Friday, 21 September 2018

Recently a photographer shared a little CODB calculator created for other photographers. It was based on time and materials and an hourly rate for the shooter.

I thought it was terrible, and tried to explain why. I thought I was pretty good, but so many folks thought I was saying NOT to have any idea of what your business is costing you that I am taking this opportunity to explain.

CODB (Cost of Doing Business) calculations are a good idea to find out what you need to make per month to break even or make a profit. They suck at helping photographers determine their rate. Let me share why.

I do indeed think that knowing exactly how much it costs you each month/year to be in business is a sobering and very powerful base for figuring out costs.

But costs are not value.
Cost are not art related.
Costs are simply price per... hour/piece/day... and do not take into consideration the intangibles of the value of the art.

So knowing that it takes $2167 per month to break even for a photographer is good and solid information.

How one quantifies next either makes it a powerful tool or an irrelevant gimmick.

Do you then plan on 10 gigs at $216.70 to break even? Or five gigs at $432.40?

If you think that is gonna work, I can sell you a bridge that is far more lucrative.

Does it mean that one edtitorial gig that pays $1345 and you are 3/4 to your goal? Or that a nice brochure shoot that nets $4500 takes you through next month?


Gigs don't come in like that, and trying to figure assignment work into modules of this and that and some other thing is counter-productive and soul killing.

And it begins to take a toll on one's bidding process too. Suddenly it is about the metric and not the value.

My work, and your work, has a value attached that is not figured into a CODB way of working. My value add to the work is personal, and it is based on the artistic ability and worth that I bring to the work.

Pricing a 5x7 at $15 is beyond my understanding. My image is worth more than that... i don't care about the real estate or the square inches of paper it takes up.

Modular and boxed in thinking.

Know what you need to make, then get out there and book the gigs based on the VALUE your work has brought to the assignment.

Not what a CODB analysis says on a spreadsheet. Focusing on 'sales' instead of value misses the point.

Value is always more important than price.

* Words by Don Giannatti | Photography by Ijumo Hayward

Ijumo-Hayward couple

Ijumo-Hayward fallen-angel

Ijumo-Hayward bam pg2

Ijumo-Hayward with lorel mag2web

"A gift for Every Mother" - for the first 10 people to book a session, you will receive an additional bonus gift.

Call or email to book your session now. 678.696.1723 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


So folks... this is my very first blog post... I am hoping to keep this up and make regular installments to this blog. 

I am writing this while waiting for Sue Bryce to start speaking on creativeLIVE - 28 Days with Sue Bryce.  I have been intrigued with Sue and her story since I first read about her in Rangefinder Magazine a few years ago.  I am moving towards using her (Sue's) business model and so I am posting some of my new promotional material to get things started.

Please check back frequently to see new posts.
Ijumo Hayward w/ model BamBam


SPRING Portrait Special

It’s time to update your portfolio!

spring portrait special

I’m currently offering a $250 SPRING photo Shoot Special. The package includes a 2 hour photo session with up to 3 different looks, and 4 color-corrected and retouched Final Images (selected by you and/or your team).

The regular price for this package is $750, but you can pay $250 now, save $500 and shoot before the new year kicks in!  *This special may be purchased now and used by you or as a gift for a loved one.

Referrals for hair stylists, makeup artists and wardrobe stylists are available.

Step 1: The Consultation

We will meet at a mutually-convenient Starbucks or Caribou Coffee to discuss what you would like to accomplish from your photo shoot. We can review your current portfolio, and you can bring reference photos, vision boards, etc. I can provide referrals for hair stylists, makeup artists and wardrobe stylists that you may wish to hire for your photo shoot. If you haven’t made your payment online using PayPal, then I will also collect your payment of $250.

We’ll schedule our shoot as well as a second back-up rain date.

Step 2: The Photo Shoot

Two days before our shoot, I will email you some last-minute suggestions for wardrobe, grooming, and rest!

The shoot itself will be laid-back, calm and fun. You can bring a friend if you’d like. You can bring up to 3 different looks and there will be a portable clothes steamer and clips to help you get your clothes looking perfect.

We will shoot about 250-500 frames, and we’ll review the shots as we go.

Step 3: All Images

After your photo shoot, you will receive a web link where you can review all of the images that we’ve shot as low-resolution watermarked proofs to determine which images you’d like to have color-corrected and retouched. The web link will remain active for at least 90 days, and can be reactivated at any time in the future.

Step 4: Ijumo’s Picks

I will personally review the images we’ve taken, and provide you with a second link to show you which images I consider to have been the best, and which ones you should consider for your portfolio. Some basic very basic editing will be done on them.

Step 5: Selection and Retouching

You can share the web links to low-resolution watermarked proofs to help you select which pictures you’d like to have color-corrected and retouched. As part of your Rooftop Photo Shoot Special, you can select four (4) pictures to be edited and delivered. If you’d like to order more than four (4) pictures, they cost only $45 each.

Step 6: Final Images and Prints

When the color-corrected and edited images are ready, I will send you an email (and a text message) indicating you can go download the Final Images. You will receive both web-ready RGB JPEG files (for uploading to web sites and emailing) as well as print-ready RGB TIFF files (for printing in your portfolio). If you’d like to have prints made from your shoot, I can help with that, also.