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Old March 24th, 2011, 08:38 AM   #1
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Earnings Calculator!

I'm not sure anybody has posted this link before, but since a lot of people seem to want to know how to calculate how much to charge, this link might offer a good starting point: NPPA: Cost of Doing Business Calculator
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Old March 24th, 2011, 11:57 AM   #2
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Re: Earnings Calculator!

Thanks for posting!
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Old March 24th, 2011, 05:24 PM   #3
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Re: Earnings Calculator!

Excellent link - coulda used that on a thread in the wedding/event section! Someone was suggesting that $20-25/hr. was a good rate...
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Old March 24th, 2011, 09:32 PM   #4
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Re: Earnings Calculator!

Since that was a jab (well, if it was a jab?!) at me, I'll be happy to remind you that:

a) Not everyone is doing business. (Many "videographers" have other jobs and have almost no overhead, just a camera and computer. All they are really looking to do is cover their time and maybe bring in some extra cash for a new toy.)
b) $25 an hour puts you at $50k in a normal job. (Translation -- Like it or not, it is a "fair" rate for full-time work.)

I had a lawyer friend who was making $120k a year. He did the math and realized he was putting in the hours equivalent to two jobs. Suddenly things seemed a lot less glamorous. Many freelancers aren't making as much as they think they are. ***Remember that billable hours are different than your derived hourly wage over the course of a gig, project, or year.

Sareesh -- very cool link. Thank you for posting. Very interesting to note that it defaults to less than two days of shooting per week. What are people doing the other days?

Last edited by Christian Brown; March 25th, 2011 at 11:06 AM.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 09:43 PM   #5
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Re: Earnings Calculator!

Some things like wedding/event services can be sufficiently complicated to deserve profit optimization modeling.
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Old March 24th, 2011, 10:46 PM   #6
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Re: Earnings Calculator!

Christian -

As was pointed out by everyone else when you poked at the prices people charge... and you DID poke first, mind you...

The purpose of a calculator like this is to set the minds straight of those that are pretending a "hobby" is a "business". They are two different animals, one, you have another job and are just picking up a little pocket change to support your HOBBY. The other you are trying to make a living at it full time, after covering expenses and overhead that an EMPLOYER is normally responsible for. Got it?

You forget that there's a LOT of downtime and as I pointed out in the W/E threads, most wedding videographers "work" at the most 30-40 events a year based on the postings (and a realistic assesment of the market, given seasonality and that at the most you can "book" 2 and MAYBE 3 events back to back and live to tell about it). Two days a week is actually rather "optomistic", IMO. You have to remember that your "day rate" covers overhead and all the days you aren't hiring out, which may well be more than those you ARE.

At the absurdly low rate of $25/hr on "straight hours", not considering overhead and editing, 10 hours, 40 events is a whoppin 10K - maybe that's worth it to YOU to not have your weekend free and buy some toys (and it ain't much in toys compared to what one needs to run a proper WV business - I venture most if not all the people running an event video biz have well over that in equipment), but you won't be in "business" very long... Even if you DOUBLE that and charge $50 hr for say a $500 rate like our ex-cage fighter example, you're well below poverty level before you even buy or rent a camera and other gear. There's a very good reason all the serious videographers took one look at that price and said it was a "red flag" of a schmuck/con man, NOT a videographer who is running a LEGITIMATE BUSINESS. It has "'rolex' in a trenchcoat" written all over it!

It's funny how the bad operators that make the news are the ones charging the lowest rates (and then people are surprised to get what they paid for, the botom of the foodchain/barrel). There's a correlation there, and you don't need a government grant to figure out the reasons.

It's all fine and good to poke at someone's price model or spout off that their prices seem high, but you'd better be able to actually support your contention before YOU "jab". Hope that sets the record straight as to why your "opinion" was roundly criticised as being dead wrong...
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Old March 25th, 2011, 11:50 AM   #7
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Re: Earnings Calculator!

I wasn't roundly criticized, and a number of folks understood the points that I was making in the other thread.

1. Rates that seem "low" to a full-time professional videographer may seem "high" or fair to people outside the industry.
2. Consequently, we shouldn't be blaming the couple. We should be angry at the videographer.

I made no recommendations regarding what to charge or how to charge. Nor did I criticize, jab, or poke fun at anybody's rates. Obviously, anybody who does this a lot will figure out what is needed to turn a profit. I'm not sure what straight hours are, but billable hours are different than a derived hourly wage (which may be measured per gig, per month, per year, etc ...even if you don't bill hours at all).

Thank you.

Last edited by Christian Brown; March 25th, 2011 at 12:21 PM.
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