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How do you charge?

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  #1  
Old 09-02-2009, 08:11 PM
Jack The Ripper's Avatar
Jack The Ripper Jack The Ripper is offline
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How do you charge?

Hey folks.

Im starting to pick up a few projects here and there, nothing huge, ive done some retouch work, some restorations, and a promotional poster for the ITF.

the work on the ITF poster landed some interest by a company looking to get some safety posters made for a safety event they will be holding for thier company.

I have a meeting next week with the CEO. I know the CEO, its a long story but he has seen my work in the past and ive done some free restoral work for him on some photo's when his son passed.

He said he would pay me handsomly for my work, and i know at one point he is going to want to discuss the pricing.

I have absolutly no idea what this kind of work normally runs. It will be a lot of graphics, photoshop, and probably an on-site photoshoot of some heavy equipment and employees. I have everything i need for the job and im pretty confidant i can meet his demands.

Isit common to charge a flat hourly rate for the work done? I was thinking of just going $30 per hour which is close to my day job rate, and logging the hours i work. I estimate 4 hours of shooting, about 6-10 hours per poster, and i expect there will be multiple posters.

Any advice on this? does 30 an hour sound reasonable, outrageous, or low?
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2009, 09:35 PM
Mike Mike is online now
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Re: How do you charge?

Don't know where you are, but I would not touch this for any less than $175/hour and then only if there are multiple posters. A single poster would be much more per hour.
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  #3  
Old 09-02-2009, 10:04 PM
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Jack The Ripper Jack The Ripper is offline
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Re: How do you charge?

175 an hour huh?... Dayum! Nice!

maybe i oughtta bump it up a little bit.

anyone else?
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:10 AM
Quantum3 Quantum3 is offline
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Re: How do you charge?

Ask Mike how much he charged his first jobs.

Last edited by Quantum3; 09-03-2009 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 09-03-2009, 10:18 AM
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Jack The Ripper Jack The Ripper is offline
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Re: How do you charge?

Ok.

Mike, how did you charge for your first jobs?


why do i feel like im being setup here? lol
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  #6  
Old 09-03-2009, 12:37 PM
Mike Mike is online now
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Re: How do you charge?

How much did Mike charge for his first job? To tell you the truth Mike does not remember, I first hung my shingle out in 1979 and I already had 20 years experience when I did it. And just how does the value of 1979 dollars relate to 2009 dollars anyway?

I think the thing most folks overlook when trying to determine what to charge is the cost of doing business. Think about your camera. Every time you use it, it is one more click closer to being replaced. So you need to charge enough on every job to making enough dollars to buy the replacement without having to go into debt for it. Same with your computer. Same with whatever version of Photoshop you are using, it should make enough to have the funds available for an upgrade. Same with all equipment.

Same for your wages. What are your skills worth? Compare what you do with others with jobs that require as much (but not necessarily the same) skills. Then if you have a studio or office there is rent/lease payments, utility's etc etc. And perhaps advertising? And on and on.

If one adds all of these things up, the total can be quite amazing. Remember if you are selling stuff you are running a business and who wants to run a business that does not make a profit?
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:50 PM
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Janko Janko is offline
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Re: How do you charge?

You have to consider who your client is and what sort of budget they could have for this sort of thing. In this case getting posters for an event is obviously not going to be the same budget as a major advertising campaign by some huge corporate client.

With that said i do think $30/hr is too low. Maybe you should try for $75-80/hr and let them know you can work with them if they have a tight budget. And considering you're getting 30 at your day job you should be charging at the very least 50-60 for freelance work.

if you were dealing with a bigger client your rate should go up. Closer along the lines of what Mike said.
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Old 09-03-2009, 03:24 PM
Mike Mike is online now
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Re: How do you charge?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janko View Post
You have to consider who your client is and what sort of budget they could have for this sort of thing. In this case getting posters for an event is obviously not going to be the same budget as a major advertising campaign by some huge corporate client.
.
I think that one has to be very careful trying to do business like that. Trying to change your prices to match the budget of the customer can get you into a bad place if two or more of your customers ever get together and compare notes. I much prefer to give a bid for a job, then negotiate with the customer if we are over their budget, take something out or whatever, but somethings never change.

Think of restaurants. They come in all price ranges and the amount of service etc you get at each. If you cannot afford one, then pick one that has a bit less service and go there. Your customers will do that in your line of work just like they and you do that with restaurants.
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Old 09-03-2009, 03:46 PM
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Jack The Ripper Jack The Ripper is offline
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Re: How do you charge?

Thanks for all the replies. You have all provided me some excellent advice.

If he asks me im going to quote $60 an hour and see how his reaction is to that.

im sure he has an idea of what to expect to pay a pro, he may have a better idea of what he would probably expect to pay elsewhere and offer that as a flat amount.

His son was one of my closest friends, he knows im trying to get my foot into graphic arts, restoration, and photography, pretty much anything image related. He makes well more than enough to try to take advantage of that, im getting the feeling he is doing this for my benefit as well as his own.
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  #10  
Old 09-04-2009, 02:04 AM
Quantum3 Quantum3 is offline
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Re: How do you charge?

I was waiting Mike (and the other guys) giving you an answer a bit more accurated, also for me. They're replying from their professional point of view in business, I think you guys should remember how your business were at the very beginning of your career as retouchers, etc. I would really love reading that because I'm also starting in this.

This is the way I see the beginning, Jack.

I've started working as retoucher in March, in the year 2007. I had to do some composite and beauty (and I didn't know anything about beauty, nor the client). It was my very first job, and the price was put by the client. A very low price.

The second job I got was retouching wedding pics. I did that for about 7 months. It wasn't just about correcting stuff, also giving style to the pictures. The price also was set by the client. Somehow a low price too.

Then I got a new client, I'm still working for him (we have 1 year and 1 months so far working together). He also put the price, a very nice one. I just have no complain. That also was a fixed rate of per pic price.

In the meantime I got other clients. I started setting the prices. I read the prices that others set for different jobs like the ones said by Mike and Janko, and of course, the other posts and replies from other people, also looking in the Internet. I was figuring out what to charge as the time passed by. Nowadays, I charge $25/h for any kind of work. If I have to charge per pic, I do the math in order to fit the work with my hourly rate.

Figuring out a price is much more something related to experience at the end. At first, the prices are not so accurated, but, as the time pass by, you will balance the prices.

Hope this help,

Mart
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