I’ve been meaning to implement some posting changes regarding my photo galleries for some time now. I’ve been shooting bands (as well as other events) for three years now, and so there are some galleries currently viewable that are pretty old, and I’ve always liked keeping them posted and for public viewing. However, as I continue to steer my photography into more of a business-oriented endeavor, it’s becoming apparent that I need to treat the availability of my work as a commodity. I do get paid often to shoot, but at the same time I also shoot a lot without getting paid, but for fun. The challenge now is to find a balance that’s fair to both me as a photographer and the clients who pay me.
It’s a hard choice because I love leaving all the photos up for everyone to see indefinitely. And I also know not everybody can afford to pay, not to mention I’m a little too easy and enjoy it when I see people use my work as their facebook or myspace profile pics. So I’m trying to figure out what to do about it. I don’t want to just not shoot if somebody can’t pay me, especially if it looks like it’s going to be fun. But at some point I have to be compensated.
So what I’m going to be doing is figuring out some kind of new pricing structure that will enable people to perhaps pay a cheaper price for web-res only pics and a higher price for the hi-res printable pics. And maybe introduce a shooting fee that’s lower than what I’ve been asking. ie, show up and shoot for $50 or $70…but then the client will have to pay for either web-res files for like another $75 or hi-res files for $125 or something. (None of these are set in stone; just examples.) But ultimately I prefer just one set fee that’s all-inclusive; easier that way, if higher overall.
What it all boils down to is that, for all the galleries I’ve shot that I did not get paid for, I will probably be removing from public view in the very near future. Recent ones within 30 days will stay up until it’s been 30 days since posting, then they will be removed. Well, not really removed; just password protected, and somebody wanting to view them again I can give the password to and let them view it for a week to decide if they want to order before I change the password.
This is tough thing to figure out and it’s completely a business decision. So I’m hoping that nobody takes it personally or is offended. I mean, I provide a service, and I’m pretty good at what I do, and I think that should be worth something.