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03/16/2006 04:57:05 AM · #1
I am working on deal to develop websites for a marketing company's clients and one of the things his clients are going to provide me is product photos, but he mentioned sometimes they do not have them done already and I thought that this may be an opportunity to provide some basic product photography to his clients. It would probably only be small items no bigger than a breadbox - like vitamin supplements, etc.

My plan would be for them to just send the product to me and I would shoot it here in my office/studio/den-of-iniquity. (ok, I just threw that last one in to sound cool).

Anyway, I need to know what to charge. Hourly would be ok, but I much more prefer to provide fixed price quotes as long as the scope is clearly defined. I have done some shots once for a client's print ad campaign - it was quite a bit of work and preparation and that was before I had a dSLR or knew anything except post-processing.

My terms for the images would be that I would do the setup, take the shots, process the ones I need for the website project and then they can have the source, final full-size and web-sized files for those.

So anyone know how to price these things? If hourly, what is a going rate? My comfort level initial pricing estimate would be around $500, thinking it might be a half to full day of work. Much less than that and it's not worth my time.

Any thoughts?
03/16/2006 06:16:06 AM · #2
Im really interested in this too Ken, i've just been asked to quote a similar thing, but on a much bigger product scale, machinary, ill keep my eye posted here....
thanks matey...

Message edited by author 2006-03-16 06:33:32.
03/16/2006 06:41:24 AM · #3
About four years ago I was shooting clothing on a regular basis for a sporting goods chain. I charged $40 per photo and that included the shoot, digital correction, removal of background and drop shadow on white background. At first the fee was a fair compensation of my time. After a couple of runs at it I was producing three shots an hour - $120. I would normally bring home about 10-15 pieces of clothing on a Saturday. Five hours of work turned into $600. Easy money if the client will pay.
03/16/2006 09:05:47 AM · #4
How many things will you need to photograph on average and how polished do the images need to be?

I'm guessing vitamin supplements would require less fussing than jewelry and that could factor in to the cost.
03/16/2006 11:48:48 AM · #5
Originally posted by conceptgraphics:

About four years ago I was shooting clothing on a regular basis for a sporting goods chain. I charged $40 per photo and that included the shoot, digital correction, removal of background and drop shadow on white background. At first the fee was a fair compensation of my time. After a couple of runs at it I was producing three shots an hour - $120. I would normally bring home about 10-15 pieces of clothing on a Saturday. Five hours of work turned into $600. Easy money if the client will pay.


That's way too cheap. That would be on the cheap side of editorial for a small publication.

Do you know what the day rate average is for commercial in your area? Yuo could download a trial version of photoqoute to see.
03/16/2006 11:54:01 AM · #6
Originally posted by Brent_Ward:

Originally posted by conceptgraphics:

About four years ago I was shooting clothing on a regular basis for a sporting goods chain. I charged $40 per photo and that included the shoot, digital correction, removal of background and drop shadow on white background. At first the fee was a fair compensation of my time. After a couple of runs at it I was producing three shots an hour - $120. I would normally bring home about 10-15 pieces of clothing on a Saturday. Five hours of work turned into $600. Easy money if the client will pay.


That's way too cheap. That would be on the cheap side of editorial for a small publication.

Do you know what the day rate average is for commercial in your area? Yuo could download a trial version of photoqoute to see.


Unfortunately the client thought it was too much. They found someone cheaper.

Message edited by author 2006-03-16 11:54:39.
03/16/2006 11:55:42 AM · #7
Originally posted by conceptgraphics:

Originally posted by Brent_Ward:

Originally posted by conceptgraphics:

About four years ago I was shooting clothing on a regular basis for a sporting goods chain. I charged $40 per photo and that included the shoot, digital correction, removal of background and drop shadow on white background. At first the fee was a fair compensation of my time. After a couple of runs at it I was producing three shots an hour - $120. I would normally bring home about 10-15 pieces of clothing on a Saturday. Five hours of work turned into $600. Easy money if the client will pay.


That's way too cheap. That would be on the cheap side of editorial for a small publication.

Do you know what the day rate average is for commercial in your area? Yuo could download a trial version of photoqoute to see.


Unfortunately the client thought it was too much. They found someone cheaper.


It's a shame when people are jsut giving away their services so they can call themselves a photographer.
03/16/2006 12:15:17 PM · #8
Do you know what the day rate average is for commercial in your area? Yuo could download a trial version of photoqoute to see.

Where is that at? I tried photoquote.com and it's for sale.........and mostly advertising for retail chains like Walmart prints..etc.
03/16/2006 12:18:00 PM · #9
Originally posted by m_martinhere:

Do you know what the day rate average is for commercial in your area? Yuo could download a trial version of photoqoute to see.

