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How to make (more) money with macro work?

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Joined: 02 Aug 2016
Posts: 48
Location: Germany NRW

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:20 am    Post subject: How to make (more) money with macro work? Reply with quote

Ever got an email from someone who likes's to use your work for non-commercial things or commercial things and asks for a price? I know there are loads of sites, articles, and videos how much you can and should charge but none of this applies for macro in particular.

The amount of work you put into one high-mag image is at least a couple hours, much more than for regular none stacked images. You also need years of experience and expensive gear, software, hardware. How does that affect the price compared to what photographers from other areas charge?

I know some ppl think it's hard to make money at all with macro work, most are doing this as a hobby and don't charge anything if someone asks. For those who do, like me, I have a few questions.

I know what Nicky B once charged for an exhibition, so I used that as a hint for my first one. Now I'm working on my third one, charging up to 500€/image and no one complained or tried to negotiate that at all. So it may be good to know for further sellings:

How do others here price their work? Ranging from a snapshot to way more complicated 5x-10x-20x. What do you charge and how much can you charge for prints in books, magazines, museum exhibits, scientific publications, selling them as posters or T-Shirts. I found no information about that, so maybe someone from here can contribute something. 500px and stock are no options for me, too many rights, ridiculous payment.
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Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 307

PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no idea, but it is an interesting subject. One avenue to check is to see how much the commercial retailers charge. For example iStockphoto. I know the situations will be different (they work in bulk & their products are not their creations, far as I know. But they probably have far more overhead). But it would be good to know what they charge since they are the competition.
Mark Sturtevant
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What you can think about doing is creating packages- think of a 3-4 shot package of a 10x, 20x, and 50x for whatever dollars. This will help you guide the client. If they want to use the images to generate revenue you'll need to make adjustments and charge more based on use and you'll have to negotiate an unlimited license or copyright transfer. You could also charge by mag level (depending on the work involved in each)

I recommend signing up for PPA as they have a lot of resources if you want to get into the business and legal side- I signed up because they have sample contracts that you can use and edit. I have no interest in business, but I do like money and protecting my works!

There's so much to consider when pricing ya know- the other party and what they might be able to bring to you in the future (continued business, new clients, publishing, etc) as well as how tightened up your work is and how unique it is. I photograph a very niche thing right now and I'm the only one who uses objectives to do so- I ask for more than a general 1:1 macro photographer because the images created are far more striking and, as you said, more time consuming and required a lot of extra knowledge and time commitment.

This was always a hobby for me- but when I saw big names in my industry start inquiring about canvases that could be sold for a few hundred, it became FAR too hard to ignore and I just recently started doing all the back end work (website, contracts, etc).
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