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UK Photography rates - was I way off?


rhowbust 4 13 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2012 10:29AM
Hello everyone.
I was asked to give my rates for a food photography job recently. I quoted 500 for the day which was to be a full day taking pictures of the food, food preparation and portraits of the chefs. I said that would include editing and image processing and the only additional cost would be my travel. I offered image use of one print run and online use for 6 months. I also said I was open to negotiation. I based my quote around the NUJ guidelines, the only thing I was a bit unsure about was the online usage allowance.
I was turned away on my day rate and image rights allowance with no negotiation entered into.
Do you think I was way off on my quote?

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thewilliam 6 4.9k
6 Oct 2012 10:43AM
These days, there doesn't seem to be any standard rate for photography. One member of the local business network told me that he has a lot of calls from recent graduates offereing to shoot for free and many don't even want travel expenses.

All the photographer wants is to be able to do is show the pix to his/her prospects and casually say that it came from a recent shoot for "household name".

Is the prospect familiar with your work and aware of their image quality? My contact has learned that it isn't a good idea to use any of the "free" snappers for the "household name" photography!
lemmy e2
7 2.0k United Kingdom
6 Oct 2012 11:02AM

Quote:. I also said I was open to negotiation.


If they didn't go ahead or negotiate, I suppose that does imply that your quote wasn't even close to what they wanted to pay. It seems a little high to me given the state of the market and the competition, though not too high of itself.

If I had been the client, I don't think I would have accepted your image use stipulations. If I were to commission a set of pictures of my property, work and staff, I would expect to be supplied the pictures and then do what I wished with them. On that I would not negotiate. I doubt that I would have trouble finding a good photographer willing to do that.

I would certainly not be willing to ask the photographer's permission and pay charges to use my own commissioned pictures on my own web site in 6 months and one day. That would make me a hostage to the photographer or his agent's whim.
thewilliam 6 4.9k
6 Oct 2012 11:17AM
Many clients and prospectrs have realised that it doesn't cost anything to do digital photography.

There's no film to pay for and the snapper has his/her equipment anyway. A perfectly good camera can be bought for 100GBP and it's simple enough for the office junior to operate.
6 Oct 2012 11:28AM

Quote:Many clients and prospectrs have realised that it doesn't cost anything to do digital photography.

There's no film to pay for and the snapper has his/her equipment anyway. A perfectly good camera can be bought for 100GBP and it's simple enough for the office junior to operate.

This is an absolutely ridiculous comment. What about the travelling time & costs to get to a job, the equipment you have spent money on building up, the days you spend editing the photos, the money you have spent learning whether it be on courses or otherwise. The cost of running your website & advertising in trade mags & websites. Even buying photography editing software costs money umnless you use one of the free ones. Yes, get the office junior to take the photos on their 100 camera & see what you get.
lemmy e2
7 2.0k United Kingdom
6 Oct 2012 11:28AM

Quote:Many clients and prospectrs have realised that it doesn't cost anything to do digital photography.


Yes, quite. Similarly I always wonder why electricians charge. They need their screwdrivers and stuff for their own DIY at home and they have a car anyway for their family so it doesn't cost them anything.

I suppose, like good photographers they might consider that years of experience and learning their craft are worth paying for. But I'm just old fashioned, I suppose Sad
Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
6 Oct 2012 11:45AM
I said many years ago, on here, that when everybody's a photographer, nobody's a photographer.

Taking photos with your camera phone and uploading to Facebook is as natural as breathing to so many, especially the younger element of society. Just a few years ago it was unheard of: the technology and facilities just did not exeist.

Paying someone to take photos - except for unrepeatable events (perhaps) - will be increasingly seen as an odd thing to do.
ianrobinson e2
5 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2012 1:09PM
TheWilliam your so off the mark its unbelievable.
I am a cabinet maker by trade i have over 100 thousand pounds of machinery and equipment to make high end furniture i also have a showroom with over 200 thousand pounds of stock, this is my trade do you really believe i will do a high end kitchen for nothing or make one with just a cheap 50 pound router on it's own, behave.

a camera may need a good flash or studio lights of some kind with gells if necessary to get the right picture not a 100 pound camera, honestly i am laughing so much at the stupidity of that comment.
thewilliam 6 4.9k
6 Oct 2012 1:22PM

Quote:Many clients and prospectrs have realised that it doesn't cost anything to do digital photography.

There's no film to pay for and the snapper has his/her equipment anyway. A perfectly good camera can be bought for 100GBP and it's simple enough for the office junior to operate. This is an absolutely ridiculous comment. What about the travelling time & costs to get to a job, the equipment you have spent money on building up, the days you spend editing the photos, the money you have spent learning whether it be on courses or otherwise. The cost of running your website & advertising in trade mags & websites. Even buying photography editing software costs money umnless you use one of the free ones. Yes, get the office junior to take the photos on their 100 camera & see what you get.



Many readers know that I'm a full-time professional photographer, so the post was very much tongue-in-cheek. I should have added an emoticon! This is a sentiment that I hear from prospects on a regular basis so a large slice of the population must believe that it's true.

What's more, many folk are so visually illiterate that they can't see the difference between great photography and awful. At a recent wedding fair, one friend was asked why his work cost nearly ten times as much as the offerings from the snapper in the neighbouring stand. My friend asked the bride-to-be whether she could see the difference between his work - some of the very best in the UK - and the work of a truly incompetent snapper. Sadly, the answer was "no".
CaptivePhotons 11 1.6k 2 England
6 Oct 2012 1:27PM
To be fair to thewilliam, I think he was highlighting how a prospective client sees it.
Carabosse e2
11 39.7k 269 England
6 Oct 2012 2:29PM

Quote:My friend asked the bride-to-be whether she could see the difference between his work - some of the very best in the UK - and the work of a truly incompetent snapper. Sadly, the answer was "no".


That will not be an unusual reaction. We are hyper-critical on here because we are enthusiasts.
ray1 e2
10 541 1 England
6 Oct 2012 2:48PM
I do a bit of product work and I think part of your problem was restricting use of the images, your travel and your rate poss being a little high for the client when they can get it cheaper with full copyright of the images. The people I do work for just want me to provide jpgs straight to the graphic or web designer and want full use of the images to use as they wish. That is all they want - give me an image of that product and I will pay you that much money - oh and I'm not interested in anything else and don't expect to get paid next week. I have a job this week where the graphic designer is coming to set the shots up so all I have to do is push the button so to speak. He will then take the unprocessed images with him to use as he pleases. If I was to set restrictions I would lose the job.
whipspeed e2
10 4.1k 22 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2012 3:02PM
Again, I think the main problem was with the usage. Limiting them to one print run and only 6 months of images of their products is too restrictive and also charging extra for travel.
NUJ guidlines are good, but they are just guidlines and for most customers the prices are a little rich, particularly in a fairly well saturated market. I've mainly found them useful for a couple of images that I've had in magazines, and they paid the going rate for the size of image in the type of magazine.

I recognised thewilliam's statement as tongue in cheek from him as a photographer, but from the general public, well I've heard it said.
rhowbust 4 13 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2012 6:42PM
Thanks for your input here. It's been a learning curve and I do feel rather gutted. Still I shall know better for next time.
whipspeed e2
10 4.1k 22 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2012 7:01PM
Starting a new business is a very steep learning curve and there will always be setbacks and people not accepting your quotes, but as you said you will know better for next time and it's that willingness to learn, that I hope gives you success.
Good luck for the future.

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