When do i know if i need to charge for my services???

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by rateeg, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. rateeg

    rateeg TPF Noob!

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    I am shooting kids, people, and weddings for free for a long time now, nearly 2 years.
    When do i know that i need to charge for my services?


     
  2. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    When people are willing to pay for them.
     
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  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you're asking this, you're not ready.
     
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  4. scorpion_tyr

    scorpion_tyr No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Exactly. And to add to that: When you have a business account, tax id, licence, insurance, etc. And if you want to be a photographer who charges money aka a professional, you should probably have professional level gear. Also you need a professional quality portfolio, website, printing services, and above all the know how. I don't know much about you and I don't recall seing any of your images so you may have all of this... I don't know.

    If you want to slowly earn a little bit of money to put towards your gear and expenses you can take donations. Just tell the people you take pictures for to pay you whatever they think the services are worth. IMO, there's nothing wrong with that, but when people charge certain prices for their services that are nowhere near the professional level I view that as nothing more than a scam.

    If you have all of the stuff listed above and you honestly think you're ready to be a photographer, not a fauxtographer, post some pics in this thread. I'm sure there's a few of us who will be more than happy to give our opinions of if you're ready or not.
     
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  5. cgipson1

    cgipson1 TPF Noob!

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    And make sure you understand and know how to use FLASH, Reflectors, etc...! Don't be a NATURAL LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER! ;) If you don't know how to use flash, when you need it.... then you are not ready to go pro either!
     
  6. Balmiesgirl

    Balmiesgirl TPF Noob!

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    It's a double edged sword....
    Pros get tired of constantly being under cut by non pros..... If you don't charge you are hurting the market ( even your own self, because when you finally start charging people will say " what the heck! You always did this for free before". )
    If its free people tend to not value it.... Lots of freebies makes clients devalue the product.
    Even when I do gift a session I always put a value on it. I invoice them as such and such service at set price minus whatever discount they receive. So they see my prices and know what my regular rates are.
    If more aspiring photographers would charge it would level out the playing field...
    Do you want to be chosen because you are cheap or because people value your work? It's your choice.

    Gear doesn't make the photographer! ( but here's my stuff: Nikon d3, d300, 14-24 2.8, 24-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8 II, 50 1.4, lots more fun stuff!
     
  7. LRYoung

    LRYoung TPF Noob!

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    I think its quite simple. It's time to charge when you are taking photos people are willing to part with money for.

    You can test this fairly easily. Put your photos up for sale - if you do this online there are no upfront costs - and start learning how to market them. Your customers need to know they are for sale before they can buy them.

    This makes it really easy to keep track of how much you are earning. That way you get a clear answer to if your photos are good enough for people to buy them.

    Hope that helps...
     
  8. MReid

    MReid TPF Noob!

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    Need to ..... ???

    Never....the best way to ruin a great hobby is to try to turn it into a business.
     
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  9. Kerbouchard

    Kerbouchard TPF Noob!

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    To differ from the others, start charging now. Charge more than you think you are worth. If people are willing to pay it, you are ready. If they laugh, you're not.

    If you are delivering quality results, you shouldn't be doing it for free. If you just happen to be a guy with a camera that shows up, then that is an entirely different story.

    Sounds like you got yourself into a situation where people just 'expect' you to show up with you camera and give them pictures. Don't be that guy.
     
  10. DiskoJoe

    DiskoJoe Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Your gear list is pretty sad. If this is all the gear someone came with I would not pay them. I would not even let them shoot second with me. You are at tag-a-long status. That's the photog equivalent of the friend zone. You aint gettin none!
     
  11. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Gear does not a professional make. Results are what people pay for.
     
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  12. DiskoJoe

    DiskoJoe Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    True but gear can be a reflection of knowledge and skill level. Someone with one prime and the basic kit zoom combo is probably a beginner and will shoot like one. This isnt always the case but stereotypes tend to have a grain of truth embedded in them.
     
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