So I am ready to make my first $

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by 391615, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. 391615

    391615 TPF Noob!

    Oct 2, 2007
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    I got a major kick in the pants the other day. I had been talking about and thinking about starting my business for the last few months, and I had a call from someone wanting shots, and I just didnt' have a dollar, or the equipment to do the shots. that made me get my butt into gear.

    I'm starting out, but the more I look at equipment, the more I think I need, and the $$$ go up.

    Basically I want my focus to be real estate, car boat, (pretty much big items for sale) all of quality, I want to keep away from cheap 30 minute jobs with point and click results. I also want to do general corporate photography. Such as restaurants, wineries, general in studio shots of objects etc. I want to stay away from portraiture and fashion, I eye that more as a hobby but don't want to go down that track.

    I have a huge passion for sport photos, there is a voice inside me telling me I need a Nikon 400mm f2.8 at $11,500 it aint cheap. I'd love to get into the sporting trade, but atm, I'm really only doing work for clubs, and they pretty much wont' pay for photos, because they rely on advertising for funding. I did think about using this however to get my own advertising, I could supply the club with quality photographs for a season, in return for advertising in various areas. I'm not sure if it would work or even if they would take it up. This is however why I've been wanting the big lens. And also the fact that I love taking the photos.

    I'm not sure firstly what equipment I need, and what to charge for services?

    I'm thinking what I want is

    2 X D300
    12mm f1.4
    17-55 f2.8
    85mm macro lens
    400mm f2.8 (Although at 6k less was considering downgrading to the 300mm)
    Nikon speedlight SB800
    Simple monopod
    decent tripod, don't need the 360 head just yet
    Good lighting setup......(cost unknown) mostly would be used for bottles, glasses etc)
    Backdrops, for studio etc, I'm not really using it for portraits, but I'd like to be able to do some at some stage.
    Filters I need a good variety of filters for B/W, Grad etc

    My website I'm going to be building from a template.

    The next ? is how much to charge for services. I agree you don't want to undersell yourself or oversell and get no customers.

    A job I was asked to do was for 5 shots for some bottles of wine. What would you expect to charge for those photos, they would be generally for web. Can you sell lifetime rights to an edited copy of an original and edit it again to sell to someone else? I was reading up that people were charging $250 per photo for one year. Now here is my problem with that. If you sell them at a high price, a client may buy two photos, so you only sell two, they only get two. Wouldn't it be better to sell 5 for 500, giving them more photos, but you still make the same money. Then I believe they would be more likely to come back, and refer other people to the business.

    I'm just at a loss as to how much you would charge for photos, whether it be lifetime rights to a photo for $150 and cap it at a certain point. Also if you were doing real estate photography, you could expect to be there for up to 3 hours, getting the shots you want, where as bottles, you could do it in less than 30 minutes.

    I'm hoping this isn't all over the place and you can understand it, but if anyone has advice, I'd love to hear, I'm about a week or two from making my first $$$
  2. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

    Oct 2, 2006
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    I would sugest a change in equipment
    1X D3
    1 X D300
    14-24 f2.8
    24-70 f2.8
    60mm F2.8 Macro
    70-200 f2.8
    Nikon speedlight SB900
    decent tripod,
    Filters I need a good variety of filters for B/W, Grad etc

    Something to remember is choose equipment for what will pay the bills. Buying a 300 or 400 mm would be great, but if you can't pay the bills with it, it is not much use.

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