Where is that at? I tried photoquote.com and it's for sale.........and mostly advertising for retail chains like Walmart prints..etc.


I'm sorry! I spelled it wrong.

Here is the link to Fotoquote
03/16/2006 02:51:48 PM · #10
Originally posted by Brent_Ward:

That's way too cheap. That would be on the cheap side of editorial for a small publication....
...It's a shame when people are jsut giving away their services so they can call themselves a photographer.


Thanks for the info, Brent. But with all due respect (and I do admire your work), that's an elitist load of crap, IMO. There are always varying levels of professionals in any given field. Experience should be a major factor in what a marketable, competitively priced fee should be. The market will dictate the general fees and personally, I could care less about calling myself a photographer - I am only concerned with doing what I enjoy and getting compensated fairly when I do it for a client.

As Thom (conceptgraphics) mentioned, his client found someone cheaper and so he lost that business. As long as someone is able to provide what the client perceives as the same quality for a lower price, they will, with few exceptions, go in that direction.

Here is Thom, a year after standing his ground on his "high pricing":
307136.jpg

LOL - just kidding. I don't want to turn this into a rant. I do appreciate your input but keep in mind that not everyone agrees with your opinions or philosophies and that does not automatically make them wrong.

I run a business (in the spare time I have when I am not on DPC) that faces all kinds of pricing competition from developers in Russia and India, to moonlighters, to people's nephews who just finished a class on Front Page. I am diligent to stay in the upper middle bracket on my quotes and I gradually step up our pricing as we have gained experience and have some notable client projects under our belt. I suppose I can use the same strategy for photography.

Mind you, I am not aspiring to do it for a living - just as I said - I do it as something I enjoy, provide an additional service to my clients, and get paid enough to justify it (and write off all my gear).

Thanks for everyone's input. Additional posts are still welcome for Kelly (roadrunner).
03/16/2006 03:12:26 PM · #11
Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

Originally posted by Brent_Ward:

That's way too cheap. That would be on the cheap side of editorial for a small publication....
...It's a shame when people are jsut giving away their services so they can call themselves a photographer.


Thanks for the info, Brent. But with all due respect (and I do admire your work), that's an elitist load of crap, IMO. There are always varying levels of professionals in any given field. Experience should be a major factor in what a marketable, competitively priced fee should be. The market will dictate the general fees and personally, I could care less about calling myself a photographer - I am only concerned with doing what I enjoy and getting compensated fairly when I do it for a client.

As Thom (conceptgraphics) mentioned, his client found someone cheaper and so he lost that business. As long as someone is able to provide what the client perceives as the same quality for a lower price, they will, with few exceptions, go in that direction.

Here is Thom, a year after standing his ground on his "high pricing":
307136.jpg

LOL - just kidding. I don't want to turn this into a rant. I do appreciate your input but keep in mind that not everyone agrees with your opinions or philosophies and that does not automatically make them wrong.

I run a business (in the spare time I have when I am not on DPC) that faces all kinds of pricing competition from developers in Russia and India, to moonlighters, to people's nephews who just finished a class on Front Page. I am diligent to stay in the upper middle bracket on my quotes and I gradually step up our pricing as we have gained experience and have some notable client projects under our belt. I suppose I can use the same strategy for photography.

Mind you, I am not aspiring to do it for a living - just as I said - I do it as something I enjoy, provide an additional service to my clients, and get paid enough to justify it (and write off all my gear).

Thanks for everyone's input. Additional posts are still welcome for Kelly (roadrunner).


My point is that the more people that get educated on going rates will allow less of a difference in quotes, keeping the over all earning potential photographers and the quality higher for clients.

My opinion (whehter it be right or not) is that photographers should do what ever they can to combat price erosion for the future. Whether I'm deemed elitist or not, there are going rates in all markets and you can actually lose jobs by bidding to low. I'm just trying to give info so people can price themselves accordingly instead of thinking they are just happy seeing there photos in print.

You always have to what you can to put food on the table, but you should strive to put the best food you can earn on it.
03/16/2006 03:58:43 PM · #12
Originally posted by Brent_Ward:

Originally posted by m_martinhere:

Do you know what the day rate average is for commercial in your area? Yuo could download a trial version of photoqoute to see.

Where is that at? I tried photoquote.com and it's for sale.........and mostly advertising for retail chains like Walmart prints..etc.


I'm sorry! I spelled it wrong.

Here is the link to Fotoquote


Thanks...........very useful info!
03/16/2006 04:16:35 PM · #13
At some point this becomes price fixing and is quite illegal. I understand all sides of hte argument, and my perspective is this:
Figure out your costs - your time, overhead, equipment wear tear/upgrades and new acquisitions, etc. For me I get $27/hour. that pays me a wage and covers all my costs. Is that low? DOn't know, don't care - it's MY cost, and it is what it is. If i had to rent a main street studio and all that goes with that, and have a full time ass't then my costs would of course be much higher. I call it a competetive advantage!

