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Author Topic: Advice for potential rate/releases  (Read 4504 times)

PackLight

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2012, 11:53:41 AM »
First off, I am a self employed indidvidual however I am not a pro photog. I would love to be but it would be severe cut in pay.

But to give you a few things to think about.

Since your Dad is a CPA talk him in to doing all the tax part of this for you for free. Otherwise you would be working to pay his $150 an hour bill and believe me, you are charging no where close to enough to pay a CPA.

Food for thought. You have to charge for your equipment, like others have said it doesn't last forever. To put it in perspective for us laymans, if you have a 5D III and its life span is 100,000 shots it would end up costing you about 3 1/2 cents a shot. For a session with 300 shots that is $10.50. That doesn't incldued maintenance, lenses etc, so it could easily get up to $20 or so in wear and tear on your gear for just a small session. Take this in to account, figure that a certain part of your fee to gear.

Milage, you should get 45 to 50 cents a mile minimum for driving. Wear and tear on the vehicle, fuel etc.

Travel time, 1 hour of work cost you 2 hours if you are 30 minutes away. Build that extra in.

Finally I would look at this, if your getting in to the show for free. If they are providing your drinks. If you can pick up hot chicks because you are the photog on site. Then I think if they pay you $70 it might be about right. Maybe even to much  ;)

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2012, 11:53:41 AM »

unfocused

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2012, 02:19:13 PM »
Lots of good advice here.

Since you have ready access to a CPA, you are very fortunate because he can help you with a sharp-penciled approach to what is realistic. That's something that too few small business people consider when starting out and why so many small businesses close down the road.

Of course you have to balance out your need to make a profit and the ability or willingness of your clients to pay. It's very easy for others to say that you should be charging more, but very hard for you, at this point, to turn down opportunities to learn and gain experience because your clients can't or won't pay what your services should be worth.

Ask yourself if this is a hobby or a business. Right now, you are charging hobby rates. Are you content to continue charging hobby rates knowing that it is unlikely to ever lead to earning enough to operate a business? Would you be happy joining your Dad's accounting firm for your day job and then continuing the photography work on weekends and evenings?

Your Dad will have better advice, but here are a couple of quick exercises: Let's say you continue to charge $75 for a live shoot of an hour or less. Multiply that by how many shoots you can reasonably do in a year. Three gigs a week, year round, at $75 each – that's less than $12,000 gross.

Now, what's the most you realistically believe you can earn in the foreseeable future?   Let's say you could get $500 per shoot and score the same three jobs a week. That's pretty aggressive, but even at that rate, you'd be grossing less than $80,000 a year. That's a living, but it is never going to make you rich.

Finally, something to consider. If you really feel you cannot charge more than $75 a job right now (possibly your clients can't afford any more than that), consider setting a higher, more realistic rate and offering a discount of some sort. That could give you some headroom in the future. "I'm planning on turning pro next year, but right now I need to build up my portfolio, so I am offering a special 'starving artists' discount. The catch is that I retain the rights to the photos and I'll need a signed release from all band members. You can use the pictures to promote your band, but not to earn money from t-shirt, poster or other sales. I will sell you the rights to all the pictures, but that will cost you quite a bit more."
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Drizzt321

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2012, 04:03:40 PM »
Lots of good advice here.

Since you have ready access to a CPA, you are very fortunate because he can help you with a sharp-penciled approach to what is realistic. That's something that too few small business people consider when starting out and why so many small businesses close down the road.

Of course you have to balance out your need to make a profit and the ability or willingness of your clients to pay. It's very easy for others to say that you should be charging more, but very hard for you, at this point, to turn down opportunities to learn and gain experience because your clients can't or won't pay what your services should be worth.

Ask yourself if this is a hobby or a business. Right now, you are charging hobby rates. Are you content to continue charging hobby rates knowing that it is unlikely to ever lead to earning enough to operate a business? Would you be happy joining your Dad's accounting firm for your day job and then continuing the photography work on weekends and evenings?

Your Dad will have better advice, but here are a couple of quick exercises: Let's say you continue to charge $75 for a live shoot of an hour or less. Multiply that by how many shoots you can reasonably do in a year. Three gigs a week, year round, at $75 each – that's less than $12,000 gross.

Now, what's the most you realistically believe you can earn in the foreseeable future?   Let's say you could get $500 per shoot and score the same three jobs a week. That's pretty aggressive, but even at that rate, you'd be grossing less than $80,000 a year. That's a living, but it is never going to make you rich.

Finally, something to consider. If you really feel you cannot charge more than $75 a job right now (possibly your clients can't afford any more than that), consider setting a higher, more realistic rate and offering a discount of some sort. That could give you some headroom in the future. "I'm planning on turning pro next year, but right now I need to build up my portfolio, so I am offering a special 'starving artists' discount. The catch is that I retain the rights to the photos and I'll need a signed release from all band members. You can use the pictures to promote your band, but not to earn money from t-shirt, poster or other sales. I will sell you the rights to all the pictures, but that will cost you quite a bit more."

Well, right now I am charging hobby rates, or at least rates where I'm not doing it full time. My Dad runs his own, semi-part time practice, and it's back home which is 3000+ miles away. Leaving that aside, I do software development, and I'm quite well paid. I'm not thinking (at this time) to turn this into my full time job. But, if I can get a couple of grand a year, or more, and buy an extra lens or two and be able to offset the money earned against my photography purchases, that'd be pretty nice. And as time goes on, if I'm getting 2-3 bookings a week constantly and booked out a few weeks or more, I'd certainly look at upping my rates some. Supply and demand, right?

