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Old Mar-18-2012, 07:24 PM
#1
Pure Energy is offline Pure Energy OP
Major grins
Various pricing and sizes on a site
I'm jumping the gun on figuring out what to do after I come up with some pricing structure (http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=217063) with pricelists for my photos. The range of what people charge for photos is all over the place but does anyone have an opinion or suggestions on whether I should have different prices for my photos on the same SmugMug site? What I should and shouldn't do?

I tend to shoot whatever, whenever and wherever the following:
  • sports (tykes, high school, college)
  • automobiles (car shows I travel to, local shows, on the street)
  • private sessions (a session could be a private gallery locked with lower prices and/or a public gallery with decent prices)
That could be eight different pricelists! But then someone mentioned even within sports... different sports could be charged more or less. I see a difference between all of the different levels and groups I shoot. But...

What is the policy some of you have come up with for similar situations?
What do you practice?
What have you seen practiced from successful photographers?
What do you wish the newcomers like me would avoid doing?

--- You're at the end now:--- I for responding and Rambo suggests you don't draw first blood. ---
Old Mar-22-2012, 07:02 AM
#2
johng is offline johng
Sports Shooter
You keep asking what you should or shouldn't do, but you don't want to listen to the answers. You're going to go to car shows or out on the street and take photos of cars, post them on your smugmug site and hope people buy them. The answer is: it doesn't matter what your prices are you won't sell because the business model is flawed. Period. I know you don't want to hear that. Doesn't change the fact - price doesn't matter in that case.

Very similar in youth sports - shooting on spec is now a doomed business model. It doesn't work. Whether you charge $4 or $8 for a 4x6 or don't offer 4x6 at all - if you're shooting on spec you're going to make minimum wage money. I get you don't want to invest the time and energy to set up a proper business model where you're actually booking sales BEFORE you shoot. Until you're willing to accept the fact your business model is flawed, what prices you set on your smugmug site simply won't matter.

You have a misconception that the last piece to your profitability puzzle is the magic values to plug into your price list. Those values are irrelevant. They're not the final piece. But feel free to keep asking for the magic price values. It will have virtually no impact on your revenue given your current business model.

Now - on to the next thing: cars, sports and "private sessions" - I assume you mean portrait sessions? Of these, portrait sessions are a much better business opportunity - but only IF you have the skills and equipment. Now you're talking about portable lighting kits and such. I'm assuming you don't have studio space so you have to have more than a camera, nice lens and external flash.

As I mentioned before - if you want to shoot youth sports and make money you need to be setting up to do Team & Individual (T&I) - completely different than shooting action. AND, even with T&I - you want to pre-sell packages, not rely upon orders from a website after the fact.

Sorry it's not what you want to hear. But just because some friends and family tell you "you take great pictures" doesn't mean that translates into a successful shooting-on-spec-off-website business. You're about 5 years too late for that model to work for you.
Old Mar-22-2012, 10:26 PM
#3
Pure Energy is offline Pure Energy OP
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Thanks for replying as there are some good points in your reply... but you haven't remotely answered my question and your tone is a bit harsh.

Aren't the forums for asking what we should or shouldn't do? Aren't the forums for learning about what works and to work through issues we're struggling with? You talk about answers but all I have are very good replies and no answers from you. This thread is not about how to come up with dollar amounts for various products, that's the other thread.

Thank you for sharing what type of business works for you... but I never said I was strictly a "shooting-on-spec-off-website business." Sorry you got that impression.

This thread is about applying prices I've come up with for different groups. You have said there is a difference in a market for gymastics versus high school baseball versus club soccer. Does that mean I could and should charge them differently? And why not charge them different prices?

I've got many different price-lists all ready to go to apply to different types of photos I've shot. Some might be low because I was paid a fee to show up. Some might be high because I drove 300 miles, spent the weekend out of town and ran up expenses. Some might be lower than I prefer because people are aware of MaxPreps prices and realistically... are they high, low or spot-on... and your answer is?... wait for it... still waiting... oh ya, not the point of this thread... that's the other thread. Some prices I have ready to go because I've seen higher prices for Division I Athletics... so, why would I charge considerably less than they would? Because I can help keep the race towards the bottom going as fast as possible? Or is it really the lack of proactively helping others to race towards the top the problem?

To now be blunt: I've got multiple pricing styles for what I see as trying to match what the market will pay me for my photos:

Is it alright to have many different price-lists on my site?

What is the policy some of you have come up with for similar situations?
What do you practice?
Do I put a note or message on my homepage about different pricing or how I come up with pricing... basically giving a heads up on pricing differences?
What have you seen practiced from successful photographers?
What do you wish the newcomers like me would avoid doing?

Last edited by Pure Energy; Mar-26-2012 at 03:35 PM.
Old Apr-01-2012, 03:52 AM
#4
Glort is offline Glort
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure Energy View Post
What do you wish the newcomers like me would avoid doing?
1. Asking about pricing.
2. Getting Churlish when you a ARE given the answer to what they ask, even whenthey just can't or don't want to recognize it.

