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Author Topic: Advice for potential rate/releases  (Read 4451 times)

Drizzt321

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Advice for potential rate/releases
« on: November 14, 2012, 05:48:02 PM »
So, I've been doing some live band photography for a while, a ton of one particular artist whom I love her music, and she got me in touch with a DJ which I got some shots, and he's looking to pay me for the full res shots (already offered what I consider a reasonable amount). He also has links within the music industry with some bands, and possibly send me some more work. Yay!

However, I need to define my rates, rather than just play it by ear. Here's what I was thinking of telling him, for me to start at. What do you guys thing? Am I giving too much away in terms of releases?

I was thinking $70 for 45-75 minute performance (plus any venue fees, if required), which includes delivering non-watermarked 7-15 web size (1200px long edge like I gave you) images, and up to 3 full resolution images of any of the delivered images with full release other than a credit requirement for things like magazines/album covers/social media/etc. Additional full resolution would be $15 per image with the same releases.
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Advice for potential rate/releases
« on: November 14, 2012, 05:48:02 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2012, 06:50:29 PM »
At that rate, how long would it take you to pay for your gear after you pay for other expenses, gas, your time, etc?  Do a ROI, typically, you should pay off purchases of  gear in 3 but no longer than 6 months, or your losing your shirt.

Drizzt321

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2012, 06:55:56 PM »
At that rate, how long would it take you to pay for your gear after you pay for other expenses, gas, your time, etc?  Do a ROI, typically, you should pay off purchases of  gear in 3 but no longer than 6 months, or your losing your shirt.

Well, I've already bought my current gear. This would all be as a side job/pay for my gear type of thing. No clue how frequently I'd get gigs either, as I have not been promoting/marketing myself much at all. At least currently, maybe I'll try doing something in the near future. Right now I imagine I'd be shooting smaller/emerging bands, not well established playing at large venues and able to afford significantly higher rates. If it was a headliner at the Greek or something, I'd expect probably 4 or 5 times that, at least.

How about in terms of the rights release? Does that seem about normal for what bands would expect?

I'm thinking I'll follow my fathers advice (registered CPA) and get a tax id, a dba, and start keeping track of those sorts of things/expenses so I'm prepared if this starts being even 2 or 3 times a month.
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agierke

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2012, 08:08:28 PM »
in my area i get on average 100.00 an hour to shoot and 50.00 and hour for post production. sometimes that can jump up to 150.00 and hour. that is for event work.

commercial work in my area (market dependent) typically gets a day rate between 1200.00 and 1600.00.


you are under charging....by alot. this may be a "part time gig" for you now but if you have any fantasy of this becoming a full time profession you will need to raise your rates. there are many hidden costs to running your own business by yourself. 100.00 an hour is not uncommon for specialist contractors.
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2012, 08:18:01 PM »
At that rate, how long would it take you to pay for your gear after you pay for other expenses, gas, your time, etc?  Do a ROI, typically, you should pay off purchases of  gear in 3 but no longer than 6 months, or your losing your shirt.

Well, I've already bought my current gear. This would all be as a side job/pay for my gear type of thing. No clue how frequently I'd get gigs either, as I have not been promoting/marketing myself much at all. At least currently, maybe I'll try doing something in the near future. Right now I imagine I'd be shooting smaller/emerging bands, not well established playing at large venues and able to afford significantly higher rates. If it was a headliner at the Greek or something, I'd expect probably 4 or 5 times that, at least.

How about in terms of the rights release? Does that seem about normal for what bands would expect?

I'm thinking I'll follow my fathers advice (registered CPA) and get a tax id, a dba, and start keeping track of those sorts of things/expenses so I'm prepared if this starts being even 2 or 3 times a month.
I was just giving you something to think about.  There is no way you could operate a successful business with those rates.  Even if you own your equipment, the day you start a business, you move that equipment to be part of the business and declare its value.  The equipment represents a investment and is part of your cost of doing business. 
 
You need to sit down with your father, construct a business plan, and understand what its costing you to do a session, and then how much you want to be paid for your time, your liability insurance (you could be liable for damages in the event of a accident), there are lots of costs to do business.
 
 If you want to run a business, you need to do those things your father advised.  If you do not and the IRS audits you, they will tell you how much tax is due according to their estimates, and it will be high.
 

Drizzt321

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2012, 08:40:08 PM »
You both have given me quite a bit to think about, especially from the rates side. I don't want to start it out too low, but I don't want to come out being too expensive. All a balance I think.
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robbymack

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2012, 08:57:50 PM »
Biggest piece of advice I can give you is not to underprice yourself to the competition. You run the risk of not being able to raise your prices later. Secondly verify the tax laws in your state. For example in California if you deliver a tangible good (ie prints) then the whole transaction including session fees are subject to sales tax. The last thing you want is a problem with your state tax board or the IRS.

