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A photo is an experience, not an object. A snapshot is a commodity. Anyone with a phone these days can take a selfie and call it a “photo.” In order to differentiate from the crowds, we photographers must become visual storytellers. We must make the photo an experience. If you are trying to make a […]

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    If you want to get a book, calendar or similar project published, you’ll need to write a query letter. Rather than tell you how to write one, I thought I’d include a sample letter I wrote. You could use this format to pitch everything from magazine articles to long-term book projects. Use it […]

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Seven Steps to Selling or Publishing Your Photography in a Down Market In a down economy, opportunity still lives. In fact, it can flourish. As Seth Godin says, when times are tough, all you have to do is show up to have a chance. Many have already given up clearing the path for you and […]

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Copyright Scott Bourne 1996 - All Rights Reserved

Copyright Scott Bourne 1996 - All Rights Reserved

How to make the most out of selling your photography

When photographers turn pro, an important issue is how to price their products and services. Unfortunately, photographers are at the low end of the pay scale because they usually don’t apply standard marketing and business strategy when pricing their work.

The goal of this article is to give you advice that will let you earn what you are worth and at the same time, elevate the price positioning of the entire industry.

Should I sell the image that accompanies this post based on the number of square inches it occupies?

To answer that question we need to start at the beginning – What are we selling?

Are we selling square inches of paper? For some reason, the first thing that enters a photographer’s mind when pricing is print size. This has cost more photographers money than you can imagine. The most important thing to know here is to build value in your product. You do that by considering ALL the factors that go into making a salable image.

So what are we selling? How about that creative eye? Anyone can buy a camera but can they see through it the way you do? Are the hours you spent training for this moment worth something? Your mechanic, doctor and lawyer all get paid for their time, shouldn’t you? Then there is your present technical ability. The casual amateur may not be able to get the most out of the same equipment as the everyday pro. And speaking of equipment, you need to consider the value of all those gadgets you have laying around the studio. When you price, charge for your logistical skills, intelligence, time and your ability to translate your client’s desires into a visual statement.

You should consider standard usage and copyright in the price as well as basic business economics. And here is one of the first places that photographers stumble. They aren’t honest with themselves about the cost of doing business.

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I’ve been working on the Revised, 2nd Edition of my book, “88 Secrets to Selling & Publishing Your Photography,” and I realized I wrote that book in better times. The economy was going full steam back then, and there was plenty of work to go around. But not now. Newspapers and magazines are closing left […]

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According to the CAMERA & IMAGING PRODUCTS ASSOCIATION (CIPA) the total shipments of digital cameras in 2008 exceeded 2007 results by 19.3%. SLR camera sales increased 29.7% and compact camera sales rose 18.5 year-over-year. 2009 predictions are not so rosy. All camera sales are expected to fall in 2009 rather than increase. The prediction is […]

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