$1000/year for 1 photo!!?

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by D-50, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. RacePhoto

    RacePhoto TPF Noob!

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    Yes and No.

    I sell a product with an advertised price and the price is the same for everyone. If some independent walks in and pays cash, I may give a discount, but basically, everyone else pays the same price.

    Medical, lawyers and psychologists and many other professional services, will charge on the ability to pay, so there's an example of a sliding scale, and everyone doesn't pay the same price.

    If Sears comes up to company E and says we want to buy 10,000 of your widgets, you better believe, they will get a better price than if I want to buy one. Lets say a buyer buys in volume, but needs only one widget, he'll get a discount because of the business relationship. We won't.

    I sell photos to publications for "standard rate and data" which is the going rate for that publication. Some other magazine may pay more or less. A newspaper may pay more or less. They set the prices, based on size used, I don't.

    The original photographer probably charged his standard rate for a one year license for a high quality professional product. I'll assume he gets that rate elsewhere, so no problem. The buyer has the option to accept or reject the quote... and they decided to use someone else's bid.

    You go to Mr. Big portrait photographer for the stars and you are going to pay more than if you go to Mom's corner portrait studio. Neither one is going to drive the other out of business, because they market to a different client base.

    What's my point. There's no cut and dried answer to the pricing question, even though some people here can do that or criticize someone else, all in one sentence.

    I personally don't believe in giving work away, unless it's for charity groups. Friends get a better price. (oh I left that out above didn't I?) If one of the places I work asked me for a photograph, they would get a better price than if some stranger wanted a similar shot.

    Pretty simple in the end. D-50 did someone he knew a favor. No BFD!

    ps I like crab cakes, what's with that? :D


     
  2. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    I too like crab cakes, I was making a comment to dominic though who came in at the end of this thread and added a pointless comment. his profile says he is from maryland and thats a big crab place.
     
  3. Mesoam

    Mesoam TPF Noob!

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    Race - of course there are exceptions to just about anything
     
  4. therustytracks

    therustytracks TPF Noob!

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    that's why there needs to be some type of guild for photographers. Just like the writer's guild. They banded together to try and gain a larger profit from tv series dvds. photographers should band together to create a collective that sets standards and prices. Even if it was on a local basis it would work. Because if you've got joe shmo taking pictures for 5 bucks and a professional with a studio making a living on photography alone who's charging $200 most people would pick joe over the pro. It would set a competitive edge in the market and people would chose quality photos and service over price. Either way some one doesn't get the shaft because of price.
     
  5. dipstick

    dipstick TPF Noob!

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    Well, I don't really see the problem. Like others have pointed out, everyone i free to charge what ever they like. I know a lot of photographers that have no problem making a decent living from photography so there is still enough clients out there that are willing to pay for quality work.

    The fact that "everyone" are photographers these days with their dslrs just means that photographers have to stand out by the quality of their work, not by their equipment. Everyone can be lucky and get a really good shot every now and then and sell it a microstock or to their own company, but my clients call me again and again cause both my quality and pricing is predictable for them.

    Some of my clients I had for awhile are not even asking me for quotes anymore, they just tell me what they need, and they more or less now what I will charge.

    The problem with changing your pricing schemes according to who the customer is that the customer paying a $1000 a photo is gonna start nag you once he finds out that you sold a similar photo for a buck to another company where he happens to know the manager.

    So my advice is to find where your pricing level needs to be and price according to the type of job and usage. There is of course always room for negotiation, but if a client doesnt wanna pay, I don't give in on the price.

    If you wanna work for free, there is plenty of non profit organizations to volunteer for.
     
  6. TamiyaGuy

    TamiyaGuy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    hehe, nice one :p

    But on-topic, I think you're perfectly liable to charge depending on the size of the company. If you figure that they're going to make millions from your photograph, then you should be perfectly entitled to some of it. Obviously, there's a limit, but it's perfectly reasonable. It's merely business.

    However, when it comes to personal photography, there should only be a flat rate (IMO). It would be unethical to make someone reach deeper into their pockets just because they have bigger ones. Companies, however, are another story.

    But hey, I'm just a kid with a D40 and too much time on his hands. What would I know?:D
     
  7. nossie

    nossie TPF Noob!

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    I second that (politely).

    uhm sorry you wanted opinions about pricing but...

    I think you took the bread and butter from the mans table. He found the client he did the hard work of motivating the client for the sale and then you gizumped him. It's legal but it's not nice.
    I think you should have taken the next piece of work from your boss but not this one. I'm not having a go at you but I think what you did is distasteful but taste is a cultural thing anyway.

    The price is the highest you can get someone to willingly pay. That is how we work on a daily basis as employees, I work for company A because it pays more than company B, even if money isn't the only remuneration. My time is available to the highest bidder.
     
  8. sfaust

    sfaust TPF Noob!

