Father/Daughter Dance Pricing?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by unremarkableguy, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. unremarkableguy

    unremarkableguy TPF Noob!

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    I have been asked for a quote to do a shoot at a father/daughter dance. I am excited by the prospect of my first "big" paying gig but I have no idea what to charge. Thus far I have done some shoots for family, friends and co-workers. This is the first time I am going out there with my "company name" on the line. They are basically looking for the standard full body portrait. I am thinking black muslin with a couple of soft boxes...stand on the dot and smile type of thing. I am planning on making and a la carte style order form as well.

    Should I forgo any sort of sitting fee and just charge per customer? If so, what would be a reasonable amount to charge? I am just not sure what the norm would be in this situation.


     
  2. Chris R

    Chris R No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not a single person can tell you what to charge. Only you can determine this based on your costs of doing business and your desired profit. If you don't know these things you shouldn't be charging people.
     
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  3. unremarkableguy

    unremarkableguy TPF Noob!

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    Yes Chris I agree but we all have to start somewhere. I am new to this and was looking for some advice from people who may have done this type of thing before, not a lecture.
     
  4. Chris R

    Chris R No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Then you should charge $7.17 an hour.... But for real, I'm not trying to be an ass here. You absolutely need to sit down and figure out how much it costs you to operate and how much profit you desire to make. Once you have this all figured out you can quickly determine what to charge for any given circumstance.

    Without knowing these details, me saying "charge $7.17 an hour" is just as good a suggestion as someone saying to charge $1000.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    You leave out virtually any details. How many assistants will you have? How many attendees are anticipated? It sounds like you are going to shoot on speculation and the event organizers aren't paying for you being there?
    If you plan on putting the images online so the father/daughter can order later, good luck making any significant money. Printing onsite to take advantage of impulse buying is a much better plan.

    Cost Of Doing Business (CODB/CDB) is something that is covered in Business 101 classes. You also need to know your COGS - cost of goods sold.

    Here is an online CODB calculator - Just plug in the numbers that appy to your situation NPPA: Cost of Doing Business Calculator

    All of this usually gets done as part of the writing your Business/Marketing plan - Writing a Business Plan | SBA.gov
     
  6. unremarkableguy

    unremarkableguy TPF Noob!

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    I apologize for being vague. Part of that comes from the fact that I do not know some of the information to answer the questions you asked. My wife and teenage daughter will be my "assistants" so no cost there. I am not sure what the attendance will be. I am guessing 100-120. I believe that the organizers are willing to pay.

    I was wondering if there is a standard way to charge that most photographers of these type of events use. (i.e. flat fee/hourly rate/per individual) Now "How Much" but "How". I can calculate how much I need to make a profit but how I present that number to my client would depend on the previously mentioned ways to charge. I think my initial inquiry did not convey that very well.

    BTW, I like the idea about printing onsite to gather impulse buyers. I hadn't thought of that.

    Definitely some things to think about. Thanks guys.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  7. morthncds

    morthncds TPF Noob!

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    Are they wanting everyone photographed? Most contracts on these types of events are split into 2 categories. First one is promoter includes a free 5x7 with the purchase of an admission ticket. Promoter will pay you for each "couple" you photograph. So if you take 100 "couple" photos and have them printed, you will be paid for that many. Most promoters will pay between $5-$7.50 for the 5x7's. So, if you took 100 photos then $500.-$750. You may get more, but not much more. Also, you can have packages to upsell if they want more than the free 5x7. The other way is Pre-Pay. You figure your packages before hand and have order forms ready to be filled out when they arrive for the pictures. Most packages are $20-$50. Give them several choices and have a la cart prints available also. Include shipping in the costs or you profit will shrink. Most people will want them mailed instead of trying to get them from promoter. You can also use online proofing for candid shots taken during the festivities. Won't make a lot of money on the candids but you never know. Doesn't hurt to try. Don't do a lot of editing of the candids or you will waste manhours. You can make decent profit on these events if you can keep costs low. Even if you don't make a ton of money on your first "dance", other shoots may come from it such as a family portrait session, senior session, or another event. Good luck and let us know how it went.
     
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  8. raider

    raider TPF Noob!

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    hire a lawyer for the possible lawsuit - you're charging someone without entirely knowing what you're doing. if i got bad service, i would take the 'pro' to court or demand money back.
     
  9. orljustin

    orljustin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I went to one of these last Saturday. I took the envelope which had asked for all my information, filled it out with my CC #, and my choice to have the images mailed to me. I picked the 5x7 with 4 wallets for $15. There was a 4x6 for $10. I don't know the rest of the prices. It was a simple two umbrella set up. There was a colorful backdrop with another muslin/fabric draped across it, with balloons on the side. Black muslin? Sounds like a funeral. It doesn't really sound like you are ready to do event work.
     
  10. CCericola

    CCericola Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Black background? No. Do you have a copy of the declaration page of your liability insurance? The school will need thatWhat percentage of the profits are you going to offer the school? This is VERY common and something the school photographers offer.Does the school have a contract with another company? A lot of school photo companies have a contract with the school for yearbook, dance and sports. Many teachers and parent organizers don't know this. Ask them to verify that you can even do the job.Prepay is going to be the easiest for you. If you do prepay there is no shooting fee. Packages should range from 10-50. If you can deliver everything to the school and have them delivered to the students at home room it will make things easier.You will have to be prepared to be able to refund or reprint up to 30%. This is just an estimate but something you need to be ready for when you do prepay.You may need to pay for background checks for you and assistants depending on the school district vender policies.You need backup equipment in case of damage or malfunction.I will probably think of more stuff later.
     
  11. unremarkableguy

    unremarkableguy TPF Noob!

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    I really appreciate the constructive ideas and tips.

    As has been said, I may in fact not be ready for this type of thing. I was asked to do this by the parents/school staff who are organizing this (I myself am an employee of the school district). I didn't go out and advertise myself. I am simply seeking information so I can make informed decisions/judgments about this situation. It is unfortunate that some people on this board would rather be sarcastic than actually offer assistance.
     
  12. CCericola

    CCericola Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I had a thought. Start slow. Charge a flat rate to the school. Take the photos and e-mail the files to the people. They can go print them if they want. That way you skip a lot of headache. Or host them on a site for people to download if you don't want to send out 200 emails. Make sure you hand out business cards to people in case they don't get their pictures.

    This way, you get paid something and you are helping your school and you get a feel for how these things go. It may not even be the kind of photography you want to do so why make it complicated?
     

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