TPF Noob!
Jun 13, 2003
Reaction score
This is kinda a backwards way of doing things but here it is. I have done a favor for a friend doing some photography, layout, touchups etc with a model on location and the shoot got pretty fancy. Since we were doing this as a "favor" we werent expecting payment so there was no time sheets or estimates or anything of that nature. Well it turns out the company likes the final product so much that I was told "imagine its christmas" since we are going to go ahead and bill these guys.

I am wondering how much "christmas" I should charge. We had out a few rental cars, a crew of 5, on location 2 days in the woods, lights, etc etc..then doing all the required touchups and layout and getting it all ready for print. Basically from concept to finished product. How much do you think with model fees, time, equipment and whatever else should be charged for this? I understand this is slightly awkward but I really have no idea what to quote....

thanks in advance.....
eh, that's a big ball of wax. let me ramble.

- recovery of all expenses NOT 'photo equipment related'
- recovery of all expenses plus a % for all photo equipment used (film, developing, printing,etc.)
- do you plan to pay the people that were with you on this shoot?
- a fee based on usage of the photos. if they are for circulation, a price per quantity 'x' in circulation.
- your time.....

that's the ideal situation. since you were planning to do this free of charge from the beginning, you should at least put on paper each of the expenses incurred as per above and projected revenue. you can then decide what you want to get out of it. that's for you to decide.

i'm going to assume that you aren't going to charge for all of the above, so you may want to consider submitting the total itemized bill and give them the number that you are charging. this does a couple of things:

1) doesn't give the perception that you are the cheapest in town (you'll never live it down)
2) allow them to look at the amount that you have billed and the amount that could've been billed. the least you will get is the amount that you billed. if it is a big christmas, they will have knowledge of what the gig involved in terms of expense and they may opt to give you more than what you ask.

again, what to charge...i dunno. relationships, future paid business, etc. all come into play and this is information that you live and can't really convey in order for anyone to put a value on these things.

and congrats on a good shoot!
Thanks for the reply......I still feel a bit like I am shooting in the dark but at least I now have a starting point. Have you ever called local photographers to see what they charge in order to bill yourself? What kind of percentage multipliers are acceptable? I think I know basically what to charge because I did track things to an extent for informational purposes but I am stuck between calling this a favor and christmas...these sound to me as two opposite things...... :?

Thanks again, Ill fiddle some numbers back and forth some more... :)
i can tell you what i charge:

- i recover any expenses that are travel/personnel related
- i recover photo equipment costs times 2 (two)
- you need to establish an hourly rate for yourself. this will in part be driven by where you live. $125 isn't unreasonable (actually quite low when you take into consideration your camera/lens/tripod/etc. costs)
- as far as the image usage, you will need to find out how they intend to use them. you can then come up with circulation rates.

feel free to hit me up with real numbers if ya want.
great! :D

-2 full days sunrise to sunset.
-I want to pay at least the model which was there the whole time.
-about a two and a half hour drive one way. so 10 hours driving
-about a mile hike in and out with all the equipment.
-going in a few trade magazines, I think 3 or 4...10-20 thousand copies each.
-About 7 hours at the computer getting everything set up.
-I think I can figure out the rental cars and other costs...

Thanks for all the help. :)
Thanks, thats great! :D Going far beyond the call of duty....
k, knock yerself out:


you can change the numbers in the first two columns up to the bold type at the bottom. the rest will auto calc.

driving time. that's your call. you can factor that into the daily hours if you want to do so.

hiking time. as sweaty and painful as it may have been, it goes into the hourly rate area....unless you have medical bills :)

computer time. same deal...hourly rate.

i only put in the hours for 'sunrise to sunset'. 9 hours is realistic unless, of course, you didn't eat or break for biological purposes.
wow, thanks alot. That clears much concern. I'd like to return something, I dont know what though :? .....I am proficient in mx if you ever need reference for motionless...Otherwise a virtual handshake for a job well done..... :)

thanks again
o, i need to add this:

professional models charge $125+ per hour. on the spreadsheet, i took it as an expense. if what you want to pay the model approaches your hourly fee, line item it as a 'pass thru' expense just as the car rental.
excellent, thanks again. I have been dreading this thing for days, now its finally resolved. :)

Most reactions