OK folks, am I ready?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by philaphotog, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. philaphotog

    philaphotog TPF Noob!

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    Hi all -

    I've been doing newborn & baby photography for my friends for a couple of years now, for free. Many have suggested I should start up a business. Can you give me your honest input on the photos I have posted at:

    http://www.shutterfly.com/pro/1215042339383/AmandaHallPhotography

    The password is "Amanda" with a capitalized "A."

    Would you pay for these? Please give me your honest criticisms. I've heard nothing but good stuff from friends and family - but what else would they say?!

    Thanks -
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2008
  2. johan.sie

    johan.sie TPF Noob!

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    hi,

    the password isnt working
     
  3. saltface

    saltface TPF Noob!

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    That's why I made sure I have at least some friends who tell me the truth.
    It makes me wonder about those people that try out for American Idol but can't carry a tune in a bucket. (Didn't their family and friends warn them?)

    I dunno about starting a business, they seem to be decent pictures but nothing amazing. Mebbe some more lighting practice?
     
  4. saltface

    saltface TPF Noob!

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    Uppercase A.
     
  5. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I think you are ready, but here are some things to consider.
    You are offering too many images, when I look at the galleries, there are many that are duplicates or the changes are so small it does not make sense to post that many. People have a hard enough time making up their minds when there are 50 photos, let alone 130.

    Your Prices are too low. You need to consider a few things in your pricing.
    1) How much time did you spend taking the photo,
    2) How long did I drive to get to the location and back
    3) How much did the gas cost
    4) How much is the wear and tear on your car.
    5) How much will it cost to replace my camera in time
    6) How will you make enough to add to your equipment and expand
    7) How much time was spent downloading from camera, processing, editing and uploading images.
    8) How much was the power and heat in your house while you were doing this.
    9) How much is your photo service taking as a commission

    Now if you came and did photos, for me and I paid your sitting fee (I don’t know what you charge) but I only order qty 5 of the 4X6 photos, I would say you are losing money.

    You should be charging Minimum 5 times for your prints what you are now.

    Just my 2 cents, but I charge a lot more for prints than you do and I have never had a problem with people paying it.
     
  6. philaphotog

    philaphotog TPF Noob!

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    SpeedTrap, can I ask how much you would charge for a similar sitting? Factoring in that I live in center city Philadelphia. Sittings with babies/families can range from 45 minutes to 3 hours, depending on sleep/awake/eating/fussing cycles (for both children and adults!) Others have suggested that this is too much time to offer for a shoot, but I really don't like to rush people (especially new parents and new humans).

    Your point about the number of photographs and near-duplicates is VERY well taken. I think that limiting the number to, say, 50... would save me time and ensure that I'm only offering the very, very best. I have no idea what professionals normally present after a sitting and so I originally thought I would just offer everything I have - which is apparently not such a great idea!
     
  7. rasheemo

    rasheemo TPF Noob!

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    photos are great, i would do more color shots though. in a modern era, people will want color pictures of their babies, despite artistic value of black and white. you can ask them though.
     
  8. claned

    claned TPF Noob!

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    Non-business end related, but as a mom, I do not like seeing paper diapers on babes in pictures. A few photog mamas I know invest in some assorted size fitted cloth diapers (to go over the disposables) for the times parents want the diaper only look.

    Motherease or Kissaluv both offer white/natural toned diapers that just look so much nicer in the photos. For girls, maybe some cute ruffly butt pantaloons or tutus.

    Other than that, I would love some of your work on the walls.
     
  9. The Photographers best friend - A good editor - is all that's needed here. Otherwise - yes, I'm sure you could make some money with this type of work.

    Good luck with it...

    Cheers!

    Aaron.
     
  10. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    Well you have to determine how much your time is worth. Lets say you figure your time is worth $50-$75 an hour, and you have factored in some of the above things I have listed. If your usual time is between 1-3 hours (3 Hours is a bit on the long side) average it out and say average 2 hours.
    I would be charging between $100-$150 for your sitting fee.

    This fee should go up every year, as you get better and you invest in new equipment. Your costs are guaranteed to go up every year and so should your prices.

    If you price yourself too low, it will hurt you in the future.
    Lets say that you build up a clientele with low prices, as soon as you raise your prices they will go on the hunt for a new photographer and you will have to find new clientele. You just need to ask yourself, would you rather do one shoot a week and make $500 per session (Sitting Fee and Print sales) or do 5 shoots a week and make $100.00 per session (Sitting Fee and Print sales).

    Remember if you charge too little it will hurt you in the future.
     
  11. philaphotog

    philaphotog TPF Noob!

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    What a great idea... thank you!
     
  12. bigalbest

    bigalbest TPF Noob!

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    You certainly have a feel for dealing with infants, I like your posing and composition. Probably need to work on lighting and exposure before you start charging too much. And professionals usually display 15-20 images for a standard sitting, and don't ever proof online (in person only unless pre-paid).
     

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