How do you know when it is time to start charging?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ababysean, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. ababysean

    ababysean TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,965
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Pensacola, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I am wondering if you can look at my website and at my work and tell me if you think I should start charging. All of these photos have been taken for free, I've given complete print release and burned all photos on a CD for the couples/families.

    I just don't know if I'm ready but I feel like I'm not gaining anything by not charging?

    I absolutely LOVE doing this, so right now, I do not need money, however it would be nice to be able to get some gear, lighting, stands, umbrella's, off camera flash, and be able to support my habit via charging a fee?

    I'm thinking something really low, like 25 dollars, which includes the session and images on a Cd with a signed model release. Also giving them a print release

    How did you start charging for sessions?

    CrystalBellePhotography
     
  2. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Messages:
    16,062
    Likes Received:
    2,813
    Location:
    Chesterfield UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I would say when you are capable of getting top notch images under any lighting conditions
     
  3. mwcfarms

    mwcfarms No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Messages:
    2,656
    Likes Received:
    178
    Location:
    Southern Alberta
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    That's too low. How much do you value your time. Sorry but I think if you want to be taken seriously you should value yourself more. I'm not saying go out and charging an arm and a leg. People will like your work or won't. And if you explain the process to them, seeing that you charge say $50 to $100 for a sitting fee, editting on some images and the cd itself is no more than what Walmart/Sears etc. You have talent/skill and invest time in this and should charge for it. I have seen much of your work, posts on here and this isn't meant to come across as bit#%y. Wishing you lots of luck.

    Just wanted to add that confidence in yourself will help to sell YOU the photographer to the person. You need to have confidence in yourself if you expect others too as well. Hope you understand what I mean by that too and it doesn't come off as totally snotty. :hug::
     
  4. ababysean

    ababysean TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,965
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Pensacola, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I agree my time is worth money, however I guess I feel the need to build up a business presence. I'm very shy and only this past session with the couple, I actually found myself being 100% in control of the session. Explaining my ideas and taking their ideas and directing them on the best shots I believed I could get.
     
  5. mwcfarms

    mwcfarms No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Messages:
    2,656
    Likes Received:
    178
    Location:
    Southern Alberta
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Well then I guess you need to set a goal in mind to building up your business presence and then re-evaluate. If you feel that you still need to work on that I guess wait until your ready. Either way good luck.
     
  6. ababysean

    ababysean TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,965
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Pensacola, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    :) but how do you know when you are ready! haha I know the answer is when you feel ready, but I've seen great work and then I see some websites and look at their work and think OMG huh? Someone PAID for that?
     
  7. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    Messages:
    12,984
    Likes Received:
    4,971
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    $25? :lmao:

    Start charging whenever you are ready to become legit, and your photos are (at a minimum) better than average. Whenever you are ready to deal with taxes, licenses, contracts, etc...

    Also, shortselling yourself now, will prove difficult to get proper rates later. Trust me.
     
  8. vtf

    vtf No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,126
    Likes Received:
    242
    Location:
    kansas city
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Look up other photogs in your area. Get an idea where you fit in and the pricing. In the KC area I've seen them go from a man with camera for $25 a shoot to full blown studios at $300 an hour or more. Now where do you fit in. Compare their photos to yours, their ideas to yours. Add up everything you need as far as equipment and add that to it. Where do you stand then. What is your long range, short range goals? Your business plan?
     
  9. masong

    masong TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Philippines
    I suggest that you start charging because the materials you are using are not free, I'm sure. You're also buying your materials in market and your own money is what you are spending. So start charging even to gain back your capital if you think you are not ready to get into the business.
     
  10. ababysean

    ababysean TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,965
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Pensacola, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    How come no one told me I spelled Portfolio wrong? I had it spelled Porfolio. lol gha!
     
  11. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Messages:
    2,680
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    You are asking about when are you ready, I think based solely on photography skills.

    What are your business skills.
    Do you have your invoices, cards, letterhead, etc... ready?
    This includes your logo if you are going to have one.
    Have you contacted a lawyer, accountant, insurance company?
    Have you set up a bank account to deal with this?
    What are your business policies going to be? How are you going to treat the different issues that will come up as you move into business?

    None of the above deal with your photography skills, but I can tell you will put you out of business faster than poor photography skills.

    KMH - Keith usually seems like a stick in the mud, but he is so correct. Is there a photography association in your area? Have you even looked?

    Start getting the information for all of this, and then tell us if you are interested in really going into business.

    I train people in the electrical industry, one of the training aspects is to help them go into business. It is staggering to see how little about business they know when they come to me.

    Your website is not set up for business yet. Is that your home address on the site? If so, do you really want to publish to the world where you live???? Same with the phone number, you may want to set up a separate phone number.
     
  12. ababysean

    ababysean TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,965
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Pensacola, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    It should not be my home address.

    I just have my city/state listed and I paid for Domain by Proxy for whois.com

    I have my logo, I have business cards, I've dealt with customer service my entire life, my family owns a business and has given me much experience on that side.

    I don't have business insurance. Where would I find that?

    I do have a tax ID number and all that good jazz for the IRS.

    I do have a bank account that I plan on changing to my business account when/if I start to charge people.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

at what point to do you start charging tax for your photography