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Basic Tips on How to Price Your Photography

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

One of the toughest things as a professional photographer is determining your pricing. A lot of times new photographers don’t really know how much time and money goes into making a portrait and so they undervalue what they are selling. However, over time they will figure this out and either raise their prices or ultimately fail as a profitable business. So how do we photographers figure out what to charge?

Let’s get bare bones here… How much do you want to make? Okay – be serious about this number. How much would you like to make this year – gross… that’s before taxes, before expenses, just total how much would you like to make? Let’s say you’re new and you’re thinking well $30,000 sounds fair with expenses and taxes.

Okay. Now how many sessions would you like to shoot? 20? 50? 100? For the sake of ease – let’s say 50 – that’s a session a week with two weeks off. Okay so take that $30,000 and divide it by 50. What do you get? $600. Yup – that’s how much you have to make on each of those 50 sessions in order to gross $30,000 at the end of the year.

Now that may sound manageable to you. Fantastic even! But let’s see what kind of expenses you can expect as a business owner. Every year you will have to pay for things like a website, hosting, and domain that usually runs about $80 or so. If you’re a member of the PPA (and you probably should be if you are a professional) that’s another $350. Let’s say you need to upgrade equipment – a new camera or lens can cost $2000 no problem. Need some lights – those can add up to $500 or more in a hurry. Props – try $50 to $80 a pop. Want to package your products so your prints are protected and pretty – that’s going to be about $8.00 per order minimum. And none of this even touches on sales tax for all the gorgeous products your selling, marketing expenses, internet, studio space rental fees, etc…

As you can see, all of these things can add up and it’s super easy to accumulate upwards of $6,000 or more per year. The more things you choose to purchase to improve your work or set yourself apart the more expenses you are going to accrue. That $30,000 can quickly become $20,000 before you’ve even given the government a cent.

So how do you figure out how much you need to gross? Well, take how much you’d like to make and divide it by (1 minus your tax rate – mine is.0675). This should give you a rough guess at what you need to make including what the government will take. Then write down all the expenses you had last year or think you’ll have this year. Include studio space rent, internet, website, marketing, equipment purchase, props, packaging,… Anything you can think of you may need to spend money on, write it and the amount down. Add all those numbers up with the previous number and that’s what you are going to need to make at the minimum. Then if you want to divide that by the number of sessions you can see what you’re going to need to make per session. So here’s an example:

$30,000 / 0.9325 = $32,171.58

$32,171.58 + $15,000 = $47,171.58

$47,171.58 / 50 = $943.43

So you can see how in order to make what I need just to earn the cost of living – I need to make a profit of $943.43. And that’s profit – that’s not including the cost of the goods themselves. But by having this number it becomes a lot easier to build packages around what you need to make. If you know you need to make $900 profit per session – you can use that number to help you figure out what products to sell and for how much in order to earn what you need to be a profitable business.

What it all comes down to is knowing your numbers. It only takes a few minutes to sit down and do the math to figure out where you need to be. The unfortunate thing is not many new photographers are taking the time to do this and it ultimately means they burn out and their business meets an early demise. But if you can take some time to focus on what’s going to help you be most profitable – you can not only survive, but thrive in this industry!

What Makes Los Angeles the Perfect City to Film Movies?

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Movies are as memorable as the fleeting images they leave audiences. Aside from the heartfelt dialogue, spot-on movie score, and great acting, a movie draws its impact from a great location.

Filming locations in Los Angeles are among the most favorite places to shoot movies, commercials and even for photography sessions. Aside from the vast selection of sets, their proximity to production offices and studios provides convenience. In this article, we will be counting down the reasons why this city is the best place to search for film locations.

1. The possibility of finding a new location is endless!

Los Angeles is popular for its mix of urban and country-side. It is similar to looking at two sides of the coin. Film location scouts are often enthralled by the scenic views provided by the city, the same being drawn to building architectures and historical streets.

Filming locations in Los Angeles are not limited to white-sandy beaches or spacious green parks. There are a lot of residences that can be used for filming, whether it’s for movies or for TV shows. Even simple downtown run-in diners or stores can also be used. The whole Los Angeles can be considered as one big studio filled with every area providing the best props and backgrounds the production need. A simple street is turned into an iconic filming location like Sunset Boulevard. Los Angeles is a gold mine for location scouts.

2. Filming locations in Los Angeles are fit for long hours of productions.

As the entertainment capital of the world, film shootings are a normal, everyday, thing. You would see numerous production teams set up in certain areas in the city. This is the reason why homeowners even consider residential filming location rentals as a good passive source of income.

Most of the areas in Los Angeles, including infrastructures, are designed to entertain longer hours (and days) of filming production. Those who offer their property for filming used even ensure their place to provide convenience in terms of equipment installation, parking, and amenities. Extra rooms are even open for the team to use as offices and sleeping areas.

3. The cast and crew don’t need to go very far.

Most people who are in the filming industry lives in Los Angeles. The city is packed with production companies, studios, and entertainment centers. For both cast and crew, filming out of town extra effort to book flights days before they would shoot scenes, and booking accommodations. They also need to secure and ready the location to shoot. While a well-planned action can lessen the possibility of problems arising, flights and hotel arrangements may provide inconvenience. Delayed flights and reservation mix-ups can occur. There’s also the weather to worry about.

Filming within the city can provide convenience from travelling and preparing items to bring. The team doesn’t need to face blizzards since Los Angeles enjoys fair weather most of the time. It is more time-convenient too.

Filming locations in Los Angeles is indeed ideal. Scouts can only worry selecting the best spots where the whole team can feel most convenient with. The city is truly the best place to shoot movies.