Here's my answers to your questions but if your looking for something Syrup coated and think John's reply was in any way harsh, Best you move on now because pussy footing around is NOT my style when it comes to business matters.

Quote:
I tend to shoot whatever, whenever and wherever the following:
  • sports (tykes, high school, college)
  • automobiles (car shows I travel to, local shows, on the street)
  • private sessions (a session could be a private gallery locked with lower prices and/or a public gallery with decent prices)
That could be eight different pricelists! But then someone mentioned even within sports... different sports could be charged more or less. I see a difference between all of the different levels and groups I shoot.
I can only say if you even have to MENTION having 8 different pricelists on the same site, you're business knowledge is so poor and lacking you need to spend a good 12 months educating yourself on all you can before you even think about setting up a photography Business.


Quote:
What have you seen practiced from successful photographers?
* A good knowledge of BUSINESS and MARKETING before and above photography.
* A good understanding of the market, their clients and their Buying habits.
* They have the answers to basic, simple business questions and don't have to ask others about things only they can decise for themselves in how to run THEIR businesses.
* A willingness to listen to the people they do ask for help and not write the answers off and and be a smart arse to people infinitely more experienced and knowledgeable than them who were donating their time to try and help them avoid certain failure.



[QUOTE]This thread is about applying prices I've come up with for different groups. You have said there is a difference in a market for gymastics versus high school baseball versus club soccer. Does that mean I could and should charge them differently?

Could, yes, should, You tell us. YOUR market, your business, it's up to you.

Quote:
And why not charge them different prices?
Well If you are going to charge 8 different prices for the same thing, You better have the best marketing spin ever written to avoid blowing people right away from ever buying anything off you.

Quote:
I've got many different price-lists all ready to go to apply to different types of photos I've shot. Some might be low because I was paid a fee to show up. Some might be high because I drove 300 miles, spent the weekend out of town and ran up expenses.
Well Boo Hoo for You on that one.
You want to do the event, that's up to you. Recoup your expenses off the guy holding the gun to your head forcing you to drive 300 Miles and run up expenses because your clients sure aren't going to care nor feel compelled to subsidize your business in that way.

One of my competitors tried that stunt a couple of years back. Told people the prices were higher at that event because he had to drive a long way to get there and the cost of his space was high and.....
I reckon that single thing nearly killed his business stone dead still to this day.

Everyone in that particular sport knows about this and given it was a championship event, lots of influential people in the sport were there and Told a LOT of people about it. The organizers had no Idea what he was going to do and it brought annoyed people to them complaining and embarrassed them for their poor selection of vendor.
I know I picked up a load of events that he had previously covered for years and had got the knock back on straight out when I inquired in years Previous. Suddenly all these organizers are ringing me and booking me in for multiple events. The times since I have been asked if I keep my prices the same no matter what or where I'm covering astounds me in the number of people that straight out tell me why they are asking.


Quote:
Some might be lower than I prefer because people are aware of MaxPreps prices and realistically... are they high, low or spot-on... and your answer is?... wait for it... still waiting... oh ya, not the point of this thread... that's the other thread.
I can only say when I'm asking others to help me and are relying on their charity to point me in the right direction in order to prevent me falling on my face, I'm not such a childish smart arse to them.
This tends to get more more help in the future.

People on this and another site have given me the knowledge I needed to build and run successful business. Not getting the answer I was hoping for was probably much more valuable to me than being told what I already had right.

I really think a strong dose of humility and thankfulness would serve you well as would a table spoon of concrete to harden you up a bit to the facts of the real world.

Quote:
Some prices I have ready to go because I've seen higher prices for Division I Athletics... so, why would I charge considerably less than they would?
Beats me! Why would you indeed?


Quote:
Because I can help keep the race towards the bottom going as fast as possible? Or is it really the lack of proactively helping others to race towards the top the problem?
While I understand this comment is in context of the one before, I still have no idea what so ever you are talking about.

Quote:
To now be blunt:
Oh, you weren't being blunt already when you were being Smart to John?
Geez, this ought to be good!

Quote:
I've got multiple pricing styles for what I see as trying to match what the market will pay me for my photos:

Is it alright to have many different price-lists on my site?
Alright?
Again, thats really for you to decide. As it seems you have gone to a lot of trouble to formulate all these price lists already, I'd say your mind was made up it was OK some time back.

All I can say is the majority of my pricing is very similar. Events and sports are the same, weddings and Glamor is different but they are different markets entirely, not different avenues of the same market.

Quote:
What is the policy some of you have come up with for similar situations?
One price suits all in the same market regardless of how distant or close the job may be.

Quote:
What do you practice?
My backhand.
It needs a bit of improvement.

Quote:
Do I put a note or message on my homepage about different pricing or how I come up with pricing... basically giving a heads up on pricing differences?
If you think your marketing and creative writing skills are up to coming up with something that will make your clients content with having 8 different price lists on your site and paying a premium for you to attend events above your normal pricing, then by all means go ahead and make sure to put a link here so I can pick up a few pointers that would increase my skills in this area a thousand fold.

