Photographers will rarely admit this on social media, but get a group of them together to chat about pricing their photos, and many of them will tell you they just make their prices up.
Isn’t that crazy?
Why are we doing this?
Well, in the case of digital files, when the industry made the switch from film to digital, we got so obsessed with megapixels, we didn’t think about the fact that we were handed a new product: digital files.
And because we didn’t realize (or acknowledge) that the digital files were actually a product, we never updated our pricing formula.
So, guess what happened? People just made up their prices! And even if you did try to figure out how to value them, the old formula (mark up your cost of goods sold by 4 and then add in your time) didn’t make sense. When pricing a digital file, there are no “cost of goods sold”, so how do you value something that is intangible?
Wait for it…
By using the Pixel Cents Intellectual Property (IP) formula!
Here it is:
($ = CPP x PX)
$ is the price
CPP is the cents per pixel you assign to the image
PX is the length of the image in pixels
How does it work? Well, we give you suggested averages and ranges, you choose a rate that makes sense for your business, your experience, the particular image and then you add your time.
If you are pricing a print, then you would calculate your time, your cost of goods sold (COGS) and then add your intellectual property value (using the pixel cents formula!)
The best thing about the method is that it works for the entire industry. Actually, the BEST thing, is that I made it into an app so you don’t actually have to the math yourself!
Want to read more about my suggested industry standard for selling digital files? Read my article: The 5 things you must know if you are selling digital files
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