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Thread: What to charge...? If at all..?

  1. #1
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    What to charge...? If at all..?

    Hi all,

    First post on here - long time reader though I'll try to keep the background story as succinct as possible:

    Basically, I volunteer my photographic time at various events for an organisation or two. From there, what I typically do is post-process the photos and send them in, free-of-charge, for the organisation I volunteer for - I have no issue with this and they are extremely happy with the shots I take. I don't watermark these, but they always give me the appropriate credits whenever they use them (either on their website or in print) - I'm happy with that.

    Lately, I've had a number of people approach me at these events asking the standard 'How do I go about obtaining copies of your photos?'. It's not entirely clear whether these people would like to pay or not. I have the standard response of 'Please contact the organisation and they'll forward you copies'. I'm not sure if this forwarding is happening.

    I'm now thinking of charging people (NOT the organisation) a small fee for a full-size DIGITAL ONLY copy of my shots. I can easily ask the organisation to stop forwarding photos (if indeed they are - I've sent an email looking into this) and they will respect my wishes. The process I'm thinking of is something along the lines of:

    - Process photos with heavy water-marking.

    - Either send small copy via email to prospective buyer OR simply post up on photo-sharing site (Flickr etc.).

    - Following small payment, provide copy (via email) of full-sized copy with only small corner watermark (or none at all).

    Now, this organisation doesn't have the marketing or promotional space to use all of the photos I send them. Out of, say, 200 shots, they might use around a dozen at most. This leaves a number of photos left over which go unused and I figure I should investigate what I can do with these.

    Some of the type of shots I take can be found here (these are unrelated shots from uni): http://www.flickr.com/photos/monk_ph...7625105906440/

    Note: I'm not saying I'm pro (definitely not), and I'm upgrading my gear constantly and working hard to get better in terms of composition. These are just a guide only. Typically though, I shoot sports the most and some functions.

    ===================================

    My questions to you:

    1. Does this sound reasonable? I'm in a moral quandary as I don't want to seem like I'm taking advantage (sort of), however, it'd be nice to earn something small on the side from the shots. I'd also like to point out that I'm also actually undertaking volunteering tasks as well during the days I work for them (e.g. officiating, record-keeping, registration), so I'm definitely contributing to the running of the day as well.

    2. Does my workflow (outlined in the bullet points above) sound ideal?

    3. Most important one: what is an ideal price to charge for digital only copies of a shot? Size-wise we're looking at anything from 1500x1200 to upwards of 2500x2500 (depending on cropping). This is most important because idk how much to charge; too cheap and I'm doing the whole industry a disservice - too much and I lose the respect of the organisation and the people I take pictures of....what is a good trade-off price point? I know it's all relative, but where to start....

    4. Is there anything you think can be improved or that I need to seriously consider before I proceed?

    ===================================

    I'm new to all of this so please don't start with the 'omg ur an idiot, why haven't you considered this?' stuff. I don't know squat and I'm happy to admit that.

    Note: Also, I'm NOT asking for CC on my shots. If I want that, I'll ask for it. I've specified my question/s as much as possible so if you could please keep it on task it'd be most welcome

    Any assistance you can provide would be most greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for reading everyone
    Last edited by Namus; 26-01-2011 at 7:23pm.

  2. #2
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I am not going to start with OMG you are an idiot, but...You have been a member for over 5 months, and in that time haven't bothered to give another member a single critique, comment or advice, but now you ask us to provide you with the answers to the above.

    So my suggestion. Join in, critique some photos! GIVE to others, and they might just be willing to give you something back!
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
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    Hi Rick,

    Duly noted - apologies for that; I don't offer any excuses. I will make a more concerted effort

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    I suggest looking at doing some market research
    Darren
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    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

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    Easy no-mess-no-fuss answer.... Redbubble. Knock up some business cards with your RB account and contact details on there and let them know that you'll upload the photos. Works great and people can buy various types of prints at their whim and you can glean a small profit.
    [- Instagram -]

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    I think most people that read this thread will go to Flickr to have a look at your photos. So that answers your marketing questions (like Erin said).
    As to cost, take your choice, there's no single benchmark. Firstly though you will need to brush up on some of your basic technical skills, particularly composition. Saleable shots shouldn't have extraneous items/people in frame. Point of focus (read DoF) is not right and exposure could be tweaked. Not all of them but if you are going to charge, every frame has to be right.
    If people like the shots as they are then settle for $5 each plus costs. Sell 100 and make $500. Not bad for a days work. I suspect though that unless your shots are spectacular your audience will be all oncers. When they all have a photo sales will dry up.
    So back to square one. Everything revolves around the uniqueness of your work. The better you get at your chosen genre the more you will sell.
    PS: If you get the club to feature your best sold shot in their magazine each week it will do wonders for future sales.
    Given time you will end up as good as Kiwi.
    Last edited by Redgum; 28-01-2011 at 12:25am.
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    ...easily

    Easiest thing to do is sell digital files, have club link to your flickr page for peope to see them in low res with a watermark, email you orders, use something like dropbox to make them available, setup a pay pal account. charge about $10

    Don't put a deposit on the Ferrari quite yet

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    Member sonofcoco's Avatar
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    Has a similar question, but I think this thread has cleared it up. Someone my wife knows (on the internet) wanted a couple of my photos to put on canvas after seeing them on her blog. She asked for the files so she could do so, but I was a bit reluctant to forward them to her as I then lose control of where they go after that - was trying to avoid a scenario where one of her friends might go "I like that", and she goes "here's the file. you can go and print your own canvas"...not that I think my photos would take the whole community by storm

    Might go the Redbubble route though and have a look at some other options as well.

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    Hi. I am in no way a professional, so this advice is simply opinions of mine & a few ideas....

    Why not charge market price for your photos to those who ask to purchase them, with a % of proceeds going back to the charity/ group? Seems fair and ethical to me.

    It seems your photos of people would be held in high value for family members or interested parties, so the fees you charged would be of little consequence considering that sentimental value.

    Of course if the people buying them are using them for marketing, not sentiment, then definitely they should sell at ' market price', should they not? And with % proceeds of your sales going back to the charity/group ( after all if they didn't exist, neither would your pics) it seems fair to all and very ethical/ moral to me



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    Hi, I am in the similar situation as O.P.
    Helping local car club with pics of Motor Sprints.
    Skill level is low but have people asking for my shots.
    Really like Kerrie's idea of donating some profits to club, might arrange a link from there web page to my photos.
    Problem is deciding where to put them up on the web. I have a flickr site but not Pro as would be required for the amount of shots i have
    Anyway thanks everyone for the posts, will check out redbubble
    Cheers
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    I wonder how many people really would pay for a print? Stuff like redbubble you put so much work posting them up, labels/tags as needed, but is it going to be worth it to get a dozen sales?

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