PSP4, Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Canon EF70-300mm lens, Dell Studio XPS 9100 desktop w/ blu-ray burner & Windows 7; hpMedia center pc370n desktop; Gateway Laptop; Epson 4990 scanner; hpC5280 Printer; Adobe CS5; QuarkXpress 8
Up until a few years ago I made and sold my wood sculpture at shows. The most frequently repeated question over the years was "how long did it take you to make this?" Most of the time I suspect the question was really "I want to know how much time went into this creation so I can place a value on it." My answer was usually "all my life up to the moment it was finished." They are not just paying you for your time on the project, they are paying you for all your experience and knowledge as well.
I can't give you a dollar amount, but you should definitely first look at how much time this will involve and multiply it by how much per hour you think is reasonable. Then look at the total and ask yourself if it seems too much or too little. Don't undervalue yourself.
When you do something for a someone's personal use that's one price. It will be used for their limited personal enjoyment. When you do something for a business, it's so they can make more money, they are hoping to profit from your work. That's a whole different price, commercial use.
With photography, when you sell an image there are different licenses for each type of use - personal and commercial. And there should be different pricing levels for each. Pricing is one of the most vexing issues there is. I only do these things part-time but have attended many professional seminars, and I can tell you the most successful people have no problem asking for the money they need to make a living, some very profitable. Not all of us are so confident, but if you don't believe in yourself how can your customers?
The question of should "I charge less to try to get more business, or charge more and risk losing business" always comes up. There are many accounts I've read where people raise their prices, fearing they'll lose business and the opposite happens - they get more business. Their clients feel they're getting a better product since they're paying more. And the clients they get with the higher prices are less of the bargain shoppers, the Walmart crowd so to say. Now you can't charge $10,000 for a simple slideshow so you need to do some research to see what the market can bear, and go higher rather than lower for where your work fits. You can then bargain down, offer discounts, etc. if need be.
I have a hard time thinking I can charge $5.00+ for a 4x6 print because of how cheaply people can get the same print made. But I know pros that charge about $50.00 for a 4x6 print - and the reason is that it's not the size of the print that matters, it's the value of the image on it - which is worth a lot if you do good work, you're doing this because you're client can't. And you are allowed to charge over and above the actual cost of materials so you profit from that also. You're not being a bad person for paying your bills and charging a fair price for your time, materials, stock photos, royalty-free music, other overhead (which is really extensive!), experience, and talent - and adjusting the price based on whether it's for personal use or commercial use for a business to profit from.
I think all the principles here would apply equally for slideshows as well as for photography. As some have said, they'd rather go hungry from charging too much than too little...
Best wishes to everyone !
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