First time shooting products, pricing?


TPF Noob!
Oct 11, 2016
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hello everyone! I came here to get an opinion from someone who may be experienced in this area. A jewelry company has come to me asking if I would take pictures of their products and they would pay me for it. I have worked with this company in the past for free just to test things out, and they are genuine and very nice, so I would like to make this work. The owner has never paid a photographer to take the pictures, and since I haven't been through a situation like this before, we are both stuck. Here's what I need help on:

She wants to know what my rate is, but I am unsure of what people usually charge. I have to also consider the fact that I would also be paying my models for helping out in this process too. I know that I have to factor in the time I spend and the model costs, as well as the styling I will do for each shoot. Any input is helpful, thanks!


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Jul 6, 2009
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What is the usage license that the jewelry company is asking for? Do they make jewelry for other retailers or are they a local company that sells jewelry that is made in bulk and then imported to them?

They obviously have a need for pictures, why; for their website, for marketing materials, or will they be running ads (local or national)

You might think you should give them an easy price because you are new - that is wrong. Either they will use the images or they won't this is about the where your images are going to be used and for how long.

To get a taste of how much they are going to spend to promote your images you should call up your local paper and ask the cost of running a 1/4 black and white ad for 6 months, then do the same thing with a local travel magazine. And if you think that a website doesn't cost a business money then look into the revenue Adwords is making.

The point is, photography does a LOT of good for a company's marketing and companies know marketing costs real money don't let the artist in you or their belief that because you are only an artist you don't deserve to get paid (real money - $500 for ad usage is not real money)

How much is the model costing you, how much would it cost to rent every single piece of your supplied photo equipment for the project cost? How much will it cost to have a professional local person do all the post processing for you?

Put these numbers together and then bounce them off the forum and you will get a much more accurate response than me telling you to charge $5,000


In memoriam
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Apr 9, 2009
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Are you somewhere in the USA?
If you are, where you are in the US bears on what you can charge.
If you are in L.A. or NYC you would charge more than if you're in Des Moines or Spokane.

Do you have a legal, registered with the proper government agencies, business?

Will you be shooting at the clients location or will the clinet bring items they want photographed to you?

What YOU charge has to be based on what it costs you to do the job, + your profit.
In other words, what my costs and profit are and what jeffW's costs are, probably aren't the same as your costs.

You invoice for your time and talent separately from the cost of models, and from the cost of image use licensing.
Part of your charge for your time and talent has to include costs related to doing the job, like the time you have spend in consultation with the client, part of your costs for your phone, electricity, computer/camera equipment, wear and tear on same, software cost, health insurance, sales taxes (if any) - all known as your cost-of-doing-business of CODB.
CODB Calculator
How to Prepare Quotes for Clients that Get Accepted
Photograph Use Licensing
Photo Licensing: A Look at the Basics (+ Sample License) - DIY Photography

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