Fed up...

Messages
14,591
Name
Nightmare
Edit My Images
No
#1
I've been doing real estate for a while in addition to fine art and as I am redoing the website I just feel like I can't be bothered with that BS any more!

I am apparently not great at running business and advertising so ended up with the wrong bracket of clients and cheapskate globalist agency. I basically have the sorts that want too much from the job, way too much and it's for too little. And the sods can't be even bothered to be organised. One of them didn't bother to answer phone this morning and clarify address. He is free to use his iphone now if he wants so. The charitable work is over. Finished. Unless they pay 3X more I'm done with all of them. Maybe 5X. If they sell a £5mln home they could easily pay £1k or more for a good job - no need to pretend being broke.

I think I'd love to do travel photography and training full time. I need ideas how to commercialise it enough to make it a viable main income.

Portraits should work too but really I'm into travel and fine art landscape.
 
Messages
22,053
Name
Alan
Edit My Images
No
#2
While working in my last 9-5 I became very dissatisfied not only with petty management culture but also with staff who frankly weren't interested and more than that in some cases actively worked against the organisation that was trying to carry on existing and being able to put money in their bank accounts.

A chat with someone one day had a real effect on me. What they said was that all you need is enough money to last you the rest of your life. I hadn't been looking at it like that before but it was a pivotal moment for me and after that chat my 9-5 days were numbered and indeed I left at the age of 49.

So, my advice to you is to think about what you really want and how to sustain it. If those things can be clarified in your mind the next decision is how to achieve what you want and how to make it sustainable until the next step.
 
Messages
8,536
Name
wayne clarke
Edit My Images
Yes
#5
Sadly what your finding is fairly common with commercial customers. Many have no idea what they actually want and have palpitations at the thought of paying more than 4p for photographs that make them thousands or even millions.
 
OP
OP
LongLensPhotography
Messages
14,591
Name
Nightmare
Edit My Images
No
#6
Sadly what your finding is fairly common with commercial customers. Many have no idea what they actually want and have palpitations at the thought of paying more than 4p for photographs that make them thousands or even millions.
So true. This one made me do so much redundant work and I had to put up with all sorts of things in the house and then they pretended not to be happy in the end (expected to pay even less).
I wonder how much would price this job https://www.photoneta.com/261119-2/ and would you basically give them far fewer images?
 
Messages
271
Edit My Images
No
#8
You need to focus on the business skills, if you cannot then forget it, I can see your train of thought regarding what you should be getting paid and its a toxic one, thinking that someone should pay more because they can afford it is very wrong. If you spend a day in a 5 million pound house and produce 10 images, should you get more than a 1 million house for the same time and images of course not. Concentrate on your business and what value you bring to the table, that increases your worth and subsequent rate.

Your contracts need to be watertight and in your favour, they guy this morning not confirming the address would be getting an invoice based on the contract.

As for commercialising the other stuff, if you cannot get your business head sorted then sorry your fooked !
 
Messages
4,776
Name
matt
Edit My Images
Yes
#9
So true. This one made me do so much redundant work and I had to put up with all sorts of things in the house and then they pretended not to be happy in the end (expected to pay even less).
I wonder how much would price this job https://www.photoneta.com/261119-2/ and would you basically give them far fewer images?
With respect and you're not going to like this, a couple of years ago I worked at an Estate Agency (not as a photographer) and tbh our in-house guy produced images every bit as good as the example you have linked to above. Estate Agencies exist for one purpose only, to make the Boss as much money as possible by a) charging Clients as much as they can and b) paying out as little as they can to any "overhead".
As I said you wont like this but that's my view of the harsh reality of Estate Agents, so I guess there's very little money to be made, even at the higher end.
 
OP
OP
LongLensPhotography
Messages
14,591
Name
Nightmare
Edit My Images
No
#10
Your contracts need to be watertight and in your favour, they guy this morning not confirming the address would be getting an invoice based on the contract.
Now the excuses roll in - their phone was blocking my number. This sort of crap makes me get more and more paranoid with them sometimes unnecessarily so.
 
OP
OP
LongLensPhotography
Messages
14,591
Name
Nightmare
Edit My Images
No
#11
If you spend a day in a 5 million pound house and produce 10 images, should you get more than a 1 million house for the same time and images of course not.
In a way 5mln house job is nothing like 4 white wall rooms, even if the number of images may be similar. There are lots more details that they want shown individually, light needs to be tailored to the place, reflections dealt with, dealing with their own lights etc. It's typically at least double work and this one was quadruple as they asked for duplicate sets with daylight and nighttime.

