Question about how to charge a customer

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by minako_chan, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. minako_chan

    minako_chan TPF Noob!

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    Hi, i'm new to the forum. I just needed to ask fellow photographers some questions. I just got my first job taking photos for this guy and his girlfriend. I'm not exactly sure how i should charge them. They want the setting to be someplace specific so that are paying for the charge for that. But for film, developing, printing and my time, i have no clue. (we are still working on what kind of film and process they want)

    if anyone could give me a few pointers that would be great!! thanks!!

    oh! also, if we were to do black and white negatives, do most places still do the processing? i usually develope and print my own black and white, but the place that i do it at is closed for the summer, and they are going to want to see results sooner than later. *lol, sorry if that is a stupid question, i just never take my black and white stuff anywhere because i can do it myself*

    thanks so much!!!!
     
  2. Lensmeister

    Lensmeister TPF Noob!

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    Work out the cost of your travel, the costs of your materials, and the cost of processing films, the cost of the printing and then add a % on to it. Works for me.

    Example if i have a 10x8 print and the cost to produce it is £10.00 then I would charge £18. Then if they are commissioning you to do this there are the other expenses to add on too.

    Others maybe have other ideas. Basically you have to cover what you pay out for, and try make a profit.
     
  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I'd start by figuring out what your expenses are going to be, and double that. This is not for profit, this is to cover unexpected costs.

    Are you making your money selling them prints after the shoot? Or are you going to sell them the negs?

    It seems to me that photogs who make their money by selling prints usually charge less for the actual time it takes to shoot the pics, and make it up in the print sales.

    If you are going to sell them the negs then you can charge more for your time, plus charge a decent amount for the negs (what you might expect to make in the next year or so off of them).

    There are about a million different ways photogs charge for their services. Cruise some portrait photography sites and see how other folks are doing it. Try to find a way that fits with you.
     
  4. minako_chan

    minako_chan TPF Noob!

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    we haven't yet discussed selling them prints or negs. i'd hate to part with the negs. i'm getting a little stressed about the situation because they are asking for prices but they havent discussed exactly what they want with me after i asked them. i guess i need to go back and tell them they need to tell me what they want before i can make a price.

    thanks for the info :)
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    First you need to see what the prints would cost you, then figure how much you need to make on top of that.
     
  6. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is what I do with portrait clients. It seems these customers can understand paying $85.00 for a "big picture" (8x10) but choke on the idea of paying $140/hour for photography. With commercial clients, it's the other way around... will pay hourly/daily rate, but would scream about paying $30 for an 8x10.

    But back to your question... I charge $45 for a session of a couple in the studio. I make about 12 exposures and show paper proofs. An outdoor session at MY location is $75. For a session "in the home," I charge $295 and include a 16x20 print. I decided years ago, if I pack the gear and go to someones house, set it all up, tear it all down, and haul it all back, I want to sell more than one 8x10. It took just once on a Friday night to figure this out.

    SO FAR, I have two differend "services" for prints: Custom and Package Printing. The lowest priced package I offer is 1 8x10, 2 5x7s, and 8 wallets. Prints are delivered in folders and the package includes general retouching of one person. All prints from the same view. It sells for $145.

    I hope this helps.

    -Pete
     
  7. minako_chan

    minako_chan TPF Noob!

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    thanks so much everyone!! i'm starting to figure out what i'm doing ;)
     
  8. photo1

    photo1 TPF Noob!

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    Pete: You just about covered all the bases there... good job

    Your right about getting to a shoot setting and tearing down then not selling enough to make it worth the effort been there done that one and learned...lol
     

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