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Tamara Artis

Question for photographers and people who use their services

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Would it be fair (to clients) and safe (for the photographer) to set their prices to "what you think its worth"? I have met many people here that are aware of all the work involved and were generous in tipping because a made photo was worth more than the price. I've also met some that wanted to bargain and complain about the prices no matter the photo.. 

I've seen photographers who set their prices too high while their work is so nice that a person could pay them not to make it! I've also seen some that make outstanding works and charge almost nothing. 

What do you think, would be a fair price? I know it depends of someones work but looking at me, one day I can make something great but then I'm ashamed of the next 5 photos that come after. 

Also, I would love to hear about your experiences, what annoys you and what was nice?

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Well, people have radically different ideas of price of work.

You'll end up with everything from a 5L tip to 5000L to the people who insist its free and demand updates and free pixel-sex because you are obviously now their servant. o.O

I have absolutely -no idea- where the average will fall though, as I don't sell such services. I'm "shooting from the hip" here with an uninformed opinion based on my personal bias coming out of other services.

Ie: It seems like you'd basically be using the 'tip jar' method.

 

Granted I know that as a customer of anything I hate this kind of system - I end up feeling very guilty over anything I pay, trying to pester the person to tell me what is reasonable, and then hoping I can find an alternative next time that has a price tag on it, even if its higher... But that's me.

 

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Ugh.. I have this SAME issue. The same with gestures.. I don't actively have a store, but I'm always being asked "Oh.. who made that gesture?" "oooh.. who did your profile picture?"  I've been in SL a number of years now, so I tend to make my own gestures, shapes, and do most of my own photo work as well. 

So how do you charge somebody for what you do because you ENJOY it, while at the same time making the lindens that it's "worth"? I always have to consider that I'm doing it for the joy of it.. not because I'm trying to pay tier (although tier is nice! :D). I once had a very nice lady take a couples photo for me and my partner (who is now deceased iRL, sadly). She did an amazing job, but she was also working for a photostudio at the time. Now, I think I paid 1200 for that ONE picture (i got a 5x5 size and a profile picture size). Was it an amazing picture? Yeah.. it was pretty good. Yeah.. I could have done it myself.. but I was feeling lazy. Plus, it was nice to NOT fuss over critiquing my own work for once. That's why i was more than willing to ask her to do another one for me, and tipped her 600L on top of it... I was so thankful for the peace of mind. I trusted her. 

Normally, I wouldn't advise paying that much for a photo, but really.. that's what most decent photographers in SL charge nowadays. Unfortunately, what about the little guys?

I don't know how much to charge for my own work, simply because I don't think it's THAT amazing. There's always room for improvement. 

 

.... what a worthless response. :P

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lol 


Jeri Clarity wrote:

I don't know how much to charge for my own work, simply because I don't think it's THAT amazing. There's always room for improvement. 

 

Thats my big problem. I can't say I hate most of my works but if I save a pic today and open it tomorrow, I'll think its crap, even though I liked it yesterday... 

Your response is far from worthless! Thank you very much;)

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I often find my best go-to price when I have no clue to be 50, 100, or 150L.

If you're breaking into a field, go low enough that people will impulse buy, but not so low that you look like a 'cheap freebie' - and use the feeds and blogs to promote the heck out of it I suppose.

I look on flickr often and see people who get hundreds of views on images that I think are so-so, and other images with maybe 10 views that are amazing. I'm lost how one gets a following going there - but obviously there is a method to it. Unlocking that method is probably -THE- vital thing to do for a business as a screenshotter / image manipulator *.

 

* I disdain calling this photography, because it is not. It -IS- an artform, and I've been in 3D art since the 90s. Which is a part of why I disdain how SL 3D artists call themselves photographers, when they are not. Own your artform. In 3D art, we call ourselves digital artists with pride - and DEMAND respect from mainstream art critics on our terms. We don't pretend to be 'painters.' Machinema makers own their artform, as Machinema, and don't claim to be cinematographers - it takes time for a new art form to gain respect, but it can only do so by naming itself as something new and original.