Also if you can pull that off, Forget about photography son. There are vast fortunes to be made with your talents in the advertising, political and Luxury Yachts and real estate markets.
You'll make bill gates look like a pauper inside 12 months!

Honestly, I couldn't care jack what anyone's costs or problems are when I am buying something from them and I'm sure as heck not interested in their sob stories or pricing justification.
I want the product, I want it at the best price possible and I want it now, not a week or 2 after I order the thing off a net site.

I don't care if you had to drive 1000 miles through searing heat, freezing blizzards, blinding sand storms, drought, flood or cross an ocean doing backstroke towing a 30 ft barge. I don't care about YOUR hotel bill, the cost of food, fuel or any other expense you have. None of that is going to make me feel any better or more inclined to pay you more than what you chaged the other guy for the same product.

If it's all to hard and expensive for you to be here, you sure as heck aren't the only guy that can do the job for my organization although your position seems to fail to take this into account. We'll get someone that has OUR needs and Servicing them more in mind than worrying about his own self inflicted problems and asking us to foot the bill for them.

My best honest and serious advise to you is that you are still miles away from having a hope of running any sort of successful business. Your questions make that abundantly clear.
Just as certain is your the indignation you will have in reading that and the fact you will think I'm a mongeral, That you are so much smarter than what I realize and that you will prove me wrong.

For your sake, I hope I am and I would be more than happy for you to come back in 12 months time and tell us about how well your business is going and how wrong my comments were.
On the million to one shot you do take this on board, I would advise you invest a lot of time into educating yourself on business, sales and marketing practices. If you do I KNOW you will recognize the mistakes you are making and how far wide of the mark you are at this point in time.

Hope this all helps.
Old Apr-01-2012, 06:05 AM
#5
Jamesbjenkins is offline Jamesbjenkins
Live, shoot, post, repeat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure Energy View Post
Thanks for replying as there are some good points in your reply... but you haven't remotely answered my question and your tone is a bit harsh.
Well, howdy-do Batman! You ask us for advice and then balk at the answer?

Bottom line, your prices in the same market have to be the same. People talk! If you charge John one price and Bob another, when John and Bob meet and happen to talk about your pictures, how do you think they're both going to feel when they find out you charged them different prices?

You don't even need to think about running a business (photography or any other) until you know a ton more basic principles and how to successfully market yourself. Putting your pictures on the website and praying people come along and buy something is a great way to be a failure. You've got to sell the print package with the session!

Now, feel free to complain about my tone too. I know you're new to the forum, and I truly hope we haven't scared you away. You have to understand how infuriating it is to take time to offer advice to someone, only to have them complain about your advice...

Good luck.
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Old Apr-01-2012, 09:37 AM
#6
Moving Pictures is offline Moving Pictures
Bokeh, Dano
Moving Pictures's Avatar
Let me add some fodder to the declarations that pricing is irrelevant to the sales figures of your business model.

I work for a small-town newspaper. Our coverage area is vast in size, but only serves 28,000 people. Our Facebook page has 2,800 followers. It's well known that we cover sports well, and I'm known as a very competent sports shooter.

We had two teams from our area go to the provincial championships: a varsity girls A team, and varsity AA boys team. Both won their respective title games. During those games, I captured some 800 images. Of those, some 130 (70 of one team, 60 of the other) were posted on Facebook, with watermarks and cues to give us a call for reprints. We also had pictures in the paper, natch, including a front-page spread that featured the best action shot from each varsity team on the weekend's action, and a six-page special section (three pages of congratulatory ads, one for each of the basketball teams, one for the provincial champion wrestling team). In short, folks KNEW we were there, KNEW we had captured a jillion pictures. There were, say, 24 kids, 48 parents, and maybe 40 other assorted relatives for a total of 100 target individuals who would be liable to buy reprints - and of a unique, once-in-a-lifetime event. Target-rich environment, right?

Our reprint rates are dirt cheap. As in, $15.80, for an 8x10 or two 5x7 reprints. I think it should be dramatically higher, but the powers-that-be say no ( we do live in an economically depressed area.)

As I see this, this is like your busines model, on steriods: it's not random action backed by a website, but a once-in-a-lifetime, provincial championship event backed by a 2,800-follower Facebook site, and newsprint copies going to parents who KNEW that our paper was there and that I, a reasonably skilled photog, was working the game.

We did just a titch more than $100 in reprint business, for both teams, combined. We had about six orders. Six.

Ponder that. Digest it. Let it rumble around your guts for a while.

Then know this: the cost of the weekend included two meals ($30), $60 for a hotel, $80 in mileage, and let's call it 12 hours of my working time - a conservative estimate. (I'm salaried, but let's assume you want to make $30,000 a year. Peg the hourly wage, then, at $15 per hour for a pegged figure, and call it $180 in labour costs). In short, the cost of doing the work ($180+80+30+60=$350) was greater than the revenue generated by almost a factor of FOUR. Or, in other words, had I been doing this for the picture revenue only, as an individual, I wouldn't have even covered my basic expenses ($170), let alone generate revenue.

