United StatesHow much more can I charge than photographer from year before?
A friend of mine shot an award banquet for a local branch of a large national bank last year and can't make it this year. She referred me, but she says last year she charged $200. She said it took about 2 hours to shoot and she gave them a dvd with edited pictures.
The problem is I think the fee should be much higher, $500 at least if they want unlimited usage of the photos. I'm worried her low price last year is going to affect my chances of getting the gig though. I'm a newspaper staff photog so my biz skills aren't top notch. I do know my cost of doing business as well as the fact that unlimited licensing is unnecessary.
I think your gut instincts are correct. The key is to relay the fact that your price is fair to the client. I have to admit that it's an uphill battle without making your friend look they don't know what they're doing financially.
I usually don't itemize but this is a time where that might be helpful. Breakdown your shooting fee (in this case I would use an hourly rate, with a minimum, over a set fee), post production (use verbs like "editing, adjusting, archiving") and delivery fees. Most clients only think of the time you spend with your camera in your hand. It has to be clear that there are many more hours of preparation. In this case I would put my usage fee into shooting fee. I've shot 100+ of these sorts of banquets and to be honest the pictures are very, very unlikely to see the light of day other than as hand-outs to small local papers. While you need to maintain your copyright I personally wouldn't stress about whether or not they'll be used in 3 years– they won't.
For what it's worth I'd be in the $500-$600 range. Others might charge more but this is where I find I can get jobs on a regular basis.
Consider negotiating the fee based on the use that they require, rather than just throwing in 'unlimited use' like it doesn't really matter.
Because you will find being able to use the images is important to them - that's why they are asking you to produce the pictures in the first place i.e. so as they can use them.
So it's not about you or what it costs you - it's about the value to them - which means that's what you need to stay focused on, when negotiating the fee and talking to them.
Little use = Little value.
Greater use = Greater value... to them.
Note: you can take the pictures with your iPhone, if the use really isn't important to them or anyone else.
I agree with Tony - you are not obligated to match the previous photographers price. If you think about, just about every job you do you are following some other photographer. $200 is very low for this job and your friend should be raising that price. Give a quote you are comfortable with.
You are under no obligation to match anyone's price. It is all about delivering a quality product, on time and making sure the Client is happy. The term unlimited usage is worthy of a premium fee and I would reflect that in my estimate which must be approved before the shoot is scheduled.