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2012, 08:57:50 PM »

hawaiisunsetphoto

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2012, 10:54:41 PM »
You're severely undercharging.  Think about the actual cost of doing business, in addition to perceived value. 
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cayenne

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2012, 11:19:54 PM »
Biggest piece of advice I can give you is not to underprice yourself to the competition. You run the risk of not being able to raise your prices later. Secondly verify the tax laws in your state. For example in California if you deliver a tangible good (ie prints) then the whole transaction including session fees are subject to sales tax. The last thing you want is a problem with your state tax board or the IRS.

I've been wondering about that myself....as I think about someday getting some $$ for my photo/video work.

If you give the results, full rights and all, would that not be considered a 'work for hire', in which case you're not truly selling anything but your time....like if you're contracting to do some computer coding (which I've done before)...I worked on their site, they did furnish equipment mostly....but the code I left there, and I just 1099'ed them for the work.

I have an S corp...so, out of the full bill rate, I paid part of that out as a 'reasonable' salary for the IRS, out of that was paid employment taxes....the balance fell through on personal taxes, but only with fed and state on that.

Anyway, the point is...I never 'sold' a product, I generated something electronic for them. So, if you delivered only electronic images....would that not qualify as work for hire too?

I'm sure it varies from state to state greatly...but was something I was pondering the other day...

C

PeterJ

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2012, 01:20:57 AM »
One other thing you want to think about is travelling time. What if a regular customer expects you'll do a 45 min gig that's two hours drive away for $70? In my non-photography business I normally charge 50% - 100% of my normal rate for travelling time if it'll be over 10 mins, depending on how much work I'm doing while there.

That seems to be an important thing to make clear and cover if the travelling time will ever be significant compared to the 'work time' as it is sometimes for me.

trojdor

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2012, 03:14:04 AM »
Everyone has given you good advise. Something to consider is that 'going pro' is not something to dabble at. It's a real business, or it's not a business at all. You've already paid for the equipment you have...that's great. But that gear won't last forever, and you'll need to anticipate replacement costs. Then there all the hidden costs that tend to creep up. Dabbling at professional photography is as practical as being a little pregnant...it's an all or nothing kind of thing.  ;)

sanj

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2012, 04:13:46 AM »
Pls do not undercharge. Request!

Greg_M

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2012, 10:06:50 AM »
Consult with an accountant to help you with depreciation figures and taxes.
You may want to form an LLC.

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2012, 10:06:50 AM »

robbymack

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2012, 10:18:57 AM »
Biggest piece of advice I can give you is not to underprice yourself to the competition. You run the risk of not being able to raise your prices later. Secondly verify the tax laws in your state. For example in California if you deliver a tangible good (ie prints) then the whole transaction including session fees are subject to sales tax. The last thing you want is a problem with your state tax board or the IRS.

I've been wondering about that myself....as I think about someday getting some $$ for my photo/video work.

If you give the results, full rights and all, would that not be considered a 'work for hire', in which case you're not truly selling anything but your time....like if you're contracting to do some computer coding (which I've done before)...I worked on their site, they did furnish equipment mostly....but the code I left there, and I just 1099'ed them for the work.

I have an S corp...so, out of the full bill rate, I paid part of that out as a 'reasonable' salary for the IRS, out of that was paid employment taxes....the balance fell through on personal taxes, but only with fed and state on that.

Anyway, the point is...I never 'sold' a product, I generated something electronic for them. So, if you delivered only electronic images....would that not qualify as work for hire too?

I'm sure it varies from state to state greatly...but was something I was pondering the other day...

C

True every state varies but you can probably safely assume california is likely the most liberal in their application of state tax laws so it shouldnt be much more complicated than it is here. At least in California delivery of electronic goods are not considered tangible property. However lets say rather than emailing a photo to a client you give them a thumb drive or cd. The thumb drive or cd is considered tangible property so the entire transaction would be subject to sales tax. You can go through a convoluted process of having them document returning the thumb drive or cd to you within a specified time period to avoid the tax issues, but it's easier to use email in my opinion if you aren't going to be charging the client for prints.

Greg_M

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2012, 11:10:17 AM »
If you have any income (over $600), you will have to pay Income Tax. If you do not, you may be found guilty of income tax evasion and not only have to the tax you should have paid, but penalties and interest which may equal the original tax. The tax codes are way to complicated for someone who is not schooled in them. Get yourself an accountant and let them worry with it. Then you can do what you do best and not have to think about book keeping.

Either it's a business or it's not.

Probably you will be shocked by how much tax you have to pay to be in business that you never even knew existed. Here in WA you have to pay a tax just to be in business. It's called Business and Occupation (B&O) tax. People who do not run a business have no clue as to how many taxes and hidden costs there are in a business. There are also benefits in the form of deductions which an accountant can advise you on (like transportation costs for one) as a deduction.

I ran a machine shop for a few decades and chose to not have to occupy my time and brain power with book keeping. I was only audited once by the state and I simply informed them that I had no clue about book keeping and asked them to contact my accountant which they did. I did not have to deal with any of it.

I find that lack of stress worth the cost of the accountant

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2012, 11:10:17 AM »