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View Full Version : Someone wants to buy a photo from me ... how much should I charge?


Keith
11-16-2007, 05:03
A couple of weeks ago I went to a largish social function and took this photo: http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=72623 The woman in the photo has contacted me and wants to buy an A4 sized print on high grade media suitable for framing.

Having recovered from the shock of actually selling a photo ... I was wondering how much I should charge her? She won't need the photo for a few weeks as she and her husband are returning to Madagascar for Christmas with her family and won't be back until mid January when she will contact me for delivery of the print! :eek:

kully
11-16-2007, 05:07
:) It's a nice feeling isn't it Keith?

I charge 15/20 for 8x10 (FB wet, digital) - that's half for the printer bloke and half for me.

Keith
11-16-2007, 05:10
:) It's a nice feeling isn't it Keith?

I charge 15/20 for 8x10 (FB wet, digital) - that's half for the printer bloke and half for me.

Yes Kully ... it's a great feeling and a sort of vindication that you're not totally wasting your time with all this photography stuff. :)

SolaresLarrave
11-16-2007, 05:11
Add materials and labor. The material cost is objective; the labor is subjective, and that's the area you can play with. Look for professional estimates and charge a little less.

That's what I'd do.

Congratulations!

Rafael
11-16-2007, 05:51
Congratulations Keith! Was this taken at the police event that you wrote of?

I second Francisco's advice. Make sure that your costs are covered and then add something extra for your artistry and skill. I price prints differently according to the situation in which I am selling them. For example, I would charge significantly more for a corporate portrait or a headshot for an actor than I would for a candid. Depending on the cost of materials, I would say that $20-$25 for the portrait in question would not be at all out of line (Erik's estimate might be a tad on the high side :)). Again, congratulations.

ferider
11-16-2007, 05:57
Congratulations !

I would charge a little more than that if you print yourself.

Think about an hourly rate, and a reasonable time to actually do the print.
Multiply by 2-3. E.g, 70 US/h, half hour, at least a maybe US 80-90 ?

If you don't hand-print, since she asked you, I would try US 47.90 :)

She came to you so you can ask for more ...

Roland.

Rafael
11-16-2007, 06:02
Sorry, I was thinking of prices for colour prints (it would seem that I am not quite awake yet!). For a B+W print, especially if you print it yourself, Roland is right. You should charge more than I suggested.

HuubL
11-16-2007, 06:12
Congrats Keith! All those fancy cameras finally begin to pay off.
No kidding, I would sell it for cost price only.

cgf
11-16-2007, 06:14
Keith,

Congratulations on selling your photo!

I enjoy collecting photos (11"x14", 16"x20") from 'not-yet-famous' photographers. One benefit is that I own their work before the prices go through the roof...

Rule of thumb, I routinely pay Au $50-$100 for 11"x14" prints. That's just the print, I arrange matting & framing myself.

If she likes it, and the quality is there, she'll pay and won't feel ripped off in the process.

A little off topic but FYI (it might be useful) I get very good quality and service from http://www.frameshop.com.au/ for mats and frames, despite the not-quite-there-yet website. I have no relationship with them, other than being a very happy repeat customer.

Cheers,
George

rich815
11-16-2007, 06:54
I wish more than 20% of the people who told me they wanted to buy a print actually did buy it once I told them an asking price. And I do not generally ask much! Lots of people have something like $5 in the head!

Congrats on the interest this person had. Let's see if they still want it once you decide on a price.

cgf
11-16-2007, 07:06
I wish more than 20% of the people who told me they wanted to buy a print actually did buy it once I told them an asking price.

And the other side of the coin, you wouldn't believe how many people with online galleries, and contact details, don't supply a price or even acknowledge my request. I like to think it's rampaging spam filters keeping my emails from them. :)

kalokeri
11-16-2007, 07:15
Congrats, Keith.

Just this week I got some hand-printed b/ws in 30x40 back I ordered. For a close to A4, a 24x30 cm (9x12 inch, I suppose) Baryt-Print they charge EURO 28, that means about 47 AUD. If the print is made on PE its EURO 20 or 34 AUD.

That is expensive I know, but the printer is excellent and recommended by pros here in Hamburg. I needed perfect prints, so I ask him to do it.

Based on his prices and without knowing anything about these things in Australia I second the suggestion of HuubL. If you do print yourself charge something around 50 AUD, thats a good price me thinks.

