Archive for Pricing

What Photographers Can Learn From Brands

Posted: May 23rd, 2016

[by Jan Klier] Cross-post from LinkedIn. On the heels of my recent post on a different way of thinking of pricing, this email newsletter by Don Giannatti, and a conversation in my braintrust group last night, made me think of a pertinent analogy to the headwinds photographers are facing: The change in power between the [...]

Rethinking Pricing of Visual Assets

Posted: May 16th, 2016

[by Jan Klier] Cross-post from LinkedIn. Lots of change is afoot in the world of visual assets, which I consider the umbrella term for still photography and motion imagery. The still photographers are grappling with an apparent imbalance of supply and demand, competition from ‘everyone is a photographer’, a client base less versed in the business [...]

Paperwork Share

Posted: April 25th, 2016

[by Jenna Close] Paperwork shares are a great resource, but sometimes I wish I could see real-world examples of how and why photographers made mistakes. So, below you will find an actual job from early in my career illustrating some of the ways I screwed up my estimate. Brief: Creative action & lifestyle images of [...]

The Struggle With Modern Day Usage

Posted: April 18th, 2016

[by Jenna Close] The single largest conflict with my client-direct jobs is limited licensing. Prior to the internet, promotional materials required a lengthy process of design and printing. Changes to existing materials happened neither quickly nor often, thus it was easy for clients and photographers both to keep track of image usage. These days change happens [...]

From Contact Form to Contract

Posted: April 8th, 2016

[by Pascal Depuhl] Before I ever speak to a potential client… … I usually get an email that reads: “A lead has been assigned to you”. It’s my Customer Relationship Management system’s way of letting me know someone just clicked the button on the contact form of my website. By this time, that prospective client has [...]

2014: The Art of the Estimate

Posted: January 14th, 2016

An experienced Art Producer who has worked on both sides of the table, our very own Kat Dalager knows exactly what makes or breaks an estimate. Her presentation focused on the estimating process – from the questions you should ask before developing your numbers to presenting your estimate, following up and how to build an [...]

Negotiations and Love Songs — the Art of Bidding Photo Projects

Posted: April 2nd, 2015

[by Francis Zera] Pricing and negotiating seem to be two of the most danced-around topics in all of professional photography. Anecdotally, when negotiating bids with clients, fear-based lack of communication with the client is one of the many drivers of failed proposals. The fear of asking questions, the fear of looking less than competent, or [...]

Best Pricing Strategy for Photographers

Posted: April 1st, 2015

[by Pascal Depuhl] “What’s your day rate?” “How much do you charge per photo?” or my personal favorite “How much does a photo shoot cost?” The last request is usually the only information a potential client is giving me, making it rather difficult to provide an estimate. Ok, so right off the bat, I’m gonna [...]

“If You Want to Catch a Fish, You Have to Think Like a Fish.” - Dad     

Posted: March 31st, 2015

[by Todd Joyce] What does that prospective client want?  Why?  Who is it that they need to reach?  Why now?  What’s most important?  Is this their project/idea?  Are they passionate about the outcome?  Are they trying to please their boss?  Is there a tight deadline?  How important is this to them and their business?  Etc… [...]

Do Research, Sell Value, and Don’t Quote Hastily

Posted: August 15th, 2014

[by Blake Discher] A Wall Street Journal article explained how travel website Orbitz reviewed purchasing data it had collected and discovered that Mac owners spend, on average, $20 to $30 more per night on hotels rooms than PC users.  Also, users making use of the Orbitz site on a Mac are 40% more likely to [...]

The Ears-to-Mouth Ratio for Pricing

Posted: August 14th, 2014

[by Richard Kelly] During ASMP’s Strictly Business 3 conference, my colleague Blake Discher reminded everyone that they have 2 ears and 1 mouth that should be used in the same proportion.  I know he wasn’t the first to say it, but it is great advice. Critical listening is key to building a successful and meaningful [...]

I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours

Posted: August 13th, 2014

[by Kat Dalager] Note: There are always exceptions, so all statements below are “generally speaking.” If you’re ready to reconsider the “Show Me Yours” method of pricing, here are a few first steps: Determine What the Market Will Bear by Understanding Your Market The larger the client, the more they’re used to paying. Small, local [...]

How Much Are Your Eggs?

Posted: August 12th, 2014

[by Todd Joyce] Eggs are cheaper in the country (location) and by the dozen (quantity), yet two eggs over easy with a side of bacon costs more due to the work, service and extras included.  The two egg omelet with a flaming sauce, prepared by the Waldorf Astoria chef are priced for the ambiance, uniqueness, [...]

Establishing the Fee

Posted: August 11th, 2014

[by Michael Clark] Before 2008, pricing your work was rooted in standard licensing models where prices were generally agreed upon industry wide to some degree. These days, though, estimates for any given assignment can vary widely. For a variety of reasons, including the recession and the number of people entering the profession who don’t know [...]

