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Author Topic: Reviewing charges: how to calculate different day rates or fees?  (Read 9329 times)

Dinarius

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I'm looking at fees and, in the current climate, I'd like to review what I'm charging.

My problem is not so much what to charge on a daily rate, but what to charge for 1/2 day, 1/4 and post production based on this rate.

Needless to say, I've had various rates that have served me well over the years, but I'd like to draw up new (slightly lower) fees, and be more scientific in how they're calculated.

Here's my approach to date based on some research and asking some questions.

1. 52 weeks in the year.

2. 48 working weeks. That's what I want. Others may differ.

3. Only 3 shooting days per week. The other 2 days for editing and running the business.

4. So, 3 (shooting/billing days) x 48 weeks = 144 shooting/billing days per year. Again, others may differ on this.

I know what gross fee I'd be happy with in a given year. So, dividing this by 144 gives me a daily rate.

My problem arises when I try to subdivide this into 1/2 day and 1/4 day.

a. Should I have an set-up cost that is a constant in all three rates - full day, 1/2 day and 1/4 day - and add a 2 hour, 4 hour and 7/8 hour  shooting rate to this? This rates would, presumably, be multiples of an hourly rate.

b. Should I simply halve and quarter the day rate to arrive at the 1/2 and 1/4 day fee?

c. Is there a thrid way? No doubt there is.......!

I've always had a minimum charge of a 1/4. So, an hourly rate is only relevant in calculating overall cost.

Finally, is your post production/editing cost the same as your shooting cost?

I'd be grateful for any feedback.

Thanks.

D.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 10:23:12 AM by Dinarius »
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LenR

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Ken Bennett

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Re: Reviewing charges: how to calculate different day rates or fees?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2012, 11:20:06 AM »

What are the half-day and quarter-day fees covering? Is this a shooting fee? Or is it for editing/processing/pre- and post-production?

If it's a shooting fee, what are you shooting? Charging for time may be appropriate for some jobs (events, maybe small product, maybe even weddings), but not for others (national advertising.) For shooting, I will have a half-day fee that is larger than half my full-day fee.

If it's for production, I prefer to have that separately stated in the estimate, with specific line items, rather than lump it into a "half day" for production. That way the client can see exactly what she is buying.
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Dinarius

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Re: Reviewing charges: how to calculate different day rates or fees?
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2012, 11:42:27 AM »

What are the half-day and quarter-day fees covering? Is this a shooting fee? Or is it for editing/processing/pre- and post-production?

If it's a shooting fee, what are you shooting? Charging for time may be appropriate for some jobs (events, maybe small product, maybe even weddings), but not for others (national advertising.) For shooting, I will have a half-day fee that is larger than half my full-day fee.

If it's for production, I prefer to have that separately stated in the estimate, with specific line items, rather than lump it into a "half day" for production. That way the client can see exactly what she is buying.

Many thanks for the replies.

Day, 1/2 day and 1/4 are all shooting/capture. Post-production/editing is separate.

The types of work I do would all be priced similarly. My problem is being a bit more scientific at arriving at that price.

My current thinking is, having a 1/2 hour set-up cost that is added to a 1/4 day (2 hour), 1/2 day (3.5 hour) and full day (7 hour) rate. Thus, 1/4 day is 2.5 times the hourly rate, 1/2 day is 4 times, and full day is 7.5 times. This seems logical to me at any rate (no pun intended).

Only remaining question is, do I charge post production at the same hourly rate when quoting?

Thanks again.

D.

Ps. I'm not sure what you mean by, "For shooting, I will have a half-day fee that is larger than half my full-day fee."

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Ken Bennett

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Re: Reviewing charges: how to calculate different day rates or fees?
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2012, 11:49:42 AM »

Ps. I'm not sure what you mean by, "For shooting, I will have a half-day fee that is larger than half my full-day fee."


So if my full day fee is $2000, my half day fee would be $1200, i.e., more than just the full day fee divided by two.
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Chris Gahran

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Re: Reviewing charges: how to calculate different day rates or fees?
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2012, 11:01:26 PM »

Interesting you say 7 hours day is a full day. Here in Los Angeles, to the best of my knowledge, it's generally accepted that a day is ten hours. We work 9 to 10 hours with a nice lunch brought in for the crew. If every thing is going well we sit down for 30-40 minutes but if things are not going well, which is rare, we nibble as we work.

Half day is 5 hours but I'm not rigid about the time. The goal is a happy client who comes back.

Chris
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Dinarius

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Re: Reviewing charges: how to calculate different day rates or fees?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2012, 03:43:47 AM »

Hi Chris,

I meant 7 hours capture, excluding setup/breakdown and lunch.

D.
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Chris_Brown

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Re: Reviewing charges: how to calculate different day rates or fees?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2012, 01:08:03 PM »

what to charge for 1/2 day, 1/4 and post production based on this rate.

One side effect of charging for a partial day is the assumption that you can work for others on the same day. If you do schedule four 1/4-day jobs in a day, kudos, but if not, then perhaps an alternative would be to bid a price that reflects the lower budget of the job, but allows you the time needed to actually create good work.
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MarkM

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Re: Reviewing charges: how to calculate different day rates or fees?
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2012, 11:58:19 AM »

One side effect of charging for a partial day is the assumption that you...
.. are agreeing to do work made for hire or that you are asking them to agree to 'hiring you' to do some work for them.

How you choose to charge people does not create a work-for-hire situation. The words may look the same, but there is a large difference between someone hiring a photographer for a day (or partial day) and photographer agreeing to do work for hire.

Colorado David

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Re: Reviewing charges: how to calculate different day rates or fees?
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2012, 12:26:49 PM »

According to current U.S. copyright law, in order for work for hire to actually be work for hire it must be covered by a written contract that specifies that.  Anything short of a work for hire contract is not.

Dick Roadnight

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Re: Reviewing charges: how to calculate different day rates or fees?
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2012, 05:11:23 AM »

This all seems to be about location photography - if you are a studio based portrait photographer (which I am not) or a macro specialist who photographs items from many different customers in a day, an hourly or "per item" fee might be more appropriate, but many items like jewellery, glass and silver take longer than the typical pack shot?
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