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Pricing


col.campbell 17 1.4k 4 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2017 3:57PM
I was both shocked and dismayed to discover that the last forum discussion under this heading dates all the way back to 2014, so I thought I'd best start a new one, immediately.

If anyone can offer any insight I'd be grateful...

I attended an open-air concert recently and took some photos. I then approached the organisers and the bands that I'd photographed (I saw three bands, although there had been others before I arrived).

My offer was prints for personal use for a nominal fee to cover my costs; I send two, you return one signed. If interested in promotional use, that's something I'd love to discuss.

The only interest so far has been from a PR lady representing one of those bands. Her opening gambit was 'wow, thanks, can I share these and of course I'll credit you' - err, no.

Now, I imagine the images are worth precisely what someone is willing to pay for them, and not a penny more. Of course I would like as much cash as I can possibly get; on the other hand I don't want to price myself out of the market altogether. To put things in perspective, this band is currently touring the UK. I'm not sure they've ever ventured further afield.

As it stands I have said that if they would like to use any for promotional or social media usage, let me know how many and the exact proposed use and we can work out a suitable arrangement. I have full-resolution files which would enlarge to poster size, should you require... and left it at that. (She has seen 600-pixel copies).

... What say all of you?
Chris_L 7 5.5k United Kingdom
3 Nov 2017 4:22PM
The sad, sad, sad truth is that the person you're talking about is used to viewing images on a 5 inch phone screen and doesn't grasp the concept of paying for images, uses for hi-res images, pro photography or anything else
ChrisV Plus
14 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2017 4:51PM
Not sure who the band is in question. Larger bands will usually have official photographers. Many bands get offered images by 'fans' [frustrating for anyone trying to make a living from selling shots].

It's a very tough market, anyone can take photos at an outdoor festival and if you're going to sell some, the buyer needs a budget and your shots need to stand out from what they'll get for nowt.
Euan65 3 316 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2017 5:00PM
Everyone's a photographer these days. More photographs are taken every day on mobile phones than on all other types of camera put together. The market for photographs is now driven by what is good enough on a webpage or mobile screen, because that's how people view them today, and pretty much anyone can take photographs good enough for that. And, of course, pretty much everyone is walking around with the necessary equipment in their pocket or handbag.

Prints? Why? The world doesn't work that way any more. The market for high quality, professional photographs is now very small, because the kind of people who do that sort of thing can no longer subsidise it with family portraits, passports, pictures of the cat, and so on. I recall being photographed many years ago for a company ID card. They brought in a professional to photograph all of us one by one. Now the secretary does it on a point and shoot. The pictures are actually better.

As they say, if you want to make money from your camera equipment there's only one way nowadays - sell it.
col.campbell 17 1.4k 4 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2017 9:05PM
Thanks for the comments. Sad news, right enough. I'm not a pro and don't pretend to be one; nor am I trying to make a living from this (thankfully!)

I genuinely took the photos because I wanted to, and now would like to convert the effort that went into the endeavour into a bit of pocket money.

I picture myself as a door-to-door salesman here, approaching them with something they weren't actually actively looking for.

There are fewer than 20 photos; I only caught part of their set. Tempted to say unlimited use of the lot, 100. For a year, perhaps.
tanyard 14 109 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2017 9:20PM

As they say, if you want to make money from your camera equipment there's only one way nowadays - sell it.

Sadly, so true.

I have tried similar over the years but been met with apathy regarding quality and total obliviousness/incomprehension that quality costs. Thankfully I never gave up the day job and now relax taking pictures for pleasure rather than consumption. I have even given up bothering to look for Likes on Facebook. I recently had a conversation with someone who said photography is like fishing, you always wait for the big one, but the waiting is part of the pleasure. Unless you have huge talent as well as huge luck, earning money is a thing of the past so enjoy.
brian1208 17 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2017 11:06PM
I've been making money from my photography for 10+ years now but at a low level (covers costs of materials and equipment but not time, gives HMRC their share and leaves me enough to buy some new kit every year)

I started out taking pictures I like (and still do) but very carefully researched the market for photography in my local area and found that it wasn't selling the pics I loved most but those that I liked and enjoyed that also met the needs / wants of my target audience at a price they were willing to pay

My business model is smaller margins with good turnover carrying minimal stock from one year to the next

Likewise with commissions, I won't take on a commission that I don't think I will enjoy and I insist on the freedom to decide how I will do it, if the client likes the sound / look of it, we proceed, otherwise we part friends before going down the wrong path

As I say, its not a business but a paying hobby that gives me immense fun and satisfaction (and makes a lot of new friends).

