Professional Photography Rates (help!)

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by raiserroofer, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. raiserroofer

    raiserroofer TPF Noob!

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    I had some portraits taken at a professional photography studio about a week ago, resulting in about 45 proofs. The shoot was three and a half hours long, and for the session (essentially that three and a half hours) he charged $400, which seemed perfectly reasonable to me.

    At this point I was under the impression that he would charge me $200 more for 12 touched-up photos on a CD (but in all honesty because I don't have this on paper, I'm not sure if what I interpreted is different from what he said), but when I arrived a few days later to trim down the 45 stills to 12 with him, he told me it's $200 PER touched-up image. That's $2400 for 12 pictures.

    I know at the end of the day that this is my fault for not having a clear understanding before I started the session, however these photos wound up fantastic. He knows it, and he knows I know it. I'm reluctant to go back to another place and have to re-do a photo shoot because while the pictures are fantastic, I just simply don't have $2400+ for him.

    Do these rates seem sane to you? An entire day's shoot at a wedding starts at around $2500 from what I've researched for most professional photographers, and we did our session AT his studio at it wasn't nearly as long. Does it make sense that my session's more expensive?

    FYI, the prices are in Canadian dollars.

    Also, the pictures are not even the raw images, which he says is MORE expensive with touch-ups. He wants to give me a .jpg and .tiff for each still, hence what he calls the "package price" at $200 per image.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2010
  2. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Unfortunately for you I think the prices are reasonable. The last time I went for a sitting with a photographer whose work I admire, it cost $900 and I got one picture. Retouching takes time, as well.

    The fault here, as you've reluctantly acknowledged (as we are all wont to do in situations like this), is that you weren't clear on the pricing. Could you get great shots from someone who charges less? Probably. But his rates are his rates. If you understand them and don't like them, then you can walk.
     
  3. IlSan

    IlSan TPF Noob!

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    I'll have to agree with Alpha on this.

    Not 100% sure about Canada / USA prices, but back here we charge around HKD 1000 - 2000 per shot, which is between <200> in Canadian Dollars.
     
  4. raiserroofer

    raiserroofer TPF Noob!

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    How about image ownership?

    So I payed $400 for the shoot, does he technically own the proofs? What are your price differences if I want them processed versus unprocessed?
     
  5. IlSan

    IlSan TPF Noob!

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    I guess this depends on the business practice...
    Basically this is how we do it:

    Client comes in for a photo shoot, we prepare some paperwork i.e. model release form (which grants us the image ownership to use the image as agreed upon in the release form) and a general sales contract stating the price of the shoot itself, price for prints and price for CD / digital media.

    Unprocessed pictures we do not release to the client, but again, this is just the business practice that we use. We only supply processed pictures, and here it depends on whether it is in print (print is of course the more expensive variety) or on CD / USB (here again, depending on if we supply the USB we would charge a small fee for it, or if the client brings his/her own, of course not. CD surcharge we do not apply).

    Not sure how the photographer that you have worked with usually handles this, but I guess it would be worth asking him/her about this.
     
  6. raiserroofer

    raiserroofer TPF Noob!

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    The interesting thing about my case is that this never happened. Which I believe to be standard business practice, as well as unorthodox for this photographer as he is a thoroughly established one in the area. So, theoretically, what happens if there are pictures taken of me in a photo-shoot in which absolutely no paperwork exists for?
     
  7. IlSan

    IlSan TPF Noob!

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    Hmm *scratching head*
    For this I honestly cannot answer with certainty. Not that familiar with the law / practises what that is concerned. Especially not in the US or Canada.

    In general however I would say, that as long as there is no models release form the photographer does not own the rights to use the images in any commercial sense, i.e. selling to a magazine - he may however use them for his portfolio (please don't shoot me if I'm wrong here...)

    I am surprised about this, honestly, maybe talk with him? Maybe ask him about the lack of paperwork, etc...
     
  8. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    For the most part I think all this banter about the model release is beside the point. The model release would typically only state that you're giving permission for the photographer to do what he likes with the photos. The release is mostly for his benefit and protection, not yours. You can cite the nonexistent model release all you want, but it's really only an issue if the photographer does something with the photo that you don't approve of or from which he would otherwise stand to gain.

    Again, rates are rates. I feel for you and agree that the pricing should have been spelled out ahead of time. I think that's only fair.

    If you want to sue him in small claims court you could allege that he has no exclusive rights to the photos because there was no release, and ask the court to compel him to release all of them to you. Short of that, I'm sorry to report that you're out of luck.
     
  9. IlSan

    IlSan TPF Noob!

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    Ah but of course they are only for the photographer :mrgreen:

    Maybe take that point up with him and see, what can be done. Maybe a deal can be made for unprocessed photos...

    Good Luck!
     
  10. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    I'm doubtful. Although editing can be a time suck, I would NEVER release unretouched photos to a client unless it was a requirement of the shoot.
     
  11. IlSan

    IlSan TPF Noob!

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    +1 on that...wouldn't do it either...but who know, someone out there might...

    As I said, not versed at all in the laws in the US/Canada, but what are the chances of winning such a court-battle to get the pics? (just curious about it)
     
  12. raiserroofer

    raiserroofer TPF Noob!

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    Alpha -- you might have misinterpreted. I'm not looking to take anything to court, however I just want to ensure that if this is not resolved between the two of us (i.e. a deal is not made for me to attain the pictures), that I would not like him to use the pictures elsewhere.

    All I'd really like is to have the 8-10 choice pictures at something I could afford (that is, near a price I had thought it would be). If that doesn't happen, then I lose $400, the pictures don't see the light of day and I find another photographer. That's all there is to it, really.

    I've just never heard of a price point of $200 an image for some Photoshop work. I have plenty of friends and family who do professional web design and corporate marketing and have done plenty of work with photos who'd be happy to touch up my pictures for free. The pictures hardly need much (if any) touching up as-is. I reckon anyone who knows what s/he's doing with Photoshop would only need like 15 minutes an image.
     

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