Sarah Esther Photography GrouponSara Esther Photography

Groupon Mistake Breakdown

See the Deal

  • Sold for $49 – Groupon gets $24.50
  • Sold a whopping 1,977 sessions.  She did not cap the deal
  • Gave away all EDITED digital images on DVD – more editing work, more cost to her
  • On location in Atlanta.  She did not specify the location and Altlant is BIG!!  Driving time.  Hello.  “your choice of location.”

To date, this is the biggest mistake I have found for photographers being duped by Groupon.  Atlanta is a huge city and to say “You choose the location” and I will come to you and shoot photos and give you all the digital images on DVD and only get $24.50 is a blunder of the highest magnitude.

Let’s say that she uses two gallons of gas to get to a person’s choice location to shoot their session.  That costs $7.50.  She also has a cost to burn the DVD – .50 cents.

This takes her profit down to $16.50 per session

How much time?

  • Driving in Atlanta – 30-60 minutes
  • Shoot – 60 minutes minimum (if she is strict with the shoot time)
  • Editing – 30 minutes minimum
  • Burning Images to DVD – 10 minutes
  • Delivery of DVD – This is unknown.  Did she mail it for $2.50 or did she drive again to deliver in person?

With these times, each session takes a minimum of 2h 10m.  This doesn’t include the time she spends speaking with them to make the schedule, find driving directions to their location, emailing, etc.  We should add an additional 10 minutes each for this.

Two Hours and Twenty Minutes!!  EQUALS $8.25 PER HOUR

Wear & Tear on Equipment

Most cameras are rated between 100,000 and 150,000 clicks.  If we assume 100 images are taken in the hour and multiply by 1,977 sessions, then she will shoot 197,700 clicks.  At that amount, she will go through two Canon cameras or 1.3 Nikon cameras.  That cost is between $2,000 and $4,000.  So, let’s take the average of $3,000.

$3,000 / $16.50 per session = 181 sessions.  That means that about 10% of her sessions will be to cover the replacement cost of the camera body.  We can take that 10% off of her “profit” and bring it down another $1.65 per session.

Bottom line

Sara is making less than minimum wage.  She would be better off applying for a job in the Wal-Mart portrait studio.  At least then, she only has to drive to one place to work.