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Archive 2012 · How to price your work ?
  
 
mjoshi
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · How to price your work ?


Okay I'm by no means a professional landscape photographer, I normally shoot people (easier money compared to Landscapes). But Landscape has always been my favorite -

My current gear is
5Dmkii + 60D
17-40F4L
70-200F2.8L ISii
35F1.4L
100F2.8L IS macro
580EXii flash + 430EXii Flash
Tripod (nothing fancy but routine carbon fiber tripod that can hold 5DMKii with 70-200 on it)

I've shot fair amount of landscape so far for my personal enjoyment and collection. Now one of my friend who owns place on Lake George wants to get into selling Landscape pictures on larger canvas and as merchandise for tourists and he has asked me to help him out with photography aspect, he is willing to invest in making products as well as marketing and selling them. I need to be photographer for him who can give him landscape images that he can sell.

So how do I price my work ?
1) Images that are already in my collection and he wants to sell - how to price those ?
2) New Images that he wants be to take by going around upstate NY - Adirondacks and Lake George Area. So how to price those ?

I understand that Landscape photography is not a easier job, you need to be at location at certain time to capture things and you'll have to haul your gear to location and deal with elements and bugs and animals. So are there any tips from pros here for someone who is just starting out and need some directions.



Jun 06, 2012 at 12:13 PM
ckcarr
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · How to price your work ?


Start at $1,000,000 and work your way down.

Give yourself five years to build up a decent portfolio.
Why? Because light, weather, seasons, all change. To be in the right place at the right time is not just a computation of time and space, it's also being lucky. The beautiful pictures in snow, or fog, they don't just happen every day.

Everyone thinks their snapshots are wonderful. Have you printed anything large? Like 2 foot by 3 foot? Sharpness, color, contrast, exposure all become very noticeable. Have you built up a portfolio of quality images?

Although people say equipment is not important, to some extent it is. Particularly when printing large.

Are their galleries in the area? Go study what others are doing and charging. Often a big part of the final selling price is the framing and presentation. It all contributes to the bottom line net profit.

I live in a resort town and see galleries come and go. The fact is, most photographers have diversified into writing books, magazine articles, leading photo tours, and doing whatever it takes to make it work. If you are just doing this part time to supplement other income, then having a handful of shots may work. But still, getting 15-20 great images takes a lot of work.

So after all that, since you asked I see 8.5x11" prints for $25, 11x14" prints going for $35, I've seen large framed prints of 36"x48" framed and originally priced at $1,200 being discounted to $600. I also see boatloads of those prints just sitting in bins. What does your friend want, as far as his cut?

I don't want to sound cynical, but successful landscape photographers are probably as rare as professional sports figures, or like any field very few finally rise to the top and succeed long term. In the end, it's practice, practice, shoot, shoot, and study. And, as they say "being there." And the more you immerse yourself into landscape photography, the more critical you will become of your work. You may, in a year, look at what you once thought was great with a more critical eye and realize it's crap... And vice-versa with some you thought were nothing.

Actually though, this is primarily an amateur board, for serious hobbyists to show their work. Although there are professionals that come and go, their appearances are kind of rare. There is another board "Pro Digital Forum" that might be able to tell you more.




Jun 06, 2012 at 02:45 PM
mjoshi
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · How to price your work ?


Thanks for you comments and advise, appreciate you taking time to do a writeup on where to look at. I've some images that my friend really liked and would like to market them after few more enhancements.
Here is bit of catch-22, he wants me to not publish/showcase my work anywhere online or at any other location except selling thru him. I could perfectly understand his point as it gives bit of sense of exclusivity and people pays for things that are not dime a dozen online. I've never done any sort of selling like this and he is also starting into this field although he has established business in hospitality in this area. He is looking more for branching out from what he is doing currently.



Jun 06, 2012 at 03:19 PM
time2clmb
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · How to price your work ?


Here is bit of catch-22, he wants me to not publish/showcase my work anywhere online or at any other location except selling thru him

Then that should be reflected in what you charge.



Jun 06, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Jeffrey
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · How to price your work ?


moved to the appropriate forum.


Jun 06, 2012 at 03:39 PM
mjoshi
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · How to price your work ?


Jeffrey wrote:
moved to the appropriate forum.