Good point on the rights, I should have to 2 parts, first is normal, promotional materials (flyers, web, etc) and a higher rate for sellable items (t-shirts, posters, etc). Hmm....gotta think on that a bit more.
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PackLight

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2012, 04:18:53 PM »
An amature that just wants to make a few bucks so he works cheap, is the same guy we hear some Pro's complaining about all the time that they think mess the market up and take work away from them.


Drizzt321

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2012, 04:22:50 PM »
An amature that just wants to make a few bucks so he works cheap, is the same guy we hear some Pro's complaining about all the time that they think mess the market up and take work away from them.

If I wanted to go cheap, I'd say $50 and I'll give you everything hi-res and do whatever you want with it. I honestly don't know what the normal, fair-market rates would be, which is why I asked it here.
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PackLight

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2012, 04:30:54 PM »
An amature that just wants to make a few bucks so he works cheap, is the same guy we hear some Pro's complaining about all the time that they think mess the market up and take work away from them.

If I wanted to go cheap, I'd say $50 and I'll give you everything hi-res and do whatever you want with it. I honestly don't know what the normal, fair-market rates would be, which is why I asked it here.

I understand, you mentioned hobby rates though and that is why I said that.
Nothing wrong with doing work on the side like this.
Be fair to yourself though, price close to what the market goes.  If you price fairly then you can't be the guy they complain about.
$50 sounds cheap unless you see a way it will generate some more cash with prints etc....
Unless your doing it for friends and family then pricing doesn't matter at all.

Drizzt321

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2012, 04:34:46 PM »
An amature that just wants to make a few bucks so he works cheap, is the same guy we hear some Pro's complaining about all the time that they think mess the market up and take work away from them.

If I wanted to go cheap, I'd say $50 and I'll give you everything hi-res and do whatever you want with it. I honestly don't know what the normal, fair-market rates would be, which is why I asked it here.

I understand, you mentioned hobby rates though and that is why I said that.
Nothing wrong with doing work on the side like this.
Be fair to yourself though, price close to what the market goes.  If you price fairly then you can't be the guy they complain about.
$50 sounds cheap unless you see a way it will generate some more cash with prints etc....
Unless your doing it for friends and family then pricing doesn't matter at all.

Heh. Nowhere did I mention _actually_ charging $50, I was saying if I wanted to be that kind of cheap amateur photographer the guys who actually need to make a living from hate, I'd charge that.
5D mark 2, 5D mark 3, EF 17-40mm f/4L,  EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 135mm f/2L, EF 85mm f/1.8
Film Cameras: Mamiya RB67, RB-50, RB-180-C, RB-90-C, RB-50, Perkeo I folder, Mamiya Six Folder (Pre-WWII model)
http://www.aaronbaff.com

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2012, 04:34:46 PM »

PackLight

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2012, 04:43:24 PM »
An amature that just wants to make a few bucks so he works cheap, is the same guy we hear some Pro's complaining about all the time that they think mess the market up and take work away from them.

If I wanted to go cheap, I'd say $50 and I'll give you everything hi-res and do whatever you want with it. I honestly don't know what the normal, fair-market rates would be, which is why I asked it here.

I understand, you mentioned hobby rates though and that is why I said that.
Nothing wrong with doing work on the side like this.
Be fair to yourself though, price close to what the market goes.  If you price fairly then you can't be the guy they complain about.
$50 sounds cheap unless you see a way it will generate some more cash with prints etc....
Unless your doing it for friends and family then pricing doesn't matter at all.

Heh. Nowhere did I mention _actually_ charging $50, I was saying if I wanted to be that kind of cheap amateur photographer the guys who actually need to make a living from hate, I'd charge that.

 :)

cayenne

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2012, 04:46:56 PM »
I think it can be safely generalized that anyone wanting to go pro...will be coming up from doing it purely as a hobby.

And starting off, with no portfolio...and needing to learn the ropes about photography, and these days...a LOT about PP, well, you just can't start out asking a lot of money.

I'm planning to start shooting some local bands here, a friend of mine likes what I've shown him so far...and he's involved with bars around town and local bands...so, I'm going to shoot a lot after the first of the year, basically free...and for drinks.

This will allow me to learn how to shoot lowlight indoors, settings that work...and PP aftewards.
I'll get some free drinks...and the bands will get some good shots. Basically the foot in the door thing.
You gotta learn somewhere...and getting experience and contacts should be good, no?

That being said...as I go along, while I think it would be amazing to be able to quit my "day job" and do photography and videography full time,  I dunno if I could pull in what I do with my current day job.

Starting out, I'm gonna be happy to get some extra $$ at some point, to feed my current addiction I've gotten since getting this great camera.

However, I am the type always looking to make a dollar.

I recently watched a week long series a week ago with a wedding (primarily) photographer, Sal Cinciotta. This guy started his wedding photog business basically in 2008...I think he cleared maybe $16K or so that year...something fairly low.
This year, he's gonna gross over $1M...and I can see from the series he gave and how he operates...it is possible.

I need to learn more about actual shooting and learning the camera...but who knows...in a year or so, I'm going to try to model shooting on his business plan.

Anyway, I'm rambling...forgot where I'm going with all of this...
But hey, you gotta start somewhere. Free is usually the starting place....once you get your feet wet, and learn what to do...well, sure, you gotta figure what you're worth.

One thing I got out of the talk by Sal....he found the more money he charged...the more business he got and the move value people place on his work.

A very interesting story. I watched it live for free, but was so intrigued I bought the lecture for $149...it is more than that...but pretty interesting.

The show was here:
http://www.creativelive.com/courses/wedding-photography-business-boot-camp-sal-cincotta

I'm not associated with this guy...but I was inspired on how to view turning this hobby, eventually into a business....and after the first of the year when I get a bit more time...that's the way I'm moving.

C

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Re: Advice for potential rate/releases
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2012, 04:46:56 PM »