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Photography Services Per Minute
Why might you want to start pricing your photography by the minute?
It’s common for photographers, as well as clients, to think a photographers billable time is when they create or work on images. However, there’s a lot more time and expense around the creation of a photo that you need to recognize if you want a profitable photography business.
It’s common for photographers to say, oh no problem, this task will only take a couple of minutes — I’ll just take care of it for you. You want a happy customer and you are grateful for their business, why not do it for them, no charge!
However, we are not thinking about the value of all those couple of minute tasks. A few minutes could actually be $10 worth of lost time, productivity and cash out of your pocket.
When this happens too often it is referred to as scope creep. The scope of the project gradually increases without additional compensation. For example, you may have a set price for a small photography project, yet the client keeps coming back asking for a little more, and a little more and a little more. The next thing you know, the small project is now a big project.
Unfortunately, you’re not charging any more than your original quote. This is why it’s important for you as a photographer to understand the value of your time by the minute. It’s a tool to help you recognize the extra value of all of the services and activities that you provide for your clients.
Breaking It Down
I want to break down how we figure out our per-minute fee. If you have already figured out your costs of doing business, then you probably have already established what we refer to as a day rate.
I prefer day rates to be an internal business number. Yet, understanding your day rate is helpful to establish your photography fees. Using your day rate you can determine your hourly rate. So, let’s say your day rate is $1500. If you divide that number by 10, you have your hourly rate of $150.
Why 10? because 10 hours is the standard day for photographers. Eight hours of photography, one hour of setup and one hour of breakdown. To find your per minute rate, we divide the hourly rate by 60. If your hourly rate is $150, then your per minute rate is $2.50.
You may think that’s not very much money, but when you start to add up all of the minutes of the tasks that you’re doing for clients and not charging for them, it turns into real money quickly.
You don’t necessarily have to charge your clients for every task. However, I recommend you figure out how many of those tasks tend to be standard for each one of your assignments or packages. Next, add in or account for the cost of your time in your photo fees, services or packages.
When you notice that you are taking an hour or two hours within a day to complete little tasks which are actually eating away your valuable time. Maybe you can use this information to figure out the right time to hire new staff.
How many minutes do you spend each day, week or month on administrative tasks, such as paperwork? It just might be more profitable for you to hire support staff to do those tasks, while you’re doing the more profitable work.
I dive into more good reasons to use per minute pricing in the video. However, the bottom line is when you break down your time and the costs associated with small client tasks, it’s empowering.
When you understand the value of each minute of your workday, it gives you the knowledge you need to make important decisions and run a more profitable photography business.