Lessons Learned

Posted: May 23rd, 2014

[by Todd Joyce] I’ve been stiffed once. I have an email folder set aside with all the correspondence from the client who stiffed me and it’s labeled “Lessons Learned.” If you get burned, it may not be avoidable, but there are things that you should be doing to prevent it or to allow a cleaner [...]

The Best Things in Life Are Free – Professional Photography Just Ain’t One of Them.

Posted: May 22nd, 2014

[by Pascal Depuhl] “Our normal payment terms are 45 days.” the producer of a large national brand tells me. (This is an actual conversation that took place not long ago.) I’m thinking, that’s nice, but I work with a deposit of 50% upfront and balance due on delivery. “If you’re really lucky it’s 30 days.” [...]

Why Your Payment Terms Aren’t Helping Your Business (and what to do about it)

Posted: May 21st, 2014

[by Angela Pointon] Payment terms are not a customer service differentiator and they never will be. Why? Because service differentiators are meant to attract and appease the kinds of clients you deeply desire for your business. And I have yet to meet a photographer actively seeking out customers that take a long to time to [...]

Bill Collecting

Posted: May 20th, 2014

[by Bruce Katz] In the 30+ years that I’ve been in business I’ve encountered a myriad of problems getting my invoices paid – corporate bureaucracy, cash flow problems, bankruptcy, and just plain miscommunications. Here are a few thoughts and examples about getting those invoices paid before you have to resort to lawyers, small claims court, [...]

Estimates Are People Too

Posted: January 31st, 2014

[by Richard Kelly] Okay estimates are not people but it’s people who request estimates. In my practice, we get requests for proposals, requests for bids and informal requests to estimate a project. Many companies and organizations have policies that require multiple vendors to bid on a project. Assuming the scope and information are the same [...]

Why Doesn’t She Like Me? I’m Not Sure, But I Always Say Thanks.

Posted: January 30th, 2014

[by Blake Discher] It began as a great relationship. She made the initial effort to get in touch! You felt a mutual attraction. The first phone conversation was promising, you thought to yourself, “this just might be the one.” You even told a friend or two about her. You gave her what you thought she [...]

Helpful Persistence

Posted: January 29th, 2014

[by Jenna Close] I usually take a few different steps when following up on an estimate. First, I place a phone call to my contact within a few minutes of sending them the estimate. If they answer the phone, I offer to walk through the estimate with them and answer any questions they may have. [...]

When You’ve Lost a Bid

Posted: January 28th, 2014

[by Kat Dalager] What happens after a photographer is selected can be a mystery to those waiting to hear about a decision. If you’ve ever wondered why you don’t hear a peep after providing an estimate, please read on… No One Wants to be the Bad Guy One of the most difficult things for art [...]

There’s No Tax Deduction for Working for Free

Posted: July 26th, 2013

[by Blake Discher] A mistake many emerging photographers make is to think that if they work for free for a charity, they can take an IRS deduction in the amount of what they would have charged had it been a for-profit company.  Any accountant will tell you the only thing you can deduct is the [...]

“We Don’t Have Any Money… But It Will Be Great Exposure for You.”

Posted: July 25th, 2013

[by Carolyn Potts] We’ve all heard that. You already know you can’t accept all “opportunities” to work for free or you’ll soon be out of business (you do know that…don’t you??).  So you have to have a way to decide who to turn down and who to help out. It all comes down to love [...]

Is it Ever OK to Work for Free?

Posted: July 24th, 2013

[by Judy Herrmann] There are those out there, who’ll tell you that working for free is morally bankrupt.  That the low-ballers who do it are destroying the industry and have souls blacker than pitch (whatever that is). Others feel (just as strongly) that they couldn’t possibly charge while they’re gaining experience or if it’s a [...]

Working for Free

Posted: July 23rd, 2013

[by Gail Mooney] I read a terrific article by Suzanne Moore in The Guardian entitled; “In the digital economy, we’ll soon all be working for free – and I refuse.” I highly recommend that you all read this article because it speaks about sustaining a creative career in a digital economy where you are competing [...]

I Want the Entire Budget

Posted: May 23rd, 2012

[by Rosh Sillars] Whatever my client’s budget is, I want it.  The worst feeling is when I leave money on the table. That is why I use per-image pricing. I’ve found that when clients have a set budget, they will use it if you give them the opportunity.  Day-rates don’t offer the opportunity to purchase [...]

Tactfully Approaching the Budget

Posted: May 21st, 2012

[by Jenna Close] Dealing with budgets can be a tricky situation.  I always find it odd when a client says they “don’t have a budget”, so I tend to look at this response as more of a tactic than the actual truth.  In most cases, when someone is looking for a product or service, they [...]

It’s Not Always About Price.

