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Photography Business Model Release Contracts Printing Services

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#1 Joe Baker

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 12:08 AM

Hey Stunners and Tony!  What if we created a new Sub Forum for photography business questions.  We can have pinned topics for a generic model release, generic photo contracts, etc.

 

I know not all of us are into photography for money, but it would help if we had a good resource area for the possibility of making money.  I know just recently I was asked about which service that I use for printing and I am more than happy to share any and all information that I know of.  I also know that I still have a lot to learn and this group has some great ideas.

 

Just a thought!  What does everyone else think?


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#2 Richard Law

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 05:25 AM

I would be very interested in a business section as it is something I have had small dealings with already.

#3 David X. Li

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 09:51 AM

This is a great idea!



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#4 Fotogenisk

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 10:25 AM

Sounds great to me!



#5 Sreedhar Vengala

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 08:07 PM

Really a great idea. 

 

@Joe Baker:  By the way your portfolio website look very good and simple.  Am in process of design one for me.  Is this out of box template or is a custom designed?


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#6 Joe Baker

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 09:08 PM

Really a great idea. 

 

@Joe Baker:  By the way your portfolio website look very good and simple.  Am in process of design one for me.  Is this out of box template or is a custom designed?

 

Sreedhar, it's a template from Zenfolio, that you can customize.  There is quite a bit of customization that you can do or you can use one of their templates.  Thanks for the compliments!


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#7 Sreedhar Vengala

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 09:26 PM

Thanks Joe will look into it.


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#8 Darryl Walker

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 10:01 PM

I'm diggin the idea. It would be a fantastic resource.

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#9 Joe Baker

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 10:40 PM

It seems like we have lost some traction on this idea,  :( .  So what other items would you like to see in this topic: The Business of Photography.

Personally:

 

#1.   I would like to see how everyone comes up with their pricing.  Whether it be photo sessions, prints, etc.

#2.  What kind of resources do you use for bookings: Facebook, email, online?

#3.  Ideas for marketing:  Facebook, business cards, etc.  What has worked for you and what has not.

 

Thanks!


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#10 richocampo

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 04:29 PM

It seems like we have lost some traction on this idea,  :( .  So what other items would you like to see in this topic: The Business of Photography.

Personally:

 

#1.   I would like to see how everyone comes up with their pricing.  Whether it be photo sessions, prints, etc.

#2.  What kind of resources do you use for bookings: Facebook, email, online?

#3.  Ideas for marketing:  Facebook, business cards, etc.  What has worked for you and what has not.

 

Thanks!

 

 

My existing Photography Fees starts from $150 and up

 

1. I don't provide prints anymore since most of my clients prefers digital copy (CD, DVD).  If prints is requested, normally its a large format 8x10 and bigger.  And I charge for post processing starting at $45/hr. 

 

2. I use public email. Why?  Most of my client use public emails i.e. gmail, yahoo, hotmail/live.  The response time is almost 100% from them 

 

3.  I have 3 groups that I'm part with locally.  2 int'l group SDP as one and the other an Asian country. Aside from FB public page, I have 500px and Google Plus.   Business cards are a must.  When you go out shooting landscape, people will always approach curious on what you are doing, that's a chance to handout business cards.   I also shoot TFP (Trade for Photos) for upcoming models.  

 

and important part, I have a business license registered locally :)

 

 

What didn't work for me: 

 

Free shoots with friends and family. They abuse it (lol) without paying. So I had to stop that. I usually charge for professional fee or service fee for $50. 


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#11 Richard Law

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 05:24 AM

Excellent post, very informative :)

#12 Alyson Brimecombe

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 08:18 AM

So... I have been full time into photography now for 1 year. I can respond to a few of those points from my perspective only....

So. I'm not going to do a session for $150. I'm worth more than that, and my time is worth more than that, and I value myself more than that. If I shoot for 1 hour, edit for 3 hours, and give 40 images to the client, lets say, I earn $3.75 per image. I'd rather work at McDonalds! But we price where we think we are in our journey. 

I'm still very cheap, and my unbreakable.family.bond session is $600 for 10 images. I just put my price up. I still get bookings. 

I've just restructured my pricing. 

I personally don't believe an @gmail.com or @hotmail.com email address looks very professional at all - and that's not really the image I want to project to my clients. So I have my own domain, my own email address that spins off from that. 

I have a stationery 'set'. So everything looks similar, and as for branding, is recognisable. Business Cards, 'Studio Credit' [gift cards], Letterhead, email signature, etc. 

