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Discussion Starter #1
Just curious for the professional photographers here, how you you figure on your rates? I'm not interested in what you charge (ie dollars) but how you factor it.

I realize some are broad and do weddings, portraits, then shoot for blogs, mags, photo-journal stuff while others are strictly model portraits or strictly automotive.

For weddings and portraits, do you sell in packages based on prints, time, per set/setup?

If a magazine wanted to have you shoot for an article how would you factor your fee? Is it based on time, number of prints being published for the article, or do you just have a flat rate like "I do mag shoots for X price, no negotiation"?

Do you supply random shots that host and sell stock photos (like dreamstime) or just deal directly with whomever wants to be licensed to use your photos for a fee? If a company wanted you to shoot their products for brochures, catalogs, etc how would you charge?

Again, I'm not interested in the dollar about, just how you go about setting the price based on the work involved.

Thanks,

Tubby
 

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For magazines, usually it's them deciding the budget and $ amounts, not you, you can negotiate a bit, but not much.

Magazines/publication, commercial use for advertising etc are generally licensed per amount of issues, national/international, etc. That stuff gets more difficult to figure out if you are new in the industry.

For my personal shoots and clients, it's all based off of time, assistants, equipment, time needed to setup, shoot, and process. I base it on what I believe the photos are worth. Everyone has different opinions on things. How easily your work can be replicated or surpassed, how many other people in the industry can do what you do... etc.

Where I am there isn't a huge market with the car stuff and not a ton of competition. Every client I have had contact me, I've named a price and they walk away happy with that.. There are the people who try to undercut me to extremes (they'll charge 20% of what I charge) but clients (high end especially) understand you get what you pay for and they feel more confident putting money into someone charging more but coming across as more confident, professional, and experienced.

Hope that helps a little bit...
 

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Its really tough being a photographer and making good money. What you can start with is contacting who you think your local competition is (whether it be weddings, product, or any other type of photography) and ask them for a price quote. Its important to be competitive and to make your client feel like they got a good value for their dollar.

Just be careful as many photographers have huge ego problems so I find it helpful to step back and look into my prices, product, etc as a third person just as a measure of quality control. I personally have photo packages to make it easier on my client and everything is broken down by the hour so they can really see where they're money is being spent. This works well for me while other pro automotive photographers may charge by the day. It all depends on what works best for you.

I think the most difficult thing is that photography is so accessible. Any joe shmoe can get a DSLR and call themselves a photographer and the worst part is most of them are willing to shoot for free! This really drives down the prices that photographers are getting paid. But I'd say most importantly is to first and foremost make sure you have a good product. If you do quality work and are honest and ethical both as a person and in your business practices the money should come to you :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Hope that helps a little bit...
Yes, very much. Thank you.

Its really tough being a photographer and making good money. What you can start with is contacting who you think your local competition is (whether it be weddings, product, or any other type of photography) and ask them for a price quote. Its important to be competitive and to make your client feel like they got a good value for their dollar.
That makes sense. There's a few photographers around here. All of them work from home so there's not much studio overhead (such as rent, utilities, etc separate from the home).

I'm just getting started taking photography more seriously. I'm going to try a few different things and see what I'm good at, then take it from there. I don't know what style or niche I'm looking to fill.

Just be careful as many photographers have huge ego problems so I find it helpful to step back and look into my prices, product, etc as a third person just as a measure of quality control. I personally have photo packages to make it easier on my client and everything is broken down by the hour so they can really see where they're money is being spent. This works well for me while other pro automotive photographers may charge by the day. It all depends on what works best for you.
That's for sure. One of the photographer's here needs an extra wide front door so his ego can fit through. That pricing method makes sense. I realize it's different for different situations and such, but ideas of how and in what context perplexed me.

I think the most difficult thing is that photography is so accessible. Any joe shmoe can get a DSLR and call themselves a photographer and the worst part is most of them are willing to shoot for free! This really drives down the prices that photographers are getting paid. But I'd say most importantly is to first and foremost make sure you have a good product. If you do quality work and are honest and ethical both as a person and in your business practices the money should come to you :)
That's for sure, on all accounts. In my current business industry, there are people that think a federal license is an endorsement of skills or knowledge.

I'm just getting started into taking photography more serious (and just sold my personal most favorite pistol I built from scratch to fund my first DSLR camera :() so I have a lot of learning ahead of me. Most of my experience has been with point and shoot cameras, but I got to play around with my stepfather's Canon Rebel for a bit and think it's a good learning DSLR camera that can produce good quality photos (if I do my part) while not laying out tons of cash on something I won't really like doing. Sort of testing the waters in my spare time right now.

I have a friend that's a model and is new to this as well. She's been doing it since May of this year and really likes it. Most of my shots have been casual family photos and closeup macro type stuff, like these shots from my inlaw's 140 acre farm. Shot with a Nikon P&S camera.



 
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