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Commercial Photography, how much should I charge?

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  • Commercial Photography, how much should I charge?

    Hi there,

    First time posting on this forum. I feel like I have searched and searched to find out what a commercial photographer should charge-if they should charge by the hour, half day, full day, per digital image, etc. I am a portrait photographer but trying to get into the commercial side of photography. Pretty established. For portrait, I charge $100 per session. $50 per digital image. But clueless, on commercial prices. I have someone interested in having me shoot for his company that designs websites, therefore, needing a photographer. He says, he's already has about 25 projects lined up. Not sure how much I should charge for this....any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  • #2
    Originally posted by jadenvee View Post
    Hi there,

    First time posting on this forum. I feel like I have searched and searched to find out what a commercial photographer should charge-if they should charge by the hour, half day, full day, per digital image, etc. I am a portrait photographer but trying to get into the commercial side of photography. Pretty established. For portrait, I charge $100 per session. $50 per digital image. But clueless, on commercial prices. I have someone interested in having me shoot for his company that designs websites, therefore, needing a photographer. He says, he's already has about 25 projects lined up. Not sure how much I should charge for this....any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
    Hopefully AndyW will stop by and answer this.. he's pretty much the stud around here as far as commercial work goes. If no one bites, you might want to consider PMing him and begging your case...
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    • #3
      Someone posted this calculator link many months ago. I don't know how accurate it is, but you can give it a try.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Niresangwa View Post
        Hopefully AndyW will stop by and answer this.. he's pretty much the stud around here as far as commercial work goes. If no one bites, you might want to consider PMing him and begging your case...
        hahaha - I have been called a few things before but never a "stud" for anything.
        Thanks but undeserved really. I just do what works for me.
        If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jadenvee View Post
          Hi there,

          First time posting on this forum. I feel like I have searched and searched to find out what a commercial photographer should charge-if they should charge by the hour, half day, full day, per digital image, etc. I am a portrait photographer but trying to get into the commercial side of photography. Pretty established. For portrait, I charge $100 per session. $50 per digital image. But clueless, on commercial prices. I have someone interested in having me shoot for his company that designs websites, therefore, needing a photographer. He says, he's already has about 25 projects lined up. Not sure how much I should charge for this....any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
          Nice of Niresangwa to say what he did but....... I do what works for me, it does not necessarily work for everyone.


          Firstly, you have to find out exactly what is required both in time and amount of supplied images and their usage.
          Once you have that then you can work out a quote.

          Personally, I charge a day rate (or a creative fee), in effect a "call-out fee"

          During the initial discussions I can determine how long a job will take based on the type and style of photographs required.

          My "day rate" will (in most cases) include a license for internal use only. Normally this is only for the "bog standard" corporate portrait type of shot.

          EVERYTHING else is charged as extras/add-ons.
          That includes post production costs

          The everything else also includes usage licenses.

          So for instance, product shots for web and catalogue use would be

          photographer day rate (creative fee) = xxx
          post production at xx per hour/day = xxx
          Usage license fee for web and catalogue (none exclusive) for 1 year = xxx (per image)
          Travel, assistant, equiment rental (if required), etc etc etc = xxx


          There is NO set formula, but however you end up charging you have to ensure that you cover the usage and all your costs properly and that the customer understands that and also if they have a license for web use they cannot then use that for a poster campaign without paying further fees.

          If these people are designing sites for other clients then personally I would want to know who the projects were for. It could end up that you are charging a pretty minimal price to them but then the site is for a huge multinational which the web design company are charging many thousands. Or you could be taking a shot which ends up being used on numerous different sites for a single fee.
          Make sure you get that side of things tied down properly.

          I certainly can't say what your dollar figure should be for anything as that is entirely dependant on your requirements etc.


          Just read that back and realise there is a lot of words and not really much actual information.
          Really there are as many ways to charge as there are types of photographer or jobs.
          As I said, what I do works for me but I am flexible depending on the customer and their budgets/requirements.
          If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?

          Personal work

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          • #6
            Out of interest, and I've probably asked before, what's your day/half day/hourly rate?

            Also, to the OP, you'll find if it's work for an agency - like a PR agency or events management company, they will take you're quote and stack on around 25% plus for themselves

            I've just booked in Krispy Kreme again and I know the PR agency handling the event will add on their cut on top of my quote.

            It's actually quite funny how things go with people adding on their piece. A shop might buy paper, for example, for 50, they mark it up to 100, you buy it for your client (PR company) so you mark it up to 150 and then the PR company mark it up to 200. Quite interesting really
            Art: www.jamieorourke.co.uk
            Work: www.jamieorourkephotography.co.uk
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            • #7
              Biomech, if you are asking me then it is 450 half day 800 day.
              No hourly rate, minimum being half day.
              If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?

              Personal work

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              • #8
                Biomech, if you are asking me then it is 450 half day 800 day.
                No hourly rate, minimum being half day.
                Cool cool do you base a day on 8 or 12 hours?
                Art: www.jamieorourke.co.uk
                Work: www.jamieorourkephotography.co.uk
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Biomech View Post
                  Cool cool do you base a day on 8 or 12 hours?
                  Flexible - a "day" is anything from 5-10 hours.
                  upto 4 hours is a half.

                  TBH I don't think it has ever been queried before (except once when doing corporate headshots when they wanted half a dozen directors done but first was available at 9am and last not til 6pm. They asked why I was charging a day when the actual photography would only take a couple of hours total )

                  If I estimate a job will be a "day" then normally I am pretty sure I can complete it in 7-8 hours max but if it took 12 hours then I would not normally add any extra on unless it was entirely the clients fault.
                  Also I normally put in the quotes that a half day is 4 hours and over that is a day with a full "day" being max. 8am to 6pm and extra time can/will be charged for at 150 an hour (the only time I do an hourly rate).

                  Any job which requires hours outside of that time then I add 50%.
                  So if (as has happened a few times) I am asked to start at 5 or 6am then the half is 675 and full is 1200.
                  Anything which is booked overnight or past midnight is double.

                  I am certainly not rigid though except on the "base" rates.
                  If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?

                  Personal work

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                  • #10
                    My prices were about the same as AndyW, $800 per 1/2 day and up to $1600 a day. However, I'm slowly getting away from the day rate and have gone to Detroit photographer Blake Discher's pricing structure. Detroit Photographer Blake Discher - Photography Pricing Price Schedules
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                    http://jimbryantphotography.blogspot.com/
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