  1. TrueColors

    TrueColors TPF Noob!

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    What is the average price for shooting on location portraits? This would include couples, family, maternity, senior portraits, infants, etc..

    Im just curious to hear what some of you guys are charging. Im hoping this isnt a personal question like asking a co-worker what they get paid....if so feel free to respond NON OF YOUR BIZ!! - as I am currently unfamiliar with business etiquette.

    Ive been self studying photography for two years (basically reading book after book and shooting......and more shooting) and I just began reading about how to write a business plan.

    Figuring out my projected income is a little difficult. I know it doesnt have to be dead-on accurate, but I would like to be close.

    I plan to purchase equipment and basically shoot on location - I have done this a few times already just using scenic locations. However I would like to have a quick setup and a backdrop to shoot indoors.

    Does anyone incorporate house calls in their photography business? If so what do you charge?

    Lastly, what is everyone's business entity? Sole proprietorship, LLC??

    Thanks very much for taking the time to read this!!

    -Geoff
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    That's a hard question to answer. The average in New York or LA is going to be a lot higher than in a lower population area that has a lower average income. Also, there are different ways to structure your pricing. Some charge a lot up front while others might have low sitting fees but make up for it selling prints & other products.

    Doing on-location portraits can be easier in the sense that you probably don't need a lot of lighting equipment...but the down side is that you are pretty much reliant on the weather and the time of day. If you are going to do 'house calls' or even set up a studio in your own house, you will likely need lighting. But really, photography is all about light, so having the equipment and know how to create your own lighting is something that comes in handy indoors or out.

    More than the photography, how you run your business and how you sell, will make an impact on your bottom line. Most of the successful portrait photographers that I've been seeing/talking to, use 'projection' for their sales. Most of them have a studio, but they also have a sales/viewing room. The clients book a 'viewing' to see their photo. The viewing room has a projector & screen or a large TV screen. It's comfortable and you might provide refreshments etc. They view the images, probably in a slide show with music. Then you hit them up for print sales. With many photographers, this is the only time they can purchase the photos, so the pressure is on the client.
    Off the top of my head, photographers who use this technique probably have an average sale several times higher than photographers who don't.
     
  3. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    Depending on your upfront funding, and how you actually set up your business, you may actually be in the red for a year or two before actually starting to make any money.

    There are so many factors to put in the equation, it is difficult to answer this kind of question here in detail.

    My simple beginning advice. Be prepared by having money put to the side that will pay the bills for at least 6 months.

    I am curious, have you ever run a business before?
     
  4. TrueColors

    TrueColors TPF Noob!

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    Bigmike... thankyou for the input. I live in Connecticut, and the lower west hand corner is very high income. I feel as though demographically I am in a good place.

    pbelarge... No I havent run a business before. I have always wanted to though.
     
  5. cnutco

    cnutco No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do you have a full time job now? The few photogs that I know still have a full time job.
     
  6. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi, Geoff.

    It didn't take me long to figure out I wasn't willing to pack up and load my gear, drive to a customer's home, haul it in, set up, shoot a session, tear down and reload everything, make the drive back and haul everything back into the studio.... all this.... just to sell an 8x10 print.

    So for my location work, I quote one price that includes the sitting and one print 16x20... sort of a minimum order. Of course, I offer an "upgrade" price for 20x24 and 24x30. All desk-top sized prints (8x10 and smaller) are billed additionally.

    I hope this helps.

    -Pete

    Oh... I'm a sole proprietor.
     
  7. TrueColors

    TrueColors TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Pete I will definitely keep that in mind... I did take into consideration that I would need a setup that would be the least troublesome to transport and assemble.

    Cnutco-

    Yes, I work full time teaching. So my schedule is very flexible during the summer months. My plan was to start my business very part time while working... hoping to build up enough clientele that I could switch to part time working for my employer....until I would leave for good :mrgreen:
     

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