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Thread: What is the best rate to pay a contract photographer??

  1. #1
    Member TwitchyVision's Avatar
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    What is the best rate to pay a contract photographer??

    Hi all,

    I'm a Real Estate photographer currently into my second year of operation. I am presently in line to pick up some new contracts which will see me absolutely flat out and requiring an additional photographer. ** I am not posting a job, as I already have someone lined up for the work. **

    My question is, what is the right amount to pay the contractor, who is operating as a sole trader, just starting out in the photography industry?

    All that I will be requiring from the additional photographer is to look after one client in particular who will produce a high volume of work (11 - 20 properties per week) while i take care of the rest. The photographer will go in, do the shoots, bring the images back to my administrator who will then edit all the images, forward to the client and invoice.

    The client is charged a "per property" rate.

    Is there a rule of thumb on what to pay such contractors? Do i pay them a percentage of the property rate or do i pay a day or weekly rate based on the amount of properties that get shot as it may vary? Obviously, as this is my business I still need to make money from it; but how much is appropriate?

    Thanks in advance for all your help!

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    It's all about the Light!
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    & Welcome - lets see some images in the main CC forums and have fun!
    If you want to meet other members then check the Forums / Community / Groups link; also the meet-ups forums!
    Also you may wish to have a browse of our new and evolving Library.

    My take would be to work out how long it takes to do each job on average, plus travel time and then pay based on an hourly rate for that time.

    PS: I moved your thread here from Intros.
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    Hi, Welcome to AP, This is an introduction thread , To tell us a little about yourself , Best way to get started is to post some images in the main CC forum and contribute a little to the site , Once you get going , This question would have been better asked in the "photography Business" Thread - Bill
    Canon : 30D, and sometimes the 5D mkIII , Sigma 10-20, 50mm 1.8, Canon 24-105 f4 L , On loan Sigma 120-400 DG and Canon 17 - 40 f4 L , Cokin Filters




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    Nice fishing expedition, surely you'd know, you're the one in the industry not us.

    I seriously question your motivation for asking such a question.
    Darren
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    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

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    Ooops !! Kym beat me to it

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    Kiwi, while I appreciate your conern, it IS actually a genuine question and something that has been keeping me awake. I am just trying to get a feel for what other photographers have experienced and get some advice. As a sole trader, I am not used to paying other people to do work. I want to keep the scales fair, for both parties.

    I know what I charge and what other photographers charge, so there is no "fishing". I just want to know what is the fair scale to pay on.

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    Thanks guys - sorry to post in the wrong forum initially; first time using one!

    Kym - The job usually takes an hour on site to complete the photography and around 30 minutes travel to and from the location (as the photographer lives in the same local region as the client).

    I've had a look at the photographic industry award and its obviously different from a sole trader's rate, and I will not be comfortable paying someone $16/hr to do that! haha

    I'll check with the photographer about their usual hourly rate for photography in general and see if it ties in. Obviously if it is 80% of the property rate, i'll have to reasses.

    Thanks for the tip though, i hadn't thought of an hourly rate!

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    A general rule of thumb is to charge a client 3x what you pay a contractor. This is not industry specific.

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    Thanks Kiwi

    I already have a set charge for the client which was established before I needed an additional photographer. By this rule of thumb, should I pay the contractor 1/3 of the charge price? Currently, the photographer is asking for around 70-80% of the charge rate because they feel they are doing the majority of the work by taking the photos. For me, in a business perspective that doesn't make sense as it would mean my business doesn't make much money and there is no point of bringing someone on if that is the case.

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    ahh business, aint it fun You'll just have to negotiate something that a) returns you a return according to your business plan and b) gives contractor an adequate return. It will be of course a compromise position.

    The contractor of course might just turn around and steal your business too.

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    I'll also add that you are seeking advice how to run a business from a predominantly amateur internet forum. Dangerous and amatuerish in itself imho.

