Business model

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Ccombs, Feb 25, 2020.

  1. Ccombs

    Ccombs TPF Noob!

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    My wife and I are dipping our toes in the business side of photography. Mostly it has been senior portraits since I shot my nephews photos and we started getting inquiries. We are set up on a website for posting and down loading the finished product. One of the last shoots I did, the mother kept asking for more outfits and different areas to shoot in. Not totally different locations. It wasn’t a big deal, and only cost me a little more work than I had planned on due to our agreement, but it made me think about possible future conflicts of this kind if I choose to offer package type shoots, as to where to put my foot down. Would I be better off shooting for a “creative fee” then charging per photo they download? There is a risk I go through all that trouble and they only download a couple, but it would mean I wouldn’t have to say times up if mom wants more, and opens the door to increased revenue the more different pictures I take.


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  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There should always be two fees in this sort of retail work. The session/creative fee which pays for your time and talent to create the work, and then then charges for products delivered. Be careful of the “just one more” client. I always give people a little more, but I have a cut-off and anything over that will be an additional fee. For instance, with my one hour family session, I’ll usually go 70-75 minutes, but any more and it’s another 30 minutes ($85) on the meter.
     
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  3. JBPhotog

    JBPhotog No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    IMO, the best way to limit the number of scenarios your client wants to be photographed in is to charge per hour and limit that to one location. You will need to have an idea how many scenarios you can do in that hour based on moving gear around, setting up lights if you use them and the client changing outfits. That typically gets you out of the jamb of shooting all day for a "session" fee since after your discussed time period ends you inform them additional fees will charged.

    Of course be prudent on how you charge out for this additional time, clients may not pay it after they see the proofs and decide not to select any of those. Shooting fees get paid before proofs are selected and of course you have this on a written contract before you start the shoot.
     
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  4. GlenGeen

    GlenGeen TPF Noob!

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    I am not a professional by any means. I do, however, take portraits for family and friends especially if there are time constraints. I do charge a small fee but that is mostly to pay for my gas. My typical is a one-hour photo session. Like what was mentioned above if we go over a little that is not a big deal unless I have to be somewhere else. I do include a 30 minutes pre-session meeting to discuss location, clothing, props, etc. To date I have not requested payment for product as I deliver the digital images either on USB or they can download. I only ever had one person ask me to print for them. At the time I was not comfortable with that and declined the session. Today I know the quality of the print company so I am much more comfortable with providing physical prints to someone.

    I do like the idea of a Time & Talent Fee, and then a product delivery fee. Seems like a really good business model.

    Another thing to think about is a Deposit versus a Retainer. A deposit implies that it is refundable if the session is canceled. A retainer implies no refunds are expected. I would make sure that were spelled out in any contract you create. I think of it like this. You put a deposit down on some new furniture but the deal fall through and you no longer need the furniture. Often times the deposit is refunded unless otherwise stated in the contract. Now think of the retainer. You hire an attorney and provide him with a retainer to represent you. The case is dropped and you no longer need the attorney. Most often you do not expect to get a refund of those fees unless it is spelled out in the contract. Just something to think on.
     
  5. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Careful on both deposits and retainers.
    There are specific legal requirements on both and you need to understand fully the aspects of both.
    One poss. item to research is here:
    https://profitableweddings.com/depo...once the goods or services have been acquired..

    But also understand that Bridezilla types and the one mores as previously mentioned have a bad habit of making things more than they are worth.

    The work needs to be VERY SPECIFICALLY spelled out and don't make exceptions!
    That is the kiss of death.
     
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  6. GlenGeen

    GlenGeen TPF Noob!

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    Great advice in that document. A couple of things I did not think of in there.
     
  7. Original katomi

    Original katomi TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Can’t add much but repeat watch out for the
    Can you just, people. From experience , non photography, they tell their friends that you did this and that as can you just and the friends expect it same as discounts
    Oh you did it for my friend, why can’t/won’t you do it for me
    Either way you loose. The friend moans if you don’t and if you do you are down on profit and the friend tells someone else and so it continues
     

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