when do I start charging?

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by maulrat, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'm still pretty new to photography and I've only had a dslr since summer. My equipment is very limited; I don't even own a flash. Some friends think that I should start charging for photoshoots to fund this spendy hobby of mine but I don't feel that my photos are up to par. How do I know when I'm good enough to start charging?

    Here are a few shots from my only photoshoot. It was unformal and free. My friend just wanted some family photos for Christmas cards. Any advice and comments are greatly appreciated.

    #1
    [​IMG]

    #2
    [​IMG]

    #3
    [​IMG]

    #4
    [​IMG]

    #5
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2008
  2. Evil Eagle

    Evil Eagle TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You'll need more time behind the camera. Remember, they think you should start charging now, but when you are paid to do something the expectations are light years beyond what they expect for a free one.
     
  3. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,527
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    When you are confident enough in yourself & your work that you don't have to ask. This is not meant to be condescending. If you're charging for your services, you need to have the presence, the product, and self confidence so that people feel they're getting what they're paying for.
     
  4. eyeye

    eyeye TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I have been shooting over a year and have quite a bit of equipment (body, professional lenses, strobe, softbox, speedlight, etc). I have just begun to ask for donations to be made to my favorite charity, but it is options. It has gotten me even more work because there are some people who really feel uncomfortable taking your talent and skill for granted. I guess you have to do whats right for you, but I think it is when you can deliver every time without great reservation.
     
  5. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    That sounds like a good place to start. My friend, whos family I photographed, has been showing the shots to all her friends at work. They are asking her how much I charge because they want me to provide the same service. After some people at a recent Thanksgiving party saw the photos I took of them in my gallery, they are asking about setting up family photoshoots with me as well.

    I know that I am not even close to being ready for wedding photography; skill or equipment wise. I just want to offset the cost of this hobby. Perhaps shooting couples, birthday parties, amateur models, family photos, etc. I think the donation idea is great. Thanks Eyeye
     
  6. JaimeGibb

    JaimeGibb TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Occoquan, VA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    You seem to have a really great natural eye for posing and shooting people. You should definitely get some more experience shooting under your belt before charging, as well as investing in some more equipment. At least a nice portrait lens and external flash, like a Canon Speedlight. Also, like said before, you need to have the confidence not to ask. You'll know when you are ready...it's just one of those things. Oh and also, very important in my opinion, KNOW your camera. Even if you shoot in Aperture priority or even auto, KNOW how to shoot in manual. You can't get into a situation where you have to be "on" and not know how to deal with any given lighting situation.

    PS: In pic #2, watch out cutting off limbs at the joints (ie ankles, wrists and knees!) :)

    EDIT: Per your last post (about people asking how much you charge), use these opportunities to gain both experience AND future clients!!
     
  7. Harmony

    Harmony TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,377
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You mean don't cut them off at the joints, right?
     
  8. JaimeGibb

    JaimeGibb TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Messages:
    449
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Occoquan, VA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Right. Watch out cutting off at the joint. Like...watch out! Don't do it! ;)
     
  9. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    yeah, i see where i split the subject's arm. not exactly cut at the joint but not too far from it either. that was a rough spot to shoot in; rugged terrain and bright background. also, i actually had my back against a post of a wooden bridge. =p
     
  10. pixeldawg

    pixeldawg TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Alabama
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You know, if people are willing to pay you for your work, more power to you! I say go for it! If you're not sure if you should charge, maybe allow them to pay you what it's worth to them. This way, you are getting something for your time, effort and cost of equipment, and they don't feel like they get fleeced. It's a win-win this way. When you get to a point that you feel that your work is worth more than you are making- consistently- then get some pricing together and charge accordingly.
     
  11. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    5,600
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach, CA U.S.A
    There is no answer to this tired question. Tell us why you think people should pay for your services. Getting paid for your photography is not all that it is cracked up to be. If you have a day job just shoot for fun and call it good. If you are looking for some extra money get a second job at Starbucks.

    Those are the standard and all too true responses. If you are interested in the field of photography think about raising the bar on your creativity. Get the gear you need to create your vision. When your work is really strong then YOU will know when to charge. This is a question only YOU can answer. Set some goals and meet them. Take your time and think about it.

    Love & Bass
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2008
  12. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    7,006
    Likes Received:
    67
    Location:
    Kankakee, IL
    Now. Just don't get ahead of yourself. Don't expect to get the big bucks.

    If nothing else, consider you're renting out your equipment for the session, and... it comes with pickup and delivery, and an operator.

    But Evil Eagle is right.... everybody LOVES your work when it's free, but the second you start charging for your work, EVERYBODY is a critic.

    You need to develop your posing and lighting knowledge. Read some books, attend some seminars. Learn how to run a session. This family is a peach... all good looking with a good sense of how to dress for photography. Will you know what to do with regular, frumpy people with no taste? They won't all be as easy as this one.

    -Pete
     

Share This Page