It's maybe like doing passport photos for a whole family vs beauty shoot. Number of images could be the same but the rest is not.

Charging per H instead of number of spaces maybe the way to go, but really travel is what I actually enjoy doing.
 
Last edited:
Messages
271
Edit My Images
No
#12
In a way 5mln house job is nothing like 4 white wall rooms, even if the number of images may be similar. There are lots more details that they want shown individually, light needs to be tailored to the place, reflections dealt with, dealing with their own lights etc. It's typically at least double work and this one was quadruple as they asked for duplicate sets with daylight and nighttime.

It's maybe like doing passport photos for a whole family vs beauty shoot. Number of images could be the same but the rest is not.

Charging per H instead of number of spaces maybe the way to go, but really travel is what I actually enjoy doing.
I enjoy eating cheese pies, there is no way i am being paid for it.
 
Messages
4,856
Name
Dave
Edit My Images
Yes
#13
I wonder how much would price this job https://www.photoneta.com/261119-2/ and would you basically give them far fewer images?
There's probably a few too many images there, and how to charge - errr - no idea

However, the last commercial work I did was shoot a 60th birthday party for £400 and, and a bathroom for £260 - so if the work here wasn't at least £200 you've been robbed

Property work of high end houses for sale is something I'm interested in after my move nearer the Lakes :)

Dave
 
Messages
2,931
Name
Mark
Edit My Images
Yes
#14
Estate agency work is all about massively overcooked HDR images. That’s all they want overcooked HDR’s.
 
Messages
6,272
Name
Steve
Edit My Images
Yes
#15
Estate agency work is all about massively overcooked HDR images. That’s all they want overcooked HDR’s.

Wife has worked for estate agents for the last 12 years (she was a PA to a managing partner at her last place, but just doing admin now we've moved to the sticks) and I have never seen an "HDR" image, let alone one that's been "overcooked". They do take 3 or 4 exposures to get the DR better, but it's not really HDR. Camera on a tripod and a bit of bounce flash maybe...

I used to do the odd job for the last one she was at, and they never had an issue paying a decent price for decent work.



Estate Agencies exist for one purpose only, to make the Boss as much money as possible by a) charging Clients as much as they can and b) paying out as little as they can to any "overhead".
Sounds to me like most businesses.... Car sales, IT services, whatever. You need to make a profit for the business to work, don't you?
 
Messages
4,574
Name
Phil
Edit My Images
Yes
#16
I would be concerned about making quite toxic comments on here and attaching them to your LongLensPhotography 'brand'. This suggests that business and branding are not your strength and it may be better to work as a subcontractor type role where you don't need to concern yourself with the business side of things and focus on the delivery element.
How about trying to treat the users on here as customers and show more empathy and less hostility?
 
Messages
9,430
Name
Jeremy Moore
Edit My Images
No
#17
all you need is enough money to last you the rest of your life.
I think it's a mistake to believe that all you need is enough money. As my career as a photographer progressed I realised that increasingly I needed the motivation of a project to work on to keep me going. Eventually the projects ran out and I was like ......er....what now......?
 
Messages
231
Name
Tony
Edit My Images
Yes
#18
It may not be your situation (i may have it wrong) but have seen it before so many times, when the clients become the enemy it is time to re-think!

No matter what they do, you have to work with them to get to where you want.

Ditching it in and starting in new fields is risky, and should be done one step at a time, probably along side the current work.

Good luck, T
 
Messages
1,443
Name
D
Edit My Images
Yes
#19
@Jelster i only have one example of seeing someone who took photos of a property but they took the images and a whole other department did the PP, they just took several images at different exposures - i was really surprised as i thought he did it all. not sure if it ended up as overcooked HDR or just overall exposed photo tho.

i dont know you @LongLensPhotography but @TGphoto suggestion of workshops and doing them abroad seems to be big business. i did a day tour with a company of two guys in Iceland and one of the guys has now joined with a previously client and a number of other people to form a larger company and now go to africa, azores, greenland, america - it's pretty massive. t'was just two nice icelandic blokes with a car when i met them!
 
Messages
1,299
Name
Drew
Edit My Images
No
#20
I did a few gigs like that about 10 years ago and back then I was charging £450 a day. One client took me to Switzerland for 2 days to shoot a property that eventually sold for over £3million. I shot everything on a tripod and was fastidious in my process when, in retrospect, given that none of it was being reproduced at any significant size, I probably could have gone with a high ISO and shot everything hand held in half a day! The only problem was that the work was boring as hell!

