what to charge?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Terri Walsh, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. Terri Walsh

    Terri Walsh TPF Noob!

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    I am about to do my first wedding on my own for a friends sister.
    The wedding is 9 hours out of town. I will have to take my family and stay in a hotel or tow the trailer. Either way thats about $400-$500 there. I am not looking to make a fortune off my first wedding, but I do want something for it, especially out of town like that!
    She mentioned not wanting many prints, but likely a photo book or two. No problem I make them all the time, but I do want to be paid for my post processing work!

    I was thinking about asking for about $600-$800 to be paid that day.
    And then charging $150 and up for photo books depending on the number of photos used etc, type of book etc.

    Anyone with help?
    suggestions?
    photobook suggestions?
     
  2. jols

    jols TPF Noob!

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    i would put down the cost of you and your family to get there first. accommadation food ect.

    then add up how much pp work is involved in hours and how many hours you will be shooting for.

    charge per hour

    then the photobooks
    and charge say 4? times what the photo books cost to have done.

    but it really is
    down to you.

    are they expecting it cheap do you think?
     
  3. Terri Walsh

    Terri Walsh TPF Noob!

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    thanks.
    I do think they are expecting cheap...thats the thing. Its so tricky.
    I like the 4x the photobook cost idea very much, sounds about right.
    She wants all day from 11am till 9 or 10 pm. How much per hour?
    So nervous about talking pricing! But surely they did not think it would be FREE?!
     
  4. Terri Walsh

    Terri Walsh TPF Noob!

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    The Bride called me this morning, I wish I had asked what her budget was for the photography and then go from there....
     
  5. jols

    jols TPF Noob!

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    it is tricky giving you a figure cause i dont know what you are expecting.

    im in england and have done 6 weddings.

    my price is 400 english pounds and for that they get

    40 [6x4] proof photos of which they pick 24 to go in an album that will be 10 x 8.

    but i have never travelled 9 hours and done a 12 hr wedding day.

    if i did i would be looking at more than 2000 pounds
     
  6. Terri Walsh

    Terri Walsh TPF Noob!

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    Thanks I appreciate all input!!!
     
  7. jols

    jols TPF Noob!

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    ask her for a budget and work around that.

    you may be surprised.

    or

    you may be horrified

    but at least you will know
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What ever you do, come to an agreement before the wedding. Get it written down and signed. Make sure it states what they are to get out of it and what you are to get paid.

    This is how a lot of photographers get started but this is also how a lot of people get into situations that cause friction in families for years and years to come.

    It wouldn't surprise me if they are expecting this to be cheap or free. You are, after all, the sister of a friend. Many people don't give photography a value like they do with other things...they think it's just holding a camera and pressing the button....so why would they pay $1000 for it?

    The point is that you need to let them know that your service has value and you expect to be paid for it...and at $600-$800 for a full day's shoot (plus travel)...that is a steal of a deal.

    So make sure that you are both on the same page and have the same expectations. If you leave it until afterward, there is no going back.
     
  9. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    I know that for a professional photographer who has been in the business for a while and has a great deal of experience that kind of a wedding day would be quite expensive (I dunno, a very low number would be 3,000 dollars).

    I guess part of your decision comes in with how much to friends get a discount, and perhaps more importantly, is this likely to help build your portfolio and get more weddings in the future.

    From what you've written about this wedding so far I would be surprised if you ended up putting less than 40hours in to it including PP. If you count the driving you're looking at almost 60 hours of work. If you were to make 800 dollars and subtract the 450 from travel you would be at 350 which would leave you at maybe $5 an hour, probably less.

    Closer to the $600 range you would be making about 2.30 an hour, which is basically for free.

    Again it's obviously up to you, and if you're going to be gaining a lot from the experience and it will help your portfolio then go for it.
     
  10. Rhys

    Rhys TPF Noob!

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    Be careful. Charge enough and you could lose a friend. Charge too little and you could set yourself up as a low-cost photographer to be used and abused.

    I was asked to do a Bridal shower and I agreed to do it. I ended up having my (low cost) offer thrown right back in my face.

    People value only that for which they pay and they value that which they pay for by the amount they paid. Low cost or no cost leaves you open to abuse. Sad but true and my experience of life.
     
  11. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Whatever you do be sure to stress the fact that they are getting a "friends" discount, on top of a "portfolio building" discount. That way if they refer people to you, they will not be expecting such a cheap price.
     
  12. merrick1979

    merrick1979 TPF Noob!

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    So definately ask her what her budget is and try to work with her on it. Have a figure to show her that you would normally charge. This is if stranger was to contact you asking you to do the exact same thing. Show her that quote and though she man not initially be expecting to pay alot give her a breakdown for your personal costs and empathize that she is only getting this price as a fovor. I once heard that to the public eye the only difference between a good photographer and an ok photographer is the price of the pictures. They (meaning your customers) will think you are good if you are priced higher. Go figure!:lol:
     

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