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What now?

Discussion in 'People' started by Mitchell, May 3, 2007.

  1. So I deliver the photos to my nurse from my recent engagement shoot. She and her fiance LOVE them. I'm all happy and proud. Now three of her friends want similar shoots.

    Her favorite...


    Now I did this as a gift to my nurse. What do I charge these people for something like this?? I only know what to charge for a tonsillectomy!
  2. JMartin

    JMartin Guest

    Great News, Mitch.

    If you didn't do such good work, you wouldn't have this problem. Since I never know what to charge myself, I asked a couple of the soon-to-be wed folks here in my office.

    Most were just as helpful as my answer, they aren't sure. The one guy I asked said to price them at what you feel your time is worth, they will either agree or not. Are you printing them as well, or just giving them digital files, that will make a difference too.

    Good luck and congrats, Mitch. It's exciting when people want you to do their photography.

    Another one of the guys I work with just got into the office. He is getting married in Feb. so they just went thru this themselves. He said the quotes they got were usually $300 for the engagement photos, but if they also booked the wedding with that photographer, the engagement photos were $100. Hope that helps some.
  3. I use the results from portrait sessions like this to get bigger jobs... like their wedding. I sell local location shoot packages for $150. That includes

    a 45 minute photo session
    edited 4x6 proofs of an estimated 6 to 12 good shots
    a cd with the high resolution files on them so they can make prints/enlargements.

    The trick is, once we establish rapport and they see their pics, I become their photographer, and they'll hire me for other stuff.
  4. Mitchell I would charge them double what Frank suggested. Your time is valuable and your ability justifies getting more. Once you low ball yorself, how do you explain charging more if you get more business? I
  5. True. I don't charge much because my time is worthless and my photos are crap.

    Edit: I didn't take your comments personally. I just couldn't resist adding the punch line to such a wonderful straight line :505: .
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2007
  6. Frank sorry if you took my comments personally. I can see how you took them but it was not my intention to insult you. I also think you should charge more and was kind of shocked that you charged so little based on the time it takes to set up a shoot and process them..
  7. Not to worry, Eric, I was just having you on a little :biggrin:. I'm retired, and photography is mostly a hobby, though it's nice to make a few bucks to justify new purchases to my CFO :wink: . But these little portrait sessions only take about 2 hours of my time (1 hour for the shoot, and 1 hour for editing), and about $3 in materials (12 prints and 1 cd), so $150 is actually a nice return... and great advertising! A little session with Kim and Jason in 2005...

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    led to this well paid job in 2006.

    View attachment 93620

  8. Joe, thanks for taking your officed poll. I can't see doing this for less than $300. I spent 2 hours shooting and 2 hours processing. I'm just a rookie at this, but my time is very valuable to me.
  9. Frank, I was hoping you would chime in here. Your price seems too low for me, but I do realize that you are able to use it as a springboard to get the next job (wedding).

    The problem with these sunset beach shoots is that you just can't do it in 45 minutes. I need at least 2 hours out there to get the different range of shots between daylight and sunset.
  10. Eric, thanks for weighing in here. I agree that you can't undervalue your work up front.

    I'm not really sure how to handle these other people. I need to decide if I really want to pursue photography for payment. An engagement shoot is one thing, but I really have no desire to go out and shoot weddings. I can see where all this would be heading.

    Quite frankly, I don't think I could get paid enough to do these on a regular basis to make it worthwhile. My wife would not be very happy if I started spending evenings out shooting weddings!

    The people in my office all want to know when I am going to give up this doctor stuff and get into photography full time!:eek: 
  11. Actually, you're the one undercutting the market, Mitchell. You're thinking of asking $300 for 2 hours on location plus 2 hours of editing. That comes out to $75/hr. I get $150 for 45 minutes on location plus 45 minutes for editing, which is $100 per hour.

    $300 is not unreasonable. Charge it, but realize that many potential clients won't allocate 2 hours for a shoot... and if they do, you'll probably lose their "freshness" in less than half that time. I've found 45 minutes to be ideal in terms of keeping their interest, and I can take about 50 shots in that amount of time, - more than enough to guarantee 6-12 keepers. Check out the results from last weekend's 45 minute session with Michelle & Family.

  12. Frank, I can't go from this...

    to this...

    in 45 minutes. I think $300-$500 for this kind of a session is reasonable.

    BIZZELL Guest

    I have admired many of your beach shots. I am planning on taking my first family portrait at the beach next week. Can you give any advice? I know to take it late in the afternoon- any other tips?
  14. Thanks for asking.

    I wish I could give you specific advice. The problem with the beach is the ever changing lighting. I generally used matrix metering with fill flash off camera on a light stand. Be sure to watch your highlights. It is very easy to blow the whites at the beach. Adjust your EV accordingly.

    Do you have an assistant? I didn't, but next time I will bring my son along to help. I think a lot of my shots could have been improved simply with a large reflector.

    From a practical standpoint, I opted to bring just two lenses on two bodies. I am afraid to change lenses on a windy, sandy beach.

    Depending on the lighting variety you want to capture, plan on being at the beach for up to 2 hours. This seems like a long time, but it gives you ample time to sample the various stages of sunset. Be sure to take plenty of water breaks.

    Good luck and post your pics!
  15. Ottrott's Human

    Ottrott's Human

    May 21, 2006
    What now? Now you quite your day job.....take a 300% cut in pay and start taking photo's for a living!:biggrin:

    That's what happens when you get good.........word spreads and you have to start turing down work or else make it a profession.

    Glad they liked the pic's so much Mitchell. I'm not really surprised!:smile:

  16. Thanks, Stuart.

    Two of the three couples have signed on for beach sessions for $350. Still haven't heard from the third, but I wouldn't be surprised if their engagement fell through.

    Oddly enough, neither of the two blinked at the $350 price tag.

    Now the hard part, explaining this to my wife!
  17. I charge $100 for showing up to take their pictures and then I have a per picture price of $5.00, $10, $15, $30 for 4x6, 5x7, 8x10, 11x14 respectively. My profit adds up quickly as they order pictures but it is within their control. I will also sell them a CD after they have placed their initial order. Every once in awhile I will shoot on spec if there is a model that interests me and for this I give them two 8x10 images of their choice. I have been able to get a lot of repeat orders and business this way.
  18. Gordon, do you charge still charge $100 if it takes one or three hours?

    What do you charge them for the cd with the prints on it?

    Do you just give them the raw, unedited images or are they pp'd and ready to print?
  19. Good questions, Brian.

    For $350 I'm giving them 3 8x10 and 10 5x7 prints. I'll also give them a CD of the processed shots I chose to work on.

    My photos are also on my smugmug page and can be purchased by them there if they don't want to do their own printing work.
  20. Look at it this way you don't need malpractice insurance, unless the shots turn out really bad. In that case sell the camera.

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