Or, in other words... as a previous poster has tried to tell you, the prices you put into your "they will flock to my website" business model is utterly irrelevant: your business model is flawed. The gravy is in the pre-established team pics and the individual portait isos, not in the action shots. That's what you need to work on.
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Old Apr-01-2012, 09:43 AM
#7
DavidTO is offline DavidTO
Mod Emeritus
DavidTO's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure Energy View Post
Aren't the forums for asking what we should or shouldn't do? Aren't the forums for learning about what works and to work through issues we're struggling with? You talk about answers but all I have are very good replies and no answers from you. This thread is not about how to come up with dollar amounts for various products, that's the other thread.
You never responded to that other thread.
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Old Apr-01-2012, 12:59 PM
#8
Pure Energy is offline Pure Energy OP
Major grins
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTO View Post
You never responded to that other thread.
Thanks for the inquiry, DavidTO. I feel his response was appropriate for that thread even if it wasn't as specific as I would prefer.
Old Apr-01-2012, 02:16 PM
#9
DavidTO is offline DavidTO
Mod Emeritus
DavidTO's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure Energy View Post
Thanks for the inquiry, DavidTO. I feel his response was appropriate for that thread even if it wasn't as specific as I would prefer.
So it didn't even earn a response from you?
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Old Apr-01-2012, 02:51 PM
#10
Pure Energy is offline Pure Energy OP
Major grins
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTO View Post
So it didn't even earn a response from you?
A public response? No.
Do I have more to add to that thread to keep it going or to close it? Yes.
Am I waiting for more responses? Yes.
Would I rather collectively respond to everyone in this thread? Yes.
Should I respond to every response in this thread individually? It's looking like yes and that I will be.

Care to chime in on various pricing levels on a site?

Last edited by Pure Energy; Apr-01-2012 at 03:15 PM.
Old Apr-01-2012, 03:14 PM
#11
Pure Energy is offline Pure Energy OP
Major grins
Thank you for responding Moving Pictures. In comparison to your "business model on steroids," the marketing of myself is nearly non-existent. By the end of this year I would hope I could count on at least one order per gallery posted after minimal marketing. I would hope that's not too unreasonable to expect for the majority of my future galleries but I could still be up for disappointment so I am thinking about marketing, how I present myself, how to stand out, and how to be indispensable with the desire to rely less upon sporadic website sales. I will still be thinking of these and other things even if my website sales are considerably better than expected.

As for prices being irrelevant, I get what you are saying but I think prices seem to be the most important place to start. I tend to think any business model one comes up with is flawed if there aren't any prices to present to any type of customer.

Not knowing my prices and pricing levels is a lot like a man without a compass. A man without a compass doesn't know where he is or where he is going. Without prices I can't sell photos. Without knowing what to charge different groups or levels (if there is a difference in price) means I don't know what type of photographer I am or where I would like to be.

Where do you stand on different prices for various groups on the same website? To further clarify, I am not talking about charging "team A" different prices than "team B" at the same event, I am talking more about:
  • age group sports
  • high school sports
  • college sports
  • non-college sporting events
  • pro sports
  • high end car shows/events
  • low end car shows/events
  • equestrian events
  • weddings
  • other events, etc.
Old Apr-01-2012, 03:27 PM
#12
DavidTO is offline DavidTO
Mod Emeritus
DavidTO's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure Energy View Post
A public response? No.
Do I have more to add to that thread to keep it going or to close it? Yes.
Am I waiting for more responses? Yes.
Would I rather collectively respond to everyone in this thread? Yes.
Should I respond to every response in this thread individually? It's looking like yes and that I will be.

Care to chime in on various pricing levels on a site?
I'm not a pro, so I have no input. I'm a moderator on here, and all I'm saying is that when someone puts in that much time to respond your question that a simple thank you would have been a nice thing.
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Old Apr-01-2012, 03:55 PM
#13
Pure Energy is offline Pure Energy OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidTO View Post
I'm not a pro, so I have no input. I'm a moderator on here, and all I'm saying is that when someone puts in that much time to respond your question that a simple thank you would have been a nice thing.
I've thanked him in a private message and I hope he reads this just in case he doesn't already know... I do value his opinion but my initial response here was merely to get him to stay on topic, otherwise, the direction of this thread could stray really far from its intended purpose.
Old Apr-01-2012, 04:04 PM
#14
Moving Pictures is offline Moving Pictures
Bokeh, Dano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure Energy View Post
Where do you stand on different prices for various groups on the same website? To further clarify, I am not talking about charging "team A" different prices than "team B" at the same event, I am talking more about:
What's your day rate? What's your hourly rate and post-processing worth? Break it all down from there. Come up with a simple cost-per-hour equation. Let's assume you wanna snare the under-12 girls soccer circuit. Three local teams, 16-20 players each, team photos plus cheesy iso shots of the kids in uniform, foot on ball. Team photos will take, what, five-10 minutes to capture; each player requires a bare mimimum of two minutes (better allow for three, maybe), so that's a good hour per team.
If the cardboard matte "team plus player" picture frames you want to use cost $5, and the 5x7 team pic costs $0.50 to print, and the 4x6 player pic costs $0.25 to print, then your per-player cost is. say, $6 each, times 16-20, or upwards of $120 per team. So if you want to make a profit of $100 per team, you'll want to charge $220 per team. Now, note the $100 per team profit you are making is not $100 per hour. Because you'll likely take at LEAST an hour post-processing the pictures (they won't need much work, but still, you have to select 'em and shuffle 'em down the line for printing), if not two, and you're now down to 33 bucks an hour. Decent payoff, right?

