Setting Prices...

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by chmille, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. chmille

    chmille TPF Noob!

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    Soo I wasn't sure where to post this. But I've talked to a lot of photographers and they said that they just kind of walked into their photography prices because they took over a previous business etc. Or else, I've heard to do research what is around you and set your prices from there. Anyways, I've looked up, done tons of research but I still feel LOST on making my prices! :( Help!!!! Please.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    You could start off by making a list of all your expenses.
    Then figure out how much time you put in.
    Then think about how much you would have to charge to cover your expenses and pay yourself enough to be worth the time.
     
  3. Cstone

    Cstone TPF Noob!

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    For session prices, I thought about how much I would be willing to pay for the same services I'm offering, and went from there. I have a strict policy that I will never rip someone off, including myself.

    For prints, etc, make a list of the products you're going to offer and how much it costs YOU to make them. Then factor in the time it takes to process the images after you take them, and add in what you feel your time is worth. I usually double or triple my costs for prints, and that's what I charge my clients. (So if something costs me $10 to print, I charge $20-$30.)

    I hope that was helpful. :)
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Like Mike said, if your pricing structure does not take into account your non-reimbursed expenses (cost of doing business, CODB) and your cost of goods sold (COGS), your business will not be able to turn a profit. The vast majority of small busineses fail because of financial difficulties (not making any money).

    Here is a link to an online CODB calculator: NPPA: Cost of Doing Business Calculator

    The success of a photography business is 80% business/marketing/people skill and 20% photographic skill.

    You don't indicate where on planet Earth you are (the forum has an international membership) in your profile, making it impossible to give any more specific advice than above. Additionally, you don't mention what kind of photography you do. The 3 main types are:
    1. Retail (portraiture, weddings, events, HS seniors, maternity, etc)
    2. Commercial (assignment, advertising, corporate, etc)
    3. Editorial (photojournalism, publication support, etc)
    However, if you happen to be somewhere in the USA you have some business help resources available at virtually no cost:
    Or you could join one of many photographer associations like the ASMP and the PPA.
     
  5. njw1224

    njw1224 TPF Noob!

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    You also need to account for the type of storefront you'll operate. Is it a high-rent mall location, or are you operating out of your garage? There's a huge difference on what you'll have to charge between the two, because obviously your costs will be vastly different.

    Keep in mind that your costs will be less controllable than your profits, meaning that if you charge too little, you'll still have the same overall costs as if you charged more. I suggest you start with prices a good bit higher than your gut is telling you, because most of us start out charging too little. Then you can run specials and offer discounts to lower the "MSRP" prices if you think they need lowered, and people will love you because they'll see the higher price, then see the special discounted price, and feel like they got a good deal. Then, when and if you feel like you need to make more profit, just get rid of the discounts and specials. This way you don't have to actually raise your prices to make more money.
     

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