Start yourself off exactly how you want to project. I want to project a level of professionalism, and that needs to be reflected in ALL of my marketing tools - website, email, business cards, brochures, etc. 

I am not the cheapest and I am not the most expensive. I'm happy where I'm sitting but I also don't want people to think I'm the Ford, or the Porsche. I want to be the Lexus. 

Public Liability Insurance is a must. As much as I love my clients, I love my family more, and my client's safety more, and I would rather have PLI backing me and them up as opposed to something potentially happening and I go bankrupt, lose my house, and other assets. It's just not worth the risk for a few dollars a month. Plus, I shoot a lot of public property as well as my Boutique Portrait Studio, and also on private property, and there's no way I would be allowed to shoot on private property or get permission from the owners to shoot on their private property without PLI - they'd tell me to go away - and it's illegal to make money on public or council owned land without PLI - they can fine you. Again, not worth the risk. 

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that a photography business is based on photography - it's not. It's 10% clicking that shutter, and 90% being a good business person. 


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#13 Neil Johnson

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 12:51 PM

I think this is a good idea also.  I am just starting out with my own photography business.  The competition is tough, but I think that Alyson hit the nail on the head about figuring out what your time is worth, because fundamentally that's what your customers are actually buying.

 

Luckily my day job is very similar and my customers pay for my time and knowledge.  However, I have realised that the image that you present, both in person and on social media is what convinces people to want "you", rather than someone cheaper.  We are just about to do our very first newborn shoot, heavily discounted of course, to start building our portfolio - I took Alyson's advice and although we are doing a great price, the customer is in no doubt what the real price of the session would normally be - they have also signed a release so that we can use the shoot in our advertising material.

 

Even though we are at a really early stage, it would be great to be part of a forum of other new and established photographers, I have picked up loads of advice from SDP Pro's already, but things are getting very real, very quickly and I get the feeling I will be able to take all of the help i can get! :)

 

Neil.


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#14 Joe Baker

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 01:32 PM

Alyson, I would love to hear about how you started out.  What did you do to build your portfolio and what advice would you offer to those that are starting out?  I know that you have been doing this a year, but it appears that you are making good money off of it.  Being located in Australia, do you feel that you are in a more "well to do" area and thus the reason for the no objections to your pricing?  I am not saying that you are not worth it, but if I were to charge $600 a session with no/very little portfolio photos, I will not receive very many bookings if at all.  You said you just upped your pricing, which I can see, but what did you do in the beginning?  BTW, your portfolio is fantastic!  Any insight is appreciated!


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#15 Alyson Brimecombe

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 06:11 PM

Alyson, I would love to hear about how you started out.  What did you do to build your portfolio and what advice would you offer to those that are starting out?  I know that you have been doing this a year, but it appears that you are making good money off of it.  Being located in Australia, do you feel that you are in a more "well to do" area and thus the reason for the no objections to your pricing?  I am not saying that you are not worth it, but if I were to charge $600 a session with no/very little portfolio photos, I will not receive very many bookings if at all.  You said you just upped your pricing, which I can see, but what did you do in the beginning?  BTW, your portfolio is fantastic!  Any insight is appreciated!

 

 

So Jo, my price before I put it up was $400. So now I'm charging just $200 more than that. 

When I started out [and OMG I cringe when I see my earlier work! *shudder*] I did up a FB page and did a casting call. It was for children. Since that's what I wanted to shoot initially, and nothing more. I invited my friends. So my price when I started out with no images other than ones of my children was $250! And I just discounted that for 'portfolio building'. 

It's funny, because once people start to realise you are a photographer, they start asking you to shoot other things outside of what you originally started shooting - so prepare for that. I was 100% wanting to only shoot children, and to be honest, I seriously LOVE children sessions because I adore children and their personalities, and I never thought a year ago I'd be branching out to shoot nearly everything - families, boudoir, newborn, weddings, births, cake smash, etc. 

I must make mention that Neil is absolutely correct. No one is buying your images. They are buying an experience with YOU. I am constantly on display, whether I'm in my uniform or not [I have branded shirts I wear]. The behaviour I exhibit with every single person who interacts with me in my business, has to be a positive experience. From my lab, to my Hong Kong printers, to the other shop owners in my building, right down to the courier delivery guy. Every.single.interaction.is.a.reflection.of.me. Because all of these people [apart from the HK printers!] are potential clients, or know potential clients. None of them are going to refer me if I'm the grumpy bum who doesn't smile and greet them with a bit of sunshine. 

