Am i ready to charge?

Bitter Jeweler

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Well, you answered your own question, which was the title of your post.

Besides, "every shoot I do gives me loads of nice feedback".
Well then run with it.
Browse the forums, look at other people asking about the same things you are as far as lighting set ups. Get books, search the net, there is tons of free info and video tutorials out there.

But when you come here and ask for comments, don't be surprised if you don't get the glowing reviews your customers give you. Just sayin'.
 

NikWilliamson

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Do what I did, shoot friends for free, ask for referrals and charge 50$ at most so expectations aren't high. As your skill grows, increase your price. Nothing helps you learn and grow like practice and pressure.
 

fokker

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Your photos aren't up to scratch for charging top dollar, no, but hell if you can get 20 or 30 quid a time and learn as you go then why not, you'll improve every time and it sounds like you've got a bit of work lined up, so..... just keep on keepin on.
 

SupNY

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There is a difference between charging prices as a real photographer, and what most people do and charge peanuts for the work. The peanuters are what is driving the photography market down.

Get your shots, lighting and post production down 100% and then start charging real prices. You can still have lower end real prices. But $40 for a session that includes all images on a CD? Just do it for free while you learn.

In some cases, way under charging will come back to haunt you as you'll find that people know you are the cheap ass photographer, so raising your prices as your skill raises will have you lose pretty much all of your clients.

Great advice, listen to this man, he knows the score!
 

KmH

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NikWilliamson,

I've been meaning to ask: Who was standing on that guy's testicles when that avatar pic was taken? :raisedbrow: ;) :lol:

Or, is that supposed to be a smile? :confused: :lmao:
 

Formatted

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No necessarily. Depends on how you use it

Bit of flash very low can work well in some situations, but in those above they aren't working well!
 

RockDawg

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Thanks to those of of who who offered some advice; but I don't think there was any need for some of you to take the piss.
I'm not saying I'm an expert photographer by any means, but whenever I do photo shoots for favours, people always ask me why I don't charge for them. With me being skint at the minute, I started charging just to cover my petrol costs so it wasn't costing me out of pocket to do them. But after I made the Facebook page I had quite a lot of messages from people saying they were interested, and asking how much I charge. I don't think I can really be blamed for deciding to stick a £20 price on it when people are more than willing to pay.
I've done five paid for shoots so far, and I've got another six booked; plus loads another 10+ plus people who said they're definitely interested. All of the people I've done the shoots have been really happy with them, have recommended their family and friends and have said they'd like another shoot some time soon.
If people weren't too happy with the shoots I'd stop charging. But I don't see why I should stop now, when every shoot I do gives me loads of nice feedback.
Anyway, I know I'm not a professional by any means, but I'm aiming to get to that stage one day. Can anybody give me any tips or advice, like I asked in my OP, as to what specifically to improve on, and how to go about it. Also, do you have any recommendations on cheap studio kids or backdrops etc?

Why ask for opinions if you aren't ready to hear ones you don't like? Sounds to me like you already made up your mind so why even bother to ask? If you have people willing to pay and you want to do it, then go for it. But as most have pointed out, you have a fair bit to learn. That's not to say that your pictures aren't any good. There's just room for improvement. Your lighting definitely looks like on-camera flash and it's producing some really harsh shadows. At least try bouncing the flash off a nearby ceiling or walls. That alone can make a big difference and you don't even have to buy anything to do it. Also, on the portraits, try to isolate your subject better. Your portraits have little to no bokeh going on which is likely due to the lens you're using. Are you shooting with a kit lens? The distance between the camera and the subject and the subject and the background will also have an affect on bokeh. Try playing around with that too. Look at the work of others here on this site and compare it to your own. Ask yourself what makes their's better. That's' how you will learn and grow. I'm basically a beginner too and most of my shots wouldn't garner a whole lot of praise amongst experienced photographers. My family and friends, on the other hand, think most of my pictures are great and always tell me I'm too hard on myself. While that's nice and all, they are still wrong.

If you want to make money, great sell to people who want to buy your photos, but if you want to grow and be a better photographer, learn to see what's wrong and embrace the critique of other experienced photographers. You can learn a lot more from a critique than a pat on the back.
 

philsphoto

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I think you have an excellent eye, and are getting pictures that people would really like. I like how you fill the frame with your subject! I think the flash photography needs a little work, the shadows are harsh. A studio kit will work well, Alien Bees is what I use. But may I also suggest that an external flash with a Rogue Flash Bender would improve your flash photography in a big way.

Phil

San Antonio Wedding & Portrait Photography - Phil Photographer
 

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