 

 

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Since I started this thread, few people have advised me about prices and I've set them to something that is fine for everyone:)

Interesting thoughts about naming what we do. Yes its far from screenshooting/photography because it involves much more work than just clicking a 'take a snapshot' button. To be honest, I never cared about the names and I don't know much about 3Dart... would be nice to get some name that describes everything what we do. For now it is SL photography, a name that we and our clients use, allthough the photo is just a base for the finished product.  For me, its never just meeting a client and taking a snapshot, then later cutting/pasting an avatar into a background. After many hours spent on making it I call it photography, my best friend calls it 'toon crap' lol

And about this method for getting views on Flickr, SL Feeds, FB or anywhere where we all try to advertise, what I've noticed is that a person needs to spend alot of time going through other peoples works, commenting and liking. Then it returns, if I like 30 posts a day, at least few will come back and like mine. When I was starting a year ago it was my method. Now I just publish a photo and let it be there. 

I was working for one photo studio for a year and I have my own for almost a month now. I have a classified ad and 'show place in search' option. Now, I did try few other advertising ways but most of the people that contact me asking for a photo are my old clients, their friends/partners/kids... and people who saw their photos. I'm so happy they all want me to make something that I don't really care my Flickr photos have 10-15 views.

Now you really got me thinking about naming this differently...

 

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Well...

Digital Art is what it is.

Within that you have 2D art and 3D art.

2D art breaks down into Animation, Vector Art / Illustration, and Raster art. Raster Art breaks down into Painted and Photomanipulation. But most people at this stage just call it Digital Art or Digital Illustration - and techniques in 2D tend to be very mixed.

3D art breaks down into Animation and Stills. Everyone is familiar with 3D Animation - its been very successful in the box office and managed to avoid the "curse of the small screen" that usually afflicts 2D animation. Note occaisionally the same tools are used to make 2D and 3D animation - just one is rendered to look flat.

Still lacks a breakdown, because outside of SL, one doesn't -often- take screenshots of the "video game" and then post them up as art - with or without postwork - because the tools to get high-quality image capture from the "game" are usually not present. So most 3D Still imagry is in the realm of what you will see on sites like Renderosity, Renderotica, and some corners of Deviantart.

SL images can be art right out of the shot, without postwork - thanks to Windlight, shadows, and the ability to compose all of the scene.

But there is no 'photo'. No capturing of light, but a capturing of pixels. Its a render, not a photo.

Technically, it is 3D VR Digital Art, or 3D VW Digital Art.

 

The value of having a name that captures what it is will start to become apparant to more SL Digital Artists when it comes time to take the stuff to a gallery and sell it, outside of our community. Sit in that gallery and call it photography and you'll get ridicule. But call it some kind of digital art and you'll get "oooo" followed by praise and a checkbook (assuming we're talking about someone with talent worthy of notice, of which there are many).

- Some folks around here could be supporting RL incomes in 'physical RL art galleries' with the quality of their work, if they could brand it right. Of course as a 'new medium' it would first have to overcome the stigma and ridicule new mediums always face from the art guard critics afraid of a challenge... but once past that yeah, the quality around here is already up to it for some.

 

 

 

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He's right people do have highly different ideas on what's fair, but then again alot of people want art for free too. For single avi photo, no double images or anything like that, I generally charge about 500L for it. However most of my clients will pay double just because they become impressed. Morphs normally run about 1000L-1500L per single avi photo, and I generally charge regular couples pics no double imaging about 600L.....REALLY the best way to do it is just hit up some of the photography studios and check their prices. Those of us that own professional studios with galleries and what not do it to each other all the time just to see what's new and to keep ourselves in the loop.

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That's always hard to pin point. I'd go between $100 or $500 depending on size, how much editting was done,and how long it took. 500 would be high quality,big, maybe full body picture, and something that took up a lot more time. That's wat I would do, I just take photographs mainly for fun with me and my friends.

That's a good starting point. Then, when U get well known and better at ur craft, more people will want pictures and you can charge higher prices or about the same.

