trying to figure out pricing

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by valpal24, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. valpal24

    valpal24 TPF Noob!

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    hi I'm trying to get my business going. I'm basically working from home, I don't even have a studio. I'm trying figure out how to reasonable price portrait shoots. I thought I was doing ok but I recently had someone refuse to pay what I asked for because they believed it was too much. I Know that iF I believe my work is worth the amount then I need to stick to it but I think I need to do some research. anyone have any advice?
     
  2. TokZik

    TokZik TPF Noob!

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    maybe try looking into the competitions pricing and work from that
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    This is a very common question on photography forums...but it's not an easy answer. What works for me, or someone else....might not work for you.

    I think it's best to start by writing out your business plan. If you know what your goals are, and what your costs/expenses are, then it can give you a starting point. Also, you need to decide on how to structure your pricing. Some have a low sitting fee but make up for it on print prices. Some have a higher sitting fee but maybe lower print prices (or digital files etc.)

    Remember to calculate all your expenses. If you are going to have a business that can sustain itself, then you need to charge enough to make that possible.
    For example, if you are running this business from home, then part of your household expenses will be considered business expenses....rent/mortgage/power/water/heat etc.
    There is the cost of your equipment (don't forget the computer etc) and there is the cost of your time. How much time do spend talking to clients, e-mailing clients, meeting with them before a shoot etc? Of course there is shooting time, but don't forget processing time and/or costs.

    Figure out how many clients/sessions you think you can get for a time period (say one month). Add up your expenses and divide that by the number of sessions. That is the minimum you need to get out of a session. Of course you want to make a profit for the company and pay yourself, so will need to get more money accordingly.
    Of course, it's easy to see that if you charge more, you will need to do less sessions....which is probably what most people will work toward...but there is the law of diminishing returns.

    Maybe this client was right and you have out priced your market...or more likely, they didn't have the right expectations for your service. The key is to find clients who will expect to pay well for your service. This starts with how and where you market your business. Putting up fliers at Wal-mart probably won't get you the same type of clients as putting an add in a classy magazine etc. (bad example maybe, but do you get my point?) It also comes down to how you present yourself & your business. For example, if a client gets handed a very high quality business card, they will likely have higher expectations of what they would pay for the service. If you bring clients to your home studio and it looks fancy & professional, they will have higher expectations...and so on.

    Now of course, when starting out, some of this doesn't work that easily. You need to get clients to built up your portfolio and client base...and 'cheaper' clients are usually more abundant than higher paying clients...so you may need to choose who you want/need to market toward. But beware of charging too little, because rasing your prices too dramatically later, can cost you your current client base.

    Sorry for the rambling :roll: :p
     
  4. suki

    suki TPF Noob!

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    well, Mike pretty much summed it up!

    Set your rates (after you figure out your costs/expenses, etc) and do discounts and promo's to draw in clients to build your portfolio, or advertise PB sessions at a marked down rate or with a free sitting, that way if you don't want to do it for totally free to build your portfolio you can still get some money for prints and files if they order them.
     

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