price too high for client

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by tiffany_robbins, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. i recently shot a wedding reception at a restaurant. the owners of the restaurant liked some of the photos i took and expressed an interest in purchasing some of them. after mulling it over, looking at forums, and talking to other photographers i settled on a price of $140 per image. this would include unlimited usage rights for 1 year, including but not limited to web and print use, and would include hi resolution images on disc. i also offered him a discounted rate if he wanted to purchase more then 2 photos.
    most of the photographers i talked to said to do it for no less then $200 per image. i agreed but had a feeling this would be way over budget for what the restaurant would want to pay.
    he wrote back to politely decline my offer saying that they have never paid more then 35$ per image for photos in the past and my price was out of their budget.
    i'm over getting paid so little for what i do. i try to make a living off of photography and i offer a quality product. i need the cash, but i really don't want to lower my price.
    so, do i send a reply email back? should i mention why my prices are more then he's paid in the past? i feel like people should be made aware of what these things really do cost. just not sure how to go about explaining myself while still sounding professional.
    thanks.
     
  2. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    should i mention why my prices are more then he's paid in the past?​
    Can you explain why he should want to pay you more? That's very different than what you are saying. If you can't come up with a good explanation from the customer's point of view, you won't get anywhere.
     
  3. I wouldn't spend too long on it. Move on to customers who are willing to pay a fair sum. Just do a short email saying something to the effect that you're sorry that you can't do business this time - that good photography takes time, effort, skill and investment, and it's how you make your living so unfortunately you can't offer your pictures at a low price. But wish him all the best. And forget it, don't worry about it, and move on to something else.
     
  4. Oh man, I feel ya. Take my opinion for what it is. On one hand if you cut your prices to what they're willing to pay, you'll make a few bucks. On the other hand if you give in, you're not only hurting yourself, but hurting other professional photographers out there by devaluing a product. These people who think they can pay $35 per photo, they obviously have NO idea how much the equipment costs to be able to produce quality product. If they're not willing to pay, I wouldn't sell the pictures to them. They would obviously be using the photos to promote their restaurant, and the photos may actually generate more business for them. Paying $35.00 for what is essentially an ad, is ridiculous. If your pictures bring in even one or two additional customers, those pictures have paid for themselves! The restaurant owners are being cheap and short-sighted.
    You want to keep making a living with photography? Don't budge. When you do, they'll all expect to keep paying $35.00. Good luck using that money to replace or upgrade your equipment. It will only take you a few years.
    By the way, I'm an illustrator and I do covers for people who are self-publishing. I'm in the same jam when it comes to charging. Most of these people are looking for a high quality product that will bring attention to their books, but most of them are not willing to pay the price. Some artists will do the work for cheap....even free! How is one to compete with that and still survive? We creative people are hurting ourselves all the time by practically giving our work away for free. I don't see my mechanic fixing my car for free, and I don't see doctors working for the pleasure of healing. We all have to pay the bills, and it's time these people knew that it's hard work, talent and dedication that produces quality work even in the creative fields.
     
  5. I normally eat hamburgers but the other night I went to this great restaurant and had a fantastic meal. When the bill arrived I was surprised at the price, and I told them I was only willing to pay $3.99, which is what I normally pay for a 'burger, but they wouldn't hear of it and actually wanted me to pay the full $98.99. I had to pay it. I wont go back there again.

    Aye you know what I mean!
    As Simon and Jeff wisely point out, say no, move on. You say you "need the cash" and to be honest at $35 an image your time spent preparing the images and delivering and/or agonising over and discussing this is going to cost you more than $35 in time. Thats time you could spend working at something that earns you a proper wage.
    Be polite, professional and friendly. Reputations are made in all sorts of ways, not just on the quality of images.
     
  6. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    but hurting other professional photographers out there by devaluing a product.​

    I don't buy this at all. I am not responsible for what other photographers make. Nobody else is either. I am responsible for me. I sell for what I can get that makes sense to me, I don't care what other photographers are selling for. If I was only able to get low prices, why would I starve to keep other photographers in business?
     
  7. You can't convince someone, they either know or they don't, let it go. If they only pay $35 I don't think you will convince them to pay much more, they don't get it and probably don't know sh@t from shinola anyway.
    But I will suggest that unless a client is more of a national type client(or bigger local/regional ones), offering the use of an image for 1 year is something they don't get and will likely decline. I am very tight on usage/fee for my big time clients, they get big returns off their advertising and such. Small clients, I rarely put a time limit on the use of the image--and don't charge as much either. There is a difference between local small businesses and big national ones. Restaurants struggle to stay open, working with them (get some free meals/bar tab) never hurts instead of a few bucks. Your significant other and you can have a great time without the cost and it is more palatable to the owners even if the $$ are more than they are used to paying.
     
  8. If it's worth it to you to work on a deal with him;
    It maybe that he will settle for less than "unlimited usage rights for 1 year"... Perhaps he only wants to use them on his website?
    In which case maybe you are willing to offer the photos for less?
    Either way I don't try to compete with 'criagslist' photogs (not puttin' anyone down).
    It's not worth it to me.
    I'll work on building relationships instead of wasting a bunch of time trying to make $200.
    That's my 2...
     