So then, assuming you have the equipment to make this pretty easy to do, you should be able to bang out photos at what, 10 per hour to shoot and 10 per hour to PP? This includes your equipment set up, dl'ing to teh puter, backup etc. On average, of course as the setup and backup times vary little for 1 shot or 100. So my cost'd be $54. I might toss in some time there to compensate me for phone work, unknowns, etc - say $80 for 10 photos (assuming little bottles in a light tent type of thing).

Could I get $400 for that same work? I don't know either. I might try feeling them out for an idea of how much work, and back into a price that way.

As for rights... i understand totally the mentatlity and thinking behind it, but I was a mechanic and an electrician. I (or my employer) charged the same rate regardless of the end user's use. According to the photographic mentality, a water pump repair on a florist van should cost more than on your mom's grocery getter car - partly cause the florist can afford to pay more,but also because a working delivery van has more value to the user - this to me is rather flawed thinking. It cost sme the same to make a photo whether it goes into a family album or graces the cover of Bride magazine. To charge Bride some outragouse price is called greed. IMO.

Message edited by author 2006-03-16 16:19:54.
03/16/2006 04:26:03 PM · #14
Cheers Ken.
Im having trouble finding out what local people charge. The one main photographer i know that does it here in town stopped talking to me after i beat him in a photo comp.. ( jerk ) ( childish jerk even ) and is enjoying running my name into the ground, although i can only see this as a compliment.
I 've looked at other photographer 's sites to see what they charge, and of course they don't advertise it on their sites, any Aussies out there know basically a going rate for larger machinary equipment rates?
Thanks in advance

03/16/2006 04:29:01 PM · #15
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

At some point this becomes price fixing and is quite illegal. I understand all sides of hte argument, and my perspective is this:
Figure out your costs - your time, overhead, equipment wear tear/upgrades and new acquisitions, etc. For me I get $27/hour. that pays me a wage and covers all my costs. Is that low? DOn't know, don't care - it's MY cost, and it is what it is. If i had to rent a main street studio and all that goes with that, and have a full time ass't then my costs would of course be much higher. I call it a competetive advantage!

So then, assuming you have the equipment to make this pretty easy to do, you should be able to bang out photos at what, 10 per hour to shoot and 10 per hour to PP? This includes your equipment set up, dl'ing to teh puter, backup etc. On average, of course as the setup and backup times vary little for 1 shot or 100. So my cost'd be $54. I might toss in some time there to compensate me for phone work, unknowns, etc - say $80 for 10 photos (assuming little bottles in a light tent type of thing).

Could I get $400 for that same work? I don't know either. I might try feeling them out for an idea of how much work, and back into a price that way.

As for rights... i understand totally the mentatlity and thinking behind it, but I was a mechanic and an electrician. I (or my employer) charged the same rate regardless of the end user's use. According to the photographic mentality, a water pump repair on a florist van should cost more than on your mom's grocery getter car - partly cause the florist can afford to pay more,but also because a working delivery van has more value to the user - this to me is rather flawed thinking. It cost sme the same to make a photo whether it goes into a family album or graces the cover of Bride magazine. To charge Bride some outragouse price is called greed. IMO.


VERY GOOD advice Chris, ill be taking that onboard .... thanks...:)))
03/16/2006 05:36:04 PM · #16
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

At some point this becomes price fixing and is quite illegal. I understand all sides of hte argument, and my perspective is this:
Figure out your costs - your time, overhead, equipment wear tear/upgrades and new acquisitions, etc. For me I get $27/hour. that pays me a wage and covers all my costs. Is that low? DOn't know, don't care - it's MY cost, and it is what it is. If i had to rent a main street studio and all that goes with that, and have a full time ass't then my costs would of course be much higher. I call it a competetive advantage!

So then, assuming you have the equipment to make this pretty easy to do, you should be able to bang out photos at what, 10 per hour to shoot and 10 per hour to PP? This includes your equipment set up, dl'ing to teh puter, backup etc. On average, of course as the setup and backup times vary little for 1 shot or 100. So my cost'd be $54. I might toss in some time there to compensate me for phone work, unknowns, etc - say $80 for 10 photos (assuming little bottles in a light tent type of thing).

Could I get $400 for that same work? I don't know either. I might try feeling them out for an idea of how much work, and back into a price that way.

As for rights... i understand totally the mentatlity and thinking behind it, but I was a mechanic and an electrician. I (or my employer) charged the same rate regardless of the end user's use. According to the photographic mentality, a water pump repair on a florist van should cost more than on your mom's grocery getter car - partly cause the florist can afford to pay more,but also because a working delivery van has more value to the user - this to me is rather flawed thinking. It cost sme the same to make a photo whether it goes into a family album or graces the cover of Bride magazine. To charge Bride some outragouse price is called greed. IMO.


