The eternal question of pricing

Discussion in 'The Aspiring Professionals Forum' started by MVPernula, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. MVPernula

    MVPernula TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Hello!

    Between March-April I'll have my first ever paid shoot, it'll be an event or bal more specifically. Excited! They want me shooting actively between 16-22 (4PM - 10PM), so about a 6 hour shoot. During this time they expect me to my thing when they mingle, take group shots and some portraits. Pretty standard I assume. They don't want it edited, probably to save in some cash.

    Afterwards they want access to the shots, of course, but what do you guys do with resolution?
    Do you give them the RAW-files or smaller JPEGS? I assume the latter after some quick googling.

    Do you however give them *all* of the shots taken?
    I guess this leads me to pricing. Some people charge by the shot, some by hour, or so I've read.

    Give me something to work with!

    I'm leaning towards setting set sum for all of the work, offer x amount of pictures within that sum and if they want more shots they can add for additional ones.
    Am I on to something here?

    Man going from doing this as a hobby to something more serious is... Taxing. But fun!

    Any help appreciated!


     
  2. JBPhotog

    JBPhotog No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Lots of differing answers to come but you said you are already booked for the shoot therefore, the client already knows there is a fee? If so how was that communicated, as in fee for time or number of shots?

    I understand this is your first paid gig but part of a working pros arsenal is quoting up front with details as to the particulars in print, either text or as I do, via email with an estimate in PDF format. If you get booked from that then all the factors are known to both parties. Be as detailed as you need to be so the clients expectations are within your description of the job. Also include usage rights and terms. One never knows if a event shot ends up being something more useful to the marketing team, spell that out in your estimate. If the client wants all the rights(with the exception of copyright) then price accordingly.

    As far as the technical bits go I never hand over Raw files, clients are just not versed in the correct manipulation techniques or software skills to make your work shine. Final JPEG's after you do your edits (or not) are all clients like this get, designers and ad agencies get Tiff's. Almost never will they need anything larger than social media sized images but you'll have the Raw's just in case they need a print or anything larger, again knowing in advance of usage will clarify this. Culling OOF or unacceptable shots is your job as a pro however, do your best so if only one shot is taken due to other factors, its good because they will want that one.

    Scout the location if you can and see what the lighting will be like at the same time of the event or bring a small kit of lighting to help get the shots. If its one of those huge dark venues, you might suggest a photo wall (depending on the age and status of the client) where you could set up a background and lighting to grab well lit small groups and couples. Again, discuss with client.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
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  3. Justin Watson

    Justin Watson TPF Noob!

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    When I did digital work I charged $100/ hour w/ minimum of 1 hr. When I got home I spent another 4-5 hrs going through pictures, changing from RAW to JPEG, and burn to DVD. Breaking that down that's only $20 an hour, which ain't nothing. Do not undervalue your work, but remember you aren't Annie Liebowitz either.
     
  4. mrca

    mrca No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Justin, must first calculate time(at your labor rate) and materials and then add overhead then a profit. include travel time, gas, wear and tear on car, time taking the assignment, sending the invoice, collecting the money, paying the taxes-you are paying the sales and income taxes right?- insurance, gear depreciation and replacement cost on worn out or broken gear, on going education, monthly cost of programs, cost of the dvd. Folks get all excited to be paid for taking photos, but to actually make a profit, that is what is left over AFTER all other costs. Not charging for all your costs plus a profit will make you an amateur photographer in no time. Or, instead an unintentional non profit giving photos while not making money.
     
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  5. Original katomi

    Original katomi TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Additionally in these current times you will want to consider and take into account if you are able to do the shoot.
    I can’t see your location but so many places are now entering lockdown or other restrictions on gatherings
     
  6. Justin Watson

    Justin Watson TPF Noob!

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    I didn't know or think about all that at the time, I actually left photography for a while because I dropped a lens at an event shoot and what I was getting paid wouldn't even cover the cost of a new lens or even the repair of the one I dropped. So then and there I stepped back and reconsidered everything I was doing or trying to do. Grasping at every gig someone wanted to give me. Being away from it all, selling off all my digital stuff, computer dying in that time, has given me a chance to make sure I am doing photography my way on my terms and for fun mostly. I will soon be entering a professional mode again, but this time I'm older, wiser, shooting on film (cause I love it), learning/teaching darkroom, and my cost will be pricing me out of the little crap I actually hated doing. I have a full-time gig so this won't be some crazy dive in, but I'm also not playing around anymore and I'm more confident in my skills than ever.

    OP let us know how this all turns out.
     
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  7. Sharpshooterr

    Sharpshooterr No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, if he was Annie Leibovitz, they’ed BOTH be bankrupt right now!!! LoL
    SS
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    2,000 pixels in the long Dimension and 144 pixels per inch is a good batch conversion setting in Lightroom. Set your quality to 69 to 75% and limit the maximum file size to 3 megabytes. This has been a good Lightroom batch conversion setting for me.

    Apply sharpening for print,at a high level, for glossy paper,and upload these files to some web service. The pictures should be useful at that resolution and at that DPI setting. I think this job is worth $400 at least.
     

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