  9. It used to worry me when potential clients told us we were too expensive. Gradually I realised that no matter what level you set your prices at, unless you are actually doing it for free, some people will be shocked at how expensive you are. And if you're doing it for free, they will just treat you with contempt. I also have the impression that the more we increased prices, the less people found us expensive. I think it's partly because at the lower end of pricing, everyone is judging on price, trying to get the cheapest deal, and you are competing against people who will do it for free. As you move up the market, potential clients on the whole are more interested in quality, and provided the prices aren't totally crazy, they take the pricing more or less for granted. The thing is to recognise it, don't let it shake you, just move on to clients who are willing to pay a fair price for what you are offering.
    Also, if you try to justify yourself to the penny pinchers, they will just take it as evidence of insecurity. If you say, "I don't think so" and not waste more time on them, it helps to educate them that they were way out with their first guess. Next time they ask, either you or someone else, chances are they might begin a little higher.
     
  10. Move on ... find someone that's willing to pay what you think you're worth.
     
  11. they obviously have NO idea how much the equipment costs to be able to produce quality product.​
    So what? Its irrelevant. Day after day you pay for products and services and have no idea how much the associated equipment costs or what all sorts of other costs or losses are involved. Virtually never do you base a purchase decision on it.
    I don't see my mechanic fixing my car for free, and I don't see doctors working for the pleasure of healing.​
    Its not a very good analogy. There's not much fun or vanity in performing the work of most jobs. You chose an activity that people derive pleasure from as your profession. Therefore, you see people doing it merely for pleasure unlike your examples.
    Lectures moralizing about what people ought to do will accomplish nothing. Adapting to the market and providing something of real or perceived value worthy of payment will.
     
  12. If it doesn't feel right to sell something for a certain price, don't do it.
    Go with your original instinct. It's usually correct. Just work up a polite refusal.
     
  13. If your work is as good as your prices, then just relax about it, and let it go, Regards, Robert
     
  14. Just work up a polite refusal.​
    There's no point in expending time and energy crafting some refusal. The ownership rejected the offer. There isn't anything to refuse.
     
  15. "Let me do this: I'll double my price, but only accept $75.00 per image in cash (no quantity discounts) for the one year use, and you give me the difference in credit towards a few meals here."
     
  16. You were already paid for the images by the wedding party. You had the opportunity to make even more and sell some
    low value images twice, you have cut off your nose to spite your face, the images owed you nothing and have little
    residual value.

    Thai is not the same as being commissioned by the restaurant, and having to factor genuine costs into the quote, it was
    free money.
     
  17. I have to agree with Scott, if the guy had approached you with the proposition: 'I'd love to use some of your fantastic images for promotion, we can't pay but there is a 3 course meal in it for you and your family...' you may very well have taken him up on it!
    These images were already bought and paid for, this would have been a little extra cream and I'm willing to bet this guy knows this and now thinks you are a greedy bugger.
    Customers don't care what it costs you, they care what it costs them.
     
  18. I agree with Scott and Ryan. Surely you were paid by the party that hired you so this is an unexpected windfall. Plus, what were his plans for the pictures? Was he going to display them in the restaurant? If so you'd be getting great publicity for future work.
    How were you going to supply these? To me photographs in the $125 and up range are matted and framed and ready to hang on the wall. If this was what he requested then I can understand $140, but for a disk, with images you were already paid to photograph, $35 per image sounds great. I can't imagine you charged the original wedding party $140 for every image you provided. If you did, I congratulate you.
    I'd go back and ask if the $35 offer was still acceptable and be thankful for the bonus.
     
  19. " Was he going to display them in the restaurant? If so you'd be getting great publicity for future work"

    That kind of publicity is worth nothiing whatsoever, you can guarantee that no properly paying work would come from it. In fact - less than nothing, if anything, you'll just get a reputation as the mug who's willing to give away stuff for free.

    "so this is an unexpected windfall"

    In effect, it's a stock sale. Stock sales are always unexpected windfalls. If you're running a business, then you will have a
    pricing policy for dealing with such sales, and it doesn't make sense to cave in to whatever any buyer happens to offer
    just because "it's more than nothing". It's no way to run a business. You have to set e price for your product, some buyers
    will buy it, some won't. From a normal stock agency like Alamy, the uses the restaurant is asking are several thousand
    dollars per image. In fact, there isn't an option for such unrestricted use, but I just typed in to their calculator use on
    posters outside for three years, and it came back with a figure of in the region of $5000. He's asking presumably for
    unrestricted use forever, so in theory the price per image should be considerably more than that.

    I'm not suggesting that you ask for figures in that region, but as a business decision it doesn't often make sense to give
    your work away for $25. The value of the loss in your reputation is worth much more than the $25 you gain.
     
  20. -"In effect, it's a stock sale. Stock sales are always unexpected windfalls."-
    I disagree, there could only be one customer for these images so they are not useful as stock. Even if they were and could be sold to another customer for $150 on a stock site then $150 + the $35 he was willing to pay is still more than $150 alone.
    -"That kind of publicity is worth nothiing whatsoever, you can guarantee that no properly paying work would come from it. In fact - less than nothing, if anything, you'll just get a reputation as the mug who's willing to give away stuff for free."-
    Is the goodwill of another local business worth nothing? Assuming that this guy will think of you as a mug rather than a nice person for helping him out is taking a rather negative view on the world isn't it? When someone helps me or gives me a good deal I don't think of that person as a mug, I like to think that I would help them if the opportunity arose.
     
