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interesting exchange with model agency about value of photographers work
Old 09-20-2005, 04:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I shoot images for a local model/talent agency. They are very nice people.

A few months ago I did a head shot session for them with a male child model. I shot about 100 images, 2 different looks, sent them contact sheets, they picked an image, did some PS magic and shipped it back to them, and got paid. Cool, right?

Today I got a note and phone call. The basics of it are that the mom really liked my images and wanted a CD of the rest of them to make into a comp card. How much would I charge her?

I told 'em that she would need to pay the difference between what she paid ($150 for headshot) and $ 450 (what I charge for comp card shooting). They were outraged and thought I should just charge them for the cost of a CD, maybe $ 25.00.
Here is the email exchange that followed.

Beware photogs, most people do NOT know the value of your services and will gladly value your work at next to nothing, and even worse now that digital is out there, they think it costs YOU nothing to shoot.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi Glenn,

Please explain to me why a copy of a CD would cost $250.00? You already shot
the kid. That price is a shooting price.

Please explain to me why it is a hassle to copy pictures?



My response back to them:

Hi:

Simple.
You paid me for usage of a head shot. I supplied a head shot.

If you want other images from a shoot, you have to pay for the images.

Its respect of the photographer’s talent and skill. Its call usage and that’s how photographers charge.

If you had paid me for a comp card shoot, then you would have bought usage of 4 images for the card. You didn’t buy that usage. You bought one image.

It’s great that the mom liked more than one image. I am flattered. But she only paid for one image.

I charge $ 450 for a comp card session, $ 150 for single head shot.

The cost of copying the CD is nothing. You are right. But who pays for the $ 100T in cameras and $40T in computers we have in the studio?

The answer is simple, the clients.
When a photographer sells an image for stock, if it goes to a small client for regional use, it might go for $ 250. If the SAME image goes to a national ad, it might sell for $ 10,000. Image usage is what its all about. The photographer already shot it, yet charges 100X for the same picture. Why, usage? It’s the way photographers charge.

You are not paying the actual cost of the click of the camera, you are paying everything that it cost to make that click happen.

Thanks,
glenn








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Re: interesting exchange with model agency about value of photographers work
Old 09-20-2005, 04:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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All I got to say is... you tell 'em Glenn!!

Sam
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Re: interesting exchange with model agency about value of photographers wor
Old 09-20-2005, 04:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Nobody cares about your money like you do...

[img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]
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Somebody at that agency is either stupid or dense...
Old 09-20-2005, 04:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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So I guess the agency would charge a local dept. store the same rate per hr. for a model to appear in a local newspaper ad that they would, say, Target for a national campaign? After all, it's the same model, same number of hours.....?

Geez....

David
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Re: interesting exchange with model agency about value of photographers wor
Old 09-20-2005, 07:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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VERY well put. im curious to hear their response!
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When Photographers Brag About How Many
Old 09-20-2005, 07:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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images they shoot, and how digital saves them money, people expect these
"savings" to be passed down to them. The reality is, your time becomes
more valuble and other skills come to the forefront that cost money.
It's the costs the consumer doesn't see.

One thing I have learned from the majors is not to let people know the
inner workings of the physical end and make sure they are getting "value"
for their money.

I don't shoot on a regular basis, but when I do have clients I make sure
that the price is high-enough to not only support what I do, but to make
sure all contingencies are covered.

I may be high-priced, but I have found the more I charge, the less hassles
I have and life is good.

I charge for my time and effort, which is more valuble than most material
expenses that is incurred.

Greg.
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To paraphrase a famous artist. . .
Old 09-20-2005, 09:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I charge $5 for canvas and $5 for the paints and $500 for the Picasso to paint it.

Pablo Picasso
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Re: interesting exchange with model agency about value of photographers work
Old 09-20-2005, 09:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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This reminds of a story I've been told about painter lets just say Van Gogh.

A rich merchant on vaction ask him to paint a portrait of his son. He agreed and told the man to come back in 3 hrs. The man returned and found he had painted an excellent portrait. He ask how much he owed and Van Gogh said $10,000 dollars. The rich man scoffed, but loved the portrait, and said he wished he could charge $10,000 for three hours work. Van Gogh replied You are not paying me for the three hours it took to paint the portrait, but the life time of study and work that has let me develope the ability to paint a excellent portrait in three hours, and the lifetime of enjoyment you will get from this portrait.

Like the painter you have no doubt devouted much of your life to your art. Many of us have spent countless hours shifting skill sets from traditional to digital and continue to learn and try and master the craft and art of photography.

But you are right must people don't know the value. I just do photography part time, and I could do more if I lowered my prices. But I don't want to under value myself or the other photographers in the area who do good work. If people want cheap they can go to walmart.
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Re: When Photographers Brag About How Many
Old 09-20-2005, 09:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
I don't shoot on a regular basis, but when I do have clients I make sure
that the price is high-enough to not only support what I do, but to make
sure all contingencies are covered.

I may be high-priced, but I have found the more I charge, the less hassles
I have and life is good.

I charge for my time and effort, which is more valuble than most material
expenses that is incurred.


[/ QUOTE ]

Amen! I hear wedding photographers complaining about mothers-in-law giving them pains in the asses, being overworked and underpaid, clients trying to milk them for every dollar they're paying, etc, etc, etc. I guess they expect me to join in on the bitch session. Well, I just don't say anything. These same guys advertise themselves as the $450/day wedding photographer. They don't dress as a professional, have no real brick and mortar place to do business, and their samples are sad.

When people walk into my studio, they're greeted by the smell of lavendar (known to be a smell to relaxe people), stunning samples in elegant (read high priced) frames and albums, high backed queen ann chairs for them to sit in while they drink soda, water, or coffee (for high end client$, I break out wine) and look at some sample albums, and me dressed casual but professional (no t-shirts). Right then, they expect to pay high dollar$ for me. As a result, my lowest wedding package starts at $750, but average wedding booking is around $2000.

I can't say this enough. If you package yourself like you're cheap, people will expect to get you for very little ca$h. If you package yourself to increase your perceived value, the clients you want will gladly part with their hard earned cash for your services.

Mike

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Re: When Photographers Brag About How Many
Old 09-20-2005, 10:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Sounds like you've been reading my 30 rules......
You got it.
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