Pricing Your Pictures — Or Taking The “Free” Out Of Freelance

It takes a fair amount of skill and much practice to create the sort of images that make you proud. But that’s nothing compared to the skill and experience needed to get a fair price when bringing your photos to market. Actually, that’s where a lot of photographers -- even professionals -- run into trouble. The talent for taking a good picture and the ability to negotiate deals are two very different things. If they weren’t, the most expensive images in the world might well have been taken by lawyers, hmm? And the Association of Media Photographers wouldn’t feel a need to offer a long list of complicated programs that help professional photographers figure out how much to charge. For any photographer, those tables and programs can seem pretty complicated. But for the novice, especially one selling online, the picture can get even more complex.
  • Can you charge the same amount to a small website that you might charge a big corporation?
  • Should you charge more for an image used on the home page than for a picture used on an internal page?
  • Should blogs pay different rates than regular sites?
  • Is there flexibility in the pricing - and should there be?
And more importantly, how much would you accept just to get started and win the sense of satisfaction that comes with selling your work? That’s really the point. When you’re not earning a living from taking pictures, how you feel about a deal counts as much as the money itself. Sure, the amount you receive is important. But even a few bucks for a picture that brought you a world of pleasure to take can be worth a fortune in pride. That doesn’t mean you should be selling for pennies. But it does mean that a tag that doesn’t price you out of the market can bring you even more than the money in your hand, and that’s always something to consider when you’re setting your price. [tags] Pricing, Freelance Photography, Media Buy[/tags]
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