  21. "rather than a nice person for helping him out"

    Helping him out of what? Is he going bankrupt? Why do you help another business out by giving away your product for
    near-free? If you buy something very cheaply in a shop, do you feel forever grateful to that shop for helping you out?

    He is not going to feel grateful to you, he will just take the pictures and use them, congratulating himself that he saved
    spending thousands of quid commissioning a photographer to take pictures. It will just stick in his head that photography is something that people give away for free. He willl tell all his friends about it, and they will expect photography for free too. And even if he does feel gratitude, the chance of him referring a 'proper' client to you is remote. He IS the proper paying client. If you let every paying client have things for free in the hope that he will send you another proper paying client, you will go bust very quickly.

    I'm not saying that you should never work for free, or never give pictures away for free. There are times to do both, but
    this isn't one of them.
     
  22. p.s. if the guy has something concrete to offer, like a flow of wedding clients, then it would of course be a different matter.
    But it sounds like it's just a restaurant that happens to have a wedding there, rather than a venue. If it is a venue that
    coordinates weddings and might refer clients, it would be different.
     
  23. This would be an interesting experiment: go into his restaurant as a well-dressed stranger off the street, and ask what the price is for a meal. When he says $40, tell him that you had really expected to pay only $1 for it. Tell him that that is your final offer, and that
    you will be really grateful to him for helping you out, and that you will tell all your friends to come along to his restaurant
    too.

    Then pick yourself up off the pavement outside, and ask him if he will consider negotiating at $2 instead. If you're really lucky, he might throw in a lesson in business management for free.
     
  24. -"This would be an interesting experiment: go into his restaurant as a well-dressed stranger off the street, and ask what the price is for a meal. When he says $40, tell him that you had really expected to pay only $1 for it. Tell him that that is your final offer, and that you will be really grateful to him for helping you out, and that you will tell all your friends to come along to his restaurant too.
    Then pick yourself up off the pavement outside, and ask him if he will consider negotiating at $2 instead. If you're really lucky, he might throw in a lesson in business management for free."-
    This guy didn't commission the work, so your example doesn't work, a more fitting experiment would be to go into a bakery first thing in the morning and price some buns, then just before closing. In many cases the same buns are reduced in price because the wouldn't be sold otherwise. Another example would be to go to a building site and try to buy some building supplies when they are just finishing a development, in many cases they have things that they will sell of cheap otherwise they have to haul it away and store it or simply throw it out. They have made their money and selling leftovers is a bit of extra cash.
    For all you know this guy gives the unused food to the salvation army at the end of the night (as many do) as it would otherwise be binned.
    I didn't say give it away for free, but the images have already been paid for once so anything extra is cream.
    -"If you buy something very cheaply in a shop, do you feel forever grateful to that shop for helping you out?-"
    No, but it may well be that it's the first place I think of when anyone asks about that product. Again, shops reduce prices on items that would otherwise not be sold.
     
  25. Stick to your guns. There will always be people who want to slash their wrists, but they will either need to raise their prices or won't be around for long. The way I have always looked at it is that if I am going to break even or lose money there are a lot more fun things to do. In my business, although I have never been brave enough to try it, price point is something that some people will brag about, as in bragging to their friends how much they paid. On one hand my product is exquisite and would certainly be worthy of bragging about, but I don't have the cajones to adopt that pricing model.
     
  26. There are certainly different ways of looking at these things, but most who make their living at photography, at least commercial photography, don't look at the "marginal revenue" model. That is the quickest way to run your business into the toilet as their is no bottom to it.
     
  27. go into his restaurant as a well-dressed stranger off the street, and ask what the price is for a meal. When he says $40, tell him that you had really expected to pay only $1 for it. Tell him that that is your final offer, and that you will be really grateful to him for helping you out, and that you will tell all your friends to come along to his restaurant too.​
    A more logical analogy is a customer declining to order something based on the price the dish or meal turns out to cost which happens constantly. Just as potential purchasers of imagery decide whether or not to do so based on price. That's all that happened here. Someone decided not to buy something they were interested in when they learned the price. Normal behavior occurring billions of times a day. No one was out to snooker anybody or approach anyone wielding assurances, rationalizations or marketing tricks. The situation above doesn't fit what happened.
     
  28. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I agree that the meal analogy doesn't work. There is a price list (menu) for the restaurant. The patron knows the pricing, well-dressed or not, by looking at the menu. That's completely different from the case here. The analogy with photography for the restaurant would be that Reuters is offering the photo as stock for $175. Nobody is going to try to pay $35 because there is a price list, just like there is a menu at the restaurant.
    In the end, it's up to you to decide if you are going to take the deal. I was trying to sell an antique I owned years ago, and a family friend was an expert in the area. I asked him what its value was because I was getting offers somewhat below what I paid for it. He told me "The value is exactly what someone will pay for it." That was an interesting lesson and one that has stuck with me. The point for you is that the value to that restaurant is $35. If there is nobody willing to pay more, then the value is $35. You have to decide if it's worth it or not.
     
