A&P For those who actually own a photography business...

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by isaac86hatch, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. isaac86hatch

    isaac86hatch This thread sucks

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    I know a lot of people here attach Photography to the end of their name and shoot weddings but who here actually owns a business that is legit? I just wanted to pick your brain on

    How you break down your shooting fees?
    How do you deliver quotes to the client?
    When and how much should i expect to pay, percentage wise, in taxes?
    What sort of bank account do you have setup for the business?
    What insurance do you buy?
    Do you get any sort of wholesale or business discount anywhere?

    I finally have my business license, IRS EIN and all the other associated paperwork to become a proper LLC and have never done this before so any help would be great. :wavey: I've been petitioned by an institution with very deep pockets in my town to submit a bid which could turn easily into full time work if I play my cards right. From what I gather, the photographers they hire now all charge per shooting hour, processing hour, contact sheets and CDs so I would like to stick to that I think.
     
  2. Mutombo

    Mutombo New Member

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    You should just stick to the Girth/Jcolman business method:

    1) Buy every piece of gear made
    2) Start threads about the gear you bought
    3) ...
    4) Profit??





    I actually don't have anything to contribute, sorry :hsugh:
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
  3. GlobeGuy

    GlobeGuy New Member

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    Meh, but you got in a little jab at JColman and Girth, so it's ok.
     
  4. Drunken Karnie Midget

    Drunken Karnie Midget In Yeo We Trust, All Others Pay Cash OT Supporter

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  5. turbodude

    turbodude Just a photographer OT Supporter

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    How you break down your shooting fees?
    I have a standard event rate of 200/hour for web use and editorial purposes. If its is used for advertising they must pay a licensing fee, and it goes at a per picture basis. And i base that off of industry standard, size of the image, size of the target audience, and what medium they will be using it, Whether it will be print/web/etc. (sometimes you need to phone a friend, i have had many instances where i called a couple Pros and asked them what they would charge)

    If its a celeb job, its a typical buyout of a flat rate of 500-1500 (price varies due to the level of celebrity) for the appearance, which may include red carpet images and posed/candid press photos in the venue.

    How do you deliver quotes to the client?
    Written Quote with a face to face meeting as well as a list of commitments that both parties sign and date.

    When and how much should i expect to pay, percentage wise, in taxes?
    This really depends, i am typically setup as a vendor employee, and the government takes 10-30 percent depending on the size of the amount that is paid

    What sort of bank account do you have setup for the business?
    I just have a standard acct that i use as a business account. Only use that account for business expenses. That way i can keep track of what money is goign out of the business. I also use an excel spread sheet to track what money i take out for personal use.

    What insurance do you buy?
    I purchased the Photo.net business insurance

    Do you get any sort of wholesale or business discount anywhere?
    I dont, i have never :( :wtc:
     
  6. RoudyruffKK

    RoudyruffKK Well-Known Member

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    i'm on my way then :rofl:
     
  7. EWhytsell

    EWhytsell New Member

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    Taxes is the easy part. The profit is added to your tax return as income and then you look on the tax table.

    As for bank accounts my wifes a manager at a large regional bank and the way turbodude is doing it will eventually get him into a little trouble. Not likely much trouble, but at the very least his account could get closed at some point. Its possible that since he's an employee though he could be fine its just that you have to make sure its clear where the money comes from and where it goes if somehow you get flagged.

    How it works here in Ohio, you register your business name with the secretary of state. Then once the name is on file you can go to a bank and get an account opened with that name. She catches old guys who've been in business for years using a personal account all the time and by law is required to close their account. People typically do this for tax evasion and if she were to ignore it and it came back on her during an audit she's be busted for aiding them.
     
  8. EWhytsell

    EWhytsell New Member

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    As for discounts you'll be tax exempt for purchases of gear for the business, but if you do buy assets you could be required to declare the assets each year on your taxes and pay a little. These are things as small as paper clips too.
     
  9. GlobeGuy

    GlobeGuy New Member

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    What happens in terms of tax exemption, if you turn your personal camera into a business camera? My guess is, nothing. :o
     
  10. Ty Webb

    Ty Webb You don't have to go to college. This isn't Russia

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    Very good information. Thanks a lot.

    I have a business bank account for my consulting business (i tie my photography into this as well as part of the business)
    I do that for legal and accounting purposes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2009
  11. isaac86hatch

    isaac86hatch This thread sucks

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    1) Thanks :bowdown:

    2) It's more or less the same here for the business stuffs. I have registered with the SOS and am awaiting approval (5-10 business days). Once this is all approved any I have my final paperwork I plan to find a bank and open the account with the Business name. Any kind of account in particular I should look at e.g., benefits, credit cards, checks? I don't know what makes a good bank account.
     
