What to charge for concert photography?

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38
Name
Andy
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#1
So, a few months ago, I shot a gig for a band. I quoted them £70. I showed up, shot it over 3 hours and edited for probably 6 hours the following day. I delivered 150 images. In the end, it seemed like a lot of work for £70.
I have since been asked back to shoot another gig for the band. I'd love to be charging £300 (my half day corporate rate) but understand that musicians really can't afford that. Would it be unreasonable to charge £150? For context, the band are charging £20 per ticket and there's probably 100+ people in the venue.
How much is the "going rate" for live music photography?

For reference, I've attached what I shot the last time out. Thanks!



 

TCR4x4

Wishes he had a couple more Inches
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7,984
Name
Tom
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#2
Trouble is there is always someone who will do it for less, or even free just for the Kudos or the backstage pass.

What are the bands getting for the money.. where and how are you allowing them to use the images. Where is the value to them. £150 is a lot of money to anyone and most bands are on a shoestring as is.. spending that kind of money has to see a return for them.

I’m not saying your aren’t worth it, as a photographer who has done many bands, I’m well aware of the work involved, but the band will think you are “just a photographer” and probably don’t see £150 worth of value there.

Also remember the band may be charging £20 per ticket, but a fair chunk of that will be going to the venue, to the promoter, to the crew if they have any. Once everyone is paid off, there isn’t a huge amount left.
 
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2,283
Name
Graham
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#3
I do quite a lot of this.
Trust me, there's little or no money in it. Not for performance pics.
I've covered a fair few festivals, there are usually between 10 and 20 accredited photographers attending. The festival organisers don't pay them, I can pretty much guarantee that the magazine / website / blog writer or whoever they are "working" on behalf of don't pay them. The only time I get a fee is if the artist approaches me with a request to use, then we discuss licensing...at which point they usually drift off and get a shot from a fan in the crowd.
I've had way more success photographing comedians. They seem to appreciate the value of a good performance shot, oddly musicians rarely do.
Publicity shots are a different matter, why not try that.

Here's three of my best sellers.

_DSC7224-Edit-2-2.jpg 1798213_10154696110300008_9074233815756190995_n.jpg Looseflyerfinal-2.jpg
 
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10,683
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Garry Edwards
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#5
£70 for 9 hours of work, that works out at £7.77 per hour less travel time, travel costs, depreciation and wear and tear on equipment, insurance costs and so on - in other words, nothing at all. . .

But that's what it is with live music photography, and not just with unknown small bands. Many years ago a Mr Harrison invited me to shoot their group but when I asked about the money he was genuinely shocked and pointed out that the girlfriend of one of the other members, whose name was Linda, was a professional music photographer and she always gave them the photos she took. He pointed out that I'd get backstage access and everything that went with it.

I've done a fair bit of studio based promotional shooting, that's different and it's easy to get normal commercial rates for that.
 
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5,361
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#6
3 hours for a single band? seems like an excessive amount of time (perhaps multiple bands upon examining your images - but still maybe you can work something out)

I'd personally charge more than £70 for just an hour shooting, if their budget is small and you're happy to oblige - shoot for just an hour, they can give you a time slot that offers the best opportunities.

I use photo mechanic for my selection process and lightroom for processing, I aim for 1 hour shooting = 1 hour processing. But actually I find live music quicker, and theatre work slower.

If you did 1 hour shooting, 1 hour processing for £70 - you're already up to £35 an hour from £7.77 and they're paying the same.
 
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83
Name
Phil Maddocks
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#7
I've been thinking something similar recently around concert photography....Normally these things are put on by a promotions company (sometimes the headliner and the promotions company are one and the same..) If you can get agreement across say 3-4 acts on the night that you'll charge £150 across all the bands and photograph all performances (you are there anyway, right?)..then that becomes a more manageable expense for each of the bands.

£150 for one band imo is too much...but 150 for a night covering 3-4 bands....that is a different proposition..
 
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83
Name
Phil Maddocks
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#9
I think it depends on what the imagery is for - if it's a social post to show they are alive and kicking it's extravagant. But if it's key imagery for their website/marketing I think it's ok.
Absolutely agree - I also didn't mention the calibre of band....obviously if they are famous/semi-famous then it becomes different again. Most of my experience is with unsigned bands trying to make it, so pooling funds to get something promotional is quite attractive for them
 

wack61

I've got an itchy hatch
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7,555
Name
Darren
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#10
3 hours for a single band? seems like an excessive amount of time (perhaps multiple bands upon examining your images - but still maybe you can work something out)

I'd personally charge more than £70 for just an hour shooting, if their budget is small and you're happy to oblige - shoot for just an hour, they can give you a time slot that offers the best opportunities.
.
I bought a lens from a guy who did gig photography for some big names who've been around for decades , something he said rang true , as most of them are getting on a bit he had 30 minutes at the start of the set to get his shots because they didn't want to look sweaty and knackered once the show had been going a while.

Worked for him, 30 mins shooting then a free gig
 
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2,283
Name
Graham
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#11
£70 for 9 hours of work, that works out at £7.77 per hour less travel time, travel costs, depreciation and wear and tear on equipment, insurance costs and so on - in other words, nothing at all. . .

But that's what it is with live music photography, and not just with unknown small bands. Many years ago a Mr Harrison invited me to shoot their group but when I asked about the money he was genuinely shocked and pointed out that the girlfriend of one of the other members, whose name was Linda, was a professional music photographer and she always gave them the photos she took. He pointed out that I'd get backstage access and everything that went with it.

I've done a fair bit of studio based promotional shooting, that's different and it's easy to get normal commercial rates for that.
I'm glad to hear it. (Sort of.) So nothings changed, despite what folks say they do or should charge.
 
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5,361
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#12
I'm glad to hear it. (Sort of.) So nothings changed, despite what folks say they do or should charge.
I didn’t mean to skew the picture with my comments, it is like Garry says.

I wouldn’t try to make a living out of paid gigs.

I just prefer to get paid ‘properly’ for the odd gig I book.
 
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