Thomas

Keith
11-16-2007, 07:44
I have an Epson R2400 arriving next week which supposedly is the bees knees for black and white ink jet printing and from memory it comes with a sample pack of Ilford Art Papers in 8x10. I'll print the image and see if it's satisfactory ... a friend of mine who lives nearby is a professional framer so I can offer the framing too I guess.

Rafael ... that was from the police function. Her husband was a delightful guy and obviously adores her ... I think he is the one paying for it. :)

This has encouraged me to become a little more pro-active and I've registered a domain name tonight and linked it to my Zenfolio gallery. I'm also getting a couple of hundred cards done with my name and the linked web address (keithnovakphoto.com) on them. In future at these sort of events I can give someone I've photographed a card and they will be able to see the images on line and contact me if they are interested. This has cost surprisingly little to do and the cards will be useful when I'm photographign people in public places if they question my motives!

http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g196/wheelie52/RFF%20Storage/livepreview.jpg

andrealed
11-21-2007, 13:25
Please, let us know...the cards are really a good idea!

shadowfox
11-21-2007, 14:33
Keith, congrats on the break! It's a true accomplishment and the picture is beautiful.

I would ask the husband how much he thinks the picture is worth to him.
No one who loves his wife would quote you a dissapointing figure with that question :)

Tell him that you are serious about selling pictures, but your customer's deep impression is also important to you.

That way he'll be a walking billboard to his friends quoting how great you are ;)

jl-lb.ms
11-21-2007, 14:46
I recently sold a 16 x 24 print, framed. I had the printing and framing done by Mpix.com and my selling price was double the cost to me for Mpix. The final cost was $150USD. The buyer was quite pleased at the cost (as was his wife.)

d_ross
11-21-2007, 15:04
I would suggest you be totally up front with her and say you really dont know what to charge her for the print, and ask her nicely what she was expecting to pay. Have a price in mind you want to charge and if she offers you more smile and say that is fine, and if she offres you less, explain the costs involved and you would need to get at least x$ for it. chances are if she really likes it she will offer you more than you think.

Cheers

colker
04-23-2009, 10:21
300-500 dollars. if you take yourself srsly as a photographer that's the price, if you are new and upcoming.
for 25 bucks i might as well give it away... or ask for a cup of coffee.

Roger Hicks
04-23-2009, 10:29
300-500 dollars. if you take yourself srsly as a photographer that's the price, if you are new and upcoming.
for 25 bucks i might as well give it away... or ask for a cup of coffee.


I agree. Under 100 UK/$150 US is derisory. Give it as a present rather than charge less than that. Or charge more.

Tashi delek,

R.

Brennotdan
04-23-2009, 10:49
I was told to always consider the cost of film+cost of time shooting film+cost of developing+transportation costs for store, location, lab+time for post processing or printing+time for ordering materials+wear and tear on equipment. I agree, might as well give away a print rather than undervalue your hard work, it feels better in the long run.

edit: also that one image is just one out of thousands that wont sell. Those thousands played a crucial part in getting that one image as well.

uhligfd
04-23-2009, 11:01
How much money do you need, Keith?

You have been living well without/before selling prints, right?

One more print is one more print, right? Won't make you rich or poor, right?

So charge her 20 something or the equivalent of one bottle of wine, sort of.

Be civil and do not think of professional prices of a Karsh or Ansel ...

But if you need the money badly, tell her you regularly sell hand prints for $ 2,000. By all means do that if, if you need the money that badly and are starving.

Al Kaplan
04-23-2009, 11:17
This wasn't an asignment. You shot it on your own. You own it.

She should be grateful that you were there, made the exposure, and didn't delete it. What would it have cost her to hire somebody for the event? $500? $1,000? More?

Certainly no less that $100 U.S. for an 8x10 "...but I can give you a break on multiple copies".

It has nothing at all to do with what Keith "needs". It's all about establishing a value on his prints and services. Charge $10 and all of her friends will be inviting "The Ten Dollar Photographer" to their parties on the off chance they might want a picture later.

Brennotdan
04-23-2009, 11:36
The larger issue is that it helps create, or perpetuate rather, a common perception of value for yourself and other photographers.

Ron (Netherlands)
04-23-2009, 11:50
Ask for some nice bottles of wine

George S.
04-23-2009, 12:13
I think it matters how Keith got the photo. If he was a participant in the social function and just took his camera along to play around like all of us photonuts here do from time to time, that's one thing. Somewhat different is if he was there "on assignment" or actually considering himself "working". I know it doesn't change the end result, but I would charge more if it was known that I was there and "working" and someone asked for a print, and less if I was just there just enjoying myself having fun with my camera.

