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I am hoping to start earning from my photography and have had a few enquiries about my pricing, I have done many shoots and I am now wanting to start earning from my skills rather than just doing the odd favors here and there, don't get me wrong the unpaid work has help me build experience/confidence, but what I would like to know is what I should offer and at what cost so I can build up my equipment further, just would like a little bit of advice of how people moved from unpaid work into making a profitable career out of their skills! Thanks for any help in advance. I don't want to undercut any photographers, just want sensible advice from people who have Previously been in the same predicament as I am currently in
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An impossible question to answer without knowing what your business outgoings are.
There's a suggested rates section on the NUJ website that maybe worth looking at...
Yeah I wasnt looking for specific prices, just more like a rough guideline as to what I should be offering in terms of printing cost, slideshows and so on, sorry, I almost removed this topic as I am sure to ruffle a few feathers on here which I don't want to do! thanks for ur advice tho I will take a look now, I also have contacted my local photographic printing company for a price list so I then can see from there! I've confused myself, lol
Don't think you'll ruffle any feathers on here by asking that question, but like everything in business it'll be a simple equation of time+overheads cost+prints=charge to customer.
Yeah, starting to look at the basics is a good start!!
Hope it goes well for you.
I would suggest that you consider the quality of your output and then see where it sits in your chosen market. If your work is on a par with others who are active/ established in your area, you could do worse than matching their prices (rather than undercutting, which won't bring quality clients to you anyway). Your service will also need to be on a par too, so your product suppliers and what you personally offer your clients. If you look around and consider that your work/product/service is better than your competition, charge more! (Seriously!)
If you haven't yet reached a stage where you are able to see where you sit in the marketplace, you probably need to do more research as well as more shooting and find your 'signature' style. This will also help you differentiate yourself from what the competition is offering.
Thankyou both for your sound advice, Keep getting enquiries into how much I charge, but I think there comes a point when you think, hang on a second - should I really keep offering my services free/cheaply?? As this certainly isn't helping me upgrade my equipment, or paying me a wage! Think this is a learning curve for me, I don't claim to be a pro, but interest in my imagery is a great feeling
Quote: I don't claim to be a pro
The moment you start taking money, you become a pro so you need to start acting like one quite frankly both in photographic terms but more importantly, in the way you deal with people, handle money (including tax liability which starts the moment you take a single penny) and generally conduct your business
Unfortunately, so many people put the cart before the horse. Look how many people try to sell their images through their websites but claim not to be professional photographers. They go hand in hand in my opinion. How many people trying to sell images through their website or through a library have registered with HMRC? A very very small minority I would guess but it should be done BEFORE you sell not after (and lets be honest, how many do it anyway - I guess many work on the principle "tax evasion doesn't count when it's me and small amounts does it" )
I guess I'll get flamed by a few but it's true nonetheless
Quote: The moment you start taking money, you become a pro
I think it is fairer to say, the minute you intend to sell pictures you must immediately register as a business with HMRC. My accountant told me that initially small works can be undertaken, as long as you have registered and they can be classed for tax purposes as 'market research' (I am unsure of all the advantages you would need to ask further about that). So that if things don't work out you can declare a loss against expenditure and close your business. That way you can avoid the 'up front' payments required under 'self assessment', and the need to try to claim the money back.
On the minor matter of when do you become a pro. I believe that registering your business is the first indicator, the second probably is when you make the majority of your earned income from photography. At that point you still need to come to an agreement with HMRC about legitimate business expenditure, but I believe you would until then, be classed as a semi-professional.
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