Archive for November, 2015
Nov 27, 2015
posted in Business with 0 Comments

How much does photography cost, or what do you feel it should cost?  What do you mean by the simple word of photography?  Have you ever thought about what photography costs the photographer?  I know everyone, including myself, wants to get the best deal out there, but everyone also has to make a living and pay their bills too.

Let me first point out the two different working photographers out there.  One will be your full time working professional such as myself.  This is all I do and it’s how I make my living and support my family.  The other is the aspiring professional, who does photography on the side for a little extra money.

When it comes to the business of photography, there are costs that must be factored into the sale just as there is with every other business out there.  Just because a non-professional does not charge accordingly doesn’t mean those costs don’t exist.  Most people seem to be fixated on just wanting digital files on CD for $100 of less, but have no clue what it costs to create that CD of images.  This is where we next need to identify the different types of expenses.  One is Cost of doing Business, and the other is Cost of Sales.

The first is costs that a business has regardless of whether or not a client comes in.  These include things like equipment insurance, business insurance, training costs, membership dues, marketing and advertising, samples, equipment, maintenance, building costs (for those with a building) such as rent and utilities, software and computer expenses, and so on and so on and so on.  These expenses are always in the thousands every year, just to have a business.  Then you have the expenses that only happen when a sale is made, such as printing/lab costs, packaging, labor, etc.  Don’t forget that a full time professional also has all of the same cost of living expenses that everyone else does such as mortgage or rent, groceries, bills, vehicles, 50 kinds of insurance, and so on.  Our business has to be profitable enough to cover these things as well as all of the business related expenses.

The one common factor between these two is time.  People often forget that time is money and it takes time to do what we do.  The amount of time varies, but consider how much time is spent between all the pre-session communication, equipment prep, the session itself plus drive time, downloading and processing time, prep time for the viewing and sales apt, the sales apt itself, and order processing including file prepping.  All of these can easily add up to one or two days worth of time alone.  How much would you like to make in your job for each day of work?

In the end, the cost of photography should consider the photographers’ time, as well as cost of business and cost of sales expenses.  People foolishly think digital is free, when in fact it is more expensive than our analog days.  Cameras, lenses, batteries, flashes, etc. all cost way more than ever and last a small fraction of the time the other equipment lasted, and cost more to maintain and repair.  Not to mention storage boxes or safes full of negatives was far cheaper than the digital storage and computer hardware and software necessary nowadays.  So for a photographer, you can safely assume that it costs at least $200 or more just to walk out the door.  Think about that the next time you ask for just a disc of images.  Not to mention the thought of why would you go to a professional photographer looking for files that you want to print nonprofessionally?  Photography is an art, and so it really can be an insult (unintended of course) when someone asks you to put your time and energy into creating something special for them, and then they just want you to hand everything over to them for next to nothing so you can go and make cheap junky prints that will poorly represent the photographer and the work they created for you.  Everyone wants to save money, but as you can now see, photography is not as cheap as is commonly believed.

taking a picture of a car

 

 

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Post by  at Brandon Malone Photography

www.brandonmalonephotography.com

Nov 18, 2015
posted in Portraits with 0 Comments

ladies dancing in studio party

As some of you know, we recently did our first themed portrait party in our new studio here in Sparta TN.  For those that don’t know what it is, a themed portrait party is when a group of ladies comes together at the studio, they dress to the same theme, and then all get individual images taken as well as a group photo.  Styling is also done in our studio so that we can capture images of that as well, plus it adds to the experience if all ladies are getting ready together.  We also provide wine glasses, water and soda, and a veggie tray.  In the future we’re looking to add gift bags of goodies and some games to play.

Our group of ladies did a Black & Bling theme, which means dressing in all black and wearing lots of jewelry.  It was tons of fun and this was the perfect group of ladies for it.  Oh yeah, and because it was the night before our big Halloween event, our group of ladies did a Halloween costume theme as well, which was also tons of fun too.

There are tons of theme options that a group can choose, plus this can be for all ages.  I have someone else wanting to do a princess themed party for her little toddler daughter and her friends.  We did do another one in Maryland a couple of years ago, but we had to rent a space back then, so it is possible to do one without a studio.  I like having my own space to do this with though.  If you’re interested in hosting a themed portrait party, we can go over more theme options and ideas and get you in the studio schedule.  They’re tons of fun and good for all kinds of occasions such as birthdays, graduations, divorces, celebrations, or just wanting a good time with friends.  One of my favorite things that I’ve discovered about doing this is that they reveal how beautifully women really do photograph despite their lack of confidence, and so provide a heightened sense of self-esteem.  Photography can be great therapy sometimes.

 

ladies styling each other

ladies styling each other

 

group photo of ladies in studio

group photo of ladies in studio

ladies doing a toast

group photo of ladies in studio

group photo of ladies in halloween costumes

female fashion jewelry portrait

female fashion portrait

female fashion portrait

female fashion headshot

female fashion portrait

female fashion headshot

female fashion portrait

female fashion headshot

 

 

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Post by  at Brandon Malone Photography

www.brandonmalonephotography.com

Nov 05, 2015
posted in Business with 0 Comments

So this is a bit late, but I’ve been swamped lately and am just now finally getting a chance to get this post out.  We wrapped up our Free Halloween Facebook Photo Day at the studio this past Saturday, and had a fairly successful day considering it was our first time trying something like this.  We had more than a dozen groups of people come thru and had lots of donations received for the Friends of White County Animals in TN.  Here’s what we had for donations:

  • $29
  • 48 pounds of dry cat food
  • 20 pounds of cat liter
  • 2 pounds of dog food
  • 18 cans of cat food

One thing I have to admit is that it was probably three days from Halloween before I finally knew more exactly as to what I was going to do for a set up for the pictures.  I kept having ideas, but nothing that I really liked.  It’s a challenge to come up with something that works for just about anything.  But I really liked what we came up with.  The only real problem I had was the not-so-great smoke machine.  I think I need to just find dry ice next time, or get a better smoke machine.  Oh yeah, that and the sudden problem of not being able to play movies in the studio.  Everything worked the day before, and then suddenly the Windows 10 DVD player decided it was going to play movies at 2X speed as soon as I connected the HDMI cable to the laptop.  Go figure.  That’s why I like Macs.

We also had the company all day of the ladies from Friends of White County Animals.  They swapped out throughout the day, so we enjoyed visiting with them in between visitors.  It was nice having them there so that they could personally thank the people bringing the donations.  Plus we got to hear some of the stories of other people’s rescues that they have.

So now for the big question that I’ve been asked:  Will I do this again, and am I doing anything for Christmas?  Well, we hope to make the Halloween event an annual one.  As for Christmas, I’m not sure yet but we will be looking into it over the next couple of weeks.  As soon as I know I’ll let everyone else know.  In the meantime, thanks again to those that came and supported the event and Friends of White County Animals.

 

fun halloween costumes

halloween costume pictures

halloween picture party

studio halloween picture

kids in halloween costumes

 

 

If you found this post helpfully in anyway, please let me.  Please Like and Share this post so others can enjoy it too.  Thanks for reading.

Post by  at Brandon Malone Photography

www.brandonmalonephotography.com