Does it cost you the same to get a porche fixed as it does a pinto?

Stupid and elitist me for trying to help people on this site make decent money and get / know the going rate.

Your mentallity is not the mentallity for long term staying power in this industry. I''ve known several photoogs with your mentallity on the business of photography. They are longer in business...on the other hand, the ones who have educated me on the business of photography live very well and have been in business for years.

This is the last time I post about anything to do with stock or the business side of things around here since I'm always deemed an elitist. ;o)
03/16/2006 05:47:30 PM · #17
The market is changing, and I think I have a business model for the future. Only time will tell.

What i do find interesting is I see two attitues from wedding photographers - one is very hostile, they seem threatened and well, you get the idea. The other comes from folks that have been around 20-30 years - they are friendly and somewhat helpful. They will gladly explain how they see a new crop of wanna be's every year come and go, and how few hang around for the long term. They don't feel threatened by the newbie or other ways of doing business.

Yes, it costs more at a dealership (sometimes) to a porsche fixed than a pinto. Not always, and most of the difference is the cost of parts, not labor or overhead. Well, perhaps at a porsche dealer i get capucino and not maxwell house, or a bigger TV in the waiting room. I also spent a lot more for the porsche than the pinto. Either will get the job of getting my butt across town done just the same.

Supply and demand is the other pricing theory - when i have a waiting list for my work i can raise prices, to the moon if need be.

There are different markets too - not everyone shops at walmart, but generally walmart is growing, macy's is not.
03/16/2006 05:53:58 PM · #18
Originally posted by roadrunner:

Cheers Ken.
Im having trouble finding out what local people charge. The one main photographer i know that does it here in town stopped talking to me after i beat him in a photo comp.. ( jerk ) ( childish jerk even ) and is enjoying running my name into the ground, although i can only see this as a compliment.
I 've looked at other photographer 's sites to see what they charge, and of course they don't advertise it on their sites, any Aussies out there know basically a going rate for larger machinary equipment rates?
Thanks in advance


I would think a 'day rate' is in order, plus anything you have to rent (a LARGE light tent:) ? I read about a studio space for rent in california that is used for large things (cars, etc) - they have a 40,000 watt strobe ina 12x52 FOOT light box. I bet that costs a pretty penny to rent!

day rate...your hourly rate * 8 (plus the hourly rate X travel time PP time, etc)? I'd want to charge more, but then if you buy in bulk you want a discount...so i don't know till someone askes me. For a wedding I charge $850 to 2000, but that depends more on the end product than the time spent shooting.

instead of a print price ($20 for an 8x10 or whatever) perhaps for a biz a licensing fee and the image on disk. the fee varies by usage, just like a 5x7 sells for less than an 8x10. Hmmm...$100 a month for this, and $1000 a month for that. use it once at the latter rate, and it's still $1000. Permanent useage (like a CD cover or book) might be something else...off to think some.

THere is always the microstock pricing scheme - 20 cents for unlimited use!
03/16/2006 06:38:11 PM · #19
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:



Yes, it costs more at a dealership (sometimes) to a porsche fixed than a pinto. Not always, and most of the difference is the cost of parts, not labor or overhead. Well, perhaps at a porsche dealer i get capucino and not maxwell house, or a bigger TV in the waiting room. I also spent a lot more for the porsche than the pinto. Either will get the job of getting my butt across town done just the same.



Just don't get rear ended in the Pinto. It's hard to get across town if you've been burned to a crisp.
02/24/2017 03:09:28 PM · #20
Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

I am working on deal to develop websites for a marketing company's clients and one of the things his clients are going to provide me is product photos, but he mentioned sometimes they do not have them done already and I thought that this may be an opportunity to provide some basic product photography to his clients. It would probably only be small items no bigger than a breadbox - like vitamin supplements, etc.

My plan would be for them to just send the product to me and I would shoot it here in my office/studio/den-of-iniquity. (ok, I just threw that last one in to sound cool).

Anyway, I need to know what to charge. Hourly would be ok, but I much more prefer to provide fixed price quotes as long as the scope is clearly defined. I have done some shots once for a client's print ad campaign - it was quite a bit of work and preparation and that was before I had a dSLR or knew anything except post-processing.

My terms for the images would be that I would do the setup, take the shots, process the ones I need for the website project and then they can have the source, final full-size and web-sized files for those.

So anyone know how to price these things? If hourly, what is a going rate? My comfort level initial pricing estimate would be around $500, thinking it might be a half to full day of work. Much less than that and it's not worth my time.

Any thoughts?
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