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    Commercial photography is based on usage. Usage makes it fair for all buyers since smaller companies don't use photographs in the same way as a national one would. Joes barber shop will pay $50 in usage for an image in his brochure since its only distributed in a few local towns. Vogue magazine will pay $3,000 or more for a cover image because it will be distributed to hundreds of thousands. It doesn't matter if the image took the photographer 5 minutes to shoot, or 3 days. The usage is the same. The photographers day rate will cover the labor and expenses.

    When I shoot for commercial clients, it is indeed a sliding scale based on the company size. Smaller companies pay a lot less, and deep pocket companies pay 20 times more. The reason isn't the size of their pocket book, but how they will use the images. Larger companies use images in much broader ways than a smaller company, and thus pay more for it.

    If you produce a killer shot for Nike, they use it in all their advertising, in store displays, duratrans, web advertising, etc, and its going to help them sell millions of dollars in shoe sales, it's worth the $30K they pay in usage to the photographer. If the same photographer produces a similar piece for a local clothing retailer, and it's catchy enough to help drive customers to their store, and make an additional $10K in sales over the year, its worth every penny of the $800 they would pay in usage as well. Its not how deep their pockets are, but how the images are used, and the value it will bring to the client.

    Musicians get more money playing to a stadium filled with 100K people than they do when they do a performance in front of 1,000 at a smaller venue. The songs are the same, it takes the same effort on their part, but the 'usage' is different. Same with advertising and commercial photography.

    One more point I'd like to make. The employee that shot the same image for their company is being paid a salary, their computer was provided by the company, their desk, floor space, electric, phone, utilities, all paid for by the company. Health insurance, matching retirement funds, all covered. They don't need liability insurance, nor do they need to hire a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor as its all covered by their employer. They don't need to pay marketing, hire consultants to design web sites, etc.

    They probably occupy a 10'x10' floor footprint, where a commercial photographer needs to recoup the costs of a 3,000sq ft footprint. The employee doesn't have to pay or maintain $50K in equipment, and replace it every 3 years when clients demand the latest and greatest.

    And don't forget a photographer can't shoot 5 days a week. So they need to recoup all their costs in a 2-3 work week window. The other 2 or 3 days is for running the business, administration, maintaining the digital image archives, writing quotes for new jobs, creating marketing materials to keep work coming in, sending out invoices, paying the bills, taxes, collection agent, and sweeping the floor and putting a new coat of paint on the cyc wall. So when they quote $2,000 per day, its not $10K a week, but more like $4K. Makes a huge difference at the end of the year :)

    So yea, $1,000 probably seems way to much for the employee. But for a commercial photographer running a studio, its not nearly enough.

    Just some food for thought.

    Stephen
    Commercial Website, Blog
     
  9. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    400k to open a franchise and not 1k to spend on a photo?
     
  10. CanonSnob

    CanonSnob TPF Noob!

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    I'de like to see his photo and see your photo.

    sfaust hit it right on.

     
  11. henkelphoto

    henkelphoto TPF Noob!

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    Sorry I came to this thread late.

    As for charging different prices based on customers. Some do, some don't. When I'm doing commercial work, I have a set half/day and full/day rate. Those don't change. But if someone wants me to do a 7am-11pm day, I do charge more than my normal day rate. Whether they want one photo or a 100, the day rate doesn't change, although if they want prints, that will add to the cost.

    As for undercutting another photographer, well, it happens all the time. I have a friend who's policy when he's looking for spec work is to see if the photo can be done quickly with little or no specialized equipment. If so, he doens't bother with it, figuring that if it can be done with a simple camera and one lens, he will always lose out to someone's nephew or an employee of the company with a camera (no offense to the OP). What he looks for is complex lighting situations where the guy with a DSLR and a kit lens has no idea what he's doing.

    It sounds like the photo in question was a simple building shot that could be done in 10 minutes with a dslr and a wide angle lens. If so, the person who bid $1000 should have expected to be underbid. So be it, I don't think the person spent a lot of time crying over a lost job. If you're in this for a full-time business, you expect to be underbid frequently. That's why you build up a client list based on quality jobs.

    Jerry
     
  12. Nikon Norm

    Nikon Norm TPF Noob!

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    So it's a $1,000 photograph....................

    Photographers expense:

    phone bill to receive call from client
    car payment to visit client
    gas to visit client
    time to have meeting with client to hear the brief
    travel to location to take shot
    depreciation of pro camera equipment ( bet it was not a D50 camera)
    travel back to studio location
    cost of computer
    time for photoshop
    cost of CD to burn image to
    shipping & packaging cost to deliver CD
    contribution to health plan
    contribution to retirement fund
    rent for studio or office
    utility bills to run photo business

    We have not even got to Photographers salary yet.

    You know I blame George Eastman for this, everyone who owns a camera thinks they are a Photographer.
     

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