For the latter scenario, I'd charge an amount that would cover the cost of the print plus the cost of a couple of bottles of my favorite wine or a few of my favorite cigars and consider myself even. After all, I assume she's not reselling it or using it in her autobiography.

edit- I would also tell her that I was doing it as a "favor" to her and to please not tell everyone what she paid as my customary rate is much higher.

Brian Sweeney
04-23-2009, 12:46
This is a very old thread. 2007.

Keith- what did you end up doing?

willie_901
04-23-2009, 13:06
I would charge $50 for a non-exclusive 50 year license and add a printing charge at your cost. I would give them a medium resolution jpeg as well.You make your profit (using the term loosely) on the license.

I do all my sales this way. My creative (using the term loosely) fees and the printing fees are always separate. I tell customers this method is more transparent as I am under no pressure to sell them printing services they don't really want or need. But I do control the printing by selecting who makes the print. I always out-source printing. It's just too expensive time consuming and frustrating to do it myself.

colker
04-23-2009, 13:09
I would charge $50 for a non-exclusive 50 year license and add a printing charge at your cost. I would give them a medium resolution jpeg as well.You make your profit (using the term loosely) on the license.

I do all my sales this way. My creative (using the term loosely) fees and the printing fees are always separate. I tell customers this method is more transparent as I am under no pressure to sell them printing services they don't really want or need. But I do control the printing by selecting who makes the print. I always out-source printing. It's just too expensive time consuming and frustrating to do it myself.
you make a living out of 50 bucks a picture including rights? where do you operate, Sudan?

colker
04-23-2009, 13:11
I think it matters how Keith got the photo. If he was a participant in the social function and just took his camera along to play around like all of us photonuts here do from time to time, that's one thing. Somewhat different is if he was there "on assignment" or actually considering himself "working". I know it doesn't change the end result, but I would charge more if it was known that I was there and "working" and someone asked for a print, and less if I was just there just enjoying myself having fun with my camera.

For the latter scenario, I'd charge an amount that would cover the cost of the print plus the cost of a couple of bottles of my favorite wine or a few of my favorite cigars and consider myself even. After all, I assume she's not reselling it or using it in her autobiography.

edit- I would also tell her that I was doing it as a "favor" to her and to please not tell everyone what she paid as my customary rate is much higher.

less than 300... just give it away. srsly. it's depressing to watch someone sell a picture for less than 500 dollars.

Sisyphus
04-23-2009, 13:23
I sell my 8x10 prints for a minimum of $350 (Depending on the image), which includes matting; framing is a bit more. I charge more depending on the image and the size of the print. Some people may think that my prices are too high, but I feel it is a matter of principle given the amount of time and effort that it took me to capture some of these images.

I hope that is helpful,

:s:

Keith
04-23-2009, 13:39
This is a very old thread. 2007.

Keith- what did you end up doing?


My god it is an old thread .... and the story of that pic is interesting.

I did print out the photo on high quality Ilford Gold Silk and passed it on to a friend who works with the subject occasionally and handed it on to her.

I decided on fifty dollars, because after all it was just a casual snap taken at a social function, which apparently she was very happy with and said she would leave the money with my friend when she saw them again the following week. A week or so later she (the subject) and her partner left the state and relocated to another part of Australia ... with my photo of course and unpaid for of course!

Sigh ... my own fault of course for trusting others to do the right thing! :p

George S.
04-23-2009, 13:49
less than 300... just give it away. srsly. it's depressing to watch someone sell a picture for less than 500 dollars.

You know.... you don't have to watch! :D

Brian Sweeney
04-23-2009, 14:41
I used to shoot weddings as my present to the couple. Usually ones that were paying for it all themselves and did not have much money. I enjoyed it and they appreciated it.

JohnTF
04-25-2009, 10:38
Glad to hear you are taking it in the right way. Assume it was an oversight, am pretty sure I owe a few people a few bucks, and am sure a few owe me much more, not a bad balance sheet.

Agree with the concept of selling a fine print for a respectable price, or give it away.

Regards, John

colker
04-25-2009, 11:23
My god it is an old thread .... and the story of that pic is interesting.

I did print out the photo on high quality Ilford Gold Silk and passed it on to a friend who works with the subject occasionally and handed it on to her.

I decided on fifty dollars, because after all it was just a casual snap taken at a social function, which apparently she was very happy with and said she would leave the money with my friend when she saw them again the following week. A week or so later she (the subject) and her partner left the state and relocated to another part of Australia ... with my photo of course and unpaid for of course!