I focused on shooting what I love and finding ways to make sure that get paid what I need for doing that. Right now, I'm busier than ever.

PS. wouldn't this be better in the Business section?
 
Messages
4,776
Name
matt
Edit My Images
Yes
#21
Sounds to me like most businesses.... Car sales, IT services, whatever. You need to make a profit for the business to work, don't you?
Absolutely, wasnt intended to be derogatory.
 
OP
OP
LongLensPhotography
Messages
14,591
Name
Nightmare
Edit My Images
No
#23
PS. wouldn't this be better in the Business section?
Yes

I'm ok with teaching and a lot of things, but I'll admit I am far more confident with well educated people who are not mainly looking for empathy but information

I think I'd much rather have this as the main business.

I shot everything on a tripod and was fastidious in my process when, in retrospect, given that none of it was being reproduced at any significant size, I probably could have gone with a high ISO and shot everything hand held in half a day
In short this would be false economy. This will cost at lot of time in post getting geometry back in shape which is otherwise set perfectly on tripod. Also tripod allows blending different exposures, and various flash versions as required and can be extremely powerful tool.
 
Messages
22,053
Name
Alan
Edit My Images
No
#24
I think it's a mistake to believe that all you need is enough money. As my career as a photographer progressed I realised that increasingly I needed the motivation of a project to work on to keep me going. Eventually the projects ran out and I was like ......er....what now......?
The comment was about deciding how much money I needed to live independently and nothing to do with motivation. Previously I'd been looking to leave the 9-5 paid employment life and maintain my level of wealth but one conversation convinced me there's no point dying with a full bank account.

I quit full time payed employment 10 years ago and since then I've travelled the world, married and had a complete life change and if you like, pursued a dream. I had enough motivation to do all that and all that was made possible by being financially independent.

I've never lacked motivation but I've occasionally got bogged down before harnessing that motivation and doing something about it :D My point to the op was about having a clear plan, knowing how to sustain it and having an out beyond the initial target/goal. That's all.
 
Last edited:
Messages
6,530
Name
Bazza
Edit My Images
No
#25
When we had a business, unrelated to photography, if someone wanted to use our services we requested a non returnable down payment when they booked.

I can't see any reason why this cannot be done in the OP's situation. At least then the costs are covered to an extent.
if he really wants to run a business based on photography then he should put on a business cap and consider what is involved. Have to say at the outset we didn't have a clue either.

We quickly learnt about overheads and building that into the fees charged. it was mind blowing, for example - product costs- maintenance- advertising- travel- insurance- accountants- staff- profit margin, That didn't even include holidays- sickness-slow business times -printing -contracts . then of course there is personal expenditure such a clothing- food - all the normal household bills need i go on.

Running your own business however large or small needs a lot of thought and not that easy at the beginning. On top of that you are trying to increase your business which can depend on reputation. It's harder than one might think

Been there done that and succeeded enough to be able to retire in our old age comfortably, BUT took 7 years to get established and nearly went under several times
 
Last edited:
Messages
8,536
Name
wayne clarke
Edit My Images
Yes
#26
Commercial photographers almost never get a downpayment or deposit. It's usually an invoice type business. Wedding togs often take a deposit (which is legally refundable anyway) or many call it a booking fee which isn't refundable but a charge for taking the booking and keeping that date free.
 
Messages
4,856
Name
Dave
Edit My Images
Yes
#27
Wedding togs often take a deposit (which is legally refundable anyway) or many call it a booking fee which isn't refundable but a charge for taking the booking and keeping that date free.
That's a USA thing Wayne - in the UK you can call it what you like but if you make it clear its non-refundable then its non-refundable (subject to distance selling and/or cooling off periods) - unless of course you're in court and a Judge decides otherwise :D

Dave
 
Messages
271
Edit My Images
No
#29
Why not? That's exactly what an Estate Agent does.
Why not? Because it is as stupid business model to charge people a different rate for something based on a: their wealth, or b: your perceived value in the project they are doing. and that's not what estate agent do, the work involved in the sale of a million pound house is much more different to that of a 100 grand house.

If I wanted to kill my business, all I do is ask my clients how much profit they think they will make on a garment or product and then I can work out my pricing based on that.
 
