what's a good fee to charge for photography?


TPF Noob!
Jun 27, 2003
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seems like everywhere i go with my cam, someone is always approaching me asking if im a photographer... "im an amateur," .. i say

i got a guy who works for some small magazine/paper and wants me to shoot some kind of street event ... he asked, "how much do u charge?"

but honestly, i dont know what the going rate is? ... perhaps 10 pics or something ... u think i should charge per photo? ... per hour?

whats the going rate for an amateur like myself?
Forget the amatuer talk. It only promotes a shallow self worth that will be taken advantage of.

You'll charge a day rate for your services and then usage for each image used.

pick up the photographers market to learn how to set your rates.
well, i like to let them know that im no pro :lol: ... in case everything falls apart, im not comfortable with calling myself a pro ... i still lack experience.. if their looking for a pro (and dont want to work with an amateur) ... i refer them to my more experienced hubby ... but i wont call myself a pro, thats fraud :p

for example:

i had a shoot last week with an individual that was a train wreck, i couldnt get into the shoot really.. and i couldnt pick out the best pics, cause i felt they all were trash :lol: ... but a pro could seperate his feelings from his profession, im not there yet :D ... my pics are my babies :oops:
How do you get into the business? I admit i'm only 18 and people prolly arent looking for me to take pictures for them yet (although my friends did enjoy their senior pictures) but I itend to make photography my career. Just curious how to get people to pay me
for real, this is my hobby, im not ready to go "pro" .... i'm sorta a perfectionist and i need to perfect my craft a little more, plus i believe in crawling before walking .. i've only been doing this about 2 months, i need more experiece

i feel like im being thrown into doing it "professionally" faster than i want to be there ... everybody in new york wants to be a star, they see a camera and they want their picture taken .... wherever i go with my cam (even to the nail salon *smug*), people always approach me :lol: (my hubby thinks its because im a female :oops: )

i dont mean to sound ungrateful (believe me, i am) ... but i want to go at my pace ... when im ready ... me and my hubby are gonna hit this place by storm 8) ...

to answer ur question :D ... i originally placed an ad in the paper to shoot people to expand my portfolio (u should try this, it works well) ... i shoot them for free, i give them free 8x10's .... they tell all their friends, show them my stuff .... now its mostly word of mouth and people along the street

oh, another thing, u should take ur cam with u a lot of places, even to the grocery store ... people will ask u if their interested ... make sure u have cards with u :)
Carrying the camera around soudns like a good idea, too bad my camera bag looks like a purse. Yeah, I'll keep those things in mind, may have to plan on a move to NYC, sounds like a more photographer friendly place than shreveport, LA
i have a neckstrap for my camera, so its around my neck .. perhaps u should look into it

i had a guy chasing me down the street today to get me to shoot for him :lol:

yeh, we also live in downtown manhattan .. this place is a mecca ... if u want to go pro, i gurantee u want starve here :lol:
There are entire books on how much to charge for what. Just hit your local barnes and noble, borders, etc... and browse the photo section. Titles will jump out at you. "Photographers' Market" is a good one.

You need to ask your self how much your time is worth, then how much the film costs, how much it costs to get there, proceccing and so on. Then give them a price for your time and cost pre prints. I don't charge for my time becouse I am learing also but do charge for my costs. It seems to work for me now but one day I will think my time is worth somthing too. As for being a pro or amateur you are just a photograhper and if it is important to them they will want to see you other work. I don't know what makes you a pro or a amateur I have seen some shots in mags a 5 year old could take. I think it is a state of mind, if you can take goods shots then who is to say? I have seen some of your work, the ones of your hubby, and they looked good to me :thumbsup:
i've also seen work from "professionals" and i could take a better photo in my sleep :lol: ...

does it make u a pro because u charge money? ... or the quality of ur work? .... my hubby and i have have several discussions about this subject :lol:

printing cost me $3.50 for the paper and ink :? .. equipment cost a little more but i would have done it anyway to support my hobby...
In school we had a HUGE assignment about making a business and what to charge.

I chose commercial, but I think either way works.

It was a whole math formula, but you cant use it actually because it has to do with what you want to make in a year and how many days you're willing to work, and how much extra on weekends, etc.

Anyhow. Mine came to 60 dollars a day> or was it 60 an hour?? Geese, I don't know.

But of course you charge for supplies, film processing etc on top. But depending what it is I would strike a deal with the client and tell them to get their own film and processing and just pay me for the work (less for me to worry about and I think it's a good idea for a small budget company/client/assignment).

But for something important with a high budget, double whatever you spend on supplies, film and pocessing ;)
To me a "pro" is someone who knows what they're doing because they've gained A LOT of experience. So someone who does not screw up and can do the job.

I forget who told me this.....or I read it someplace...

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