  12. isaac86hatch

    isaac86hatch This thread sucks

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    :bowdown: Thanks, TD

    I know asking 200/hr will not happen. Not even close. I've seen some of the rates, and they are around 85/hr; however, they are usually doing 20+ hours per week plus their hourly rate for processing witch is nearly as much.

    As far as licensing goes it's pretty simple. I take photos, they pay and they own them and all rights thereafter.

    I'll be sure to set aside 30% of each job and I will look into Photo.net for the insurance. Thanks again, man!
     
  13. isaac86hatch

    isaac86hatch This thread sucks

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    I assume you can "charge" yourself for the equipment then claim it as a business expense. I could be wrong here and I would love to know.
     
  14. isaac86hatch

    isaac86hatch This thread sucks

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    :bowdown:
     
  15. Drunken Karnie Midget

    Drunken Karnie Midget In Yeo We Trust, All Others Pay Cash OT Supporter

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    since photography has a tendency to be a high-ticket item, getting something with merchant services isn't a bad idea, so long as the income is steady. You can get merchant services on a broad range of pricing and arrangements. My wife has a business, and merchant service accounts through Wells-Fargo. She gets charged about $35 a month for the merchant services, whether there's an income or not, but there's no per-use charge. Other arrangements charge on a per-use basis, but there's no monthly fee, but there has to be regular use on the account... Ask at your bank, and they'll most likely be able to give you far more specific details for your individual situation.
     
  16. EWhytsell

    EWhytsell New Member

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    I have no idea how to turn personal gear into business gear as far as I know in my State its one in the same until you incorporate. A sole proprietor and LLC are pretty much handled the same way as far income tax and assets are concerned. The LLC has the advantage of adding multiple partners and a few other things. Its not until you go INC and become an S Corp that you end up dealing with complicated taxes W2's payroll and the like.

    Of course take this info as it appears, "some guy on the net talking" I'm no business expert, but I did read thoroughly all information in Ohio's Business gateway website and I did recently create a business to play around and see how it goes. I'm sure your state has similar resources and probably has someone that can anwser questions for real. Here you can ask just about any college and they will have a state employee on staff that handles starting business questions.

    I've found its very easy, even collecting and reporting sales tax is way easier than filling out a 1040.
     
  17. EWhytsell

    EWhytsell New Member

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    Thats cool that she has merchant services for $35 per month with no per use charges. Those charges are what my wifes bank makes mad money on.
     
  18. Drunken Karnie Midget

    Drunken Karnie Midget In Yeo We Trust, All Others Pay Cash OT Supporter

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    :werd: but she's only in business 3-4 months out of the year, while we can't stop/restart the merchant services as needed. so we go 8-9 months out of the year paying for nothing. It's like buying a 15Mb internet connection when i don't even own a computer.
     
  19. turbodude

    turbodude Just a photographer OT Supporter

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    you should try to get try not to give up the rights to use the photos in your portfolio or for self promotion. try to have that written in. It doesnt hurt the client because you are still selling them the rights to distribution, but it will prevent anyone from every suing you or charging you to use your own photos down the road.
     
  20. isaac86hatch

    isaac86hatch This thread sucks

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    Yeah, I guess that was not clear. I will retain the rights for self promotion, but that is all. I could not sell the photos, but they will be able to. Trust me, though, these will not be money makers for anyone. I'll be holding onto as much as I need. Plus that is only one client and there's quite a few more requesting bids. All of a sudden I seem to be popular :noes:
     
  21. isaac86hatch

    isaac86hatch This thread sucks

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    Hmm. Thanks, man.

    Yeah, it actually seems to be a lot easier than I had originally figured it to be. Should be a long, interesting road.
     
  22. Drunken Karnie Midget

    Drunken Karnie Midget In Yeo We Trust, All Others Pay Cash OT Supporter

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    No problem. :wavey:
     
  23. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

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    Of course I also spent $4000 of that on gear. :mamoru:
     
  24. Drunken Karnie Midget

    Drunken Karnie Midget In Yeo We Trust, All Others Pay Cash OT Supporter

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    so you're pulling about 44k annually then?
     
  25. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

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    I wouldn't say that. I've only been in business for a year. My first quarter earnings were about $1800 total. My second quarter was $11k but that includes deposits I've taken for fall weddings. I predict my third quarter earnings to be around $8-9k and my forth quarter to be $11-$13k. I also still have a full time job in video so all my photography earnings at the moment are gravy. I'll retire from video production in two/three years and go full time with the photography business. At that time, I hope to be pulling in around $60-70K a year.
     

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