    I strongly suggest you get professional advice from your accountant (you must have one right?), a small business bureau in your state or the AIPP (you should look at being a member)

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    Great, thanks for all the tips

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    now we have answered that one, how about joining in and giving something back to the site.
    "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

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    now we have answered that one, how about joining in and giving something back to the site.
    As I said in my earlier post, This site is about giving and receiving, It's just fair to contribute something in return

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    Member Adrian Fischer's Avatar
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    What would you do it for? If another Real Estate photographer needed you to help him out. You know the rate that is paid by the agency as does they guy you looking to work with. So what would you expect to get paid? Aslo, if you dont offer him enough and he walks your reputation is on the line as not being able to deliver. So in the long run, if you dont make much money on the shoots he does, is it still not worth it to keep the client happy. Perhaps working out what it costs from an admin perspective to to process and deliver to the client and then adding a % for small profit and seeing what the leaves and offering him that.
    ______________________________________________

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    Kiwi has already said it, but its worth noting that while I have absolute respect for many good photographers in this forum, few are actually professional, and there is an undercurrent attitude that sometimes surfaces at outright belligerence about the value of professional photography. So to be honest, I'd be seeking opinions from people that have a real experience and real reliance on running a photographic business and perhaps worth differentiating what opinions are offered that are based on none of that.

    Having said that there is a percentage of working professional photographers her, so I dont mean to exclude all in those comments - however as Rick (forum owner) this forum is not dedicated to professionals.

    The whole issue of "contracting" secondary shooters, or subcontracting is definitely high up there in the ATO's sights at present,

    While its been industry practice to receive invoices from freelancers and treat them as sub contractors, you may find that under the new "Fair Work" legislation that this is no longer possible. In fact is is likelu that assistants or stringers will need to be regarded as employees with entitlements. If you are using external staff, you need to know more.

    AIPP is currently running "Stay out of Jail" information nights around the country for members only.

    My suggestion is to join AIPP.

    And FWIW from the unbelievably low prices being bandied around the Real Estate Photography, the one main decision factor promoted by 99% of those involved is PRICE. And it just keeps on getting cheaper and cheaper. So good luck; and if you're entering the market based on price, watch your back, because someone WILL come in cheaper.
    William

    www.longshots.com.au

    I am the PhotoWatchDog

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I agree with Longshots. AP can provide information at all levels, but the AIPP is specifically for Professional Photographers, whereas AP is not aimed at the Professional Photographer as such.

    It is also worth reminding in this thread of one of the site rules:

    [24] Requesting/Providing Financial, Medical or Legal Advice on Ausphotography:

    Australian Photography is a website with broad topic coverage. However, when it comes to medical, financial and legal advice, it's always recommended to seek advice from a qualified professional, rather than asking about it on Australian Photography. As such, Australian Photography takes no legal responsibility for posts seeking or providing Medical, Financial or Legal advice. Members use any advice provided via Ausphotography at their own risk. The site owner, moderators or members cannot be held liable for any Medical, Financial or Legal advice posted on the site.


    So feel free to continue to discuss any issue on the site (as long as it isnt illegal), but do not rely on the information to be legally correct, it is, in most cases, personal opinion.

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    buy hey, all us amatuers like the discussion, its an interesting business speculating about an interesting business
    Last edited by kiwi; 23-03-2011 at 4:05pm.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    buy hey, all us amatuers like the discussion, its an interesting business speculating about an interesting business
    Agree, and if we learn something from the discussion, then it's good all round. After all AP wouldn't be here if we didn't learn things from it and other members.

  20. #20
    It's all about the Light!
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    Many (some) AP members have general business experience, not specific to photography.
    Business is business and 80-90% are common issues.

    Re: William's (Longshots) comments about sub-contractors. It depends a lot on if they have your work as their sole (or majority) income or its genuinely sub-contracting.
    As Kiwi said - check with your accountant.

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