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Thread: Charging for photography

  1. #1
    maloufn's Avatar
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    Charging for photography

    I have just been asked by an aquaintance for 30 photos (yes she wanted them all) of her and her family I have taken coincidentally on two occasions. I have had to do a fair amount of PP on these as most were taken at night without flash with a 50mm f1.4. I have spent around 3 hrs doing this (yes- I am not that well versed in postproduction yet!!)

    Are there any general accepted rules in the industry as to how to charge for:
    Capture or Photoshoot time
    Post production time
    Printing cost
    No of photos?
    Any other hidden costs?

    Any help would be great.

    Thanks

    Nasseem

  2. #2
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for photography

    Hi Nasseem,

    A couple of question if I may.

    1. Are you going to offer images for sale or is this just as a one off?
    2. Will the prints be framed or canvass? What style of mount board?
    3. Who is doing the printing? What size prints are you offering?
    4. How good an acquaintance are they? Do they expect to pay for the images?

  3. #3
    maloufn's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Ryan View Post
    Hi Nasseem,

    A couple of question if I may.

    1. Are you going to offer images for sale or is this just as a one off?
    2. Will the prints be framed or canvass? What style of mount board?
    3. Who is doing the printing? What size prints are you offering?
    4. How good an acquaintance are they? Do they expect to pay for the images?
    Dear Peter,

    This is a one off not to say I wont be doing it in the future.
    They are frmaed in CS4 but not otherwise in print
    A professional lab is printing where they do WET PRINTING???? not digital!!
    They insisted on paying me.

    Thanks for any advice.

    Nasseem

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    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for photography

    These are only my thoughts but as this is more a private thing then I would think you work out the costs of printing and any hard framing costs and then add a margin for your time, effort and creativity.

    I suggest you look on e-bay and see what others are charging for a straight A4 print in the quality and style you are offering but I would think an A4 print should price around $45 - $55 including printing costs. You may look at some discount based on the strength of your relationship and the number ordered.

    If you were doing it on a more consistent basis then it is important to get your costs down to increase your profit rather than increase your price.

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    New Member Sol's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for photography

    Glad I found this. I'm having the same type of trouble. It's hard when it comes to family and friends I just haven't figured out how to charge...well up until now. Your questions to Nasseem were very helpful thanks.

  6. #6
    maloufn's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Ryan View Post
    These are only my thoughts but as this is more a private thing then I would think you work out the costs of printing and any hard framing costs and then add a margin for your time, effort and creativity.

    I suggest you look on e-bay and see what others are charging for a straight A4 print in the quality and style you are offering but I would think an A4 print should price around $45 - $55 including printing costs. You may look at some discount based on the strength of your relationship and the number ordered.

    If you were doing it on a more consistent basis then it is important to get your costs down to increase your profit rather than increase your price.
    Dear Peter,

    So you dont think its unreasonable to charge $30 for a 5x7 plus printing costs. Honestly, I have spent over 4 hrs of Post Production. Ill be quicker next time around. Peter I know you sell your photos. I might draw on your expertise in due course and I thank you.

    Nasseem

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    Re: Charging for photography

    Quote Originally Posted by maloufn View Post
    Dear Peter,

    This is a one off not to say I wont be doing it in the future.

    Thanks for any advice.

    Nasseem
    If you are good, and I've seen your photographs, others will want you to do the same for them so don't think of this as a one off. Any price you set today may have to be offered in the near future, unless you totally refuse to do it for anyone else.

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    Re: Charging for photography

    Quote Originally Posted by maloufn View Post
    Dear Peter,

    So you dont think its unreasonable to charge $30 for a 5x7 plus printing costs. Honestly, I have spent over 4 hrs of Post Production. Ill be quicker next time around. Peter I know you sell your photos. I might draw on your expertise in due course and I thank you.

    Nasseem
    This may not apply to Nasseem's situation, but for others charging for their work, consider getting a model release signed for photos which you plan on using for other reasons. For instance, if you plan to self promote yourself or sell the photos to others a model release would be necessary.