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I know I'm late to this topic but I've been mulling over this myself. Since I've started, I've charged L$200 per single photo, and L$300 per couple photo. I've had the same issue as you with some of my photos turning out as a masterpiece, and other ones after that I'd rather hide from the light of day (which is why only SOME of my work is featured on my site). I"ve largely found this to do more with the avatar than my skill (the better quality the avatar, the better the photos turn out to be). This has gotten me into some funks on occasion, because while a very quality avi will photograph beautifully and require minimal work, I don't mind charging that low a price. 

When I get an client that isn't the best looking and I have to do extensive work -even after before shoot checkups and prim sorting, styling, etc - (like a recent client whose face i had to rebuild and skin I had to repaint), I convince myself that I charge way too low. It doesn't help when the people who love their photos go "Thats all you charge??".  I'm caught in the middle on this one. I can't charge different prices  to different people, and I don't want to price myself out of work. 

On the other side of the fence, I've seen some photogs advertising prices as high as 700L, and when you see their work it looks like a cut/paste job onto a background and the photo is super blurry. THAT makes me angry, because while quality is totally subjectie, I think work and practices like that hurt the profession. While My studio and business isn't my sole (or even my biggest) source of SL income, I'm sure there are several people who may use it to make a living, and its unfair for hacks to harm thrie business with shoddy work.

Sooo.. yeah. I'm glad I saw this topic though, lol. I now have more thinking to do. :D

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Don't think you're late, I'm glad you replied 'cause I saw your signature and went through the whole page you have:) I need something like that too lol. If I don't forget I will visit your nworld place laters. 

My prices are way bigger then yours and I have same problems as you... Imagine a lady who comes wearing a freebie gown, hair and skin. I need to make her take off her hair, jewelry and attachments and draw them later. I also need to paint over her gown to make it look like actuall dress, not just black colored pixels on her body. And though I understand that atm she can't afford few thousand lindens for clothes, I would like to charge her those few thousands just for my effort haha. And its stupid to threat them different. 

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I saw your flickr page and was BLOWN AWAY. I love your work. If you ever need help building a website I'd love to help.

 

I really am thinking about raising my prices a bit, because while I do it mostly for fun, I want to feel like Its worth something and have it continue to be fun instead of a pain. lol.

 

Based on what you're seen, what would you pay for a pic from me?

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Thanks;) your work is cool too, and I see you have all the hot avis there lol.

Ya I would love any help for the website cause I have no idea about how that goes, where to look and stuff... And for your prices.. iono, anything more than just 200L. But this can be tricky if you made people know you like a person who makes pics for fun and not money. Its your choice, why and how you do it.

The thing is, if we set the price too low it can be seen like we don't appreciate our work too much or don't try to make it look the best possible. And we can always give some of them for free just like that lol

 

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Sweet as! I sent you a friend request. When you get a chance I can help you out and help you sort through different programs and what not. Down to Color coordination if you need it :D

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RE: price, I would have no problem forking over 2-3k for the kind of work you do based on the pic I just saw on the first page of this forum.  For artistic things like this I think its hard to set a hard price.  Most times I feel the amount of time spent should factor in.  Maybe come up with a rough hourly rate and base prices (at least partially) on that.

To me, the 500L range seem most reasonable for quick jobs with minimal editing, profile pics with in-world backgrounds with maybe some text, light effects, borders etc in photoshop.

I know a guy that does great morphs, but only charges 200L per pic.  He is super quick though so for the time spent it is probably worth it to him.  I just recorded a DJ intro for someone and as it was my first one I had no idea what to charge.  She told me a typical price was 2k, but after hearing the final product she asked if i would take 5k (to which i said yes lol).  That was between 3-4 hrs of time spent for about a 90 second recording.

What i might suggest is (for advertising purposes) decide on an absolute minimum price based on your most average work with low-ish time spent, and say "starting at XXX L$" and indicate that the final asking price will depend on complexity/time.

