I shot a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) match a few weeks ago and the pics turned out well. The promoter liked the pics and wants to know how much I would charge to shoot future fights. I have never charged for taking pictures, what should I do?
First of all, congrats for finding a promoter who is actually willing to pay for your services. I have done a few fights, but my issue is getting paid. Many promoters know there are photographers who are willing to shoot for free just to get cage side access. The photographer gets cage side access, and can put their logo on the photos, but the promoter gets digital images to use on their website/FB or whatever. I have agreed to this a few times because I was actually working for one of the fighters and not the promoter, but it is a difficult thing to get paid for these events because they don't always value a photographer's talents and can find free photos if they want them. SO be careful about charging "too much". Depending on the venue, you can get more or less. Larger auditoriums in bigger places can usually afford more than the small community college event. Best of luck. It's been about 6 months since your post, I hope you have figured it out. let us know what happened if you have. :-)
First, I would be concerned about how they want to use your pictures. Second, what kind of recognition are you getting? Lastly, take into consideration the market they target and whether you are likely to be benefited from that publicity. Based on these and any other questions you may have then you can base your price on that. Sorry I am not giving you a figure but I think this information is needed to provide you with a monetary figure.
...start charging :-) and it really depends on what the promoter wants the pics for.
I personally wouldn't ask for an arm and a leg, but try to get the all access pass (maybe warm-up area and very close to the inner circle) and be the only one to get that close bonus.
Thanks for the posts. I don't want to ask for an arm and leg but want to be fair. I can photograph the warm up area. That is a great idea. Can anyone give me a ball park price to sell a pic? $1,$5,$10 ect. and how to sell them? This there a website/service I should use?
I love smugmug for selling prints - they have default prices and then you can increase those prices as you see fit.
For a situation like this you might want to sit down and figure out what you need to make per hour in order to cover your time and expenses. Then consider how much time you will be at the event as well as your time editing and give them a flat rate price. For example, if you determine that you want/need to make $50 per hour, and the event is 4 hours plus you will probably spend 2 hours editing that will be 6 hours at $50 per hour = $300. If it is a small club in a small town they likely can't afford to spend too much so it might be okay to charge less and then depend more on your print prices.
For prints, you are likely going to be selling to the club itself and to individuals. Since the individuals are likely not buying a ton of prints you can set your prices a bit higher (ie. 8x10 = $25). I would also offer a cd/dvd to those who want all of the pictures from the day for around $150.
With all that being said, you really have to evaluate your market and see what similar photographers are charging and producing. If you are producing a lesser product than such-and-such photographer but your prices are twice as much, then you won't be the best option for the market.
I hope this helps, pricing is very difficult and I am a small town photographer so these prices reflect that. Good luck!