  9. #9
    maloufn's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for photography

    Thank you for the advice John.

    Nasseem

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    Re: Charging for photography

    Quote Originally Posted by maloufn View Post
    Dear Peter,

    So you dont think its unreasonable to charge $30 for a 5x7 plus printing costs. Honestly, I have spent over 4 hrs of Post Production. Ill be quicker next time around. Peter I know you sell your photos. I might draw on your expertise in due course and I thank you.

    Nasseem
    Just to avoid confusion, an A4 size would be 21x30 cm, or 8'x12', not 5'x7' (which is closer to 13x18cm, i.e. less than half A4).
    Remco

  11. #11
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    Re: Charging for photography

    Hi Nasseem (and Sol),

    Hmmmm, a tricky one.

    Personally, I think I would not provide a "per print" price, it strikes me, with friends/family, as being too commercial, and there are other downsides I'll cover later.

    I would come at it from the the angle of "what did it cost me?", so if you are paying for the printing, obviously charge that on at full cost, maybe evening adding 10% (for your time finding a printer), also add on any direct costs involved like going there to collect the prints, etc.

    Regarding PP time, I think I would 'conjure up' an hourly rate based on what I am paid at work (a totally unrelated area, I know) and use that multiplied by the time involved in PP to arrive at a figure, keep both the hours and the rate to yourself.

    If you feel bad about how long it took you to PP them (given your inexperience) and that has pushed the price up, then make an adjustment on a 'what feels right' basis.

    Shooting time; I would only include this if they initially asked you to take the pictures. If you asked them; e.g. for practice, then you wrote that cost off there and then, so to include it now would be taking advantage in my view. If they did ask you first, then apply same ideas as for PP time.

    I'd present the two as separate items;
    $xxx for printing, saying it is mostly what you paid the printer, and
    $yyy for PP (and shooting time if approppriate)

    Make it clear (but also don't labour the point) that this was a one off deal on account of the circumstances. Don't pre-empt and start discussing 'next time', it will either ensure there isn't one, or you may regret what you say now because of what you know by the time next time arrives.
    As you haven't given them an hourly rate, or said how long it took you, that leaves you clear to 'up' rates a bit more in future without cries of "last time you did it for so much an hour", etc. and avoids comparisons with other places.

    For any future event, consider a more commercial approach as outlined above by Peter and John.

    EDIT: One last thing; and I very recently fell into this trap myself, when someone says, "I want all of them", don't do it, 'lose' any sub-standard ones and don't have several identical ones; pick one (of a certain pose) and go with it. Being personally connected and proud of them, if they show them to other people, the casual observer will be thinking "why so many the same?" this is boring, and switch off - you have instantly harmed your reputation.

    Hope that helps,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 2nd February 2011 at 01:23 PM.

  12. #12
    maloufn's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Nasseem (and Sol),

    Hmmmm, a tricky one.

    Personally, I think I would not provide a "per print" price, it strikes me, with friends/family, as being too commercial, and there are other downsides I'll cover later.

    I would come at it from the the angle of "what did it cost me?", so if you are paying for the printing, obviously charge that on at full cost, maybe evening adding 10% (for your time finding a printer), also add on any direct costs involved like going there to collect the prints, etc.

    Regarding PP time, I think I would 'conjure up' an hourly rate based on what I am paid at work (a totally unrelated area, I know) and use that multiplied by the time involved in PP to arrive at a figure, keep both the hours and the rate to yourself.

    If you feel bad about how long it took you to PP them (given your inexperience) and that has pushed the price up, then make an adjustment on a 'what feels right' basis.

    Shooting time; I would only include this if they initially asked you to take the pictures. If you asked them; e.g. for practice, then you wrote that cost off there and then, so to include it now would be taking advantage in my view. If they did ask you first, then apply same ideas as for PP time.