  29. A suggestion: take the $35.00 per print payment, but make the "good to use" time 30 days or 60 days, but not for one year. If the images increase his restaurant business, he may be good with renewing the use time for your images....
     
  30. It will just stick in his head that photography is something that people give away for free. He willl tell all his friends about it, and they will expect photography for free too. And even if he does feel gratitude, the chance of him referring a 'proper' client to you is remote. He IS the proper paying client. If you let every paying client have things for free in the hope that he will send you another proper paying client,​
    Even assuming, for discussion, all of these things are true or even applicable to this situation it is inconsequential The images are likely only of interest to the owner(s). Unless the costs approach what the payment would be it is still profit Tiffany would otherwise likely never see. These factors wouldn't alter that nor are they likely to affect her later even if these things did happen. This was a chance situation, unlikely to affect the marketing of weddings or other probable client bases. Plus there was no issue of anything being free here. A price wasn't agreed on. That's all.
    Stick to your guns. There will always be people who want to slash their wrists, but they will either need to raise their prices or won't be around for long. The way I have always looked at it is that if I am going to break even or lose money​
    There are generally non-issues here. No one is giving anything away for free. No one would have suffered losses unless the cost started to exceed the price or other actual value arising in return. It was a one off surprise opportunity. It didn't go forward.
    Tiffany can choose to do anything she wants. It will be based on reality or perception. These reasons fall in to the latter.
     
  31. There's a problem with your topic heading... this guy isn't a "client", he's just a small business owner who wanted to buy rights to some images you took at an event at his restaurant. He valued them at $35 each (what they were worth to him), you valued them higher and decided not to drop your price.
    I'm not sure why this is even worthy of much discussion - there's no reason he should be convinced to pay more if that's all he's willing to pay, and if you don't want to get involved for $35 an image then walk away - no harm, no foul.
    In my opinion, it's a mistake to get outraged and expect a restaurant owner to have the knowledge of an agency art buyer when it comes to purchasing images. I also think it's a mistake to try selling restricted time limits to that kind of "client" - types of use, sure. Life is way too short to stress at this level - either pocket a few $35 use fees, or forget about it, he's not exactly going to be a big future source of income either way.
     
  32. Would you be willing to work for $140 in gift certificates from the restaurant? It would be a good compromise for both and possibly a start of a good working relationship. Just a thought.
     
  33. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    In my opinion, it's a mistake to get outraged and expect a restaurant owner to have the knowledge of an agency art buyer when it comes to purchasing images.​
    Great point. And it complements the point that John H makes:
    The images are likely only of interest to the owner(s). Unless the costs approach what the payment would be it is still profit Tiffany would otherwise likely never see.
    Life is way too short to stress at this level - either pocket a few $35 use fees, or forget about it, he's not exactly going to be a big future source of income either way.​
    And...
    Would you be willing to work for $140 in gift certificates from the restaurant?​
    Great idea, but wouldn't it depend on the food?
    This was a chance situation, unlikely to affect the marketing of weddings or other probable client bases.​
    Another good point from John H.
    FWIW, one thing that can be done when pricing has to be lower than desirable is to price it at what you want and then offer a "goodwill" discount. Even big companies will do things this way when it's the only way to get a sale.
     
  34. The value is what a willing buyer will pay a willing seller. Having said that, pricing really works only one way. Once you establish a low price -- that becomes what everyone gets. I thought your price was very reasonable. But the buyer will only pay what it is worth to them.

    i would not get into any discussion to justify the price. If the buyer pushes, you may be willing to "discount" the price, but just this once. You can justify the discount any way you want -- but unless you are clear that it is a one time event you can expect everyone to want the same discount.
    This is one of the reasons that much commercial/advertising photography is done on day rates with the clint getting the rights to the entire shoot for the specified use bundle of rights.
     
  35. Bryan has a great point in doing a trade out. I did that frequently. I did a lot of work for resorts and national hotel chains. I would get great vacations and never have to pay a dime beyond the tips to the staff. You do have to report them on your income tax return, though -- and pay taxes on their value.
     
  36. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Once you establish a low price -- that becomes what everyone gets.​
    I have never found pricing to be like this. I have varied pricing and never found that anyone knew what anyone else was paying me. People ask for a price and I give it to them, and even though quite a bit of it is sold within a fairly small community, nobody says anything. This is even true with day rates, in my experience. As long as it's not published, nobody seems to care. What I do hear is that "so and so will do it cheaper," but that's because they are comparison shopping, not because they heard they could get a better price from me.
    Here's a good example. I shoot fights and used to get paid by the trainer or the gym. (I now shoot for a magazine so it's different.) One fighter I always shot for free. This was because he had helped my son a lot and I have always felt that I can't come close to returning what he did for me no matter how much I shoot. Even though the fight community is fairly tight, and some people knew that I wasn't charging but not why, nobody else asked me to shoot for free. Nobody. And I've been shooting fights for quite a while.
     
  37. Jeff, I think it depends on the community you work for an what kind of work you do. I did about 60% of my work for national ad agencies. All of the art directors knew each other and we would all get together at least once a week. I had a half dozen large direct national accounts and even there most of the art directors knew each other. Photographers' rates were not secret. The one national catalog I did was on an annual contract, so that really didn't figure into the mix.
     