Think again. Factor in the depreciation for your camera gear and push that through. Shooting a 7d? That's $1,500. If you're putting 1,000 actuations per week on the camera, it will last three years. So you need to factor in the $500 annual replacement cost budget into your business model - or at least, a $400 shutter repair/replace/shipping fee every three years - but if you're repairing that shutter, you need a backup camera. Got one? Is it good enough? How much will that cost? Say you wanna have a 60d for a backup. OK, great. That's another grand, plus the $400 repair fee, a total of $1,400 which percolates down to 50 cents per hour for camera replacement ALONE.

Then you have other annual costs (business licence, website hosting, phone, computer, camera replacement fund, batteries, gas, car insurance, car depreciation, newspaper or radio ads, professional assosiation fees, printer replacement fees if yuo're printing your own pics). Take those, and push THOSE down to a per hour (based on 900 hours per year - 50 weeks times 40 hours) cost.
Cellphone is $50 per month? $30 per month for web hosting? Car insurance is, say, $40 per month? $100 for gas ... business licence is $30 per year, batteries are $100 per year, advertising budget is $1,000 per year ... car maintenance is $400 per year, car replacement fund is $2,000 per year (yes, you could use my beat-up 1998 Mazda pickup to drive to that wedding consult, but nobody will hire you), local pro associaton fee is $100 ... (kaching): 3,440. Add in your $500 camera replacement fee, add in, say, $400 for insurance (because Muffin WILL find a way to smash his skull on your expensive light stands, and Muffin's Mama will come after you, sure as shooting), and you've got $4,340 in annual costs, not factoring in retirement or other benefits (medical insurance in the U.S.) being paid for.

Break that down to a per-hour overhead, and you're looking at $4.80 per hour for payment of overhead. So now that cushy $33 per hour is down to 28 per hour, and I haven't even mentioned the "T" word: taxes.
If this is a side-gig, adjust accordingly. Then drive your expected/desired salary down to the same degree. That will tell you how much per hour you need to earn.

Then realize you will NOT be working 40 hours per week to start. Maybe 20, until you gain a reputation. But your annual costs don't vanish. So your income on what looked like a cushy soccer gig has now dwindled ... Your $33 per hour is now, actually, close to $16.50 per hour of revenue, but you have to amortize your annual costs to the 20-hour work week, so those costs doucle to $10 per hour, maening you, sir, are now making $6.50 per hour.

Congratulations: you're now a professional photographer!

I think this is what others are trying to tell you. Maybe they ain't being blunt enough.
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Old Apr-01-2012, 04:40 PM
#15
DavidTO is offline DavidTO
Mod Emeritus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure Energy View Post
I've thanked him in a private message and I hope he reads this just in case he doesn't already know... I do value his opinion but my initial response here was merely to get him to stay on topic, otherwise, the direction of this thread could stray really far from its intended purpose.
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Old Apr-01-2012, 05:21 PM
#16
Pure Energy is offline Pure Energy OP
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To Moving Pictures, I got your point and others regarding prices are irrelevant. When are you going to get mine? Glort understood me more than you and I haven't even had a chance to respond to her and jamesbjenkins without you and the moderator trying to troll me to get high fives from each other (or did I just assume the thumbs up was for what you said?).

Ok, I'm calming down and editing this again to keep civil.

Wow. Great response, Moving Pictures. Your CODB analysis just made the scenario of shooting team pictures seem pointless to try. No gravy there.

To sound a little less sarcastic now. Let's make this thread a little bit simpler for everyone. Let's take a look at sports photos.

Since I would like to shoot everything, talk to me about why or why not a photographer should or shouldn't have different pricing levels (whether the photos are posted on their website or not) for the following:
  • age group sports
  • high school sports
  • junior college sports
  • four year college sports
  • pro sports
  • tournaments and events for age group sports
  • tournaments and events for high school sports
  • tournaments and events for junior college sports
  • tournaments and events for four-year colleges
  • tournaments and events for pro sports
  • team & individual photos for age group sports
  • team & individual photos for high school sports
  • team & individual photos for junior college sports
  • team & individual photos for four-year college sports
  • team & individual photos for pro sports
What has to be consolidated? Is the market dictating different prices for these distinctions between groups? Or am I just seeing a distinction in prices for these groups? Or is it one price fits all for all types of photos for these groups per photographer?

