pricing question -- urgent!

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by laurenc, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. laurenc

    laurenc TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone! I've been perusing this forum for awhile and am ready to make my debut with a question I know has been posed a million times (but in a million different ways); I'm hoping someone out there might be able to help, as I don't know anyone in person to ask.

    I'm an up-and-coming photographer trying to break into the business. I've shot stills for two films: one student short unpaid, and one indie feature paid (but not much). I've also done a variety of freelance work for free including two weddings, promotional shots for a few friends' bands, and some boring shots for my university's brochure/annual report.

    I've been approached to take photos for a beginning event planner; the first event is for 2 hours tomorrow night and it's a birthday party at a hotel. Her email says she can't pay much but is willing to cover food/booze. The other event is an indie film premiere and it's for 3 hours. I'm struggling over deciding how much to charge because I really want the job but I don't want to sell myself short. She said she doesn't need prints; just the photos on a CD. Also, while the email says repeatedly that her budget isn't huge, it seems safe to assume that she has SOME money, as the birthday party is being held in a hotel in Times Square. Can't have been cheap!

    FYI, I'm shooting with all my own equipment: a Canon 30D with 50/1.4 and 28/1.8, and my own flash/tripod, if that changes anything.

    Also, if any of these turn out well I'd like to be able to use/sell them; what kind of release do I need (and where online might I find one)?

    Thanks in advance!

    -LC
     
  2. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It all depends on how badly you want to take the photos. Some will tell you not to charge anything less than full price and it goes on from there.

    How badly do you want to do this? Can there be other forms of compensation?

    What ever you do, if it is a low ball affair, get signed contracts spelling out what is expected reguardless the price.

    And, if it is a low price, have it stated in the contract that the customer is strictly forbidden to discuss the price with Anyone else! Tell them that it's a favor doing it this low but (you know the drill)

    If that doesn't do it for you, try 6 times the cost plus 25%

    have fun!

    mike
     
  3. digital flower

    digital flower No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That can be worth quite a bit. I bought a gin and tonic the other day in Manhattan and it was $14.

    You can also try and get a little more info about what 'not a lot of money is'. If they hire someone off the street they are going to be paying a lot. Both shoots will look good on your resume.
     
  4. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Most important thing is to keep an open dialogue with the client and understand how 2-3 hours of shooting + post processing is going to go down. It is a fair amount of work. Will you be interrupting your studies or other freelance work? If this is the case you should charge a reasonable price for your time. If this comes down when you have some free time then go for the "adding shots to my portfolio" rate. In either case nothing is free. Do not eat the food or drink. You need to stay focused.

    Also consider how the shots will be used. If you are just recording the stars and the fun time at the event that is one thing. If the shots will end up in a fanzine or whatever then compensation will be needed.

    I also consider how infactuted I am by the work of the client. I mean if Hospital Records or Vanity Fair asked me to help them out... then I would bend over backwards for them.
     
  5. steve817

    steve817 TPF Noob!

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    I allow myself 4 hours of PP for every hour of shooting. So for 3 hours of shooting. I'm figuring 12 hours of work. It doesn't always take that long but that's how I come up with a price. Figure out how much you want on that per hour basis and give them a quote.
     

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