OP
OP
LongLensPhotography
Messages
14,591
Name
Nightmare
Edit My Images
No
#32
Messages
11,848
Name
Mark
Edit My Images
No
#33
Why not? Because it is as stupid business model to charge people a different rate for something based on a: their wealth, or b: your perceived value in the project they are doing. and that's not what estate agent do, the work involved in the sale of a million pound house is much more different to that of a 100 grand house.

If I wanted to kill my business, all I do is ask my clients how much profit they think they will make on a garment or product and then I can work out my pricing based on that.


...and yet so many businesses do that very successfully.

Edit I missed the bit in bold:

Most agencies charge a flat percentage of retail, 1-2.5% (and occasionally up to 3.5) depending on sole agency or shared.
The basics of selling a house vary very little, it's the extent of the merchandising that varies - and that gets charged for.

Want a glossy brochure? Great, that'll cost you £X

A two page spread in the local (freebie) social magazine (in the agency's already paid for slot)? That'll be £Y.

A full page spread in House & Country magazine? Why certainly Madam, that'll be £XxY.
 
Last edited:
Messages
271
Edit My Images
No
#34
I'm fairly new to all this but have taken this resource as a rough guide http://www.photographers-resource.co.uk/photography/Income/Minimum_rates.htm and they appear to differentiate the prices according to business size, in addition to my suggested job complexity difference. I'd love to hear the views on that.
I would say a lot has changed in 10 years, My point remains that if you are doing “exactly” the same work for client A in his £100,000 town house, as clients Bs 5m pound mansion, to me it’s the same price for the job, However the chances are that the work will be different somehow and so the price.

example, one of our larger clients is charged a bit more than our smaller clients, not because they have more money, it’s because there is a managment fee, because they are bigger we spend more time doing admin stuff for them, this time needs paying for, you have to factor in all your time, phone call, emails, invoicing it is all part of pricing.
 
Last edited:
Messages
271
Edit My Images
No
#35
Funny that because it is normal to tailor to your customer, maybe not in a production environment but elsewhere yes

Mike
You mean tailor the price to the customer based on the projects needs, the clients wealth and or profit on that project are nothing to do with the calculation, I can see why some people would think they are relevant, but in my eyes that’s simply ripping people off.
 
Last edited:
Messages
756
Name
Kell
Edit My Images
Yes
#37
A bricklayer ends up charging different prices for the brickwork in a 5m home compared to a 100,000 home. But charges the same rates. There's just more work involved so the final price is higher.

If you're doing the same amount of work for both, you should be charging the same to both.

Where you run into problems is that if you end up producing the same amount of images (let's say 10), I can see why some people might assume the price should be the same.

However, if you had to set up and light 20 rooms, but they ended up only using 10 they should pay you for your time.

Have you considered basing your prices on a 'price per set-up' or 'price per room' fee?

Rather than walk away and from 'this BS' put the ball in their court. Tell them what you're going to charge and why. If they accept your new terms, then all well and good, and if they don't you're in no worse position than if you just walked away anyway.
 
Messages
4,835
Edit My Images
Yes
#38
I don't do estate agency photography but, if I did, I would expect a £5m mansion would take longer to photograph than the average £100k town house/terrace/bed-sit based on the number and size of the rooms alone, let along the exterior shots, grounds, garage/s, outbuildings, etc. It's probably like a comparison between photographing a 3 piece suit and a pair of underpants.
 
Last edited:
Messages
167
Name
Glynn
Edit My Images
No
#39
It's all about 'perception'.

Professional marketing, doing what you say you will do, be positive, be seen and perceived as 'the best'.

Choose your target demographic, target only that demographic with high end marketing and don't sell yourself short. - You might get less work, but you will be paid more for it and have clients that pay on time!

If you work for 'skinflints', you will just become a 'busy fool' (running around like a headless chicken and making no money!)

Business, is about making profit and you should NEVER apologise for doing that!
 
Messages
4,835
Edit My Images
Yes
#40
It's all about 'perception'.

Professional marketing, doing what you say you will do, be positive, be seen and perceived as 'the best'.

Choose your target demographic, target only that demographic with high end marketing and don't sell yourself short. - You might get less work, but you will be paid more for it and have clients that pay on time!

If you work for 'skinflints', you will just become a 'busy fool' (running around like a headless chicken and making no money!)

Business, is about making profit and you should NEVER apologise for doing that!
I'd agree with a lot of that, but I've often found it's the people with lots of money that don't like parting with it and paying quickly!
 
Top