Last edited by Pure Energy; Apr-01-2012 at 05:40 PM.
Old Apr-01-2012, 06:02 PM
#17
Moving Pictures is offline Moving Pictures
Bokeh, Dano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure Energy View Post
Wow. Great response, Moving Pictures. Your CODB analysis just made the scenario of shooting team pictures seem pointless to try. No gravy there.
Team pictures ARE gravy. Take the example above. If you charge $240 per team, for a 20-player soccer team your cost to each parent of a 20-player team is $12, for a 5x7 (team pic) and a 4x6 (player iso) and some kinda matte. It's easy work. The question is - really - is that what you want to do? And how will you advertise the business to the soccer association? Will you market at $12 per player, $240 per team, or will you research the entire association, find there's 20 teams in the lucrative youth divisions, and offer an entire package of team/iso shots for $4,800? Or will you do all of the above plus supply 10 action shots for the association's website at $5k for the lot?

Now, if the football leagues like your work, you'd be insane to offer them a price paced on $240 per team. Why? Because the average football team has 30-40 players on it. So now you'd have to grind through your unit costs, again, to determine an overall price point that would make sense to you. And what makes sense to you, may not make sense to someone in a big urban market with greater overhead. Do you wanna charge $12 per player? Going back a post or so, if the costs are $5 per player, you're making $7 per unit, and each unit will take you about, say, 10 minutes of work, max. I'd go to work for $70 per hour. Would you? But, can your market handle that fee? I can't possibly tell you.

I doubt there's more than a couple of weddings in my county where a $1,000 wedding package would be considered, let alone a full-day package at far, far more. Hence, a wedding photography business plan would likely have to ponder a more wal-mart scenario of simply shooting ceremony only for, say $250 - just pulling a number out of thin air. Yeah, leave the four-figure packages available, but it would be unwise to plan on them for revenue around here.

Again, you can price things however the heck you want. But until you know what your business plan is, your market, and what you need to make to cover costs, you can't even remotely think about per-unit costs.

In other words, define your service, define costs and overhead for same, and your price points will work themselves out from there.

Hence, the question you NEED to ask is, "what services and products do you professional guys offer?" not "what do you guys charge?"
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Old Apr-01-2012, 07:23 PM
#18
Jamesbjenkins is offline Jamesbjenkins
Live, shoot, post, repeat
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OP, I don't want you to get the idea that we're being a smartass with you just for kicks. It took me almost 2 years of being frustrated at people not being interested in my services, and when I occasionally got a client, they rarely purchased anything other than the session fee and DVD cost.

My point is, you're asking the wrong questions. I think Moving Pictures gave you two great answers, so hopefully you have enough to work on for now. None of us know anything about your local market. The three biggest things you need to determine are as follows:

1. Your necessary profit margin
2. Your cost of doing business (CODB)
3. Your cost of goods sold (COGS)

Your pricing model for individual prints are, as has been stated about 14,250,678 times in this thread, completely irrelevant.

Good luck out there.
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Old Apr-01-2012, 09:23 PM
#19
Pure Energy is offline Pure Energy OP
Major grins
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moving Pictures View Post
Again, you can price things however the heck you want. But until you know what your business plan is, your market, and what you need to make to cover costs, you can't even remotely think about per-unit costs.

In other words, define your service, define costs and overhead for same, and your price points will work themselves out from there.

Hence, the question you NEED to ask is, "what services and products do you professional guys offer?" not "what do you guys charge?"
Lol... we seem to be determined to beat each other over the head to get our point across but let's get back on topic, please.

Your responses are very informative but have more to do with figuring out my prices (the other thread) versus figuring out how my prices can match the market value for various groups and whether they should. This thread was never about "what do you guys charge or what services and products do you professional guys offer?" And this thread should never be about that. BECAUSE I HAVE TAKEN OUT THE CODB, COGS, PROFIT MARGIN or whatever the hell you want to call something out of the equation.

I'll be damned if I'm going to sell a photo below certain prices anymore so for argument's sake, let's say I've figured out my bottom line on print prices. I am now wanting to price my photos appropriately to match the market. Is that wrong if my prices are only raised once a year but lowered at will?

Thank you to Jamesbjenkins for pointing out that I shouldn't let my ego get in the way for wanting to charge more for "team A" versus "team B-Z" at the same event because I was screwed over by "team A." I still want to charge "team A" more and hopefully can work past my stubbornness and ego when it comes time to dealing with them again or come up with a great way to get others to agree with the justification... to paraphrase Glort.

Thank you to Moving Pictures for suggesting I could charge more for "sport A" or "sport B" if I'm shooting team and individuals. Will that work for action photos shot on speculation too?

Thank you to Glort for staying on topic telling me that for her: "events and sports are the same, weddings and Glamor is different but they are different markets entirely, not different avenues of the same market." Are high school sports action photos and college sports action photos a different market or a different avenue as Glort suggests?

Within the sports action photos, do you see or does anyone else see a distinction between matching the market by level (age group sports thru pro sports)? by sport (soccer vs gymnastics)? a combination of both?

Or by posting photos of little league soccer will I be limiting what I can charge for college sports photos? Or will I be limiting what I can make from the little leagues because one price fits all and they're not going to buy photos based off of a higher price meant for college sports photos?

