need a reasonable price


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Sep 4, 2007
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So, i was contacted today by someone planning a valentines dance. They want me to do couples and group shots the party would be from 7pm-12am, I'm unsure how long I would stay but I need an idea on pricing. I know you're going to say "what do you think is fair" or "how much would you pay" but they are the one picking me. Also they said "you may charge what ever you want" now i would love a few grand but let's be reasonable.

I'm still trying to sort out a few things with them so could i get a few ideas on a labor cost for the photos. a per hour that I'm physically at the event taking photos and then a fee for editing. The thing i am trying to sort is they want me to have prints for the guests as they leave. This means i would have to bring a computer and along with a printer and then have to do fast limited editing and printing. I informed her that if i do it this way i will charge much more seeing as i will supply the printer, the ink, and the paper.
Actual cost of prints (add up EVERYTHING! No matter how small, shipping anything to you, lab cost, packaging to the client, everything) and multiply by 5.5. I charge bands a $125 fee for 2 hours of shooting. That is sort of my baseline, $75 1 hour $125 2 hours. Then add your prints delivered and you have a fair price that will make you a decent wage.
thanks, would you suggest i only offer like 3 print sizes? if so what sizes 4x6 8x10 and what a smaller? I don't want to be to ridiculously priced manly because this will be my first "pro" job, i have been paid before for photographing but that was my friend's band not an event like this. Also should I do something like 80$ an hour which will include ONE print for each client and then they can purchase extras and they'll pay me direct?

any more help or advice is GREATLY appreciated. I have a canon XTI 50mm 1.8 and my stock lens, i'm thinking about renting either another XTI or spend a little more and rent a 40D that way i can quickly swap what lens I'm using, and just incase something happens.
rethinking, should i maybe have the prints mailed to me, then spend the little bit of extra to mail them out my self that way i can be sure they are how i want them to look?
Depends on how well you know your printer. I know my local printer, and I have calibrated my equipment in a way that when I print to them I know the pics are going to be perfect. If you are unsure, you may either want to calibrate your stuff or have it sent to you for review.
alright ya i think i may get a few test prints and then calibrate that way so i can get the best shots possible. i talked to my father and he said at this type of event (and where it is) that 10 tables of 10 (totally 100 people) would be considered small, which means i'm going to have my work cut out for me PLUS he said group shots taken at the table are very common. So i'm defintly thinking of renting a canon 40d and a 35mm lens so i can get the large group shots with out having to step on people's toes.
I charge $200 minimum for onsite + 99 cents for each photo they keep.

People like that idea cause they assume that they won't pay for anything they don't like. Then they end up wanting all 800 photos.

I give bulk discounts (over 1K photos are 89 cents) and get around $600 - $1,000 for an onsite.
(it helps to bring someone along with a second camera, or bigger events, 4 people)
i may see if my friend will be interested to help me out with more of the "paper work" side of things, I dont really have anyone i trust enough that i know well enough that is good enough with a camera (not saying i am great, its just i know how i work). I'm thinking of only doing packages for the prints IE you cant buy just one 8x10 you would have to buy a 4x6 and an 8x10.
I would be less worried about the camera and more worried about the lighting situation. Remember it will be pitch black outdoors (obviously), and the dancing area will likely be quite dark. You may need to rent two studio lights as well
well it will be indoors (brr would be quite cold if it was outside). If there is room for a "portrait" setup i will be able to borrow studio flashes from my school, i will have a sunpak 383 mounted to my camera no matter what.

One other thing, how do i go about model releases? pretty much if any of these should come out good enough that i want to have the power to put them on my site how do i go about it, do i have EVERY couple sign one? Or in the contract i write up and have the coordinator sign should i state it?
I would still seriously look into getting two studio flashes. I recently did some portraits at the end of a wedding in what is probably quite similar lighting situations using only a 580EX (it was international so... I didn't have my studio flash with me.. otherwise I would have used it) and my settings were ISO 800 f/5.6 1/20s. YIKES.

Can you put them up on a password protected portion of your site?
i would have to look into how to add a password protected portion, and yes i would be willing to do that, i was thinking of doing that just not sure how i would go about telling each couple to look at.

any advice ANYONE has about any aspect of this give it to me :) thanks guys you are the best
also with the flashes, i would RATHER use two studio, just not sure how much room i'm going to have, trust me i will take your advice :)

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