People who want to bargin you down obviously don't have an appreciation for what you do and I wouldn't waste much time trying to work with them.  If you are getting a lot of your business from newbies who can't or won't pay what your work is worth, perhaps it would be worthwhile for you to offer different styles of work, and come up with a more newbie friendly service that takes significantly less time for you to compelte a pic.  In my experience, art, or music, or whatever else I create, tends to be regarded very highly by non-artists, musicians etc, where-as I'm here thinking "that is some of my worst work lol".

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Last night some guy contacted me, his friend recommended me, he saw my flickr, likes it all, and needs a big work, 10 vendor photos for start. Its male skins, his first suggestion was to meet his model/s, shoot, edit, put text with description and basically prepare the final vendor texture which is really boring when you have alot of them to do, and "fair" offer was 50L per pic top! lol

And now I see some other person who appreciates the work done. Thank you! ;) Its obvious you are aware of the time spent on it.

When I started this thread I was all alone and somehow managed to find the prices everyone liked. Now I have 5 more photographers and trying to make a balance so that the price fits everyone.  

And about that newbie friendly type, we had a "Light" type of photos, cheaper and with fast delivery, in 3 months only one person asked it. As much as I liked the idea, if noone uses it its obvious we don't need it. So for bargain type of people I've set a free photo studio with poses, backgrounds and stuff, and point them all to that area;)

Ohh and I would like to meet that guy who does nice morphs! Tell him he can earn 10 times more:) but I torture people before hiring them lol

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I've been a fashion/portrait photographer in SL since 2007. I've settled into a standard pricing (for me) that has a single pose image at $1000L, double pose image $1200L and a single couples photo at $1500L. I spend considerable time on my images both in the photoshoot itself and in the processing using PS CS6. 

I know other photographers that charge much more than I ($2000 and up for single images) but I also know that those that price in that range do a LOT of hand painting and compositing. So I think pricing has to do with how you and your customers value your work. I do it as a hobby so even though many people have said I'm under priced, I'm not doing it for the Linden as much as for the pleasure. I do work an average of two hours on a photo in PS and at least 30 mins on a shoot (75+ snaps per session).

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29560786@N05/

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Thanks for replying!

I work longer in ps but I started last year and still feel like I am terribly behind with stuff I need to learn! Usually it takes me around 5 hours but I like to work slow, specially if a client has some cool idea or when I have a pic in my mind that I try to create... my old clients are now used to wait for days lol. 

This guy waited for a week I think :P 

Final-small-for-sl-blur-back-jpg-resize.jpg

What you think? :)

And prices... well lately I don't think much about money, first cause if I start to charge accordinly to the time spent, I don't think I would have more than a few clients per month (most of the people I meet look at us like we're some photo  machines and want to get it as soon as possible for as low as possible), and I hired other photographers so now our prices need to be set so that each work fits within. 

Btw, nice photos, I wanted to add you but you're allready my contact hahaha

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I know people - as myself have done it in the past .. who charges for photos 35.000 linden/ each. and have a lot clients who are interested in them.example: In real life it used from people who have knowledge for this... to charge for 1 picture 100 - 150 euros (less more)... why someone must charge 500 linden for a picture if he charge in his real 150 euros? if someone use the photography as a job in secondlife is doesnt matter if its sl or rl. its the same. its graphics. its picture. you work for... (again it depends cause the secondlife economy its defferent)

It depends. Many people are charging  alot money for picture and the picture is very bad and other people are charging a price like 100 linden for a BOMB picture ... the people that charges 100 linden for example 1) are afraid to charge more and afraid that they could not find clients) 2) are not professionals and are doing this for hobby 3) i dont know why....People that payed for 300-500 for example are not put the best they can to the picture cause they feel 20% disapointed from the payment that will be given to them.... In the past i had charge a very big amount (from the amounts that used to charges people in secondlife for shootings) for a picture and i give my best for... You put the payment that you believe you worth and your skills. If someone want High quality he will not afraid to pay you and come to you. Thtas the reason many photographers disapointed by theirselfs and put the prices lower than at the begining of their business cause they do not see many clients or they do not make money. But it needs work and advertising.. If you are good in what you can and you believe in that and you put your self and your love you will get the payment that you want. 

 

 

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