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Manchester/Non-London freelance photography rates?

Discussion in 'Photography Forum' started by davealexanderphoto, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. I was hoping to get some advice here from any freelance photographers working in the Manchester region, I have recently moved back up to the area (originally from Preston) after working as a freelance assistant, then later a freelance Photographer in London for almost 2 years.

    I have started approaching new clients within the Manchester area who seem to love my portfolio, but then seem unpleasantly shocked when I discuss my rates with them.

    Whilst living in London I was used to dealing with pricing structures in which a day rate was quoted to the client (subject to fluctuation dependent on the type of work commissioned), and then on top of that, production charges would be added i.e retouching either by the hour or per image dependent on client's preference, and then image licensing fees on top where necessary.

    Here is a typical example of a price breakdown I would generally encounter whilst working in London:

    Client - X magazine (let's say a cover editorial shoot)
    Day rate - £350
    Assistant - £100
    Retouching - £40 per hi res (client would maybe ask for around 5 or 6 hi res's, and then only publish 2 or 3 for the feature)
    Licensing would be granted for immediate publication in one format (in this case, print format for one issue) inclusive with the day rate. Additional web publication would be subject to 50% of day rate on top of total fees.

    So let's say 1 day of shooting, 5 hi res orders, and print only publication. Grand total of my invoice would be £650 + expenses. £100 of this would be paid out by me to my assistant who would invoice me directly and not the magazine.

    Fairly straightforward, right?

    However, here is my issue. I have been approached by a studio/ecommerce type agency in the north west who want to book me for multiple shoots for online clothing brands. They want the pictures to be used on their website, for PR purposes and even on billboards and mag/newspaper publications around the north west. I would personally consider this a form of advertising photography, yet giving them the benefit of the doubt I only quoted them £350 as my day rate + relevant production charges.

    When I told them this, they were shocked and said that the freelancers they normally use charge a flat rate inclusive of all retouching, regardless of how and where the images will be used. They said that splitting my fees into different categories for day rate, production charges and licensing sounded like a very 'London' thing, and was something they weren't used to hearing. On top of this, they thought that £350 as an ALL INCLUSIVE rate was high!

    Is there really this much of a divide in pricing between London and the rest of the UK? I can't physically grasp how any photographer in the north can make a good living off shooting for less than £350 a day inclusive of all retouching, and disregarding where the images are being used?

    I'd love to hear any advice or experiences from other freelancers in the North West, and see how it stacks up

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