How long can a photography studio stay in business if it isn’t making any money?
I came across a photography site today in which the photographer had listed prices. I won’t use names – but I guarantee you can find prices like this on many, many different sites.
Event fee $300, includes photographer and assistant for 3 hours of time, plus a DVD with images. Additional hours available as needed.
So let’s do a few calculations.
Let’s assume an hour each before and after the event getting organized – down to $60 an hour
Let’s assume 3 hours of meeting time to book the client and to deliver the DVD and final products – down to $37.50 per hour
Let’s assume 2 hours of production time, transferring raw images to computer, editing and burning DVD – down to $30 per hour
Normal business expenses:
- Gas at $4 per gallon – depends on the distance of the event
- Camera equipment costs
- Costs of brochures, business cards, paper, envelopes, advertising – everything to bring in the clients
- Office supplies
- Phone expenses
Okay, with all of those expenses to add up, I’ll be conservative and say it costs about $30 per hour – which means we’re now down to $0
Oh, and did I mention that there are two people at the event – which means you have to pay that second person per hour – I guess we’re now into the negative.
And does this person really have a chance of making a huge additional sale? They are giving away the DVD, so I think chances are pretty low.
Becoming a professional photographer means you have to make money. You have to give yourself a profit, and pay yourself for your expertise.
If you don’t, you’ll be hanging that Out Of Business sign very soon.
What can you do? Charge what you’re worth, and charge to run a profitable business. One of the reasons our studio became a Six Figure success in under two years is because we charged what we were worth for our services. We made sure our expenses were completely covered – including our own salaries – and made a healthy profit on top of it all.