How to prepare estimates and price photoshoots

As a professional photographer, I spend a considerable amount of time keeping tabs on what is happening in the industry.  I go to the workshops, listen to the seminars and read the books.  And it has been of considerable disappointment to me that the information photographers most want to know – how much should I charge – is uaually given a quick brush off with an answer to the effect of “there are too many variables to…”

I was quite happy to see that two educational papers that were produced as a joint effort of Wonderful Machine and Photoshelter actually answer that very question.  The first entitled Pricing Your Work: Magazine Photography covers the ins and outs of magazine contracts, estimating shoots for magazines, the pitfalls to avoid and what to charge.  Yes, they actually tell you the going rates for different types of assignments!  You can get it here:

Another released entitled: Pricing Your Work: Corporate and Industrial Photography covers the different type of corporate photography, from event photography, to environmental portraits, etc and covers what determines the value of the photos, contract language and other must knows, including, once again, the price ranges you should expect to get in different segments of this market for different uses.  You can get this guide here:

I found a quote from one of these interesting: “If you ever find yourself complaining about the low rates or “rights grabs” that you have to endure, ask yourself first if you are contributing to that problem.”

It has often been difficult to find reliable information on just how to conduct your business affairs when it came to pricing, negotiating or contracts.  Now we no longer have an excuse.   Read the guides.  I promise you that you will be glad you did (and No, I don’t work for photoshelter).

Please !

~ by markstout on May 24, 2013.

One Response to “How to prepare estimates and price photoshoots”

  1. […] There is a huge difference between a fashion shoot and a portrait in what is involved. And each shoot can be vastly different. For example, shooting corporate staff where they want dozens of people all shot in front of a studio background (fairly easy) is going to be less per person than a highly creative portrait done for a musician for a CD Cover. A fashion shoot can involve wardrobe, makeup artists, stylists, assistants, and multiple models… so the costs will vary according to the expenses of these various things. You will find very few photographers will talk numbers and it is frustrating. A really good book, if you can still get it is “The Photographers Survival Guide” by Amanda Sosa Stone and Suzanne Sease. They give you the info no one else does on all aspects of the business from marketing to what to charge, and they do give numbers. I have a blog post up that gives links to some resources for more info on pricing here […]

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