How much should I price for a photoshoot for a birthday party for a group of girls?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by jennifer33, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. jennifer33
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    jennifer33 New Member

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    Hi there! I've been asked for the first time to do a paid photoshoot. I am only 16 and a junior in highschool which is why I have no idea as to what is reasonable to price. I was referred to the mother of the birthday girl by another friend, and the mother is very impressed with my photography. There will be about 9 girls, from 13-14 and they have requested an outdoor photoshoot at a park with one casual outfit, and one dressy outfit. A theme is still to be decided. All of this is fine with me.

    The only dilemma is I have no idea how much is okay to price. Although I am only 16, I have much experience with fashion photography and portraiture because I have been taking photos of my outfits multiple times a week for 5 months straight now. So I have done self portraits for myself over 50 times now. I just mean to clarify that I am not another beginner photographer who is not too sure what they are doing, so I do believe I should be compensated fairly, despite my age.

    But at the same time, I feel that I am in a bit of an awkward position to name a price since this is someone else's parent, and not one of my highschool peers. The mother said we could talk over the phone about a price, so I believe she expects me to have some sort of idea about how much I want to charge. I have no idea though :meh: I do not want to give too cheap of a price, nor do I want to scare the mom away! :p I have another 17 year old friend who has been paid $200 for doing senior portraits, and my photography skills are much more developed than hers are to be honest. And keep in mind that I am now shooting for 9 girls, not one person. I am also trying to save money for my college tuition so it is very important to me that I do not charge too low for my services /:

    What would you say is a reasonable price for me to quote? I don't expect to be paid as much as a photographer at a professional studio would be paid, which is why the mother probably came to ask around locally.

    Thank you so much for all your help!

    Jennifer
  2. Derrel
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    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Not sure how much time and effort will go into this, but I think you could get $40 per person. I mean, if this is a group shot of 9, then a second group shot of 9, and 10 frames of each girl, then $40 per girl would be fair. If this is say, nine, 30-minute photo shoots, this job would probably be worth $55 per participant...

    Pricing depends a bit on WHO is footing the bill...unless the mother is quite wealthy, $40 to $55 per "guest" is going to induce sticker shock...if the guests are footing the bill, or part of the bill, the price could be maintained at $40 to $50 per head, and the mother would pay say 1/2, the nine girls the other half, say at $25 per girl...I dunno...have you talked price with the mother? Does she want to make a big show out of this party? OR, worse, does she thin k maybe she can beat you out of money and lowball you on this gig?

    One way is to always quote high, and try and close the deal by asking for a signed shoot agreement and contract. If the mom hems and haws, you can "discount" it. SOme people have a lot more disposable in come than others, and this is something you might be able to figure out...is her husband a lawyer or doctor etc?
  3. orljustin
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    orljustin Active Member

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    So, her birthday party is getting together with friends at a park to have you shoot a couple outfits? Since you don't have any real experience, I'd say $100 and give them a cd. Try to get permission to use it in your portfolio. Although, if it's just you snapping away, they'll be pretty amateur. Get a friend to bounce some light with a foam core board.
  4. tirediron
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    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member

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    There's no 'try' about it. The right to use images for self-promotion, professional accreditation, etc should be a basic part of every photographer's contract.

    Really? You know this because?
  5. jwbryson1
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    jwbryson1 New Member

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    To the OP, can you post some of your recent photos for us to see here?

    Thanks.
  6. cannpope
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    cannpope New Member

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    Posting your most recent photos here could help others to give you an idea of what you should / could charge. I wouldn't want to put a price on your work without having seen it first.
  7. jwbryson1
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    jwbryson1 New Member

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    Can you post the pics on the website? Many people will not click links. I clicked on these and they are very slow to load.
  8. orljustin
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    orljustin Active Member

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    Blah. It isn't my goal to hire someone who wants to use me as their ad boy.

    She's a 16 yo whose experience consists of taking pictures of herself. Hello?
  9. tirediron
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    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member

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    Yes, please do embed the images. I did follow the links because I had a couple of moments while waiting for a telephone call, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. For someone with your experience (meaning that, based on your age, you can only have so much experience), you're doing very good work. I think that you'll be able to turn in a very good product on this project. Good luck!
  10. Derrel
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    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    and then,later,
    Uhhhhhh...dude...she's better than many "grownups" at this fashion thing...she's a Lookbook type of girl...I've seen far,far worse stuff from 40-year-old shooters...

