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Topic Setting prices? (long-ish) Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By siacircus On 03/17/04  

I'm just in the beginning phases of "officially" starting my own business (photography) and am having a horrible time trying to set prices. I know that my work is desirable (from the feedback I've gotten from friends, family and customers), but how do I figure out what my price point is? I don't expect to be pulling in the $$$ that the long-established area photographers are, but my time and talent are worth something more than just my costs. What do I use as a guide line? I'm not really sure that comparing other local photographers' prices really serves me very well (because they have so much more experience than me, a built up clientele, a rep, etc.) On the other hand, in my research of my competition, I've found that my work is much better than some of the better established photographers. So... where does that lead me? I'm afraid of killing my business with the wrong prices before it ever really gets off the ground.

Thanks so much!

By glassygirly On 03/18/04  

Okay, I am a jeweler but this is the formula that I have been told to use to determine my wholesale price and I think that it is appropriate for you as well.Pricing is so hard- especially when you are starting out and this will make it a bit easier.
Material cost x 3 plus what you feel that your time is worth per hour = wholesale price
Now - for your retail price, you double that number. You also need to factor in your expenses like electricity, rent for your studio, website etc. Calculate that cost and then divide it up evenly among your different prices and apply. Ex: say you have 10 different price points for 10 services. say you have invested $ 100 on things like rent, lights etc. You would divide 100 by 10 =10, then add 10 to each price point so that you recoup your costs.
You may have to pay yourself a bit less per hour than you would like at first, but don't sell yourself short and take a loss. Know your investment and follow the formula and it takes the headache out of it all. Also, it is great that you have surveyed other photographers to have an understanding of the price range. I would approach local high end charity events and introduce yourself as a new local photographer and offer to donate a sitting or a piece for their silent auction. The pr that you will get will be worth it and it will get your name out there. As you develop a reputation your prices can go up accordingly because your hourly rate will need to increase just like a raise at a job that you have been at for awhile. Just focus on knowing your market and setting your prices by the formula and as far as the quality of your work, once you get it out there it will speak for itself- good luck!

By shop gal On 03/21/04  

before i start dispensing with the advice/comments, let me give you a bit of my background, that way i won't just sound like an opinionated ass. i went to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Ca. and received my BFA in Photography. i am currently a stock photographer associated with Photonica in New York.

photography is very different than a craft business.
what kind of photography are you doing?
you know what, there is so much to consider when determining pricing...clientele you are going after, area, type of photography, experience, ego, where you want to take yourself...
if you'd like, i'd speak to you over the phone about this.
just shoot me an email if you want to get in touch.


By siacircus On 03/25/04  

Thank you so much for your input, glassgirly and shop_gal. This is such a tricky thing to figure out. Bethany, I would definately like to talk to you. I'll be jetting you an email today.

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