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Do Any Of You Work With Pet Stores #36841
10/12/11 03:27 PM
10/12/11 03:27 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
Nicole St-Onge Offline OP
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Nicole St-Onge  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
I was asked to take some Halloween photos at a local pet store; in exchange for a store credit ($75), a table to advertise my business on and the photos will have my name on them. The store will be covering the costs of the prints. I was so excited that someone called me that I jumped at the chance and signed up and agreed.

Today, a different store called me, (same chain). They were looking for someone to take Christmas photos and my name was given to them. Of course I am excited to work with them as well but I am wondering what I should actually be charging and asking for in order to have me there.

To those of you who work with pet stores or have worked with pet stores what have been your past experiences and do you have any guidelines or advice to offer.

Re: Do Any Of You Work With Pet Stores [Re: Nicole St-Onge] #36843
10/12/11 09:28 PM
10/12/11 09:28 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline
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Jim Garvie  Offline
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Florida
Nicole, while I'm delighted with your opportunity, you need to be aware of what they typically charge in those venues. Based on what I've see here in FL, it isn't enough to cover my costs of being there. But, that depends on volume, expectations and what you need to make to break even. Often, that's a good business decision. Congrats about the opportunity. Now, figure out what makes sense from a price/cost standpoint.

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz
Re: Do Any Of You Work With Pet Stores [Re: Jim Garvie] #36844
10/12/11 11:05 PM
10/12/11 11:05 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
San Antonio, TX
FretlessD Offline
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FretlessD  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2011
San Antonio, TX
Nicole,
Like Jim, I have not seen events like that worth the time and effort. That being, I have a few questions. Have you ever done a shoot like this before? Are you going to have someone assisting you? (You'll need it. Keeping the paperwork straight and helping get the subjects set and away and answering any questions takes on or two people.) If so, do you provide the help or do they? If you do, how much will that cost you?

Are they advertising the event? How long is the Halloween shoot? Are you supplying the background and props? If so, how much is that going to set you back? If they are, is it going to put your photographic images in the best light(metaphorically speaking)?

Are you not getting any portion of the proceeds from the prints? What are the charging for the photos? Single images or packages. Are you printing on site? Are they using your lab or are you printing. If they are using a lab of their choice, do they meet your standards?

Bringing in a photographer for seasonal pictures is a loss leader promotion used to bring in traffic for the store. They should be making little to nothing as it is an advertising expense.

It all sounds as if they have hired you as contract labor with a store credit that cost them 50% to 70% of your salary. They're not even dipping into their petty cash!

I once was a Santa for pet Christmas pictures for a non-profit fundraiser. We had 70 stressed out dog and cat subjects and their owners run through in 3 hours! I will never do that again as long as I live!!!

Now, if you want to make this work for a Christmas shoot, consider this. Can you give them your answer after the Halloween shoot? It will give both parties the opportunity to evaluate the success of the first event and give you the perspective you need to negotiate a new deal if needed to make it worth your while.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade, but it's your name and reputation on the line. I know you're excited about getting your name "out there", but at what cost.

Doug

Last edited by FretlessD; 10/12/11 11:11 PM.

FOR THE LOVE OF DOG!!!
Re: Do Any Of You Work With Pet Stores [Re: FretlessD] #36845
10/13/11 12:11 AM
10/13/11 12:11 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
Nicole St-Onge Offline OP
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Nicole St-Onge  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
Hey Doug, thanks for commenting. WOW, you certainly put a lot out there for me to think about.

The Halloween shoot is a free photo day so they are not charging. The Christmas photos I believe they mentioned that they charge $5 or $10. I am not being paid any portion of the proceeds from the prints. Now that you mention it, I think this is something that I should defiantly consider asking about; maybe not on this shoot but definitely on any future shoots. The customers are getting a single 4x6 that will be printed at a local lab of my choice. The store will be reimbursing me for the prints. Customers will have to pick-up their print at the store.

My assistant will be my husband or a good friend of mine who works with the animal shelter and has helped out with photo days like this before. In either case they are also volunteering their time.

Yes, the store has been advertising for the Halloween photos. Unfortunately, they asked for my services after their ad campaign was printed so my name is not on it. I would like my company name to be on any future ads. In both cases, the shoot is just one day for a couple of hours, 11am-4pm. I will be supplying lights and a backdrop if needed and the store will supply props/Santa. Another option for the Halloween shoot is photographing outdoors but for the Christmas photos this would not be possible in my area.

My objective is to book a couple of private studio sessions. If I manage to do this than I will feel like I have succeeded. I will be allowed to bring samples of my work and set up a table. As I mentioned in a previous thread, I have been finding it very hard to get my name out there and reach my target market, no one knows about me. I will be collecting addresses and email addresses. Having this type of exposure sounded like a good thing to me but maybe not as you pointed out. I think shall give it a go for the Halloween photos and yes both parties can evaluate success before for the Christmas photos.

Re: Do Any Of You Work With Pet Stores [Re: Nicole St-Onge] #36846
10/13/11 07:59 AM
10/13/11 07:59 AM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline
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Jim Poor  Offline
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Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
It will be good experience one way or the other.

That said:

1. They aren't paying you enough.
2. The kind of folks that come to those type of events generally aren't the kind of clients you want for private sessions. Of course, there are exceptions, but those who want to spend $10 on a photo are usually not likely to spend $1000 on photos later.

Sorry for the short reply, but I'm in GA right now with limited access.