  38. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I wasn't suggesting it didn't happen, but your statement was absolute, and I was pointing that out. It's unlikely that the owners of restaurants share pricing about photos, many surely don't buy any photographs. Even if they buy photographs, it seems many just go to the print shop and buy posters. It's really unlikely that if Tiffany charged $1 each for this job that anyone else would know.
     
  39. Restaurants have a very strong trade association, so I wouldn't discount some shared knowledge on the subject. Of course it depends how the photographer establishes themselves and what market they target. It is hard to make money with one time sales because your sales cost is so high. You spend 90% of your time selling your services and only providing them 10% -- but you only get paid for that 10%. One of the paths to success as a photographer is to take pictures not be a salesman. That is why some segments of the business are dominated by agents and rep services. If a photographer can get with a good rep, that is a real advantage.
     
  40. Won't get referrals or business? A restaurant owner sought out the photographer, or it seems that's the case. How did the owners see the images to begin with? From a happy customer? Do they do weddings often? Will they refer customers? Will they use them in advertising? This isn't slapping a generic art piece on the wall. On the wedding forum providing images to vendors is discussed all the time. Is this the kind of business that might have a preferred vendor list? Do they do lots of events rather than the odd wedding know and then?
    "Here are some shots from a reception we hosted. They had a great time." ("We really liked the results this photographer got." Even if they don't say so, they wouldn't use the images if they thought they were bad or didn't present the space well. They are presenting your work, right? Credits/logos? How about a "This photographer did a really good job. The couple brought these to us to show how well they turned out. He/She was really easy to work with.)
    This is almost found money and compare this opportunity to advertising you actually pay for? What if there is limited return, what are you out?
     
  41. Tiffany... I am not a professional that sells my work and I'm not in retail sales or advertising, but having read both your request for opinion and the comments above, I can't help but think that I don't have enough information to make a decision. Now, don't get me wrong and I'm not being intentionally rude, but I haven't seen your work... is it worth the price you're asking? Post some of your work and it will be much easier to form an opinion.
    However, if you want to generate business, the $35 and a counter offer for a half dozen entree dinners might be a compromise that any restaurant owner may go for ;-). Next year you may get the full account... Mike
     
  42. Gary Crabbe [​IMG], Nov 17, 2011; 02:09 a.m.
    "Let me do this: I'll double my price, but only accept $75.00 per image in cash (no quantity discounts) for the one year use, and you give me the difference in credit towards a few meals here."
    Gary may have a point.
    There's some validity in this approach. You could offer a discounted cash price in addition to a trade arrangement on the balance, which could actually nurture your relationship with this business. Will your photo be displayed at the restaurant? If so, it would be a perfect setting to help you close a future client who may be debating whether or not to hire you. Also, you and the owner of the restaurant may be able to steer future wedding business in each other's direction through your independent networking.
    Make it work. Don't burn bridges.
    I'd add that if he is willing to work out an arrangement similar to the one described, that you insist that arrangement not be made public. This will reinforce the value of your work to him.
     
  43. I don't have enough information to make a decision.... ...Post some of your work and it will be much easier to form an opinion.​
    The question here concerned an individual potential buyer who already viewed the imagery, evaluated its utility for their particular use and what price they are willing to pay. Posting the work will provide no additional information for answering the question about this particular potential client. Masterful or lousy. It won't matter. The would be buyer already knows what it looks like and what it is worth to them. The portfolio will be useful as a rough guide for other potential transactions.
     
  44. John H... I respectfully disagree. The restaurant owner has indeed seen the images and "liked" them. The OP has stated that "I offer a quality product", but has also asked for our opinion "So, do I send a reply email back?". Before offering wholesale opinions I think it is imperative that Tiffany defines, both to us and to herself, the relative value of "quality". Obtaining an opinion of her work from this illustrious forum would go a long way toward establishing the value of her work and thus the strength of her marketing pursuit. If I were to see what I (or the consensus here) quantify as quality, then I'd recommend that she not accept a reduction in price and very pleasantly move on; however, if I find she offers good quality snapshots, then I'd recommend she not take the devalued offer and work on her skills so that the next customer finds more value in her work.

    So, to stick to the prima facie question without introducing any more of my confusion... I recommend, Tiffany, that you pursue the $35 and dinner compromise and insure that you have your images signed so that the public can identify you as the artist.
     
  45. I think it is imperative that Tiffany defines, both to us and to herself, the relative value of "quality". Obtaining an opinion of her work from this illustrious forum would go a long way toward establishing the value of her work​
    Imperative? That's nonsense. Nothing we see or know about the images will make any difference to this restaurant owner. The one who decides whether to make a purchase. We seeing the images and offering opinions on them has no bearing on whether the owner, whose subjective views are the only that will count, will accept any new offer. Our opinion of there images will not magically alter the owner's perception of value. Discussing cost of equipment won't change the owners mind. Telling the owner that people on photo.net think its worth more will not change it. A new offer will either be accepted or it won't. Our opinion on the images will have no effect either way on what the owner will decide.
     
  46. it

    it

    For me there is a difference between my normal rate for my time and, stuff like this, which is basically free money falling from the sky.
    If you decide it's not worth your time to pick it up, that's up to you. You end up with 100% of nothing.
     
