What is a photograph worth?

One of the first challenges a photographer can have when setting up their photographic business is understanding how to value their work. Of course, the answer could be calculated in one of many ways. There is the initial outlay, cameras, equipment, business rates and rental that will need to be factored in. But how do you call your own talent? 

Well, you may have some industry guidance as to what you are worth, if you are employed on contract at a set rate by an external company say a newspaper or marketing team. There may be an industry standard rate lets say for Wedding Photographers depending on their package on the day. We have all witnessed the vast disparity in this rule. The quality will vary greatly. We have the photographer who takes pictures as a hobby and hands over the SD card at the end of the wedding day to the top of range job, with second shooters, with lavish post edited albums imprinted with embossed lettering. Like so many industries, you pay for what you get. Photography is no different, and this is a good thing. There is no point harping on about your nearest competitor who seems to pick up all the work and bang all the client's photos on a CD. Why should get more work than me? You might ask. It's the same as asking why is there an Aldi and a Waitrose supermarket in the same town. There are enough shops to cover all budgets.

The real answer to all of this though is more hypothetical. Recently I had a client come to me to ask for fashion photographs. They are a high end, hair and beauty salon who were entering some prestigious national competitions to showcase their talent. The brief was to shoot the building 'of the look' and then to create a final fashion photoshoot out of which the final images could be used for the competitions and promotion. The images were sent off, and it wasn't long before their talent was being recognised through the images. 

Jess Sayer, apprentice trainee, won a scholarship with Vidal Sassoon, London Mayfair. Also, Aimee Jones won the National Federation of Hairdressers 'Britains Best" competition, now putting the salon up to the being literally rated the best salon in the country. So ask again how much a is photograph worth? When working with superb creatives like the now famous Hair by Jones, Monmouth who understand how important photography is. It is indeed priceless. Photography can move people's lives and prove that the best really is the best. 

Written by Emma Drabble 

 

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