Highschool-Senior Portrait Prices?

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by LittleMan, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. LittleMan

    LittleMan TPF Noob!

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    I am going to do some Senior Portraits for my friend this week.
    He said he would pay me. But I'm not going to charge him any other than my film/printing costs. (because it's my first time and he's my friend)

    I was just wondering how much the rate is usually for a Senior portrait photoshoot. (maybe around 3-4 hours) What would you have to pay to get a professional photog to do a 3 hour long photo shoot?

    Thanks!
    -Chris
     
  2. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    3-4 hours would be a very long shoot for seniors. Mine usually last one and a half hours and that includes a few clothing changes. Typically I see my packages by prints vs. a pay for hour service. Are you going to be printing the photos or just turning over the negatives to the clients to print their own?
     
  3. LittleMan

    LittleMan TPF Noob!

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    I don't know what to expect, since this is my first time doing anything like this. Although I have shot portraits before and I know how, I have never charged anyone.

    I am going to be shooting both digital and film by request of the client. Now, whether I charge him per hour and just give him the negatives and let him do the printing or I sit down with him afterwards picking out the few he likes the most and charging him per-photo... which would be better? Or is there an even better way other than that?

    I am just starting out on this so any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  4. Ms. Leah

    Ms. Leah TPF Noob!

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    Littleman, an easy way to do this would be to let the client know that you will include so many proofs for so much of a price. If they like the pictures and want to order more, than you can charge an extra price for copies. You are the photographer, so you own the pictures. If you would like, you could provide your client with the negatives or a c.d. of the pictures, but keep in mind that you wont be making any money off of the reprints. I like to provide people I know with a c.d. with all of the pictures and many variations of them (black and white, soft, soft edges). It makes them really happy and they tell all of thier friends. Your best bet is to not charge by the hour because either you will be rushed (being new to senior pics) or they will feel jipped because you may take longer than what someone who has been doing it longer may take. Good luck! :mrgreen:
     
  5. LittleMan

    LittleMan TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Leah!
    I'll definately do that. :)

    I'm really excited, and I hope I will do good. :)
     
  6. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    i'm going to be doing the same thing (hopefully) later this year or next year. your client sure is getting a head start with their portraits!
     
  7. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi, Chris.

    This is a question that I'm re-examining myself. One of my friends locally has decided to charge for his sessions. What I mean is, in the past, most studios kept the session fee low and made their money on the prints. SOME studios now charge $100 - $200 for a session and have dropped the print prices. I haven't made a decision yet, so I'm trudging on the old way.

    As for turning over negatives and/or files to the client, I think you might be doing them a diservice. Most folks won't know how to procede with retouching, cropping, color and so on. Most don't even know professional labs exist, much less what services they'll need or even the terminology. For my family and friends, I handle this for them and let them pay my out-of-pocket. (They have to be CLOSE friends... with "best-friend" status)

    So, back to your question... how much for a session? I think Alison is just about right with the 90 minute estimate. In my studio, with four outfits, I charge $95. For two outfits and 45 minutes or so, I get $45. Outdoors is $50 additional. Again, I'm not making any money here. I get it on the print order.

    I hope this helps.

    -Pete
     
  8. LittleMan

    LittleMan TPF Noob!

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    What about for your client that you may only see once? Do you keep the negatives/files yourself or do you give them to the person?
    It would be pretty easy to keep a file cabinet of all your past clients with their negatives in their file, and have them call when they need a photo enlarged. Would this be workable?

    I'm sure I'll have a lot more questions!
    Thanks!
     
  9. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sure... I have 'em all. And I do get reorders.

    No problem. Let 'em fire! You've got a bunch of help around here.

    -Pete
     
  10. summers_enemy

    summers_enemy TPF Noob!

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    Hi, I struggled with this a bit last year. A coworker was graduating from high school and forgot all about his senior pictures until the last minute. I got a desperate call from his mother saying "we'll pay you, please!". I agreed and took about 90 shots of him in 3 different locations. I decided to give him one color print each, with each photo in color and black and white on a cd so the family could do their own reprints. I asked for $75, they gave me $80 and were thrilled :)

    Around here, for most amateurish people I'm learning that the "standard" fee is about $125 for a cd with the images and one set of color prints. So I don't think I did too bad :mrgreen:
     
  11. Nikon Fan

    Nikon Fan TPF Noob!

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    My brother just had his done, he wouldn't let me do it...and they had a 45 dollar sitting fee, and then they charged 5 bucks per proof. They sat down during the session and chose the shots off the computer right then. Then we were mailed the proofs and then will order off of those. This is one of the cheapest rates in my area, some people charge 75 plus for the sitting fee alone.

    My suggestion would be to know how much time and money you've got in it and base your price off of that.
     
  12. LittleMan

    LittleMan TPF Noob!

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    wow, thanks y'all! :)
    You guys are awesome!

    Now that I know how I'm going to charge them/give them the pics... I have some questions about the actual photos/places.
    I've searched down all of the past threads and I still have a few questions...

    For outdoor portraits, do you just use a reflector? Or what other lighting systems should I use?

    Is it best to do outdoor portrait photography in the morning, afternoon, or evening?

    Do you just have a list of places around where you live to go take the photos or what? (I found a super good spot for a more rustic feel)

    Lastly, is it best if he wears lighter colors, darker colors, or more of a neutral tone?

    Thanks!
    And if y'all have any other pointers please do say! :)
     

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