Quietly working away a couple of nights ago and I spotted this chap making a beeline(!) for my foot…
Some of you peeps in the interwebs may have seen the post that I scratched together earlier in the year titled “How does a photographer calculate their fees?“.
In there I skimmed through the basics of how a business can create a simple spreadsheet showing how to work out how much they need to earn to keep their company alive, so they can continue to provide a valuable service to their clients.
Forgetting the required creativity, skill, technique and equipment that is required for any profession that you choose to follow – this is what happens in the background long before (and after) someone picks up the phone with an enquiry.
Photography is the example here, but the core knowledge transfers to virtually every business.
Providing (or hiring) Photography as a service requires a minimum fee which is calculated the same way as any other business.
Divide that by 230 and you have your average daily minimum requirement.
Why 230? … 5 days x 52 weeks, minus 20 days vacation and 10 bank holidays = 230
This is also assuming you have daily paid work, print sales or licensed image income
Social photographers often work for 2 days in order to generate 1 complete day’s portrait work and Wedding photographers will work for 1-2 weeks on each wedding, but spread over a 6 month period.
We also have to take into account that photography is often seasonal. Busy summers and quiet winter months. Plus there are many days when business owners have to work on accounts, marketing, meetings, networking, testing, blogging and so on …
None of which is time generating a direct income.
So….. below you’ll see I made a simple table showing estimated costs from a hobby photographer up to a studio +1 assistant where the photographer wants to earn the UK National Average salary of £24,000.
The numbers look a bit whacky, but thanks to the lovely tax man they do add up.
I even kept it conservative by choosing the lowest marketing budget where it should really be the biggest spend (existing business owners will know of the many tax benefits, but I’ve kept it simple)
So there you have it.
Try it with your own expenses and numbers and you’ll find your own minimum day rate
I should point out that I’m not taking anything away from highly skilled hobby photographers, but if someone is hiring you for work then you should at least get insurance to protect yourself, your equipment and also your client … and also put a proper value on your skill.
… and pay tax