What Are You Worth?


Photo by Amy Smith

If you’ve ever freelanced, you’ve certainly come up against the nebulous issue of what to charge. Granted, putting a price on your creative output is highly subjective and there’s no magic formula that will satisfy all. But you can use one of the many sites that will help you calculate your fee as a jumping off point.

•  The National Press Photographers Association has a good, basic resource that includes useful links and a “cost of doing business” calculator.

•  A Photo Editor does an occasional feature called “Real World Estimates” in categories like stock, ad campaigns, publicity. The writers, from photo agency Wonderful Machine, walk you through their shoots step by step, factoring in all the costs and fees.

•  Shakodo is a free online site where professionals and amateurs alike can virtually gather to discuss pricing and industry-related info. The site founders aimed to break down walls and make it all more democratic. In theory it’s a great idea, but it remains to be seen whether those afore-mentioned pros will really be giving up their hard-earned, and usually tightly held, knowledge.

•  Then there’s fotoQuote, which is not free — for $149.99 you’ll get a pricing guide on stock and assignment photography, and the most recent edition added video rates too. It is not cheap, but if you’re doing a fair bit of business (and even more than that, feel like you’re not getting paid adequately), it could be a good investment.

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