How much should I charge for this assignment?


Sep 21, 2008
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#1
Hi guys, I was given a paid project for a magazine publication, total of 6 formal portraits taking indoor and outdoor. How much should I quote them, any idea to share?

Thank you
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#2
Hi guys, I was given a paid project for a magazine publication, total of 6 formal portraits taking indoor and outdoor. How much should I quote them, any idea to share?

Thank you
hehehe if anyone were to give you a specific answer, it would be like revealing his/her usual market rate ;)
I think you need to apply the usual business practice:
- estimate how much time you're going to end up putting into this project
- put a $ value to this time
- add your costs (equipment, rental, transport, etc)
- add or subtract an amount which takes into account your relationship with this client (e.g. good/bad paymaster, potential for future jobs, always makes you re-do stuff, etc)
 

sjackal

Senior Member
Jul 9, 2008
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#3
It depends on who is the commissioning party and its important to get clear knowledge on how the pictures will be used.

If it is clothing client for example, Joe-Tano says they want to feature a few pages spreads on a magazine, but also will be using the pictures for other collaterals, then charge as per a commercial project and sell either full copyright or yearly and regional reproduction rights. A Day Rate method is common.

If it is a real magazine client, then check how many pages they are going to do, is it front page, centerfold, double spread, etc, and ask them flat for their page rates, at the same time go to their website and download their press kit to get an idea of how much they are charging their own clients per page. So if for example a double page spread they are charging people $12000, then you might want to hit 10% of that and charge around $1200.

BUT, if you see producing those pictures are going to that you a lot of organizational trouble, involving many days, incur high costs, etc, then you might want to do the Day Rate method to ensure they don't play with your time, and have it in your terms of a minimum cost charge regardless whether pictures get used or not.
 

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Agetan

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2004
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#4
I believe the going rate for magazine is about $150-$300 per page for establish photographer.

Usual advert is between $2500-3500 per page before agent fee of about 15%.

Unless they die die must use your service because no one else have the skill, u will unfortunately will go with what they are paying. But then, they will like to pay nothing.

Hope this give you some figure to work with.

Hart
 

Sep 21, 2008
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#5
Thank you guys, for all the valuable advice and ideas, I have work out a rough quotation bace on each individual image.

Regards
 

#6
You might find this "Cost of Doing Business Calculator" useful. You will probably be surprised at how much you should be charging. NPPA: Cost of Doing Business Calculator

Of course it is true there are varying rates for different publications, uses and contracts, so there really is no 'standard' price. But do not sell yourself short. If you set a precedent of charging too low you are not only doing yourself no favours but you make it difficult for other photographers to charge higher rates as clients will often go with a low cost option, even if it at the expense of quality (I'm not saying you didn't deliver quality work - I'm assuming you did!). A big problem in the photo industry at the moment is full time professional photographers are finding themselves undercut in the market by people who do not charge enough for their work for whatever reason (often it is because photography is not their primary source of income).

So please price accordingly. Start high. Higher than you think they might want to pay. It's easier to start high and haggle down than to start low and haggle up! Also do not forget to charge for post production and delivery. Computers, software and hard drives are all part of your business expense, plus the time taken to edit and retouch the photos.

Good luck!
 

Agetan

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2004
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#7
You might find this "Cost of Doing Business Calculator" useful. You will probably be surprised at how much you should be charging. NPPA: Cost of Doing Business Calculator

Of course it is true there are varying rates for different publications, uses and contracts, so there really is no 'standard' price. But do not sell yourself short. If you set a precedent of charging too low you are not only doing yourself no favours but you make it difficult for other photographers to charge higher rates as clients will often go with a low cost option, even if it at the expense of quality (I'm not saying you didn't deliver quality work - I'm assuming you did!). A big problem in the photo industry at the moment is full time professional photographers are finding themselves undercut in the market by people who do not charge enough for their work for whatever reason (often it is because photography is not their primary source of income).

So please price accordingly. Start high. Higher than you think they might want to pay. It's easier to start high and haggle down than to start low and haggle up! Also do not forget to charge for post production and delivery. Computers, software and hard drives are all part of your business expense, plus the time taken to edit and retouch the photos.

Good luck!
What you say is right Tom...

However, if one is in business long enough, sometimes we do things below our charge for some reasons.

In commercial photography (paid assignment type photography)... it is not about how much you are worth that matters... it is about how much YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY is worth... the quest is to make your photography worth a lot more... but I only see that in some photographers and that is why we always hear "Too much competitions"...

Blaming on competition really is the easiest way to do... What have you done to stay above your competition? if you haven't done anything, have guts to blame it on yourself for your own failure.

Its like Camera SHAKE... if you don't shake it, will it shake? so blame it on the camera won't solve the problem.

Starting low may not be a good idea, but starting way higher than what your photography is worth is a recipe for disaster especially if you depend on it for living... it is possible to start and charging high... but you will need to do your own practice by doing personal work to sharpen your vision and skills before going out there and try to sell your service. It is not easy, but not impossible.


Regards,

Hart
 

#8
I'm not quite sure what you are saying. I am not blaming anything on the competition. I am the first to admit my own shortcomings, but I am a hard working photographer who invests heavily in improving my own business. I make a living doing this. I was trying to offer advice to say that no one should sell themselves short. Pricing photography is complex and there are no hard and fast rules. The NPPA calculator is a great guide to work out how much you should expect to be earning on average per job, and the fact is that many people, especially those just starting out in the business are surprised at just how much the rate is.