  47. John H... I offer only one more comment and I will conclude that this dead horse we're beating will not get up. Either I'm not speaking clearly or you're not listening. The reaction of the owner is a sliding scale that we have no control over but my opinion, that was requested, finds it important to know the quality of this work in order to give a logical response.
    I've given Tiffany a straight answer in the conclusion of my previous post and I tire of semantics, so let me just wish you a very pleasant weekend and make this my last post on this subject.
     
  48. Running a restaurant involves a good shrewd manager to survive. They are wise to shop around and consider costs. They really search for low costs on every item they buy since the restaurant business is tough and many die off. There really is no way to say what is a proper price. Folks on this board seem to buy cameras on line to skirt local sales taxes but then whine when another business wants lower costs for your images.
    If you already shot the images anyway would folks here:
    accept 50 bucks per image or say no and get nothing and feel proud they got nothing but upheld standards?
    There are no rigid laws and rules with pricing, it is a life long adventure that requires mistakes.
    The rules about doing a new shoot and selling stuff that has already been shot can be different. One has settup and the other has little
     
  49. If you trade that is one thing but if you discount be prepared for the next customer and past customers to come in wanting the same deal.
    Jim
     
  50. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    If you trade that is one thing but if you discount be prepared for the next customer and past customers to come in wanting the same deal.​
    Why? What data do you have that shows that this happens?
     
  51. Shooting weddings is an entirely different beast than shooting commercially (stock, fashion, beauty, product, etc). There are times we give away prints and web images, with our logo on the image, to different vendors, including restaurants. But maybe that's just us. If I had a restaurant that wanted to use my image, I would want to know in what context they would want to use the image. For me, without that knowledge, I can't begin to ascertain what I would do. If they want to hang a print on their wall, I will sell them a canvas wrap with my contact info across the bottom at cost. If they want to use it in print advertising (a new menu, an ad in a local magazine, etc), that changes things. If they want to use it on the web, my first question is how? But in general, I will give then a web image (with my logo!) provided I am credited and preferably a link to my website.
     
  52. my question wasn't asking for people to put a value on my work. as you can see from the comments there are a vast number of opinions from people with varying talents and backgrounds. I'm willing to take the comments for what they're worth and form my own opinion about how I should conduct my business. this whole forum has given me a lot to think about and I thank you all for that. some very insightful comments and answers here, even going beyond what my original question was.
    truthfully, pricing my work always leaves me with questions and frustrations. and whenever i search for answers there is never any clear solution. it's frustrating but i guess it's all part of the business. i see both sides of the story that people are communicating here. one photographer i talked to put it well saying that my situation was what he called a "lose lose situation". any way i priced it to begin with the "prospective client" would feel like he's paying too much and i'd feel like i was charging too little. i had no idea when i sent my estimate to the restaurant owner that he had never paid a photographer more then $35 for an image before. maybe he had never paid for an image in the past, or maybe he had paid $300 per image. it was a guessing game to figure out a price that he might go for. my frustrations lay in not ever having anything concrete to base my rates on. and from what some people have said here it seems as though i have to also take into account the costs and profits of my prospective clients. even more to think about….
    again thank you all for the time you took to respond to this.
    greatly appreciated!
    - tiff
     
  53. I read what you said. If after you balanced it out for $140.00 per photograph, with a one year use license (Probably with $140.00 I would have let them have an unlimited use license - Only Change I would make to the whole thing.) By the customer telling the $35.00 dollar price was the customer telling you that is all they are interested in spending per photograph. Long ago that might have been what they paid for before. I would stay at $140.00. The best reply to them is no reply. They have gracefully declined your offer and that is basically the end of the transaction.
    A High School I used to attend back in my HS days did the same thing to me for my $100.00 per photograph with an never ending use license and they turned me down said thanks and I said thanks and sold my work that I took to other places for $150.00 per photograph. The school who wasn't paying me to talk the photographs, I took them for a news story asked how much each photograph would be for 6 they really liked after I sent them 80 to look at. I told them 6 x$100.00 with unlimited use license is $600.00. They declined and I never spoke to them again about it. I did write the story about the event and published making my money on it. Sorry I already gave them a $50.00 discount which I told them about, they weren't interested in spending that levy money after all LOL.
    None the less, you made your offer, leave it at that. You will be respected later for standing your ground on the prices. The restaurant may tell someone about it some time and the other person like a friend will say, wow that was cheap per photograph the $140.00 and they may come back to you for the photographs and buy them. If you are desperate for the sale, and you drop the price a little lower they will end up getting them for free from you over the negotiation of the pricing. Don't let your Customers see a weak person. You don't want to get a reputation in your area for not standing up on your prices. The customer doesn't care about how much your equipment costs or why your prices are so high (really they are very fair) and the customer wants them for less. If you drop down to $35.00 the next price will be $10.00 and do you really want this customer telling other businesses you reneged on your pricing? Think about it for the future for yourself and being firm with your prices and your business.
     
  54. But you need to look at it this way the manager knows you just did the wedding so your cost is all ready done for the wedding and for Him to get photos from that wedding should not be that high in his mind : Since you already shot those photos : what would you charge for the bride for extra photo's above what she contracted for : Think about what I am saying here:
    what you might lose in money could turn out to be a reference or two from them ?
     
