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How to make (more) money with macro work?

 
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mygale



Joined: 02 Aug 2016
Posts: 56
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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MarkSturtevant



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 366

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.
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concon



Joined: 01 Jun 2017
Posts: 87

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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dragonblade



Joined: 18 Oct 2014
Posts: 140

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MarkSturtevant wrote:
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.


IStockphoto are a micro stock agency. In other words - micro money. Contributing photographers get paid a pitiful amount of money for any sales they make through there. Sometimes as low as 0.4c and even 0.2c. Of course the stock agency's share is considerably larger.

By the way, I have a photograph which demonstrates some scientific principles (though it's not macro or micro) that I'll be submitting to an art exhibition soon. It's an 8 x 12 inch print which will be framed. I'll going to put a $150 price tag on it. I admit it's really hard to sell photos through art exhibitions. Most of the time, I make no sales through that kind of avenue but I did sell two in one exhibition and one in another. Actually, one of the photos that sold also won Second Prize in it's category, netting me some additional money.

A few years ago, I also entered a macro photography competition where I won Second Place. I got a voucher for that which was worth about $40 or so.
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MarkSturtevant



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 366

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To me, it would be a bit of a bother to absorb the overhead of printing images (all while weighing considerations like print size, paper and printing method), and to also fuss with shipping costs, which will differ with distance to the customer.
An option is to have a web site that is set up for customers to digitally download selected pictures, and to pay you through PayPal or something. I know there is Etsy, which has a large and diverse assortment of people who sell via digital download. Then there is SmugMug, which is dedicated to photography. I understand there are others.
But even with the digital download approach, there is the niggling problem of marketing. How to get the customers to find you?
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Beatsy



Joined: 05 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, can't help with pricing for macro as I only do it for fun, as you noted (I do weddings, events, portraits and product photography paid). But...

IMO. The price of prints or digital copies bears almost no relation to the time, effort or difficulty involved in creating the image in the first place (except commissioned work you can only sell once). Nor should it. The right price is what your specific market(s) will bear. You seem to be homing in on that already though.
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anoldsole



Joined: 27 Feb 2018
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charge as a function of time and overhead. Give yourself an hourly rate then add your expenses. The cost of your equipment, facilities, and all expenses incurred should all go into the price of your work.

Explain to potential clients how you arrive at your prices. If you don't value your time they won't value your work regardless of quality. It's really going to depend on the client, some people have budgets and won't blink at paying you full market rate, some people are just starting out and can't pay full rates yet but may still be worth pursuing for future work at full rates if they succeed.
At the very minimum never charge less than a microstock site. Not what they site would pay you, but what they would pay the website. That is the minimum they will be able to buy anything for. Don't underprice yourself!
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