Week 8 – reflection

During this week’s course work we have looked at the selling of photography. Who buys it and why. And how to price your work competitively.

In the past few years, working with ShutterPod, I have predominantly worked on delivering workshops to either individuals, groups or through commissioned events for health-related organisations.

For this work, I have always worked out an hourly rate, taking into account material and time costs and adding on travel costs.

With my written PR work, I charge a base rate per word, with a minimum rate (even if the final article word count is less) and taking into account my contacts.

I started my MA as I wanted to take the time to return to a practice of my own – to start to create personal work again. My current work, overall, is probably more disposed to an art/gallery market than editorial/commercial ones. My main target market will be those looking to promote environmental art, alternative photography images, possibly book publishers, and of course people wanting to simply own an image that they enjoy.

Pricing for this market is pretty new to me and I hope to learn more in the coming weeks about how best to put a price on something that is quite elusive to price. I have been investigating the works of others who have a similar ethos behind their work such as Gina Glover, so I feel I will have a starting point.

I am also creating a number of bespoke clothing and fabric samples from my images as another means of selling my work – I will share this in a future blog.

One of the tasks this week has been to respond to a brief as follows:

A small communications agency contacts you and would like you to give them an estimate. They are re-branding Broadgate, an area in London, and need 25 images to use for printed materials, social media, web, tube ads and potentially billboards. The license term is five years. They think you can do the shoot in two days.

Remember to think about which market we are dealing with here, and what that means in terms of your daily rate. Also remember to think about the following:

  • Do you need to hire lighting equipment? Or a location? Or a studio?
  • Do you need to bring an assistant?
  • Are you able to do all the post production, or do you need a retoucher to do it? Either way, how much will that cost?
  • Do you need to charge for production? If yes, how much will that be?
  • Are there travel costs?

Prepare an estimate, upload it and discuss the results with your peers and tutors. Ask each other questions and offer feedback generously.

A number of my peers have already provided their estimates in the online forum, with costs ranging from £4,500 to ore than £14,000.

Having now seen these estimates, I feel as though I won’t be making an uninformed attempt at the task. However, I feel my own would have probably come in at around what seems to be an average of about £7k.

For example.

Josie Purcell Photography

My address info.

Date: XXXX

Estimate for: Small Communications Agency

Requirements: 25 images to use for printed materials, social media, web, tube ads and potentially billboards in re-brand of Broadgate Estate, London. To include interior/exterior images.

License term: Five years.

Timescale: Two days – suggested up to four days


Photographer’s day rate: £800 per day – £1,600 to £3,200

Recce rate: Two-hour Skype/in-person discussion before shoot to confirm final info: £160

Travel: Cornwall to London return:  £186 TBC on confirmed dates of shoot

Subsistence: Food/tube – £50 per day – £100 to £200

Airport parking at Newquay: £45 max. for four days.

Supply of low res images: £160 – £320

Post production: £800 per day – two days – £1,600

Equipment and lighting: Weekly hire: £152

Usage fee as above: Five years @ £750 per year – £3,750

Estimate total: £7,653 to £9,613

Other info:

Accommodation is not required.

Please note the following costs may change on completion of commission.

An assistant may be required following initial production discussion. This will be charged at £200 per day if needed.

Any permits will be arranged by Small Communications Agency

Full expenses are required ahead of production.

A full shooting day is 8 hours (to include set up/take down and short breaks)

VAT is not included.

It has been an interesting task to consider, although I am not intending to take on projects such as this. Learning more about how to price your work is incredibly useful, regardless of the genre/context and something I want to become more adept at.

I do find it hard to price my more art-based work – it sometimes feels as though I should said to a person who wants to buy my work what they want to pay, to see how they value it. And if its not suitable then no sale. Not being an ‘established/known photographic artist’, I do find it difficult to put a value on my work.

But for my website sales, I need to do this, and I need to have confidence when selling my work to collectors or individuals. Having mostly sold on a small scale, often via word of mouth or at art fairs, my costs have probably not to date truly reflected the value of the work. This is definitely something to work on.



Gina Glover. Available at: http://www.ginaglover.com/shop-prints/ [accessed November 21, 2017]

London Freelance. Available at: http://www.londonfreelance.org/feesguide/index.php?&section=Photography&subsect=Corporate+work&subsubs=All [accessed November 21, 2017]

Wex Photographic. Available at: https://rental.wexphotovideo.com/bowens [accessed November 21, 2017]

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