Posted: May 7th, 2012

[by Todd Joyce] Here is a short list of why you may have lost that job… Hard to work with Not a problem solver Not fun Style is wrong for the job Not good with clients Reminds the buyer of someone they hated in High School…  (it happens) Quality of work isn’t as good Too [...]

Fast, Easy, Convenient

Posted: February 17th, 2012

[by Judy Herrmann] Over the past few years, advances in technology have changed how we buy things.  We expect transactions to be fast, easy and immediate.  We expect to be able to find out 99% of the information we need to know in order to make a purchase decision without ever having to pick up [...]

Your Favorite Bookmarks…

Posted: August 18th, 2011

[by Judy Herrmann] This week, we are focusing on our contributors’ favorite bookmarks.  The places we go when we’re looking for information, inspiration, insights, training, time-saving tools and more; the bookmarks we find more valuable than the millions of other potential bookmarks that populate cyberspace.  And there are millions. Now that the vast majority of [...]

Get the Most from Post

Posted: July 25th, 2011

[by Jenna Close] Early in my career a solar industry client accidentally taught me a valuable lesson about post-production.  The conversation went like this: CLIENT: “I see this line item on your estimate about post-production.  We won’t be needing any of that.  We want the photos to look real.” ME (inexpertly ending the conversation): “OK.  [...]

Pricing Video

Posted: May 12th, 2011

[by Gail Mooney] I get asked this question all the time “How do I price video”.  First of all I need to state that I do not position myself as a DP or Camera Operator.  I want to take the lead on a project and handle the entire video production.  So when I talk about [...]

Learning How to Price Video

Posted: May 11th, 2011

[by Judy Herrmann] Late last year, after creating some personal video projects, my partner, Mike Starke, and I started exploring the realities of producing video for clients. Over the years, we’ve learned the hard way to perform in-depth research before committing funds to any diversification scheme so  we started the process by doing a series [...]

Pricing Video: When Estimating, Don’t Forget Client Reviews and Output

Posted: May 10th, 2011

[by Jay Kinghorn] When estimating an upcoming video or multimedia job, it’s easy to neglect estimating the time necessary for client reviews and encoding your video files for output. These two areas alone can quickly eat through your profit margins . Here are a few tips to make sure you’re accurately estimating these aspects of [...]

Estimating Video

Posted: May 9th, 2011

[by Gail Mooney] First let me say that I position myself as a producer and that I estimate on the entire video production. I do not hire myself out as a Director or Director of Photography or as a Camera Operator. Many times I may also direct and shoot a project but when a client [...]

Selling Your Price

Posted: March 11th, 2011

[by Susan Carr] As photographers we are confident skilled visual communicators. When it comes to pricing our work we may lack, in equal measure, the skill necessary to articulate our pricing structure in a clear and concise manner. Talking about price can be uncomfortable for us. However, when we are confident in how we determine [...]

The Power of Paperwork

Posted: March 10th, 2011

[by Judy Herrmann] Anyone will tell you that you’ve got to have your paperwork buttoned down tight.  ASMP even provides handy templates for estimates, assignment confirmations, delivery memos, change orders and invoices at and you’ll find a comprehensive set of ASMP recommended terms & conditions you can modify to fit your needs at  [...]

Creating A Downward Spiral

Posted: March 8th, 2011

[By Steve Whittaker] Recently, I visited several web sites of photographers who are fairly new to the field of Architectural Photography. Several were members of the ASMP Architectural list serve and I noticed that they had listed their fee structures on their web sites. In several cases, their fees reflected values that were available to [...]

Avoid Confusion – Talk About Usage

Posted: March 7th, 2011

[by Shawn Henry] The major point of confusion between clients and photographers with many photo assignments, both editorial and commercial, is the scope of the usage allowed by the photographer and those expected by the client.  This confusion often results because the photographer fails to address the usage issue up front, instead relying on “boilerplate” [...]

But, I Don’t Know How to Price It

Posted: October 29th, 2010

[by Shannon Fagan] Over the years, I’ve developed a collective resource for image license pricing advice.  Here’s a list of some of my favorites, from the theoretical to the pragmatic.  Take them as a seed start for investigations on pricing, and also with a grain of salt.  When pricing complicated assignments and licenses, I often [...]

On Your Mark, Get Set, GO!

Posted: October 28th, 2010

[by Judy Herrmann] Let me make one thing clear – I am a big advocate of pricing by the shot or project.  With one or two exceptions (event photography comes to mind), charging by the hour just punishes you for gaining skills and investing in better equipment. It also encourages the client to try to [...]

Staying True to Your Creative Fee

Posted: October 25th, 2010

[by Jenna Close] As a general rule, I don’t lower my creative fee when negotiating pricing with a client.  Since (as the name implies) this is the price I put on my own creativity, I want to retain the initial value I have placed on it.  My feeling here is that negotiating pricing is a [...]