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Kick backs to schools?
Old 09-30-2005, 11:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What is generally accepted as a kickback for shooting student pictures in schools? Is it different for grade level, sporting events and municipal sporting events?
I need to make some cash to get some better equipment.
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Re: Kick backs to schools?
Old 09-30-2005, 12:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It's a case by case base and one would need to know exactly what student pictures you are going after. Is it k-12 undergraduate assembly line portraits are you looking to become an official contracted school photographer that photographs everything from school events such as proms and yearbook stuff to sporting and academic events?

I can better help you if you get more specific.

Usually if you are trying to get your foot in the door with a school you need to offer more then what they currently have or find a school that is disatisfied with their current contracted photographer.

FYI.....I discourage anyone wanting to become a school contracted photographer....your time has value as well and that is what you end up giving up the most for little in return....penny an hour so to speak as a general rule. However, if you want things to lead into a full time portrait business for that income then you can consider it as it is always give and take with my experiences.

J T
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Re: Kick backs to schools?
Old 09-30-2005, 12:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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JT probably has better advice for you on this than I but I'll share what I can with you.

First, I wouldn't call it a kick back. I quote package prices and then say there is an option for $2.00 per package to go to the sponsoring organization as a fundraiser. If they choose that option they need to provide me an assistant. The assitant collects the money (which is written out to the sponsoring organization). They provide write down image numbers by each student's name and provide me a list of students and packages purchased. They write me 1 check for the total less $2.00/package.

This has a couple benefits to me. I don't take the hit for bounced checks, they do. I also quote prices includeing sales tax. If the organization is a public school or pta/pto related to that school the sale is exempt of sales tax (at least here it is). So I'm paying near the same amount but I'd rather see it go to the school.

As JT has stated, it's a low end business. My cheapest package is $11.00 for an 8x10 and my highest is $17.50 for basically 5 sheets (equivelant of 5 8x10's). This is on par with others in the area, it's not discounted. I only make like $.20 per sheet extra as the packages get bigger. On average I earn $6.50 to 7.00 per package purchased. That does add up but it's a lot of work.

My advice, start small. Try to find a school with less than 200 students. I couldn't do a school larger than that without a duplicate set of equipment and another photographer.

Millers lab has good pricing on school packages. You might want to look into them.

Good luck.

David
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Re: Kick backs to schools?
Old 10-02-2005, 02:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Well thanks to both of you for your information. It helped me understand and make another decision. I guess my original approach was the best. I just need to advertise more. I was shooting on location, parents pick the location even if it was in their home with my lights. I charge a sitting fee and a modest price for pictures.
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Re: Kick backs to schools?
Old 10-02-2005, 02:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well thanks to both of you for your information. It helped me understand and make another decision. I guess my original approach was the best. I just need to advertise more. I was shooting on location, parents pic the location even if it was in their home with my lights. I charge a sitting fee and a modest price for pictures.
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