Today we am going to talk about how we determine to price for our services. We will get a lot of flack from other fellow photographers for this but I think being open and honest is part of why we continue to grow as a small business.
Have you ever looked at a photographer's prices and thought, holy cow, that is expensive!! $$$$$$$
We are going to break it down in as a plain way as possible to help you understand more as the client.
That “expensive cost” stems from a couple of things. Overhead, equipment, cost of permits, marketing, and self-payment. (secret, I have personally not made a dime in 3+ years, we invest right back in to continue to grow)
1st up- Overhead. This is simply the cost of doing business, rent, utilities, location cost, studio supplies, set builds, wardrobe purchases. This is where 90% of our income goes to.
2nd- Equipment- Photography is not cheap. Just a basic entry-level full-frame camera is costs of $1k. Yes, there are cheaper options, but to retain quality and to have all the options most professional photographers use, $1k is the minimum, but in reality, expect to pay closer to $3k. I am an equipment snob, so when I do invest, I go for the best. Now that you have camera investment, it does not include lenses. Yes, you must have different lenses, in a world with cell phones people have no idea about optical lengths and depth of feeling. The lens choice can set the mood and feel for the session. I have over $10k in my lens library, but I'm ready for just about anything you can through at me. I use a different lens for pinup, a different one for boudoir, a different one for outdoor photography. Now let's talk lighting!!! This is where my equipment snob mode comes in. I’m a stroby, in the world of photography, which means I prefer to shoot with flash. (except boudoir). I just prefer the look of it. A basic setup to shoot studio pinup can start at about $1k and go up from there. Now add needing battery-powered options for on-location shoots, you can see how this adds up quickly. For transparency reasons, I buy all my gear out of my pocket with money earned at my 8-5pm. Below is my baby, isn't she beautiful.
3rd- Permits- Yep, who knew to go to your local park, you will need to pay for a permit. Most people do not do this or do not know any better. Be prepared to be stopped by a park ranger and you could incur a hefty fine. Five Rivers Metro Parks requires one, for all my local photogs reading this, and they have been cracking down. (below photo taken at a Five Rivers Metro Park)
4th- Marketing- While good honest word of mouth is the best form of marketing, and to all those that help with this for us, we can’t thank you enough, we also have to pay occasionally for social media marketing (it pains me). Running a web page, is not cheap, and I suck at it, one day I will be able to hire someone to run the page for me, one day. LOL. Promo items, and display items, we order items well because Big Bootie Judy is amazing, but it also helps people take home a souvenir from their experience with us.
5th- Payroll- Yeah, I’m not sure about what this is. I have not taken a dime of payment for myself since opening the studio. Why? Because 1-4 are expensive and the pot is empty come to the end of the month. But this is part of running a small business. Sure I could charge more, because not to toot my own horn, I am worth it, but I’m content at my price point. I want to remain affordable and available to all that want to experience Gem City Pin Up.
6th- Time, Time, Time, Time- The time that it takes to create sets, the time that it takes to be at the studio, the time that is spent editing images, the time that it takes for customer relations. Basically, a whole like of time.
*******Please note this blog intends to inform, not complain. I 100% love what I do and would not change a thing about it. I personally never what Photography to be a Job (my definition of a job is, some boring place you have to be to perform some boring task in trade for money). Gem City Pin Up is far from boring in atmosphere and never a dull moment while photographing.
Interested in Booking a private session. Head back to our web site home page now. www.gemcitypinup.com