When to start charging for photo shoots?!

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by InTheShoot, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. InTheShoot

    InTheShoot TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I posted this question in the beginner thread and got no response so I thought I would try here!!

    I am an amateur with views to study formally next year. In the mean time, I clearly take a lot of photos of friends and family!
    A lady has taken serious interest in my photography and has requested that I shoot her two children. She offered to pay me.
    Now, I offered to cover the session for free and told her she could take care of the printing (which at this point I can only recommend chain store options for printing as I have no experience and don't know anything about how pro's get their photos printed).

    But, at what stage does a photographer start charging? When I have a degree?What is the etiquette here?
     
  2. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,717
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    it is up to you when you decide to become a buisness man...

    i would say do it when you are conifdent enough that you will do a great job that people will be really satisfied with, and make sure you make a contract with no loopholes in which says, if you mess up a shoot, they cannot sue you for any loss of memories and they cannot receive a full refund (As your also gettin paid just to be there)
     
  3. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    3
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    When they are willing to give you their money.
     
  4. CareToPose

    CareToPose TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Isn't that a contradictory to what a contract should be in that it should be fair to both parties involved? There is a legal term for this.. .

    OK now I'm going out of topic. :blushing:

    Yes if they like your shots and are wiling to pay for it, heck why not take their offer? :D
     
  5. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    3
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Sit down and actually read ANY contract that you have signed.

    It's written by THEIR lawyers to protect THE PROVIDER not the customer.
     
  6. InTheShoot

    InTheShoot TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks for the replies! It was a mix of lack of confidence in myself and an uncertainty about what makes a photographer a photographer I suppose - that made me ask - and the replies have made me realise that what makes one a photographer is the ability to take great pictures!
    What makes a picture great I suppose is what pleases someone else, if people are pleased and offer to pay for my services - that's all that matters!!

    Next time I will not sell myself short and knock back an offer of payment!
     
  7. Nicholas James Photo

    Nicholas James Photo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    636
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Cotswolds, UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I started charging because I needed to eat but I think the two best ways to decide are 1. Take a long hard look at your pics and ask yourself "would I pay for these" 2. Be honest with your client about experience etc and set a price that is fair to you both. Paying just for printing is not fair! The guys mention contracts.. and it is an often quoted subject here. The truth is, once you go outside the Am box and into the pro world it does not matter how friendly the person is or how well you know them, a contract is a must have. Things that go wrong will always be your fault so cover your butt.
     
  8. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Messages:
    2,753
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Missouri
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    In my opinion, 2 things need to happen before you should start charging for photos.

    1. Your photos should consistently be good in both your eyes and the potential customer's eyes. If you do a shoot and it's great....then the next shoot you do and it's a flop, then you shouldn't be charging yet (what if you charge and the shoot is a "flop"). Once you can get good photos each time you are out (for an actual session type shoot), then this step is ready.

    2. You have the confidence to be able to get good shots each time. This means confidence in your ability to compose, light, expose, post process, etc... each shot to get a good variety of shots. Without this confidence you will have a hard time doing well.

    That's my opinion on the matter. I feel pretty strongly about both of those because I have been in the same boat as you for quite awhile now and just now feel I am at a point to meet both 1 and 2 above. The last 3 formal sessions I have done have all gone really well, produced some great shots, and I wouldn't have felt bad one bit if I had charged for the photos. Based on that, I have the confidence and ability (in my opinion) to actually start charging for portrait sessions.
     
  9. InTheShoot

    InTheShoot TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit

    This is great advice - Thanks!! You are so right - confidence seems to be the subject coming up in replies to any questions I have posted about anything here - so it's obvious that I lack that!! Right now, I feel as though I don't have the RIGHT to charge - because I can not guarantee a perfect outcome! I look at the photos that I feel ARE great, and I have to wonder - are these only so great because I know these children so well, they are my family - shooting children I don't know so well is different, capturing their personality is a little harder when you don't know them... and this is something that is very important to me in my photos - I don't just want pretty pictures, I want the real personality to shine through! So even when I get the technical side down pat, I have to make sure I can capture souls as well... it has to be true to life!

    I will continue to offer free sessions until I am more confident, and just have them pay for the printing - it's only fair - the experience is indeed a payment in its own right anyway!
     
  10. Azriel

    Azriel TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I agree. But stay humble with your amounts. I lost out on a good opportunity because I bought a bunch of equipment and got cocky.
     
  11. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,238
    Likes Received:
    5,008
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Welcome to the School of Hard Knocks. :thumbup:
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
charging for photo shoots
,
charging for photos
,
how to start charging for photography
,
how to start charging for photos
,
shoots photo forum
,
when to start charging for photo shoots
,

when to start charging for photography

,
when to start charging for photos
,
when to start charging for pictures
,
when to start charging for your photography