How do some of you come up with your sales price for a particular size print? Lets go with an 8x10 for example.
When I've figured a price for a digital print in the past I've calculated the cost of the editing time per hour, hard materials cost for the print (i.e. albums, prints, gallery wraps), packaging, shipping, and any extras included, and then I've used that total in my pricing formula.
But the hard cost isn't always going to be the same with an analog print. One print may have taken 4 rolls of film to capture, while another may have taken 7 rolls to capture. One print could take 12 test prints, while another could take 25. So this hard cost can change from print to print, which would affect the ending sales price.
I've taken down my business web site, and from here on out will only have a web presence to display my work, but I would like to have prices and sales information at least written down somewhere for those times that I do attract the occasional client. I'm trying to get back to the hobby of photography, instead of the job, which is why I'm taking down my business site.
I just come up with a standard number for a given size. There's also a world of difference between the why of pricing for a print sold to a portrait client and an editioned print. With "commissioned" prints, there will always be some that you'll lose money (or at least break even on) because they're hard to print. But that's why you do your proofing at small sizes and take good notes :). I'd say figure out what the "average" print you make costs you in terms of time and materials: put a value on your time (an hourly rate), multiply your hourly rate by the time it takes to make a print (and by that I mean account for every second from when you pull the negative out of the sleeve to when you put the print in the final wash), add up your materials cost, double that, and add it to the hourly price. Don't forget to include your chemistry, electricity and water costs in he material cost.
How did you come up with that number? Whats your hard cost on that price?
Did you get that 16x20 on your first try, or did you have to use 5 sheets as test prints? If it was a client session, do you figure in the price of the single frame of film, or the entire roll, or the entire brick of rolls?
Do yourself a favor if you're going to be printing for someone else's end consumption - get an analyzing timer or at least an enlarging meter. It will cut down significantly on waste.
Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
That's how I normally do it, except its backwards. I take my hard cost from the lab, multiply by three, and add an hourly rate. That generally gives me about a 35% profit which is what PPA suggests a brick and mortar studio should be making. Of course now that I don't have a studio, that percentage should be a little higher.
Pricing only has a little to do with the material costs and if you're selling prints then these wouldn't normally be the first final print off the negative. If you're having to make a dozen or more test prints then there's something wrong with your negatives, and you should be getting a higher success rate than 1 good image every 4-7 rolls of film.
Price is about what you feel the market will stand for your images, you might also take onto account what others (similar to yourself) are selling images for.
It's rare that it takes me more than 3 sheets of paper to achieve an exhibition print, but I can read negatives which comes from experience so I know where to dodge & burn before I start and I can usually judge the contrast needed as well.
The secret is getting good negatives by good control over exposure and development, it's not difficult but a little effort to nail your personal EI's and Dev timses for one film under various conditions means you can concentrate on the photography knowing once capture you can get excellent prints.
a lot of people use $1 / square inch as their method ..
it depends on your market, and how much you want to make in profit.
charging 3x cost is also a way to do it ... ( cost + over head + profit = price )