How much to charge for this?

Terri Walsh

TPF Noob!
Sep 19, 2007
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Calgary, Alberta
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I shot a last minute photo shoot yesterday, in not so optimal conditions. (they really wanted some photos to give out for Christmas)
These are the ones they chose of the bunch, (yes photoshoped)
I just have no idea what to charge!?!
I was there for about an hour. A couple of hours on the computer, getting 10 5x7 prints done for now....and I was going to give them a cd with small email type copies....

(is a link ok?)

Any suggestions much appreciated...
CC also welcome!
Link comes back as private... Curious to see what people say about pricing though (which shouldn't really matter from what they see, IMHO.)
Yeah, I get Private as well.

Obviously these discussions should take place prior to the event. Are they friends, are you trying to build your portfolio, have you charged previously, are you just looking for experience, did you expect to get paid?

Depends on your motivations. At the very least, cover your expenses. Use the invested time as paying your dues. With such little information to go on, an opinion is difficult to foster.

I would just consider a nominal fee per print to cover out of pocket expense, travel and incidentals provided the customer is happy with the results.
Without seeing the images,.. say $300 plus cost of prints.

Not that I'm familiar with market prices. So just a SWAG.

Did you tell them you were going to charge them? Usually that comes up before you take the pictures.
ok so I left out some details...
so its kind of a friend of a friend sort of thing. Saw some pictures I have done and asked if I could do some of her kids. She has told me a few times she would just write me a cheque, just to tell her how much....
Wanted them done asap, so she could have them to give out for Christmas...
Sorry the link was private, here are a few of the pictures that I showed and they selected.
Again pricing sugestions and CC welcome.
Lighting in the house was not very good, and I only had my 30D, 24-105, 50mm, and 580 flash.
I dont currently own studio equipment :(
I do have a few more people interested in family portraits. Any other suggestions or tip (without studio) equip.?


I should also note I was thinking around $100 for first real time.....all 10 prints included, and maybe even a cd with small quality photos???
1 - I am kinda concerned that this post came up in the beginners section and not the commercial area. Pros wold be better equiped to answer your questions than "beginners".

2 - How long have you been a professional? Any businessperson KNOWS you do not do ANYTHING before discussing price up front. The fastest way to lose a friend is to charge AFTER doing it. To them it seems underhanded and that you are purposefully taking advantage of them. For all you know, because they are a friend of a friend, they expected these for free or certainly no more than your cost for the paper to make the prints.

To find out what you should charge, as a professional, one would assume that these are not your first pro pics, and that you have a predefined price list already in place. Take 20-25% off becuase *perhaps* maybe you feel they are not your best work (becuase of conditions and that you were rushed, and that it is a friend of a friend).

Perhaps an un-asked for critique, but both pics look a little soft to me. Nice, but... well, as you said, you were not under optimal conditions.

I want to be clear that I am not bagging on you, just stating a few points that kinda seem glaring. :)

Merry Christmas! :D
I am an amateur and beginner. I take pictures of friends and am always looking for volunteers who would let me practice and improve my skills. I dont guarantee ahead of time any result/pictures (bcos I am still not confident in my skills), but afterwards I do give them the good pictures. In some case, I have made prints, posters and photo books to thank them for volunteering.

When I see one of my pictures as a screensaver on their machine or framed up on their wall, that is my reward and means more to me than $$.

Here is my thought. If you are a beginner and using these sessions to hone your skills, then, unless you need the money desparately, I would say dont charge for it. If they insists then let them decide how much they want to pay and give you a gift. Thank them for the oppotunity and ask that they keep you in mind for future opportunities and refer you to others. I think this way you will get more referrals and future work.

Also, see if you can get photo release permissions so that you can have it in your portfolio and use it later.

good luck.
Great points JerryPH and mrvgson. Not too hard, much appreciated! I did soften them, especially the first one, in order to focus on the eyes.
Yes< think I realized last night that I may have posted in the wrong section!
I think I will figure out my pricing now, and tell everyone else ahead of time.
Any suggestions on what to charge friends? Would I keep it a certain percent off type of thing?
I was thinking because they sought me out (to get "pictures differnt than the usual ones from Sears") that they fully believe there would be a charge. I will be needing volunteers, but being such a rush before Christmas, I would not have sought any out right now!
Argh so confussing...
Any suggestions on what to charge when starting out and how to go about increasing those prices?

for prints i charge about 30 cents more than the actual print price so you still get a profit one way or another.
then since i am a mobile studio (i go on location and set up there) i charge $65 per session so i can get travel fees in there and set up and break down time. but usually i just look at what other photographers are charging and see what their budget is on the session and kinda go from there
30 cents more than the price of the prints. is that a mistake?

you should charge much more than that in my opinion.

a 10 x 8 cost 2pound [4 dollars]

i charge 20pound for it [40 dollars]

plus the sitting fee
Wow ya, I thought 30 cents?!?! Maybe she meant %? It will cost more to go and pick them up!!!
So about 1000% mark up? Is that pretty standard?
im not sure if its standard. i think a lot of togs charge much more than this.

but i dont really do it to pay any bills so thats the price i feel comfotable with.

basically its a licence to print money you can charge what you want.

if people like your work you will get the business

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