I was speaking with a friend of mine this week about knowing your numbers. We were chit chatting away when she told me about how last week she had been listening in on an episode of Creative Live. Sue Bryce was teaching a program and at one point, apparently suggested that all photographers should be charging a minimum of $150 for their 8×10’s.
My friend thought this was great. You know, the idea of encouraging photographers to value their work and charge what they’re worth.
It inspired me to think, “hmmm, I wonder if that number is accurate?”.
So, I hit up my cost of doing business and product calculator to see what kind of numbers I could come up with.
The first set of numbers I ran was based on a part-time photographer working 25 hours a week. This person wants to take home an $18000 a year salary – which isn’t much, but it’s their first year in business and they have another part-time job to support their lifestyle.
The basic cost of doing business numbers were ran with the PPA benchmarks in mind.
I calculated what I thought a modest amount of time would be for retouching, other time (lab drop off, pick up, un-packaging, gift wrapping, delivery etc.), the hard cost of the print and the lowest CPP rate of 1 cent per pixel ( learn about the pixel cents formula here) and I came up with…
Using the exact same scenario, I ran a different set of numbers for a more experienced photographer. An annual salary of $35,000 and a cents per pixel(CPP) rate of .04. The value of that photographer’s 8×10 would be $185.59.
Then I tried
Annual salary of $55,000
CPP rate of .08 (IP value of 8 cents per pixel for an “established pro”)
And came up with an 8×10 value of $325.38
So what’s my conclusion?
- Every single one of our 8×10’s should be priced differently.
- The contributing factors are our annual income, how much we work, how long it takes to produce, how much experience we have and the cost of our product.
- Sue Bryce might be a little high with her blanket statement of $150 for all photographers everywhere – but her sentiment was right on. A salary of $18,000 a year isn’t going to support many people for very long – so if it’s your first year in business – the price of $69.74 is probably more realistic as a baseline…but it won’t be sustainable in the long term!
We are all chasing the same dream you guys. We want to do what we love, and we want to get paid!
How about we all start dreaming a little bigger? Let’s dream that we get to do what we love and make a sustainable income.
Actually, scrap the dream.
Let’s just do it.
Know your numbers!