Thanks - could you please lock the other thread so it is not duplicate thread ?



Jun 06, 2012 at 05:23 PM
 

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RustyBug
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · How to price your work ?


Lots of ways to approach ... but a rough rule of thumb that I have suggested for others is 300% x cost to produce for a retail price.

If you've got an hour for the drive, two hours watching & waiting for the right light, 1/250 second in shutter usage (for a single perfect shot), two hours of post production to meticulously render the dynamic range of a landscape that exceeds the range of the sensor, an hour of printing, mounting and delivery.

At that point, you've got 6 hours into it. At $8/hr that's $48 x 300% = $144.

Of course, your time and rate will vary, but then there are your hard costs @ gasoline (repeat trips count), printing & mounting materials.

Tack on another $40 (size & distance variable) for your hard expenses x 300% = another $120 for a total of $244.

If you are selling to him @ wholesale, then your 300% figure would be something different, like 200% x your cost to produce. If you want to make more than $8/hr, then plug that number in also.

Lots of other thoughts on the matter and ways to approach ... but I find that at least using this as an "exercise" to help assess and consider your costs involved. If you are doing this to "help a friend" ... just give them to him for free (not really) . If you are doing this as a business endeavor on a joint venture, make sure you consider your costs involved (there are others I didn't mention).

Whatevery you decide is your business model is up to you ... rather than ask what price should it be, ask yourself what are your costs and what kind of profit do you need to make it worth your time.

Also, consider this ... are you selling them to him and he "reselling" them (i.e. you have recouped your costs / profit) ... or ... are you incurring the cost to produce and waiting for payment out of the commission from the sale ... if / when they sell? Or, are you just "licensing" the files to him for his unlimited use ... i.e. you only get paid for the image whether he sells it 1 time or 1,000 times?

These are a few things to consider before setting a price that isn't simply pulling a number out of thin air. Of course, then there is always the "what the market will bear".



Jun 06, 2012 at 06:14 PM
mjoshi
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · How to price your work ?


Thanks for your comments.


Jun 06, 2012 at 08:30 PM
cwebster
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · How to price your work ?


"At that point, you've got 6 hours into it. At $8/hr that's $48 x 300% = $144."

Eight dollars an hour! You've got to be kidding. A burger-flipper makes more than that.

Try recalculating at $25-40 at the minimum.

If he wants exclusive rights to your pictures, you need to be paid what it costs to make the pictures BEFORE he sells them. Then think about what kind of royalty or commission you want. If this were me, I'd want something like $150 per photo up front, then 50% of the selling price as commission.

Remember, you are doing the work, taking the risk, and providing the product for him to sell. Not the other way around.

My $0.02 worth

<Chas>



Jun 06, 2012 at 08:45 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · How to price your work ?


I wasn't suggesting he should use $8/hr ... I was only illustrating the process and how at even "burger wages", the "cost to produce" adds up to much more than might have otherwise been considered. (Also, that was "before" applying the 300% factor.)

Case in point ... I took on a project that had an "undisclosed" requirement to it as part of a "test" joint venture. I'm down to about $6/hr on it right now. That is mostly due to my own "learning curve" on something that I thought was on the "other party" to do ... oooops, my bad, I misunderstood how much was "on me". My wife & I have been counting the hours and and watching the ROI come down like .com stocks bubble bursting at the turn of the century. (not funny, but it's that or get peeved).

I'll still be going forward with it, as my improved efficiency / learning curve will push that back into the $20-30 range ... with possibilities @ $50-75 once things get ramped up properly ... which also brings up the issue of time frame (i.e. near term, intermediate, long and adjustments for changing conditions). JV can be tricky, just be watchful that you aren't carrying the lion's share of the load, while the other party reaps the rewards and you "survive" on crumbs.

In my case, we have some non-disclosure/non-compete things to still sort out ... so I'm not "locked in" just yet.



Jun 07, 2012 at 12:43 AM
mjoshi
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · How to price your work ?


Appreciate response from everyone, I've not formally discussed and came to any sort of agreement yet with my friend but I think what he wants is on my part only taking and editing pictures, he should be able to handle printing, marketing and selling part. Thanks for feedback from all.


Jun 07, 2012 at 01:21 AM





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