Pricing for Product Photos?

Started Jan 17, 2014 | Discussions thread
dinoSnake Senior Member • Posts: 2,358
Re: How much of a friend?
1

RussJames wrote:

Leonard Migliore wrote:

I did something similar for a friend (not as many hours though; I took about 20 images) and didn't charge him. He gave me a $200 gift certificate to the local camera store, which I felt was nice of him since I didn't ask for it. But this is someone I've known for years and we typically do stuff for each other.

Full retail, though, would be something over $1000 for the work you did.

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Leonard Migliore

Yeah see, me and this guy aren't quite that close, but I don't think I could ever charge him anything around $1,000... Honestly, I've asked this question on a couple photography forums and multiple people have said that they'd ask around $1,000, which seems insane in the membrane to me. That's basically $100 an hour. Holy shizzle! I understand that's how much a 'professional' would charge, and that I'm not in any way a 'professional', but still, even half that ($500) seems like a lot for 55 photos and 10 hours... right? Or maybe I just completely underestimated this industry..

Anyways, I'm going to chat with him on Monday and get his opinion. Hopefully he doesn't low ball me too badly. I think after hearing all these $1,000 dollar quotes, anything will seem a bit low...

Product photography most often does not get charged by the hour, it most often get charged by the shot. $20 to $40 per shot is quite typical, which is where people are getting that $1,000.00 fee from - 55 shots. Regretfully any retouching work done by the photographer is included in the per-shot pricing; the more time he/she spends on the retouching the less per-hour you end up earning.  Subjects with high retouch requirements are most often quoted at higher per-shot rates to compensate.

The question here is not only what is "fair" but what was agreed upon, either directly by communication or indirectly by a regretful assumption of the parties. If the friend expected the photos to come out nicely but used you with the expectation of having a lower price due to the friendship quotient, then that must be taken into consideration as it was one of the (sadly, unspoken) clauses in the employment. If you two know one another and he knows that you do this job commonly for a good pay scale then it is not unreasonable to charge said "good pay scale" as he had knowledge of what he was contracting for.

It is going to be a bit sticky to come to a decision either way for you, good luck. Feel him out to see what he expected this shoot to cost him.

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