I have several friends who make a good living out of their work but in most cases its taken years to get established and they had to be hard nosed about their business models and market research
Carabosse 18 41.5k 270 England
3 Nov 2017 11:27PM

Quote: Everyone's a photographer these days.


Yes. That's the problem. Outside things such as weddings and high-end commercial stuff nobody expects to actually pay for photographs.

I sell the odd photo once in a blue moon but I regard it as a bonus. I also get occasional credits in local glossies but they would be horrified at the idea of actually paying money. They seem to think I should feel honoured! I don't in the slightest but I do it as a public service of sorts.
JackAllTog Plus
12 6.3k 58 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2017 11:27PM
If a potential buyer knows they'll want/need photos of something then they'd typically engage someone they trust beforehand to take the images - that buyer and provider would already have a trusted relationship.
I'd say its unlikely a set of photos would convince a new buyer to suddenly want photo's they did not want before they saw them.
If the open air concert happens often and your free each time to take photos, then i'd approach the organizers to offer your services as an extra service all agreed beforehand. Another point here is a fairly rapid delivery of the images taken - same/next day. Shoot/process/deliver all in one 8 hour+ session.
col.campbell 17 1.4k 4 United Kingdom
4 Nov 2017 1:55AM

Quote:I'd say its unlikely a set of photos would convince a new buyer to suddenly want photo's they did not want before they saw them.

Exactly the point I tried to make when I compared myself to a door-to-door salesman.


Quote:If the open air concert happens often and your free each time to take photos, then i'd approach the organizers to offer your services as an extra service all agreed beforehand. Another point here is a fairly rapid delivery of the images taken - same/next day. Shoot/process/deliver all in one 8 hour+ session.


That's a good point - if the concert is repeated next year (this was the inaugural event) then I will contact the organisers again beforehand. However, I'd struggle to deliver in 8 hours. The event was an all-day affair finishing in the evening, and I probably spent more than 8 hours on post-processing; although I have somewhat improved my process as I did so.
LenShepherd 13 4.3k United Kingdom
4 Nov 2017 8:36AM

Quote:
I genuinely took the photos because I wanted to, and now would like to convert the effort that went into the endeavour into a bit of pocket money.


Yes but - (there is more than one but).
If 250 attended the event with 125 taking photos, and the band attended 20 events in a year that is 2,500 potential sources of photographs.
Ignoring the quality most of the 2,500 would supply images for free.
If 1% of the 2,500 approached the band that is 25.
There is a saturated supply Sad
Has it occurred to you the band like you may not command high fees, after travelling and equipment wear and tear may be making little more than pocket money and that they cannot afford to buy every image sent to them.
Some of the pictures may not be all that good anyway.
As the event likely took place on private land, did you have the organisers permission to sell photographs for profit?
Chris_L 7 5.5k United Kingdom
4 Nov 2017 3:24PM
You can bet that there are hundreds of photographs already on social media, taken by fans and friends and family of the band.

These will often be used, without permission, to promote future events. The low res files will look okay reposted on social media but they'll find their way onto large banners etc where they will look hideous.

I've seen some really bad photography on posters, banners and in newspaper adverts, often shot on phones, assessed for use on phones and only looking truly bad when it's too late and promotional material comes back from the printers.
col.campbell 17 1.4k 4 United Kingdom
4 Nov 2017 7:29PM
Valid points again, and thanks for them. The concert was in a public place so that's one pitfall I shouldn't be falling for, but I do accept the points about market saturation and budget.

At the moment, they've expressed interest so I shan't hand them over gratis. With fewer than 20 images I'm tempted to say 100 for the lot, unrestricted use for a year. Cheap, perhaps, at a little over a fiver per image but still, if I can tempt them...
col.campbell 17 1.4k 4 United Kingdom
4 Nov 2017 9:00PM
(... or would you say even that is out of touch with reality?)
Chris_L 7 5.5k United Kingdom
4 Nov 2017 9:34PM
We can assume they have a budget for publicity and for marketing. I'd be surprised if they have a photography budget. You'd be doing well to sell them for 100 quid.

Sadly, they may even have the attitude that they should not have to pay for photographs where they are the subject, that you should be paying them.

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