I'm actually in what is considered a lower socio-economic area. But then, there are people everywhere who want a bargain. It doesn't affect me, because I attract clients who value the experience they know they will get when they book with me. My clients aren't the bargain basement hunters, there's another photographer for them to go to if they want a cheap and nasty experience. My clients want a quality experience, so when you put your price up, out of the cheapie "$50 all edited pics on a disc" league, you will start to get clients who value you and value what they are getting. 

And I have learnt too, to put my foot down and say no. I don't need to say yes to every single client. Only the ones I want. I know that sounds crazy, right? What? You don't want to take their money? Yes, that's right. Some people, I do not want as clients. I can usually tell what type of client they will be by the way they word things, etc, and I just tell people I'm sorry, I'm unavailable and booked out. True story. I once gave a bride her deposit back as soon as she started showing signs of being a demanding spoilt brat bridezilla, because really, I don't want to spend my valuable time working for someone who isn't going to appreciate me, and project an air of doing me the favour by hiring me. Best decision I ever made. She would have been a horrible client in the end, and my time is more valuable to me than that. I also have said no to people who ask me if they supply the cake for a cake smash is it cheaper? No, my price includes a professionally made cake smash cake. If you supply the cake, it's still the same price. This too, hasn't stopped me for getting bookings for cake smash. In fact, no one in a while has asked me if it's cheaper if they supply the cake - my cake smash price is high enough that they know they are investing in something amazing, not trying to cheap out. I simply tell them if they want to make a cake, make it for the child's birthday where it's going to be more special, but if they are going to invest in a cake smash session, invest all the way to get the best images you can. Yes, it would be more profit for me if I allowed them to make the cake, but that's not going to give them the BEST images they could get, and that in turn, reflects on me. Saying no, is a beautiful thing! Really! 

Don't think you can't put your price up. PixiFoto packages and those pop up shopping centre photographers charge way more than me, and they still get clients even though the quality of their work is pretty substandard. 

Pricing isn't everything, is all I'm saying. Obviously I want to make a living, and my business plan actually dictates where my pricing sits, but I get people asking me all the time how much for this etc. When you start to produce consistent quality [and I'm not saying I'm any good by any means!] people will start to see your work, and think 'wow, she's so much better than this person who was going to charge me $50' and they will book you. 

It sounds so silly, right, but, the way I see it, as I said before, anyone can buy a Kmart [or Walmart for the Americans] bag to hold their stuff. But if they want the Guess Bag, they'll find the money for it because they love it and really, it's what they want. 

That is why I say, when you start out portfolio building, set your price, then discount it, and let people know it's discounted, so that no one thinks you are the cheapie photographer, but know, that you are discounting it from your regular price. You don't want to start off the cheapie, you will find it very hard to break out of that once you're in that cycle, and you will attract the wrong type of client, the bargain basement hunter. 


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#16 Joe Baker

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 12:03 PM

"And I have learnt too, to put my foot down and say no."

 

I love this statement.  In my other life, I have learned this and it is really great advice.  If you let people walk all over you, they will.  

 

Alyson, I truly appreciate your feedback and I think information like this is invaluable.  Do you like the idea of the business sub forum?  What information would you like to see on it?  Thanks again!


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#17 Alyson Brimecombe

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 04:41 PM

Hi Joe. As a mod, I asked for this forum a while ago :) I have moved your thread to in here.
Hi Joe. As a mod, I asked for this forum a while ago :) I have moved your thread to in here.

#18 Joe Baker

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 11:13 PM

Hi Joe. As a mod, I asked for this forum a while ago :) I have moved your thread to in here.
Hi Joe. As a mod, I asked for this forum a while ago :) I have moved your thread to in here.

I feel very special now!  Hopefully, I will not have any additional brain farts while posting!  Thanks again!


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#19 David Thorman

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 03:44 AM

So Jo, my price before I put it up was $400. So now I'm charging just $200 more than that. 

When I started out [and OMG I cringe when I see my earlier work! *shudder*] I did up a FB page and did a casting call. It was for children. Since that's what I wanted to shoot initially, and nothing more. I invited my friends. So my price when I started out with no images other than ones of my children was $250! And I just discounted that for 'portfolio building'. 

It's funny, because once people start to realise you are a photographer, they start asking you to shoot other things outside of what you originally started shooting - so prepare for that. I was 100% wanting to only shoot children, and to be honest, I seriously LOVE children sessions because I adore children and their personalities, and I never thought a year ago I'd be branching out to shoot nearly everything - families, boudoir, newborn, weddings, births, cake smash, etc. 

