Unsure of Pricing for photographing a business

Discussion in 'The Aspiring Professionals Forum' started by BADenton, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. BADenton

    BADenton TPF Noob!

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    My manager knows I have my own photography business that is just starting out, so he asked me if I would be interested in taking photos of the gym I work at. I've done and have pricing for kids/family photography, but taking photos for a business is something new to me. We have 2 locations and he would like photos done at both. I figured it would be about a day worth of shooting total, it is periods of time broken between 2 days since he asked to have group classes photographed.

    This is a new territory to me and I have no idea where to begin pricing for this. I don't want to under pay myself but I don't want to offend him with asking to much. Looking for ideas or a place to start, preferred in US dollars as I am in South Texas.

    As I said before I have my pricing for family and children photography but have never even thought about photographing a business and don't know where to begin pricing this.


     
  2. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    Pricing is about charging for your time and talent and the usage rights (use licensing) he wants.
    Without knowing the usage rights no one can give you pricing.
    :: PLUS :: License Generator

    Photographs made for a business to use for advertising (commercial usage), and a web site is priced very differently than retail (personal use) photography of kids family.

    Visit www.ASMP.org and on the left click on Business Resources.
    ASMP recommends using - fotoQuote – Stock and Assignment Photography Price Guide
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The problems are, that (1) these tools reflect the commercial photography world of >10 years ago and (2) people today don't understand why they should pay many thousands of dollars for professional work. They also don't really take into account the "size" of the client; that is, they expect the same fee from Ford as they do from Mrs Smitth's corner market.

    One ful day of shooting = $1200, and let's assume he wants 10 images, non-exclusievely for all use in all media. Given that this is probably not a huge enterprise, I would say $500/image would be reasonable, so this job would bill out at $6200. What are the chances a small business owner is going to pay that these days. Probably zero! Given the current climate in my area, I would probably expect this job to bring at MOST $1000, TOTAL.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    More's the pity.

    fotoQuote Pro is a pricing GUIDE, not a be all to end all.
    An astute working photographer makes adjustments appropriate to the situation and continually studies the market the photographer does business in.

    fotoQuote Pro is in it's 6th iteration and "spent a year looking at every source of photo pricing that we could find; contacting photographers, going through the pile of notes and feedback from our customers, and scouring web sites and forums to see what kind of problems photographers were having with pricing, and what kind of solutions were being suggested to solve them."
    fotoQuote also has coaching for negotiating to help close a sale.

    Today most photographers trying to start a photography business lack the needed salesmanship and business skills.
    Salesmanship is how the photographer helps people understand why the photographer's work product is worth what the photographer is charging.
    That lack of salesmanship and business skills is the main reason so many new photography businesses fail in a short period of time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with you whole-heartedly Keith, but... the culture of 'good enough' is all pervasive, and clients don't feel the need to pay professional rates for what they perceive as a very minor difference in quality.
     
  6. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    You need "quality level" pricing, such as

    Package # 1 - Low level fuzzy quality like your friends with cell phones. $100
    # 2 - Low level quality of those newbies who are horrible photographers. $650
    # 3 - Moderate quality such as someone who quite doesn't know what they are doing $1,000
    # 4 - Very Good quality - an experienced though low cost $2,000
    # 5 - High quality Professional Level with all the gear to match - $6200

    A pick and choose pricing menu :)
     
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  7. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    This is key information as to the level of pricing that your manager is expecting. No doubt he is expecting you to undercut the pros by a lot. Whether your skills are at the professional level or not has little bearing on his expectations. He wants to go cheap, so you can expect to be "low-balled" on the deal.

    Some questions: Are you planning to do the shoot during your regular working hours, and if so, will you be expecting your regular pay? Even if you are paid your normal rate, are you expecting to be paid more for those hours? Has the manager engaged the services of a professional before, or has he received quotes from a pro for this work? Does he have a realistic idea of what the normal charges would be if he hired a pro? Do you think you can produce that kind of photographs that any business manager would be happy to receive and pay for? Are you prepared to purchase/rent additional equipment for the job?

    (edit) Most pros would highly recommend that you cover this endeavor with a written contract, signed by both you and the manager. No matter the level of compensation, you should have a contract. The contract should cover the scope of the work, and the licensing arrangement.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
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  8. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    ASMP also has a paperwork share on their site where photographers share invoices for actual jobs/clients usually in commercial work. (You have to be a member to see more than a couple of examples.)

    You could also take a look at the Photo District News Photo Magazine | Professional Photography Industry News and Resources to get some idea what photographers do in commercial work. Maybe search for commercial photographers in your area just to see what they do. I doubt they have pricing listed because usually that's done per job.

    I think there's a range of typical pricing or the going rate, and you might price at the lower end of the price range but you still want to be in range. Photographers have been getting undercut by people with cameras listing on facebook/craigslist. (See AstroNikon's imaginary packages #1 & 2!) If the boss or any prospective client wants dirt cheap then I guess he/she can find that elsewhere and probably get the low quality to be expected.

    If you get as informed as possible that should enable you to explain to your boss what's involved in professional quality commercial photography work. Make sure you learn about contracts and releases etc. too so you know how to license the work.
     
  9. imagemaker46

    imagemaker46 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Reading through guides that say "you should be charging this amount, for this work" in this day and age is pointless. People don't care what they are being charged as long as it less than they want to pay. It really has gone from being skilled and experienced to "great you have a camera, and I have $100 to spend" There are no typical charges, or fees anymore. I would throw out a high number, depending on the skill, experience and the ability to do the job right, try asking for $1000. There will be silence and the words, "that's more than we were thinking" if you get a counter offer of $250, think about it and ask for $500. Hope for the best, but expect less. It's a sad reality, but there is someone standing behind you that will be more than happy to take $100.
     
  10. 12sndsgood

    12sndsgood No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I gave myself an hourly rate for jobs that are a little outside my normal job. If you charge $100 an hour and its an 8 hour job then thats your labor charge. Useage rates are way more tricky. Chances are your boss just expects a price for your time. Not useage rates.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
  11. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    Yep.
    Commercial photography can entail several separate charges, often shown as separate line items in a formal quote proposal:
    • photographer time and talent (creative fee)
    • cost of usage rights (use licensing)
    • travel, permits, location scouting, equipment rental, etc.
     
  12. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm thinking I could make a fortune if I put together something like this for photographers.
    [​IMG]
    Then you could just look it up in the book. :biggrin-93:
     

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