  55. The restaurant may tell someone about it some time and the other person like a friend will say, wow that was cheap per photograph the $140.00​
    Not very likely.
     
  56. Don't think of it as selling a print, think of it as marketing your services. I would ask the restaurant owner which image he liked, make a big Mpix print of it, slap it into an Ikea frame and stick a few business cards into his pocket. No digital files, no CD/DVD. I would think having a large piece in a restaurant that wedding couples use (whether it be in the main room or in the owner's office) would be the best marketing you could hope for and by giving him only a print, licensing fees (which he was never even going to consider anyway), are off the table.
     
  57. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    What data do you have that shows that this happens?​
    I guess there was no data. Another post without any backup.
     
  58. So what? Its irrelevant. Day after day you pay for products and services and have no idea how much the associated equipment costs or what all sorts of other costs or losses are involved. Virtually never do you base a purchase decision on it.​
    That's not true. Almost every day people pay more for better quality products, because they know these products are either rare, of high quality, difficult/time-consuming to produce, or demand is high and supply is low. While they may not be aware of the exact cost of production, they know the production cost is (more often than not) higher than that of lower end products, and they are willing to pay a little extra for better quality or high demand items.
    If the client is not aware of the costs, maybe he/she should be made aware in one way or the other. I wouldn't expect to pay $30,000 for a Ferrari Enzo,... but I guess there are still some clueless people who would. Just because someone thinks it's worth $30,000 to them doesn't mean Ferrari will sell them an Enzo for $30,000, nor does it mean Ferrari should sell an Enzo for $30,000. The clients who can't or refuse to see the value in a quality product can keep moving along. There always comes a time when one must negotiate (out of charity or desperation), but we shouldn't have to sell ourselves short just because some clueless client doesn't think our prices are reasonable.
    Its not a very good analogy. There's not much fun or vanity in performing the work of most jobs. You chose an activity that people derive pleasure from as your profession. Therefore, you see people doing it merely for pleasure unlike your examples.​
    This isn't true either. Are you trying to tell me that there are no people out there who enjoy working on cars (as I used in my example)? I know people who are not professional mechanics, but do fix or work on cars on the side for fun as well as extra income. That's why they do what they do, because they enjoy it. If they benefit from it on the side, they'll charge their friends or neighbors a few bucks. Mechanics don't become mechanics because they hate cars. They do it because they love to tinker, which eventually leads them to becoming mechanics. That stands for doctors, engineers and countless other professions. Most people strive to do what they love, though not everyone succeeds.
    Lectures moralizing about what people ought to do will accomplish nothing. Adapting to the market and providing something of real or perceived value worthy of payment will.​
    Making a client aware of what it takes to produce a quality product is not lecturing. It's making them aware of why they are expected to pay more.
    Just because I do something I enjoy does not make it worth any less than the work of people who do a job they don't particularly enjoy. If I do something better than others and that work is noticed by someone who is seeking to purchase said work BECAUSE they like the quality, is that not providing "something of real or perceived value worthy of payment"? If the clients can't appreciate the effort, talent and years of experience that goes into something like photography, they're not the clients I'd be looking for.
     
  59. I don't buy this at all. I am not responsible for what other photographers make. Nobody else is either. I am responsible for me. I sell for what I can get that makes sense to me, I don't care what other photographers are selling for. If I was only able to get low prices, why would I starve to keep other photographers in business?​
    You're right. You can charge whatever you want for your products. Nobody can tell you what you can and can't charge. You can do it for free if that's what you want to do.
     
  60. You can do it for free if that's what you want to do.​


    Free is one of my favourite prices... especially if I'm buying!
     
  61. to this theme, heard about dollarphotostock.com, where amateur photographers can sell their photos for low price, i think it is better to sell them for lower price and to sell more of them
     
  62. venda veverkova
    to this theme, heard about dollarphotostock.com, where amateur photographers can sell their photos for low price, i think it is better to sell them for lower price and to sell more of them​
    What? The only good advice is to say "Ok, that's fine." and move on. There is no benefit for selling your photos cheaply. It makes you little money and greatly degrades your own brand value and worth. Never settle for less. If you find yourself looking for change here and there, what does it say about you, your worth, your business, your confidence, and your professionalism?
     
  63. Listen to what Simon said OR,
    if you are still trying to get your name around the market, counteroffer.
    For example, offer 10 photos for 6 mos. at $350 total upfront. Each photo will have your website name prominently displayed as well as a purchase price, if you so choose. Also, the owner will agree not to share with anyone the details of your arrangement. Just an idea.
    = tommy
     
  64. For what it will cost you, DO It FOR FREE as THIS IS FREE ADVERTISING FOR YOU. The pictures and frames remain your property and the way it reads here, the resurant wants more so you get more FREE. Have you even got a remote idea as to what advertising Costs or what some bank or resturant will charge you to display your pictures. I have paid $2000.oo fto high end resturants and more to banks here in the GTA area of Ontario.
    Garry
     
  65. I have paid $2000.oo fto high end resturants and more to banks​
    That's seems crazy! What annual turnover did you achieve from such 'adverts'? Most such advertising is snake oil, generally not worth more than a few dollars unless you have a very targeted product and clients that will see the advert you're very sure you can place it with. Clearly not in the OP's case, so the 'advertising' would likely be worthless unless there was a very specific set of circumstances making it worth something.
     
