Ashley Henry Photography GrouponWanna see an example of a HUGE Groupon Mistake?

Breakdown of her Groupon deal

  • Giving away 15 Digital Images – She will get no add on sales after the session. None.  We gave only three away and get no add on sales for most of them.
  • Delivering Digital images on Disc – There is a cost to the time that you spend pulling those images from a session, burning a disc and preparing it.  Plus the discs cost something.  Each delivery will probably take her about 15-30 minutes.  Add that to the travel, shooting, scheduling and editing times and she has about 3+ hours PER CLIENT.
  • Online Galleries – Furthering the fact that she will make no add-on sales, she is going to upload images to an online gallery.

She sold 589 Groupons.  She will make $20,320 total.  A lot of you might be going, “wow, $20,320 is a ton of cash.”  Let’s take a closer look, however.

Assumptions @ 589 Groupon Sales

  • Average 2 hours per client when you consider travel, shooting, communicating via phone or email, loading images to DVD and web, archiving images.
  • 40-hour work week = Full Time

If she averaged 2 hours per client, then she will have to work for 1,178 hours for her Groupon clients.  In a month, there are 4.2 weeks on average @ 40 hours per week.  Divide 1,178 by 40 and you get 29 1/2 weeks.   29 and 1/2 weeks divided by 4.2 weeks = SEVEN MONTHS FULL TIME.

$20,320 divided by seven months =  $2,902 per month which averages out to be $34,834 per year.  How many of you have salaries higher than that at a normal job?

More Assumptions – Cost of Automobile/Fuel/Maintenance – $1,632 Cost

  • Fuel = $2.50 per gallon
  • An average of 10 miles each way to meet clients (20 miles round trip)
  • Average of 20 miles per gallon for the typical vehicle

Thus, she will use one gallon per client.  One gallon ($2.50) x 589 clients = $1,472.50

AND a total of 11,780 miles on her car.  Hopefully it is not a lease.  If she followed the recommendation of changing oil every 3,000 miles, then that would be four oil changes @ $40 or $160.

Equipment wear and tear assumptions $680-960

  • Average number of digital photos taken in an hour long family shoot (this is based on our averages with our Groupon clients over the course of the last year)  100
  • Canon camera body has a usable life of 100,000 shutter releases
  • Nikon camera body has a usable life of 150,000 shutter releases

With an average number of images taken, she will take 58,900 photos.  That is roughly 60% of the usable life of a Canon camera.  At a cost of about $1,600 for a Canon camera body, that cost would equal

The Nikon cost would be about $680

Storage Costs – $100-200

  • 58,900 Photos taken at 20MB per Raw photo – 1,178,000MB or just over 1,000 GB
  • 58,900 photos conveted to jpgs at 10MB each – 589,000 or 589 GB

That is 1.6 Terabytes or about 2-3 hard drives worth of storage to hold the photos for the clients.  Some photographers will delete them from their drives after delivery, so this cost could be negated.

Total Costs – On the low end – $2,450

Take the total Groupon income and reduce it by the costs and you get $17,870.  Divide that amount by our seven full time months from the above math and you get $2,552 per month or $30,634 annually.