Re: Do Any Of You Work With Pet Stores [Re: Nicole St-Onge] #36847
10/13/11 08:24 AM
10/13/11 08:24 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
San Antonio, TX
FretlessD Offline
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FretlessD  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2011
San Antonio, TX
Nicole,

I hope you didn't find my reply "too much". I was tired after a long day and the portion of my brain which tells me to think before I speak was turned off. I am glad that you have open eyes as you approach this avenue.

There is one more thing that I would like to suggest. Take extra care to set "your" table to market your style and vision. Make it an visual oasis within the the scene. Too many photographers don't take the time to market their images correctly. Use some form of table cloth or covering to set your framed images visually. If you have access to an easel (or two preferably) that you might use to display large poster size mounts of your images and set behind or the side to frame the table. Gator board is a good way to go. It will set you back some, but you will have them for future events and it will call attention to how striking a pet photo can be. It might not get you that private session from some in line for the free photo, but it could draw the attention of someone else in the store who may fit you private sitting profile.

Good luck to you. Doug


FOR THE LOVE OF DOG!!!
Re: Do Any Of You Work With Pet Stores [Re: FretlessD] #36848
10/13/11 03:46 PM
10/13/11 03:46 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
Nicole St-Onge Offline OP
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Nicole St-Onge  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
Originally Posted By: FretlessD
Nicole,

I hope you didn't find my reply "too much". I was tired after a long day and the portion of my brain which tells me to think before I speak was turned off. I am glad that you have open eyes as you approach this avenue.


Never Doug, I appreciate the words of advice. It's always great to hear from someone who speaks the truth based on their past experiences. I've considered it, and true they are not paying me enough and Jim is correct in pointing out someone who stands in line for a free photo isn't likely to purchase a private session but it could lead to someone who might. I'll do the Halloween photo and go from there. It should be fun, exciting and a learning experience regardless and it's something that I wanted to test out anyhow. I'm pretty excited and optimistic about it!

And as my one good friend pointed out to me yesterday, do it this year, because next year I might be so busy with bookings that this type of store thing will be more of a nuisance and I won't do it. But then again, I might like it too!

Update! [Re: Nicole St-Onge] #37072
10/29/11 11:53 PM
10/29/11 11:53 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
Nicole St-Onge Offline OP
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Nicole St-Onge  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
UPDATE!

So the Halloween Celebration was today! Just over 50 in all, dogs, a few cats and a bunny! I loved it! Of course I'm thinking that Christmas photos will bring in double the people.

Now for the questions:

There was an adoption group on sight today and I'm not opposed to working with this type of charity, in fact I want too, but no one told me that the free photo day was more of a fundraiser for the rescue. The rescue put a donation jar on my table and people though they were donating money to me but it was all going to the charity. I felt a little cheated but it's for charity so how can you be made at that? So when the free photo day is for a rescue group I guess I shouldn't really be charging the store anything for my time (right)? I guess I need to clarify this for future events.


Now I'm not planning on selling anything other then the free 4x6 that they are getting. If they want quality work and to purchase wall portraits, greeting cards and prints etc..., I recommend a session in my studio. So when it's not for a rescue group what's that magical number that you should be charging for my time in store? Is it the same per hour that I would charge in my studio or is it a per photo rate?

Re: Update! [Re: Nicole St-Onge] #37076
10/30/11 12:57 AM
10/30/11 12:57 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
San Antonio, TX
FretlessD Offline
Journeyman
FretlessD  Offline
Journeyman

Joined: Jun 2011
San Antonio, TX
Nicole,

I haven't thought about pricing , but the idea of it being a charity event sponsored by the pet store does not mean you have to give your time away. You were hired to do the shoot and provide a service. If you want to donate your time for the rescue group that's between you and the rescue group.

The other thing. Your table should be your table. I would have asked store management to provide another place for the tip jar. Not cool!

Doug


FOR THE LOVE OF DOG!!!
Re: Update! [Re: FretlessD] #37077
10/30/11 07:42 AM
10/30/11 07:42 AM
Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
Jim Poor Offline
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Jim Poor  Offline
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Joined: May 2008
Virginia, USA
I would have moved the jar or at least made it clear where the money was going.

When you say you're not planning on selling anything beyond the included 4x6, don't cut yourself short. If the photos are good, show them, and if the owners want to buy more, sell them.

Pricing for rescue events is pretty much a matter of personal taste. I don't charge the group anything when I do a fundraiser event. I normally split the session fee 50/50 with them, and keep any print sales for myself.

I'm doing fewer and fewer mass events compared to what I did previously, but one I have coming up for a holiday fund-raiser goes like this:

$40 session fee which includes a choice of one 8x10 or one digital file as well as a coupon for a discount on an in-studio private session. The rescue gets half of the session fee, and half of the session fee for anyone who takes me up on the in-studio session as well.

My in-studio session is $350 and the discount is $150 so that leaves $100 for me and $100 for the rescue.

I've really gotten away from mass events because although I can run 20-30 folks through a mini-session, $600 for me and $600 for the rescue is hardly a big payday. Yes, every little bit counts, but I if I can do 10 in-studio sessions in a more relaxed environment, $1000 for each of us is a good bit better. Plus, print sales are much better from folks who will pay $200 for a session than they (normally) are from folks who will pay $40. Of course, there are exceptions, but not many.

I also do an in-studio mini session for $50 for a holiday set, no BG changes, etc.

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