  66. Simon,
    The studio I own is capable of photographing two tractor trailers with 48 foot trailers,
    A make up studio and portrait studio capable of handling 40 people plus a food display studio and a product display section. Clients included lawyers and business COE's and large manufactures. Four of the staff is renting to own as there is very good income from the business which has eight full time staff plus another two that are Adobe certified.
    " so the 'advertising' would likely be worthless unless there was a very specific set of circumstances making it worth something" If you want exposure of your work for free, Don't charge for the pictures as there are quite likely many others that will jump at the opportunity
    Garry
     
  67. From a November 17th message "There's a problem with your topic heading... this guy isn't a "client", he's just a small business owner who wanted to buy rights to some images you took at an event at his restaurant" What will you do if the resturant prohibits you from dispaying ANY picture that his resurant is identifiable in if YOU do not have a legal signed release from the owner or renter of the resturant as YOU will be finded a heck of a lot more than if you had given him/her the pictures and files that he/she wanted.
    RELEASES--without them,you very often loose in a court of law--with a signed release.you seldome loose a case in a court of law.
    As they say,Greed kills. Just another way of looking at things.
    Garry
     
  68. What will you do if the resturant prohibits you from dispaying ANY picture that his resurant is identifiable in if YOU do not have a legal signed release from the owner or renter of the resturant as YOU will be​
    The restaurateur has no right to stop you displaying pictures of his restaurant, so this is a specious argument. He can only object (and even then, it's far from clear that he can) in very limited circumstances, such as if you're doing a commercial advertising campaign with the picture that damages his reputation. That doesn't seem very likely here at all.
    Garry, if you have a photography business, then you should know by now that advertising is largely useless unless it is targeted. The world is full of magazines and clients offering free exposure (in the form of a picture credit) in return for using your picture for free. In 99% of cases, it is worthless. Just occasionally it can be very valuable, and that is when it is highly targetted - for example, an album at a venue where wedding clients come to browse.
    Just giving away pictures for free to clients on the off-chance that another client might come along and notice the picture credit is a waste of time. If a tractor manufacturer comes to your studio and asks you to do a campaign for free in return for a picture credit, would you go for it? After all, by your logic, compared to a restaurant, having your picture credit on a national advertising campaign must be worth several million dollars to you - right? I'm sure you wouldn't charge a few measly tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege of doing their campaign.

    As I said, advertising is only worth something if highly structured and targetted.
     
  69. Simon,
    "The restaurateur has no right to stop you displaying pictures of his restaurant, so this is a specious argument."
    A person pays to operate the resturant and occupy the space the restaurant is located at. The WALLS are part of what they pay for so the person(s) the the restaurant controls what goes on the space they pay for. “(and even then, it's far from clear that he can) in very limited circumstances, such as if you're doing a commercial advertising campaign with the picture that damages his reputation. That doesn't seem very likely here at all.) Tell that to a Judge or read the © laws pertaining to this and you will see that I was correct.
    ALL insurance and large commercial advertising photography is sold with the rights to the pictures without restrictions but our lawyers do have to approve our release of all rights with no exceptions.
    Yes the pictures are targeted to certain places like portraits, sports and weddings to certain bars and restaurants. Banks get Arial shots of a development sight, construction sights etcetera. Weddings and graduations and some small group shots, we will rent a car(s) that is a high end luxury or sports car--the clients are happy as well as us.
    Garry
     
  70. but our lawyers do have to approve our release of all rights with no exceptions​
    Garry you can read about the limited circumstances when there is an argument you need property releases in an summary on the ASMP website here.
    For large commercial advertising photography, the client would want a property release for sure, whether or not it's actually needed. That is in fact one of the limited cases where you would need a property release. But there hasn't been any suggestion that the OP plans to do a large commercial advertising campaign using the pictures of the restaurant...
     
  71. A release is similar to a contract and it is not specifically required by law. It is only of any value if something goes wrong and it is used to clarify what was agreed. When there are no problems, it is not consulted.
     
  72. Steve,
    A SIGNED RELEASE DREW UP BY OUR LAYERS? It is called COVERING YOUR BUTT in my opinion
     
  73. Whoa there! We're talking about a Wedding Hall, that's all! You commercial guys are way over your heads here! In my locale, we give them the files to use with our name in the images, and they recommend us to future brides. What Tiff should do is to get some free meals out of the joint (if they have a regular restaurant--some catering halls are just caterers!) and an arrangement to put the owner's favorite image in a nice frame in the office where he sees prospective clients and makes his deals.
    And while she's at it--if her work is any good, a copy of the bridal album featuring his place to give to the owner is a good idea too!
    Now IF this joint is a low-end hall whose demographic doesn't fit Tiff's usual client, take the $35.00 per image and RUN!
     
  74. Whoa there! We're talking about a Wedding Hall, that's all!​
    I don't know where you get that information from, but the OP so far was talking about a restaurant that happened to have had a wedding reception there, and didn't say anything about it being a Wedding Hall. Unfortunately we can only answer the thread on the basis of the facts given to us.
     

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