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TOPIC: charging for photoshoots

charging for photoshoots 3 years 7 months ago #3985

  • Matt Duffie
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Over the past couple of years, I have done plenty of free shoots, just to get my skill level where I think it should be before I started charging. Well now I've been trying to charge for the past couple of months, but no one around my area really wants to pay for anything. People have been recommending me and I have people coming up to me asking to take their pictures, but when I mention money, they just seem to back off and not be interested.

Just a couple of days ago, I was recommended to a lady who wanted pictures for her child's first birthday party. When she contacted me, I told her I would do it for 125, and include 20-30 pictures on a disk for her. She backed up and decided she didn't want them after I told her the price. I know I'm going to lose money at 125 after gas (over an hour away) and wear and tear on equipment. Does anybody have any ideas on how to charge, and have people still say yes? People seem to love my work, but don't want to pay for it. Any ideas? Thanks guys.
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charging for photoshoots 3 years 7 months ago #3995

  • jerry
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If this person expects you to drive for an hour which i'm guessing 1 way, she is simply nuts. I charge around 130, i'm not a pro but pretty darn good according to other people. You should also charge for mileage, like 30 or 40 cents per mile round trip. You have to also consider all your editing time. You have to make a profit and with all this in mind, you are right, you will lose money. You have to charge accordingly. Maybe we can get Greg to talk about this subject in a video
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charging for photoshoots 3 years 7 months ago #4010

  • Erin
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Pros in our area charge anywhere from $90 to $120 for one hour on location photo shoots. But an extra $25 or so if it's further than 30 minutes away. A candid wedding photographer charges $400 for 2 hours. I know where you are coming from - and I do think this is a great question. People should be willing to pay for someone who is talented and good at what they do. Sadly, there are so many "moms with cameras" who don't take the same quality as a real pro - and people would rather go to them. I am just now trying to jump out of the "mom with a camera" category. Good luck to you!!!
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charging for photoshoots 3 years 7 months ago #4014

  • Conor Casey
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I couldn't agree with you more Erin; you are absolutely right.

With a pro, you are getting just that - a pro. Someone who not only knows how to use the camera and post processing software, but someone who also knows exactly where to shoot from, how to pose people and all that.

You are completely correct in saying that there are far too many people who, just because they have an SLR, think they are God's greatest gift to photographers. They then usually end up doing a wedding shoot and either ruining someone's wedding photos completely or giving the person totally average photos. I absolutely hate seeing "photographers" advertising using phrases like "professional photos at affordable prices!" or "my work is the same as a pros, but a lot cheaper". If their work was the same as a pro's, they would be a pro, and would charge like a pro.

I remember hearing a radio show a few years back on this very subject where people were calling in saying that to save money, they were using non-pro photographers to shoot their weddings. Everyone thought this was a great idea, until a real pro photographer sent in her work and compared it with the cheaper, so called "photographer's" work. There was no comparison.

You wouldn't hire an unqualified electrician or plumber to work in your house, and I certainty don't think that anyone would let an unqualified doctor operate on them; so why do people let incapable people take photos for them? It's no different in my opinion, you get what you pay for.

Sorry if this was a bit of a rant, but it really gets on my nerves! :cheer:
Conor Casey
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Last Edit: 3 years 7 months ago by Conor Casey.
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charging for photoshoots 3 years 7 months ago #4015

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I would have to agree big time with Conor. I've done that, put some of my work next to a pro. And there is a big difference. But when I do a shoot for someone which is rare that I actually have a portrait type photoshoot, i make sure and tell them that I'm not a pro, that I am just a hobbiest (if its someone I don't know). I've had a couple people walk up to me while I was shooting a timelapse of a sunset and they asked am I a pro. I'm like, I wish...Like Conor said, just because you have that big fancy camera and lens, doesn't mean your a pro.
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charging for photoshoots 3 years 7 months ago #4022

  • Conor Casey
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The people calling into the show weren't even having people like us take their wedding photos; they were getting almost total beginners to do it instead - it was a joke!

If there is a difference between your work Jerry (you're not a beginner) and a pro's work, imagine the difference between a novice and a pro's work. They described some of the cheaper "photographer's" work on the radio show and apparently there was rubbish in the foreground of some images, wonky camera angles, people posed directly into the sun - the list went on, it was laughable.

I wouldn't shoot a wedding ever. It's simple, I am not good enough to do it. I am not a pro, I rarely shoot photos of people and I couldn't take it on knowing that if I made a mess of it, I have single-handedly ruined someone's wedding. No way!

I'll say it again, pro photographers are worth paying for.
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