what should I charge?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by jackieclayton, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. jackieclayton

    jackieclayton TPF Noob!

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    I asked a close friend to let me shoot some maternity pictures for her so i can build up experience and my portfolio... i didn't charge her. She told me that two people saw her pictures and would like a family session and a maternity session... my problem is... what do I charge? Eventually I would like to start a business, but i'm not there yet. I don't know her friends, and my husband said i shouldn't do it for free. Any ideas on what a good rate is?
     
  2. Pugs

    Pugs TPF Noob!

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    I undercharge at $100/hour sitting fee and then I charge for prints. The prints I quadruple the cost of printing at my local lab, same with matting and/or framing. I quadruple the cost of matting and framing. MAKE SURE TO PRINT AT A PROFESSIONAL LAB!!

    I do my damndest to NEVER give them electronic copies of the images unless they are low-res for web use. If they get electronic copies, they have to sign a copyright agreement stating that I retain rights to the image and clearly defines what their permitted usage is.

    The reason for that is that I do NOT want them to be able to make crap looking prints from a disc at Wal-Mart or Walgreens and then tell people, "Oh, Pugs did this portrait!". Ugh...

    Oh, and yeah, I said that I undercharge because I don't think that my work warrants a higher rate... yet... Right now photography is a hobby for me and I'm not the greatest portraiture photographer at the moment.
     
  3. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you really want practice, then make it a freebee.
    The moment you charge, regardless how much, you accept certain responsability that says that you'll provide "exceptional" product and at same time if client isn't happy about it, your reputation will be on the line.
    BUT if you do decide to charge, pugs has a good idea of undercharging for session and the quads for prints. Another you can try charging a bit more then 100 and give a free 8x10 of their choice.
    Giving digitals in high res is a double-edged sword. On one hand its a nice gesture and most people prefer that way, on the other hand, as pugs said, clients are MORE LIKELY to print as some hellhole and show of your work.

    Good Luck
     
  4. megan.stanley

    megan.stanley TPF Noob!

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  5. jackieclayton

    jackieclayton TPF Noob!

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    Thanks all for the feedback!! :)

    ya, eventually i would like to offer clients print packages, but i don't have a lab chosen yet (I live in Guam and the printing offices here are overpriced with walmart quality... no thanks! lol!) To be honest, I didn't expect to have people wanting pictures so quickly after doing one shoot from my friend... i'm flattered, but intimidated at the same time! it kind of caught me off guard...

    If you don't give out digital, and you don't have a website up... how do you let them see your proofs?

    I just dont want friends of friends calling and them say "well, you charged jane doe $X.00 and gave them a cd of pictures, and thats what we want too."

    I eventually want a business, but like Pugs said i'm not there yet... but i don't want to start off on the wrong foot by giving out something for nothing...
     
  6. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Two ways.
    #1) Sears style - quick edit with various filters and 20mins later you sit down with clients in front of the computer and they choose what they want to print.
    #2) a day or two later, clients come in to look over your work on a computer and order prints.

    Back to my point. If you want to improve your skill, then do a freebee and enjoy it. If you want to charge then charging average price means you're qualified photographer, but charging significantly less, you have to point to clients that it is b/c you still have your training wheels on :)

    Professionalism and honesty. I think people are smart and if you BS them too much it'll hurt you later on. Therefore, be honest with your clients and knows your limitations. We all have limitations in what we can do and how far we can take our skill. Also use these limits as learning point and never stop learning. This is how you succeeded in this crazy industry.
    I'll PM you with few LABs, maybe they can help out.
     
  7. jubb

    jubb TPF Noob!

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    I wasn't expecting to have clients so quickly after I started either. After doing a couple shoots, I got flooded with interest for more shoots. I raised my prices every so often as I felt more comfortable. I'm not a fan of packages. I price out everything individually and then have a minimum order so that they can't just order one of the pictures and make all the other pictures I touched up a waste of time.
     

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