What if I think my automobile photographs are of a high caliber and more deserving of art type pricing versus the minimum markup that seems to be prevalent for sports photos? Does that mean my car photos get undervalued because I also shoot sports? Or that my sports photos will rarely be bought because they're priced the same as my car photos?

Glort made it sound like boo hoo, no one cares that my actual costs matter to shoot an event further away and yet Moving Pictures seems to think that I need to factor in my CODB and actual costs which would in theory, make all of my prices on my website look all over the place.

In general, I would have to say factoring in my CODB, COGS and profit margin is the policy towards pricing photos. In practice that is not done sometimes, for example, when it comes to incurring a larger expense in getting to an event or when there are fluctuations in COGS.

So, are people in agreement with Glort or Moving Pictures when it comes to pricing photos?

Where do you stand on any of the above mentioned ways of breaking down photos into groups for pricing levels of photos posted on a website? NO, I AM NOT EXPECTING WEBSITE SALES TO BE THE END ALL ONLY WAY TO MAKE MONEY! If I am showing the photos in person, the question is still the same. AND NO, I AM NOT ASKING HOW MUCH TO CHARGE FOR A 4x6, 5x7, 8x10, 16x20, ETC.

I guess with costs being factored in, I could have an 8x10 on my site be listed at $5, $8, $10, $12, $15, $18, $20, $25, $30, $35, $40, $45 and up if I had different pricing levels and all some of you guys have to say is... I'm asking the wrong question?

Okay, here goes then... do you have different prices on your sites for photos of the same size with the only difference being whether it is a sports photo, a portrait photo, a car photo, a wedding photo, a celebrity photo, etc.? Or are all your photos priced the same? Are you a successful photographer with your pricing levels or lack of pricing levels on your website? What do successful photographers do?

WILL I LOOK LIKE A FOOL WITH DIFFERENT PRICING LEVELS ON MY WEBSITE?

WILL I LOOK LIKE A FOOL WITH ALL PRICES THE SAME ON MY WEBSITE?

IF I GO WITH VARIOUS PRICING LEVELS, HOW DO I BREAK DOWN THE ABOVE MENTIONED CATEGORIES FROM SPORTS TO CARS, ETC.? DO I NOT BREAK DOWN ANY CATEGORIES? DO I COMBINE CATEGORIES THAT I SEE BUT REALLY AREN'T THAT DISTINCTIVE FROM ONE ANOTHER? WTH DO YOU DO AND HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR STANDARDS, IF NOT PLAINLY OBVIOUS?

Last edited by Pure Energy; Apr-01-2012 at 10:26 PM.
Old Apr-02-2012, 05:02 AM
#20
Glort is offline Glort
Major grins
Pure, I have to say in all the time I have been on forums of this type, I don't think I have seen anyone ask so many questions on a single subject, over complicate things as much or miss the real important stuff as much as you are doing here.

I can seem you are brimming with enthusiasm but I also think that is blinding you a lot.
Your posts since my last response only PROVE you seriously need to study Business, sales and marketing a LOT before you worry about any of the things filling your head now.

I really cannot overstate how misguided and wide of the mark your current thoughts and beliefs are and how incredibly important educating yourself about business matters is.
I challenge you, Just pick up one single book on on the subjects I mentioned, have a read through a chapter on Pricing and then come back and tell me how your current thinking is verified in what the book says.

If you don't have the time or the guts to do that, then you are so much of a doomed cause in business it isn't funny.
I have to say, you are so much like my oldest and best friend. I'd give the guy kidney if he rang and asked for one but as a business person, he is a total disaster and far more sadly, an ignorant and vain fool. He dreams of his own successful business but Point blank refuses to do any of the necessary and intelligent ground work before he races headlong into another disaster that set him back financially for years.

You can shoot his aspirations down is smoking flames using nothing more than the information and numbers HE gives you without even going near the always flawed and far fetched logic he gushes.
He talks as If becoming a multimillionaire in 12 months is an unquestionable given yet you can shoot him down with the most basic business questions that anyone with a chance of success would know.

I don't believe he has ever taken a step to educate himself in business principals and I doubt he ever will. What is certain though is he will NEVER make a success of any business endeavour as long as he lives because of his pride and ignorance.

I love the guy and consider him the brother and family I don't otherwise have but I am truthful.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure Energy View Post

As for prices being irrelevant, I get what you are saying but I think prices seem to be the most important place to start.
WRONG!

Pricing is so far down the list it isn't funny.

The fact you put priority on it shows the fatal lack of understanding you have about business.


Quote:
I tend to think any business model one comes up with is flawed if there aren't any prices to present to any type of customer.
Yes, it's evident that's what you think but anyone that KNOWS about Business and pricing KNOWS better.
OF course you need to have a price, but you need to know a lot about your market , clientele, products and a bunch of other things before hand.


Quote:
Not knowing my prices and pricing levels is a lot like a man without a compass. A man without a compass doesn't know where he is or where he is going. Without prices I can't sell photos. Without knowing what to charge different groups or levels (if there is a difference in price) means I don't know what type of photographer I am or where I would like to be.
A man that puts priority on Pricing IS a man without a compass or the first clue of where he is going.
You ARE that man right no, no question what so ever. You are only the only man that can fix that situation which is exactly like setting sail and a boat with a big leak and no way to bail it out.
The outcome is just as certain to any business Idea you entertain now.


