Pricing Your Assignment Work

Posted on 5/27/2013 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

PhotoShelter, in conjunction with Bill Cramer, founder and CEO of Wonderful Machine, has released a new free guide on Pricing Corporate and Industrial Photography.

The guide provides useful price ranges for a variety of shoot types including: Corporate Lifestyle, Environmental Portraiture, Corporate Reportage, Headshots, Event Photography and Library Shoots where the photographer is asked to create a wide variety of images for use for many different purposes across different divisions of a big company. To see sample estimates for a variety of shoots go to the Wonderful Machine blog.

Cramer points out, “There are four main factors that influence the value of assignment photography: time, usage, expertise and competition: a photographer’s time (including pre-production, shoot time and post-production time) sets the minimum value of an assignment (the value to the photographer). Where along that continuum you should position yourself is a function of your expertise (which if very good, will apply upward pressure to your price) vs. competition (which if equally good, will apply downward pressure).”

There is also information about pricing motion shoots.

While the prices quoted are a good starting point for negotiations the competition element is playing an increasingly important role in the customer final decision of who to use. For most jobs it has become easier and easier for the customer to find a number of photographers with the skills necessary to successfully complete the project. In such cases the choice often comes down to price and the personality of the photographer.

Another useful tool for comparative purposes is the Photographer Day Rate Survey conducted by Eposure in the United Kingdom. The survey of both U.S. and UK photographers gives overall average day rate information, but does not specify the type of projects worked on for these prices.

Copyright © 2013 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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