I must make mention that Neil is absolutely correct. No one is buying your images. They are buying an experience with YOU. I am constantly on display, whether I'm in my uniform or not [I have branded shirts I wear]. The behaviour I exhibit with every single person who interacts with me in my business, has to be a positive experience. From my lab, to my Hong Kong printers, to the other shop owners in my building, right down to the courier delivery guy. Every.single.interaction.is.a.reflection.of.me. Because all of these people [apart from the HK printers!] are potential clients, or know potential clients. None of them are going to refer me if I'm the grumpy bum who doesn't smile and greet them with a bit of sunshine. 

I'm actually in what is considered a lower socio-economic area. But then, there are people everywhere who want a bargain. It doesn't affect me, because I attract clients who value the experience they know they will get when they book with me. My clients aren't the bargain basement hunters, there's another photographer for them to go to if they want a cheap and nasty experience. My clients want a quality experience, so when you put your price up, out of the cheapie "$50 all edited pics on a disc" league, you will start to get clients who value you and value what they are getting. 

And I have learnt too, to put my foot down and say no. I don't need to say yes to every single client. Only the ones I want. I know that sounds crazy, right? What? You don't want to take their money? Yes, that's right. Some people, I do not want as clients. I can usually tell what type of client they will be by the way they word things, etc, and I just tell people I'm sorry, I'm unavailable and booked out. True story. I once gave a bride her deposit back as soon as she started showing signs of being a demanding spoilt brat bridezilla, because really, I don't want to spend my valuable time working for someone who isn't going to appreciate me, and project an air of doing me the favour by hiring me. Best decision I ever made. She would have been a horrible client in the end, and my time is more valuable to me than that. I also have said no to people who ask me if they supply the cake for a cake smash is it cheaper? No, my price includes a professionally made cake smash cake. If you supply the cake, it's still the same price. This too, hasn't stopped me for getting bookings for cake smash. In fact, no one in a while has asked me if it's cheaper if they supply the cake - my cake smash price is high enough that they know they are investing in something amazing, not trying to cheap out. I simply tell them if they want to make a cake, make it for the child's birthday where it's going to be more special, but if they are going to invest in a cake smash session, invest all the way to get the best images you can. Yes, it would be more profit for me if I allowed them to make the cake, but that's not going to give them the BEST images they could get, and that in turn, reflects on me. Saying no, is a beautiful thing! Really! 

Don't think you can't put your price up. PixiFoto packages and those pop up shopping centre photographers charge way more than me, and they still get clients even though the quality of their work is pretty substandard. 

Pricing isn't everything, is all I'm saying. Obviously I want to make a living, and my business plan actually dictates where my pricing sits, but I get people asking me all the time how much for this etc. When you start to produce consistent quality [and I'm not saying I'm any good by any means!] people will start to see your work, and think 'wow, she's so much better than this person who was going to charge me $50' and they will book you. 

It sounds so silly, right, but, the way I see it, as I said before, anyone can buy a Kmart [or Walmart for the Americans] bag to hold their stuff. But if they want the Guess Bag, they'll find the money for it because they love it and really, it's what they want. 

That is why I say, when you start out portfolio building, set your price, then discount it, and let people know it's discounted, so that no one thinks you are the cheapie photographer, but know, that you are discounting it from your regular price. You don't want to start off the cheapie, you will find it very hard to break out of that once you're in that cycle, and you will attract the wrong type of client, the bargain basement hunter. 

Again I have ran out of Like This, so "LIKE THIS"

 

I am planning on moving into the professional market but not for a while, I have just started this journey and find your comments informative and along the lines I have been contemplating.  About 6 months ago, I did a shoot with a very patient friend, I didn't do her justice in the images I captured, but I have a bench mark, from where I started to now and wow can I see the difference, but even though I have come a long way in a short time, I know I am not ready to make the move. 

When I do go professional I want to offer quality.  As for the experience, I have worked most of my life working providing service to customers, so I know how to interact with customers,  and learnt one thing, every one is a customer, that philosophy came from working with Proctor & Gamble, from your colleagues to the guy complaining that his washing powder didn't get the stain out, every one.

Thanks Alyson for the post :)


  • Paul L. likes this

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
Henri Cartier-Bresson

Only 6700 to go till I get the good one then :wacko:


#20 Alyson Brimecombe

Alyson Brimecombe

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  • Lenses:Canon 15-85mm 3.5-5.6 IS
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Posted 02 October 2013 - 01:23 AM

You are welcome :) I am full time in the industry and have learnt a LOT on the way. But I am not the be all and end all.

My biggest thing is: and I dont say this to clients EVER, but if you think I'm expensive, wait until you hire an amateur.
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