    I'd present the two as separate items;
    $xxx for printing, saying it is mostly what you paid the printer, and
    $yyy for PP (and shooting time if approppriate)

    Make it clear (but also don't labour the point) that this was a one off deal on account of the circumstances. Don't pre-empt and start discussing 'next time', it will either ensure there isn't one, or you may regret what you say now because of what you know by the time next time arrives.
    As you haven't given them an hourly rate, or said how long it took you, that leaves you clear to 'up' rates a bit more in future without cries of "last time you did it for so much an hour", etc. and avoids comparisons with other places.

    For any future event, consider a more commercial approach as outlined above by Peter and John.

    EDIT: One last thing; and I very recently fell into this trap myself, when someone says, "I want all of them", don't do it, 'lose' any sub-standard ones and don't have several identical ones; pick one (of a certain pose) and go with it. Being personally connected and proud of them, if they show them to other people, the casual observer will be thinking "why so many the same?" this is boring, and switch off - you have instantly harmed your reputation.

    Hope that helps,

    Dear Dave,

    A lot of wise advice. Could you or someone else give me an a rough hourly rate on postproduction???

    THanks

    Nasseem

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    Re: Charging for photography

    Quote Originally Posted by maloufn View Post
    Dear Dave,

    A lot of wise advice. Could you or someone else give me an a rough hourly rate on postproduction???

    THanks

    Nasseem
    Quick comment, post production is your own time, you can charge based on your time lost doing something else or compare the cost of someone who actually does this for a living. Remember one thing that sets you apart from someone who does this on a daily basis, your personal time has value but it might not equate to what a professional charges.

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    Re: Charging for photography

    Hi Nasseem (and Sol),

    How long is a piece of string? Everyone will have a view on what their time is worth. As a Dr (of whatever persuasion) your hourly rate will be a lot more than a stay at home mum.

    I think Dave and I are on the same wavelength here and what we are trying to say is just be realistic with acquaintances if this is not going to be a regular thing.

    I deliberately tried not to get into to hourly rates with my response as I knew this would be the next question.

    The best guide to work out your costs and cover them.

    Next, how much over that? Well at this stage, as it is a one off, I do not think you should be considering covering your shooting time, processing time, taking the images to the printer and collecting them time. Do this for the experience and add a small margin. As I say. Check out e-bay and see what they sell prints for and then allow a volume discount and an acquaintance discount, etc.

    If you are going to so this on a regular basis then I will have different advice.

    This is not where you are going to make your fortune. This is where you are having a bit of fun, seeing your images on a wall, building a name and covering your costs but, as I said in my first response, make sure if you do it more regularly that you do not bastardise the market for the real pros (and I do not mean me here) and maintain a reasonable price for the quality offered.

    It's not that I do not want to directly answer your question but I don't think anyone can.

  15. #15
    maloufn's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for photography

    Peter,

    I take your point. This is for fun but who knows, I might be doing this more regularly just like you do and I would like to eventually.

    Regards

    Nasseem
    Last edited by maloufn; 3rd February 2011 at 04:47 AM.

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    Re: Charging for photography

    Let's make some assumptions here:

    I assume you have a job which requires some skills and you get paid for that work. That is a base for your time charges. Inasmuch as you are not as skilled as you would like to be, you can drop the hourly base to the next lower level of skill at whatever job you hold. To that add any direct expenses you have incurred in obtaining the prints. That now gives you a logical price to charge.

    Next, assume that these are friend or family. Reduce or increase that price you just calculated by what you think is fair for this group. If you reduce it, brag about having done so, just for them. If you increase the price, just be firm and state that the price is what it is.

    That is the way I have done it in the past and it usually worked.

    Pops

  17. #17
    maloufn's Avatar
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    Re: Charging for photography

    Thanks Pops. Firm and straight to the point.

    nasseem

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    Re: Charging for photography

    Oh good grief Elise - a 150 mile commute??? I am amazed you haven't retired years ago. Unless you fly most of the way? You have all my sympathy.

    I did like your sig, but wondered what it would like without the reflection? However, great idea.

    I have fiddled about with pics & pieces/slices of pics as part of a logo, but didn't think of using somesuch as a sig.

    Good luck. Will be interested to see what you finally decide.

    Nihia

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    Re: Charging for photography


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