As in any business, knowing exactly what to charge for your product is one key to being successful. A photography business is no different. In your business you must price your digital prints at a point that is competitive with comparable providers, and still provide enough of a profit for your business to continue to operate and grow.
Determine your printing costs. Whether you will print digital prints in your own studio or outsource them to a commercial lab, you need to have a hard number on your costs. If you're printing in-house, consider your material costs in paper and ink, plus the depreciation on your printer, the electricity and other utilities you are using for the printer and your business as a whole. You should also factor in costs associated with trial or test prints. If you decide to outsource your printing, try to negotiate a discounted price in your contract for guaranteeing you'll send steady work to the lab.
Determine a value for your time and for the job. Knowing what you want to earn on an hourly basis is a good start. You also need to determine a time for the task that can be applied each time you print the same type of print. For example, if you decide you want to earn $60 per hour for your time, and it takes five minutes of your time to print the image, than the charge for your time would be $5.
Research your competition. A good way to know what price your marketplace will bear is to see what your competition is charging for similar services. Be sure to research providers who offer the same type of product, both in terms of quality and expertise.
Determine your objective profit margin. Once you have determined your hard costs and researched your competition, add the profit you want to make per print to your costs.
Compare your pricing to your competition. If you are priced below them, you may be able to increase your potential profit. If you are priced too high, then determine if your printing and expertise warrants the higher prices. If not, you will need to adjust your potential profit or look at ways to reduce your costs.
- Price red image by Silke Wolff from Fotolia.com