PRICING!!! New to the world of photography.


TPF Noob!
Jun 11, 2013
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Fairfield, Ca
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Hi, I've been searching the internet to answers to my pricing question. I find sites where people speak about it, but I can never really find an answer. So I was hoping I could post some of my work here and see what comes from it. Lately I've received a few requests from people who have seen my work and would like for me to shoot them, but I haven't the slightest on what to tell them for pricing. Please help!!!


This is a topic that comes up frequently in all photography forums (especially in the "Business of Photography", "Earning with Photography" and "Professional" sub-forums)
I would suggest you do a search for threads within these forums.
Don't expect someone to give you a specific $ amount - I'm not sure I have ever seen this.
You will get a lot of it depends on ....................
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The business of photography is rather little about photography and rather much about business. Only you can decide what to charge. There are too many variables - the biggest one being your cost of doing business (CODB). This is an aggregate of all of your hard costs; food, fuel, equipment, depreciation, insurance, professional fees, 'phone, Internet... the list goes on. Next determine what you salary is to be, and factor that in. Once you've got a cost for all of that for a year, then divide by the number of days in a year you plan to work as a photographer and you'll have your CODB for a day - from there figure out how much of a day or days the shoot will occupy and you will know how much you need to charge.

FWIW, based on the image above, I would suggest honing your skills just a little more before you hang your shingle out.
Based on that one image, I see a lot of other photographers with similar skills charging about $50 for a 3 hour session, and giving the client a cd with 300 images or so (usually unedited). That seems to be a very common plan today. As mentioned, Professional photography is more about being a successful business person, than being the world's greatest photographer.... and CODB is a good thing to know (and you will need to pay taxes, get insurance for liability and gear, business licenses, etc).

I would agree with John (Tirediron) that you need to work on your skillsets if you really want to go "PRO".

I would recommend learning about exposure (you have fried highlights above), basic lighting skills (you have hard shadows / fried highlights above), basic composition skills (your framing above is very tight - it could not be framed as is, you cut off your subjects foot, the foreground is busy and unattractive, the background is ugly, etc...). I would also strongly suggest upgrading your equipment! While a knowledgeable professional could work around the limitations of your Canon Rebel, it takes a lot of knowledge and experience to be able to do that. It lacks the dynamic range you will need to shoot low light situations, with low-noise high ISO. I am assuming you are probably using a kit lens also.. and they are seldom the sharpest lens you can buy... or the fastest. You also probably need to learn to use flash / strobe with modifiers, and purchase those if you are lacking them.
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My best suggestion is to find a local mentor. Someone who is a successful photographer AND business person. This may sound harsh, but you obviously need help with both.
My best suggestion is to find a local mentor. Someone who is a successful photographer AND business person. This may sound harsh, but you obviously need help with both.

Agreed. The OP looks like they are just following the person around, shooting whatever stance they happen to get into, without regards for lighting or the basics of photography.
I find sites where people speak about it, but I can never really find an answer.
That's because there is no one answer. But if you have to have a number - $2000.

Do you want pricing for personal use (retail) or commercial use?
If personal retail use: for prints (chromogenic or inkjet), albums, canvas, standouts, framed, not framed, or just digital files?
If commercial: for exclusive or non-exclusive use, for what time period, within what geographical area, in what media types, for how large a company.

As far as commercial, visit American Society of Media Photographers and on the left click on Business Resources.
If you want to start a photography business:
Photography Business Secrets: The Savvy Photographer's Guide to Sales, Marketing, and More
Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition
How to Start a Home-Based Photography Business, 6th (Home-Based Business Series)
How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling
The Psychology of Salesmanship
Uggh...Just charge what you want, you have the Canon rebel and the skills to use it, you're already near the top of the photo ladder, build your web site, get your business cards printed, and join the other 10 million amateurs around the world that have been told by friends "you can make a living at this, you really are the best photographer I know"

Sorry the candy coating fell off my reply.
Don't ask me, I only trade my photos for sexual favors.

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