Quote:
Since I would like to shoot everything, talk to me about why or why not a photographer should or shouldn't have different pricing levels (whether the photos are posted on their website or not) for the following:
  • age group sports
  • high school sports
  • junior college sports
  • four year college sports
  • pro sports
  • tournaments and events for age group sports
  • tournaments and events for high school sports
  • tournaments and events for junior college sports
  • tournaments and events for four-year colleges
  • tournaments and events for pro sports
  • team & individual photos for age group sports
  • team & individual photos for high school sports
  • team & individual photos for junior college sports
  • team & individual photos for four-year college sports
  • team & individual photos for pro sports
  • You know it would be so easy to ridicule you and put you down but this one bit I have quoted here is so worrying, scary and honestly, sad, that it is deflating to read it.

    IT"S ALL GODDAM SPORTS!!!
    There are 2 pricing categories in there: Events and T&I.
    That's it, end of section.

    The fact that you don't see this and are over complicating it so much leaves me lost for words and it must be pretty obvious to you already that for a verbose person like me, that is a worry in itself!!

    Please, Please and PLEASE, do yourself the biggest favour you can and help yourself and start reading up on business. There is no way possible for me or anyone else to point out your errors or tell you where you are going wrong. You simply have to help yourself.

    DO NOT look at another thing photographically related till you get on the net and spend some time looking at the Myriad of free info available to you that will help you more than anything else can.
Quote:
What has to be consolidated?
Everything on your list between " Age Group sports" and " team & individual photos for pro sports" into 2 and only 2 categories and price points.

Answer me this question.....
What exactly are you going to sell these potential clients to maximize your sales? profitability and how?

I'll bet my backside you are so fixated on price, you haven't even thought through your product offerings yet even though you think pricing is a priority and are missing huge opportunities.
Give me a rundown of what you are going to offer and I'll prove to you without even knowing what you are going to sell, how you are missing out on huge potential earnings are don't understand your market, clients or product offerings.

Quote:
Is the market dictating different prices for these distinctions between groups? Or am I just seeing a distinction in prices for these groups? Or is it one price fits all for all types of photos for these groups per photographer?
You are so fixated on price and so devoid of knowledge in marketing and sales you are making distinctions that are not there and complicating things to a level that would make a multinational company with 100,000 employees on the books cringe at.

Quote:
Glort made it sound like boo hoo, no one cares that my actual costs matter to shoot an event further away and yet Moving Pictures seems to think that I need to factor in my CODB and actual costs which would in theory, make all of my prices on my website look all over the place.
OK, here's how I set my pricing......

I take into account the MAIN cost factors and main ones only.
Unlike a lot of advise on these sites, I don't factor in equipment depreciation, insurances, Replacement of shoe leather on a per job basis or any of the other flawed crap people tout.

I consider my main costs which is usually just the cost to produce the product directly and then I inflate it to a level that gives me a rate of profitability that I don't have to sweat the little stuff because I know beyond question it's all going to be covered with a healthy margin in between.

And what is more, IF somehow I discover my pricing still comes up on the lower side of what others are charging, I bump it up so I'm at the high end of the scale. Why? because I'm a vain egomaniac and the thought of people buying my work because it's cheap is abhorrent to me and makes me feel like a looser. I want them to feel a small bit of pain when they reach for their wallet because if they do and still buy my product I know I have done the job right and they will value what they are buying and be more satisfied with it than if they thought it was cheap.

Do I get away with such arrogance? You bet your britches I do!

I could not begin to tell you what I make as an hourly rate, I could not tell you what my operating expenses are per year and I couldn't tell you much about anything other than my main and most significant costs.
I CAN tell you everything about how many sales I made on a given job, what the average sales value was per participant and per average sale and what my targets were and where I was with them. * can tell you what the direct material costs of my products are to the cent and how many cents each part of them cost.

I can also tell you that regardless of my lackadaisical attitude towards costs, I know that when when a bill comes in, I'll have plenty of money in the bank to pay it therefore I don't have to stress about the cost of shoe leather.

I'm not saying having a good knowledge of your costs is wrong, I'd say my method is the incorrect one, but it works for me and allows me to work ON the business rather than having to Spend too much time working IN the business and over the years, it has been a successful way of doing things for me.

As for the different Types of work I shoot and pricing them, I just went from shooting equine events where I would say the average investment for the price of admission is $20K upwards to doing swim school photography where the costs to play are $120.

For the swim school work, I actually took my T&I pricelist from the horses, changed the background, title and dropped one package and that was my pricelist for swim school pics.
I had little problem with it apart from the outright demographic of the area but still managed to slightly INCREASE both my average sale value per attendee and my average per sale value.

If that doesn't illustrate the irrelevance of different categories of sports work and pricing, I really can't think of a better example of what does.


And BTW, I'm a very large, highly Unattractive, short tempered, very straight BLOKE, not a Her!
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