What to charge?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by photobymike, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. photobymike

    photobymike TPF Noob!

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    Ok so my neighbor wants me to take pics for her to make a calender for her hubby. I'm not sure what to charge her. I have a Canon XSI, I'm going to be shooting with the standard 18-55mm lens so nothing special. I have been shooting for a while but I'm not no pro, so what should I charge? Also do you have any ideas of poses or places to shoot? I welcome your ideas/comments. Thanks.
     
  2. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    You have REALLY basic equipment for a shoot of people. I honestly wouldn't take pictures with only that equipment (at least not for money).

    Now I know people say it's the photographer that matters and not the equipment....but you have no lens to get you smaller DOF which is very useful in making portraits standout. You also have no flash to use off camera...which can kind of be substituted for no large aperture lens by darkening the background a stop or two. You also have little to no experience. I think you'd be overzealous in charging for photos. Start by building your portfolio and do the shoot for free....just ask them to not advertise that you do free shoots. Use this oportunity as a learning experience to figure out some of your own answers by experimenting. If the pictures come out really bad, you don't have an angry paying customer.....just a neighbor who lost an hour of their time.


    As for location. Find somewhere outside that has a pretty background. Since you won't be able to blur your background much, you need to make sure the scenery in the back is very nice. Watch out for trees and other objects to where you don't shoot with them appearing to come out of the subject's head. Expose for the person, not the background, and adjust the background in post. Subject exposure being spot on is the most important thing. Oh, and go buy a $100 50mm f1.8 for next time. Cheap investment that would solve alot of the problems I'm talking about.
     
  3. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    Your charge should probably be $0.00

    Use this as an experience building exercise. If you do this, what you learn from it, and the experience and images you take will be worth more (hopefully) than the amount you charge. To make sure of this, until you are confident on the skills you have I would suggest starting at FREE and as your skills grow and you become in demand you can begin charging.
     
  4. photobymike

    photobymike TPF Noob!

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    so this 50mm f1.8 is going to be better for portrait pics?
     
  5. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I have both and must say yes, it is MUCH better for portraits.
     
  6. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    ^^^^^^
    :thumbup:
     
  7. jnm

    jnm TPF Noob!

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    how about having them pay for the rental fee of better equipment? it's usually not much money for a good lens and extra flash. for ex., my local photo store rents the canon 24-70mm f/2.8L for $27 and a 580EX speedlite for $12. Thats $39 right there, maybe call it $50-60 cause there's more gear you need...

    like you should really have some off camera ability, you dont have a pc connection on the camera so you may want to buy the cactus wireless system, call it $40 shipped if you can wait 2 weeks. you should also have a light stand with umbrella setup, i dont know what this will run but for beginners stuff figure $75 or so.

    with the better lens and off camera flash setup into an umbrella you will get drastically better pictures than with what you have now. if you have them let you keep some shots for promotion think of the $100 or so you would end up paying for this as a promotional expense as well as a learning experience, plus you have some gear leftover.

    with the rental, at least at my place, if you pick it up saturday and return it monday they only charge you for one day. you would have saturday to figure things out and sunday to do the shoot.

    btw where in CA are you?
     
  8. photobymike

    photobymike TPF Noob!

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    My friend told me about a place that you can rent lenses. I just wasn't too sure if it would fit my camera or whatever. But now I'll look into it. Im in so cal. In the downey/norwalk/santa fe springs area, you near there at all? if you are what's the name of the place where you rent from?
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I would not worry about buying a Canon 50/1.8 as a portrait lens...shoot environmental portraits, and allow the background to be part of the shots. Use your 18-55 within the framework of its roughly 24 to 55mm ranges, and avoid the shortest end. Do what you can with what you have, and if you want to spend $109 on a Canon 50, consider putting that amount of money into a better and a more-versatile zoom lens, like the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8.
     
  10. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    Tamron 17-50 f2.8 is an excellent lens.....BUT on a tight budget, I'd much rather have a 50mm f1.8 and a flash with off camera capabilities. Even if you leave the background in focus....shooting outdoors will present a bunch of times that a flash will be useful.

    I will say though that I use my Tamron 17-50 f2.8 (with flash) a lot more for portraits than I do my 50mm. However my Sigma 50mm f1.4 is great (and hard to beat) for those closeup shots.
     
  11. Actor

    Actor TPF Noob!

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    Unless you expect to have a lot of fun doing this I would not do it for free. (I'm assuming she is NOT going to pose nude.) I would at least charge for expenses, whatever they are, including 25 cents/mile for any driving required. On top of that charge minimum wage for your time.

    I would also have a conversation with her and find out what her expectations are. Explain the limitations of your equipment. If her expectations exceed what you can deliver, say so and recommend a professional.

    My guess is she does not want to (or cannot) pay a lot and her expectations are not high.
     
  12. photobymike

    photobymike TPF Noob!

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    Yea that's what I was kind of thinking. She's seen some of my work so she knows what I can do, I mean I like to edit the photo's in light room or photoshop so it makes it look better. I was just going to charge her the actual expense for the calender and a little something for my time. I'm not trying to print out a magazine or anything
     

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