Sigh ... my own fault of course for trusting others to do the right thing! :p

also your own fault to charge too low and make it too casual.
she wants to buy? she pays upfront. you give the pic, signed and numbered and she gives you money.
that's how it's being done for ages.
you did it different your own way.. and it all screwed up. you charged and were not paid.
next time, unless you do it conservatively and right, just give the photo away.

colker
04-25-2009, 11:23
You know.... you don't have to watch! :D

yeah... amateurs.:D

colker
04-25-2009, 11:25
I sell my 8x10 prints for a minimum of $350 (Depending on the image), which includes matting; framing is a bit more. I charge more depending on the image and the size of the print. Some people may think that my prices are too high, but I feel it is a matter of principle given the amount of time and effort that it took me to capture some of these images.

I hope that is helpful,

:s:

that's a good price. a bit on the low side but still coherent w/ market prices.
good for you.

Roger Hicks
04-25-2009, 11:44
I used to shoot weddings as my present to the couple. Usually ones that were paying for it all themselves and did not have much money. I enjoyed it and they appreciated it.
Dear Brian,

YES!

Anyone who shoots a wedding otherwise, for less than $1000 or even $2000, is devaluing photography as a skill. But we all have friends who are short of money, and usually young, and pay for their own weddings.

One of my friends who was a professional wedding photographer used to have a range of packages starting at 1500 (call it $2,200) and going up to 5000 (call it $7,500). And she still got clients who wanted extras. I think she charged $10,000 once.

Likewise, give away 'happy snaps'. If you're as poor as they are (and if they're friends, they'll know) then by all means ask for payment for materials, if it's over (say) $25. Otherwise -- a present.

Something else I've taken to lately is, "It's a present, but make a contribution to your favourite charity. Mine are cancer and Greenpeace." Charity lays a trip on them; NAMING the charity lays a heavier trip.

Tashi delek,

R.

JohnTF
04-25-2009, 15:32
Dear Brian,

YES!

Anyone who shoots a wedding otherwise, for less than $1000 or even $2000, is devaluing photography as a skill. But we all have friends who are short of money, and usually young, and pay for their own weddings.

R.


Amazing how being well paid for a wedding helps my attitude and increases my patience. ;-) Am showing my age when I talk about studios paying $30/ day for their photographer to shoot a wedding, that is, if it went more than 12 hours.

I think Johnson was president, the Pound very high ($5?), Canadian TV played "God Save the Queen" every night, and it paid off my Rollei and Braun RL 515, plus I got a lot of very good experience. They sent me out on two weddings to shadow two of their regulars to find out if I could focus and adjust the diaphragm, shooting Verichrome to save money, then tossed the negatives. Nice to see some of my work in their studio windows during my brief tenure. Boss and wife looked at every proof, sent the bad ones back, and let me know what was wrong.



There are tons of people to shoot a wedding cheaply right now, bless automation and cheap digital. ;-)


One of the photos I posted in the Gallery happened to be a shot of a young man related to the Ambassador from S. Africa, he asked, and I gave him a 12x16 print, I was shooting for myself, testing a new film, Foma positive B&W in Prague. Skoda did a great job in the printing. I had gotten what I needed and they were nice people. I think I may have a print for your neighbor, from the old magazine days and the "postcard exchange" ?


Regards, John

George S.
04-25-2009, 19:21
yeah... amateurs.:D

Exactly why you shouldn't judge too harshly. We're talking about ONE photograph. That isn't going to make someone a professional. If he and you were both pros working the same neighborhood and he was charging $50, then and only then would you have a legitimate b*tch.

NickTrop
04-25-2009, 19:40
Ask for some nice bottles of wine

A bottle of wine. Agreed.
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__hh
04-25-2009, 19:53
I think it depends on the situation/nature/purpose/intent of the photo. You weren't out to take a photo in with getting the money shot in mind. You are obviously a bit happy about the fact that someone is willing to pay for a photo. My assumption is that she is impressed with your work and wants a personal photo for herself/husband and has no intention of making money out of the photo.

Keith, in this case, if it were up to me, I would just charge her whatever the true costs are to have the photo made up to her liking (printing, materials, extra time/effort) and maybe a small token *fee* as a pat on the back.

Unless I am a paid professional already, a request such as this would not warrant myself to put of a professional's hat/mentality/attitude and try and charge the same rate as them.