May 5th, 2016
Larry on the Eastcoast asks:
I have the opportunity to photograph an entire hotel and conference center with large convention space, multiple meeting rooms, executive suites, hospitality suites, restaurants, private dining areas, outdoor reception areas, etc. Rooms range from approximately 100’x100′ to 28’x15′ and smaller. I need suggestions as to how to price this. I will need to come out there probably two or three times based on when they set up rooms for photography. I need to submit a proposal to my prospective client asap. I had done a nice job on this person’s luxury condo and now she’s asking me to do a much bigger job. I have Canon pro equipment, including 17-40mm, 24-105mm, 70-210mm and 300mm lenses, 5D Mark III, and 580 EX IIs. I usually post-edit using LR Enfuse. Any advice greatly appreciated.
We have discussed pricing a lot because it is an important subject and opinions on the subject are diverse. In recent discussions, many have advocated the approach of charging primarily based on the number of finished images you deliver. I’ve become a convert. I think the logic of charging based on the number of delivered photos is very compelling. I the case Larry describes above his price doesn’t have much to do with the square footage of the rooms or what kind of gear he uses. It has to do with what level of work he does and how many images he needs to deliver.
Scott Hargis made the case in the last discussion on this subject: “…You can charge any amount you like, but the basic formula would be that the more photos you deliver, the more money you make. Your clients are perfectly able to specify quantities in every other area of their lives – they know that every candy bar they buy, every gallon of gas, every dozen eggs, is a little “cha-ching” at the cashier. They even know that every kilowatt of electricity they use will be billed, even though hardly anyone really calculates their electric usage that carefully. They’ll be able to handle the notion of each photograph being worth a set dollar amount.”
Rosh Sillers over at Petapixel.com makes the same argument for charging by delivered image for photography in general. He has a very detailed approach of how to do this. Rosh makes the case that there are a number of different levels of photographers selling their work. Hobbyists, amateurs, students, semi-pros, professionals and top professionals.
So my advice to Larry is as follows:
- Establish what you charge per image based on your assessment of the level of work you do and historically what you have been charging. See Rosh Sillers article for some detailed suggestions on how to do this.
- Bid the shoot based on how many images your client wants you to deliver.
- Make sure unusual travel costs are covered.
I’m sure others will have advice for Larry.