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Dale Wilson Antique Pictureology business cost dale wilson photography

Every few months the question is raised on social media forums about pricing of a photograph. Note the media type is not compartmentalized as digital photo, tintype, or wall art. From a business perspective one constant remains: photography is photography and the media has little relevance when calculating the cost of doing business.

The other constant is that the vast, vast majority of photographers making collodion based images are hobbyists that are soon smacked with the realization that their hobby can quickly evaporate a lot of dollars. What better way to offset those costs than to sell a service, hence the question put out to the GLOBAL community: How much should I charge?

Unfortunately, one can be quite assured the photographer asking the question has very little, if any, concept of managing a business. If one were to do the hard work in advance of asking the question of pricing, they would soon arrive at the reality that managing the business is far, far more difficult and complex than “selling” pictures.

Fortunately there are many “Cost of Business” calculators online. The best I have seen is from National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) and can be found here . 

At each window in the calculator is a small “i” icon. It very accurately defines the methodology behind estimating the value to be entered into that window. At the end of the calculator the results are presented as a cost of doing business by year, week and day. From this point it is a simple matter of dividing the number of plates one estimates making per day into the cost per day; that becomes the “real” cost per plate.

Allow reality to settle in.  At least now one can make informed decisions based on money, not emotion. 

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