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  1. #1
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Fund Raising with Photography

    I have been asked by a local pre-school if I would be interested in coming in to shoot portraits of kids in order to sell prints to the parents to raise funds for the school. I would charge the school for the prints, and they would add... well, whatever per print to raise some money. They know my work, and understand that I am a b/w shooter, and not one of those yearbook types.

    So far, the client work I have done has been children and family portraits. I charge a sitting fee, then scan the negs so they can choose photos online, and then charge for the darkroom prints, depending on size, etc. Pretty simple formula, and works well for small jobs where I don't need a lot of proof prints.

    I would like to come up with a proposal for them, but I'm trying to come up with an idea on what to charge for the "sitting". I'd probably shoot Xp2 or T400cn, and use a lab, so minimum, I'd charge for film and processing, and we can set a price for the proof prints. Then parents may buy the 4x6 prints from the lab. (Thinking out loud here... if we charge enough for the proofs, then we can maybe cover the film/processing cost) I think I would also offer the fiber based prints that I make for a bit more, if someone is interested in 8x10 or whatever. Again, the school would pay my fee for the print, and charge a bit more to the parents for the print.

    There are 185 kids at this school, and I need to get at least two to four frames of each over two days. Anyone else do this sort of thing, and how did you approach it?

  2. #2
    rbarker's Avatar
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    What are the demographics of the school? My thought being to come up with a package that would be of maximum interest to that demographic, give the school a good margin, and still be kinda profitable for you.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  3. #3
    blansky's Avatar
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    Another thing that should enter into your pricing is the fact that you now have your name in 185 homes that now know you and your work. In other words this is not just a donation of time and energy it is, or could be, a great self promotional opportunity. Since photography is such a personal persuit and people often use the photographers that they are comfortable with, you have 185 new clients.

    Therefore I would really think out the situation and have materials and pricing ready to promote future work with these new clients.

    If they are pre schoolers and what you shoot is children, then you have built in future clients for many years to come.

    So I guess my points is, develop a long term strategy with these people and don't concentrate too much on making money or even necessarily breaking even on this initial shoot.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  4. #4
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    The demographic is exactly the folks who have hired me for family/children's portraits. Middle to upper middle class outer suburb of Boston with lots of soccer moms.

    And, yes, Michael... I think this would be a great marketing opportunity. I would like to price it so I can break even on the materials... film and processing, and not really worry about my initial time. The nice thing for the families there, is the opportunity to order an 8x10 fiber print without a sitting fee is pretty attractive. Even if the school tacks on an extra $20.00 to my price, it's a pretty good deal.

    Thanks for your input.

  5. #5
    roteague's Avatar
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    Keep track of your time, and your costs. Consider it a charitable contribution.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  6. #6
    blansky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Revy
    The demographic is exactly the folks who have hired me for family/children's portraits. Middle to upper middle class outer suburb of Boston with lots of soccer moms.

    And, yes, Michael... I think this would be a great marketing opportunity. I would like to price it so I can break even on the materials... film and processing, and not really worry about my initial time. The nice thing for the families there, is the opportunity to order an 8x10 fiber print without a sitting fee is pretty attractive. Even if the school tacks on an extra $20.00 to my price, it's a pretty good deal.

    Thanks for your input.
    A couple of other points.

    Make sure that you have access to the names and addresses of the families involved. Don't allow the school to control the finished work, meaning don't just drop the finished work off to the school in the hope that a few families will call you at a later date. Arrange to send or mail the finished work directly to the homes, or at least, as I stated have the names and addresses at your disposal for future direct mailings or whatever. The school may try to shield the families by handling everything but stipulate that you are doing this at a loss and you want to be able to sell future work to the new clients.

    The other thing is try to arrange for a showing at the school, for the benefit of the school fundraising to create excitement, and as well to showcase your work. At that showcase make large prints, framed matted etc at least 16x20 as well as down to 11x14 so people can see that a "big print" is not an 8x10.

    This could be the time that the parents show up to see the work you did of their child. If this were just a case of mailing the pictures to the house, the benefits to you and to the school would be miniscule. Treat it like a gallery showing at the school with your small prints there as well as big stuff on display. Make it an event.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  7. #7
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Sounds like a perfect demographic for you, Suzanne, and an opportunity with options for lots of creativity (ala Junior in chem class, holding a test tube to the light), or a traditional formal approach.

    While I agree with Michael's suggestions regarding names and addresses, I might approach it a little differently with the school, saying that you need to control delivery because it is your professional reputation on the line.

    I also like his idea of making it an event. If you serve martinis, I'll try to come.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  8. #8
    blaze-on's Avatar
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    I would look at it as a two days at day rates, which should fall between $1600-$2400. Broke down (using $2k as an average) that's just under $11.00 per kid. Round it up to $20 per student to cover film and processing and you did ok and they got a $20 sitting fee with proofs. Bargain...Also have a price list available for your prints shold they want you to print.

    Seems like a good gig-everyone wins...
    Matt's Photo Site
    "I invent nothing, I rediscover". Auguste Rodin



 

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