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dashboardgyno Jul 5, 2005 10:25 PM

Hi guys, I have been asked to price out some family portraits... only 3 people, and they have their request of prints sizes 2 8x10 2 5x7 4 4x6 and 15 wallets.. How much should I charge, and how should I go about figureing into it? Thanks for your time,

any other advice?

CCWKen Jul 5, 2005 10:56 PM

1. Shop your competition for price and quality.

2. Define YOUR costs, including your time.

3. Set your profit margin based on quanity and quality.

4. Set your price.

5. Justify #4 to #1.

I think you'll find out that it's cheaper to take the photos and have them printed by someone else. Unless your volume can justify investments in hardware, whatever you charge won't be enough.

Dave Chrismer Jul 5, 2005 11:04 PM

The only person who can answer that question is you. How good are you? Did you invest several years training to do portraiture? Did you invest $20,000 in equipment or $2000? Do you have a high rent, high profile sudio? I would check and see what your local Sears store is charging and then decide if you can provide at least that quality or if you can provide something above and beyond that and then charge accordingly.

Carrots Jul 6, 2005 1:57 AM

If you want more bussiness, then the best way to get the word spread is to be more than just a bit cheaper than the compitition, even if your quality is better. If you dont necessarily want to turn this into an income, and just want to this this one, then charge what you think its worth.

dashboardgyno Jul 6, 2005 11:15 AM

my take on is a) shop the competition and be cheaper,

B) I am going to their location, or wherever they want the photo's taken, that might end up being my call which is fine.

C) I figured I could have timely turn around, on the prints as most place you will have to wait some ridiculous time,

I am trying to start the business... I am confident of my abilities, and I am sure the experience will be a good one for them...but I want them to advertise for me. I thought, as long as I could use thier image on my website, and if they wanted future prints they would have to contact me.. (unless they scanned them of course) and they had to send me 3 other contracts.. And the cost would be the cost of printing and little more. Then I get more exposure, and more business. Am I off my rocker?

CCWKen Jul 6, 2005 8:51 PM


... shop the competition and be cheaper
That's your first mistake! That's how new business go out of business. How do you know you can be cheaper if you don't know what YOUR costs are? Business go to great expense in determining what their products cost them and how to price the products to maintain a profit.

You can't just arbitrarily set a price and expect to remain in business. How will you pay for you investments? How will you pay yourself? How much of your profit will go back into you business? How much do your materials cost? Will you need insurance? How does the competition package it's products? Are there variable rates? Do they have a store front? What is your competition's history as it relates to customer satisfaction? How many have gone out of business in the last few years? How many have been in business for five or more years?

The list of questions can go on and on and none of them is any less important. There is nothing wrong with your pricing being higher than your competition's. The problem is that you must justify it (and sell it)by being BETTER than your competitors. "Better" can mean several things. Quality, turn around, packaging, "mobility", trustworthyness... Look beyond the price.

What I'm trying to say is that you need to develop a business plan. The plan should be able to answer ALL of the questions above and more. You need to do some research. You won't find your answers in a bbs.

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