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Pricing for stock photography subscription


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2 posts
Mark DiLuigi
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Any insights into how to arrive at a price point for stock images when you purchase an annual subscription (eg Shutterstock)?

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IMO, there are two aspects of stock photography the cost of the photography and time required to conduct a search. The client needs to be charged for both. From a cost of photography standpoint, your breakeven point is the monthly/annual subscription divided by the number of images (vectors, illustrations, and photos) you can download during the subscription period. The next question is; will you just pass that cost through or add a profit for it? If you're adding a profit, will you add that profit into the search time or onto the image cost?

For example, a 10-images/per month subscription is $29/month. That would mean at a bare minimum you need to charge your client $2.90 per image. However, if you take a look at the on-demand charges 2 images cost $29 or $14.50/image. So somewhere between $2.90 and $14.50/image should be your price to the client. Plus the cost of your time to search for the image.

If you look at the at the 2015 Production Pricing Survey, you'll see that imagery is part of an all-inclusive price for each type of produced item.

I hope that helps.

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