Upload & Sell: Off
Lordy, here we go again! $300 per day/ $50 per home, WTF?
If the client is a reality co. they will be making $40,000-$70,000 on selling that home thanks to your images. (Assuming it's a million dollar home) And they won't part with $50 of that for your hard work, investment in equipment, years of learning?
If the client is a developer, they will earn that much or more per home. And they won't part with $50 of that for your hard work, investment in equipment, years of learning?
The client could be other types of business (but I doubt it). Architect, interior designer etc. who may not make their living off of the direct sale of that home but need to showcase their work to get future work. These kinds of businesses would need more highly stylized photos with a much longer shelf life therefore they too cost and are worth a lot more then $50 a pop.
These images are more important to the SALE then this company's professional looking office, or their secretary who always answers the phone on the second ring, or the $5k suits the guy wears to meetings.
I guarentee you, the lowliest unskilled laborer on a construct site cost a lot more then $300 a day, and a backhoe operator who invested in his own backhoe, truck and trailer makes 10x that. The thing is, all these businesses that contact us for work are trying to figure out in the back of their minds what it cost us to do our business. And we're letting them tell us how much that is when actually they are way off. They think they're paying for a guy/gal with a camera. That person can work 5 days a week, 20 days a month, 240 days a year at $300 a day thats $72,000 a year. That's plenty for a job that's so much fun and easy.
We need to spend more time figuring what the potential client stands to gain from our images on top of our baseline CODB which in the United States, has to be more then $300 per day. Who here would shoot an 8 hour wedding for $200, for $300 for $900? And those people don't stand to make money from your wedding pictures.
Reality for me is that for every one day of billable shooting I have four more days of behind the scenes work. So one billable day has to fund my business for a week. I spend a lot of time bookkeeping, maintaining equipment, etc. When a client comes to the studio I make sure the bathrooms are clean. When a client is traveling with me I make sure my vehicle is clean. I can and do pay people to do these things, but if I do it myself that doesn't mean that it doesn't cost anything. The lion's share of my time goes into three things:
1. Learning, I spend a lot of time learn new tricks with the camera, with lenses, with computers, with people. Still, this never ends.
2. I spend a lot of time wooing new clients. By putting myself out there in as many places that I can think of where the potential clients I want might be.
3. I spend a lot of time trying to keep the clients I have very happy. By doing numbers 1 and 2 above and keeping in touch and up to date on what's going on in their lives.
I can't think of any business that has a higher cost ratio per customer.
Rustybug, your last couple of statements are somewhat true. Market value is king and we are extremely undervalued. Market bearing is another thing and I think actually what you were talking about. That is what a market is willing to bear. Perceived value more then anything goes into market value. Perceived cost and past experience largely determines what a market will bear. These are to very different things. We need to steer potential clients away from cost, which they are way off base on, and direct them towards perceived value which is, believe it or not much easier to justify. We just need to show them how important quality imagery is to their sales and/or image and if they don't think so then they would be better off just doing the work themselves. The caveat is that you work has to look much better then what they can just do themselves. At 6 homes per day x 5 rooms per home plus travel how can they look that much better then what they would do themselves? Keeping in mind that when they do it themselves they don't have the same time constraints.