I don't work for free. I do volunteer my skills in certain situations but that is very different from working for free. I do offer discounted rates, but I make sure the client knows the rate is discounted. I do work for low monetary pay in some circumstances because the rewards of doing that job are not just financial, and i'm not talking about the old trick of "it will be good for your portfolio" here.

On one level I understand what you are saying but I do come across people who undersell themselves either because they don't know any better or they don't need to earn more from their photography because it's not their main source of income. I see that as a problem. If you don't know how much to charge, you will get underpaid. If photography is not your main source of income, that's not a reason to charge low rates.

I'm not afraid of cheap competition because I know what my work is worth. If I lose a job to someone who has quoted lower, that is fine, because I know what I am worth and I know that there are clients who are willing to pay me accordingly. I factor in the assumption that I won't win every pitch as part of my business model. I've even had a client who have paid me one rate on a regular basis, then tried to lower it. When I said no to the lower rate, they paid me my asking price. Some people will do their best to pay less even when they can afford to pay more, and to be honest, who can blame them. Everyone loves a good deal. But the point is that there a lot of people who could be getting paid more for what they do, and they don't, because they price their work too low. That does have an effect on the rest of us too. It would be stupid to deny that. The reverse is also true. Some people are overpaid. True value is a hard thing to measure by dollar value alone. That, unfortunately is market economics.


Ultimately though, you decide how much your photography is worth, on a case by case basis even, but don't criticise me for trying to help make sure that someone gets fairly remunerated for their work, which is all I am trying to do.
 

Agetan

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2004
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#9
Hi Tom,

Sorry to confuse you.

I do agree with you on what you say.

My 3rd paragraph is really pointing out the usual "issues" that many in this forum are complaining about in general sense.

I have same working mentality with you and I salute you for giving your thought and sharing on this.

I hope this clarify and good luck.

Hart
 

edenK

New Member
Apr 28, 2010
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#11
Agetan said:
I believe the going rate for magazine is about $150-$300 per page for establish photographer.

Usual advert is between $2500-3500 per page before agent fee of about 15%.

Unless they die die must use your service because no one else have the skill, u will unfortunately will go with what they are paying. But then, they will like to pay nothing.

Hope this give you some figure to work with.

Hart
sorry if I'm asking a stupid question :p are you saying to commission an advert is ard $2500 to 3000 inclusive of models & etc, and the photographer brings back only $150 to $300? Seems pretty low. Do enlighten me :)
 

Agetan

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2004
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#12
sorry if I'm asking a stupid question :p are you saying to commission an advert is ard $2500 to 3000 inclusive of models & etc, and the photographer brings back only $150 to $300? Seems pretty low. Do enlighten me :)
That's a page of advert.

And yes, photographer generally get paid $150-$300 per page as far as I know, unless the market has change dramatically in the last year or two. That is when your client is magazine. It is different when you shoot for a campaign for a client who then use the image in the magazine.

There are photographers who charge a lot more for a page, but that's reserve for those who are in the top of the game.



Regards,

Hart
 

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catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
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#13
sorry if I'm asking a stupid question :p are you saying to commission an advert is ard $2500 to 3000 inclusive of models & etc, and the photographer brings back only $150 to $300? Seems pretty low. Do enlighten me :)
low?

you don't want, never mind, there is a super long queue of photographers willing to take up,

the magazines won't worry unable to find anyone, cos somebody can even offer to shoot for credits.
 

Agetan

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2004
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#14
low?

you don't want, never mind, there is a super long queue of photographers willing to take up,

the magazines won't worry unable to find anyone, cos somebody can even offer to shoot for credits.
:bsmilie:
 

JasonB

Deregistered
Jun 2, 2009
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#15
sorry if I'm asking a stupid question :p are you saying to commission an advert is ard $2500 to 3000 inclusive of models & etc, and the photographer brings back only $150 to $300? Seems pretty low. Do enlighten me :)
Yes, that is very low indeed.

Thus there are better ways to earn money in other areas of work.

OR you can do it in a way that you minimize your cost, time and efforts, and maximize your returns. Say I am in for the shoot at 1pm, meet the AD/CD, tcss a bit, get the brief, walk around, test shot, and actual shoot and I am done by 2pm. Post work is another hour - upload, do my selects, I don't do heavy processing and I deliver very low number of photos, like less than 10. Burn CD, print invoice. I am done.

Once again - yes it is low, and it is going to stay that way if you believe that.

If you have the client base and volume to do other more profitable stuff, go ahead and quote high. Even while you don't need them and while they don't need you, the deal might still just happens and god knows why. Not all things make financial sense. Sometimes time is the essence, sometime your talent is, sometimes they just have the budget but photographers chose to believe in low numbers.
 

Agetan

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2004
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#16
Agree with JasonB... (love your signature btw... :) )

Generally... I just find many so call "photographers" having very unrealistic expectation and idealistic thinking when they start. That is why most people fail.

On the flip side, if you set your expectation high, and find ways to achieve it will be more realistic. Success dont just come to you, so working hard and smart is one way of getting closer.

Regards,

Hart
 

Reportage

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2008
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#17
Its very simple...go back a few editions of the magazine and see if the same image contributor name keeps popping out. Do a quick search to find the contact and simply ask how much would be too much.

There has to be a reason why a magazine would look for you rather then their regular contributor. Perhaps you have the same skill just that you have no idea how much to ask for.

Give it a try.
 

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