    She does most work in side- and backlighting...looks like a California resident who shoots after school!!!
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  11. gsgary
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    gsgary Well-Known Member

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    $200x9 =$1800+ your vast experience $1000 = $2800 for the shoot
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  12. e.rose
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    e.rose Well-Known Member

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    Are you kidding? This kid is better some of the *adults* who are posting for C&C here.

    Jen - I totally agree with Tirediron. You're going to be just fine.

    You're dealing with 13 - 14 different girls doing a photo shoot all at once... with two different outfits... I *wouldn't* hesitate to charge *at least* $200 (If not more...). 13 girls is a handful... especially since they're all going to want to see each shot after you take them (and you should do your best not to try and have to SHOW them every single time :roll: ) and I'm sure some of them are going to want you to "take a picture of us... now us... now of me doing this!" :lol:

    Seriously though... I think you'll do a great job with this, but like you said, don't shortchange yourself.
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  13. tirediron
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    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member

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    I think the most valuable (and potentially most difficult) aspect of this shoot will be 'herding the cats'. Make sure that everyone, parents and teens alike, know that you are in charge. Don't be shy, and don't let them push you into doing something that you know won't work.
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  14. jwbryson1
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    jwbryson1 New Member

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    Many people are complimenting you on these photos and perhaps they know more than me, but I'm not blown away with these images. I think there are some serious WB issues that could use some tweaking and there is room for improvement. But I think they are average--some average to good. I'd work on the WB issues.

    In terms of cost, I think Derrell was pretty accurate to what I think is a reasonable price to ask for these types of images.

    How much PP will be involved?
  15. orljustin
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    orljustin Active Member

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    They are nice images, but pretty much setting up the camera with a timer (?) on a sunny day, and then doing some Nik processing on them. Not bad tho!
  16. GeorgieGirl
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    GeorgieGirl New Member

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    I'm really confused... Is the OP the photographer or the model???
  17. jwbryson1
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    jwbryson1 New Member

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    Both. These are self-portraits--I'm guessing with a timer.
  18. jennifer33
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    jennifer33 New Member

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    The mother is going to be footing the bill. I think the mother is very set on having me do these photos so I'm sure she will make sure that she offers me a price worthy of my time, since she has also requested additional help with styling, props, posing the models, hair/makeup advice etc. The proposal was for a group photoshoot, but as you said, I have a feeling that each individual girl will want shots of only themselves too :p so that will definitely be something I talk to the mom about when negotiating.

    We live in a rather well to do town, as in there are a lot of parents who are CEOs, doctors, scientists etc so in that case, money was probably not so much the problem. She told me she had actually planned to take the girls to a photo studio in the mall if she couldn't find anyone else, but it seems that she does want to make this photoshoot very out of the box and wanted extra help with the creative development of the theme, so I believe now that her dilemma was more about finding someone who could help her with both.

    Thank you so much for all your advice, it has helped tremendously!

    And yes, I do in fact live in California, that would explain the constant sun I get to utilize for my lighting when I get back from school! That was a really good inference!
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  19. jennifer33
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    jennifer33 New Member

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    Thank you very much for your advice! :) I do agree that they will probably ask me to see each shot afterwards xD I'll definitely ask them to wait till afterwards to see the photo, so they aren't getting up back and forth constantly.

    I will make sure to take charge so as to not waste time with things that won't even work in the first place. If all goes well, hopefully none of the girls will be hard to deal with! Thank you so much for your help! :) I appreciate it a lot!


    Thank you as well for your advice! There is definitely always room for improvement and I will take note to concentrate on improving the white balance! The mother has not specified exactly yet, but from my experience, the girls will probably want to take these photos and post them onto their Facebooks etc. so I won't be surprised if they ask me to edit individual portrait shots of each girl in addition to the group shots. I am not sure of the exact number but I am going to assume that they will want color editing on each photo, removing skin imperfections if necessary, etc so it will take a good amount of time to go through the photos then.
  20. jwbryson1
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    jwbryson1 New Member

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    Do you process in PS or LR? I think you'll do a great job on these. Have fun with them!

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