A&P What should I charge as a beginning freelance photographer?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by weezerfan, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. weezerfan

    weezerfan New Member

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    I've worked at the local Country Club my whole life so I have good connections to businesses who need a person like me, so I'm going to start doing jobs for them, only thing is...I have no idea what to charge :noes:

    help me :eek3:
     
  2. Yardsale

    Yardsale OT Supporter

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    hard to say given no details on what types of gigs, but 30-40/hr sounds reasonable for general stuff.
     
  3. weezerfan

    weezerfan New Member

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    sounds good to me :o
     
  4. oliver

    oliver New Member

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    :werd: interested in this as well :)
     
  5. natelam

    natelam New Member

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    Charge as much as you think you are worth. Compare your work to other photographers in the business, if you can match their professionalism and services, then charge accordingly. Don't charge a lot less, as word will get out and you will have a lot of enemies, and don't underestimate your marketability. When figuring out 'what to charge', you should also think about what your overhead is - what equipment will the job require? how much do you expect to spend on equipment each year in repairs and upgrades? - factor that in to your bottom line. You shouldn't have to put any money into your equipment besides the initial investment (which ideally should pay for itself within a short amount of time).

    Since you mentioned businesses - I assume you mean commercial photography. These are probably on average, the highest paid photographers shooting products, brand management, and corporate stock images. What kind of experience do you have with on-location studio work, and artificial lighting? Got monolights and gels? This is pretty much all you will be doing. 50% of the time you'll be researching the company and products, 40% you'll be setting up your lights and the scene, and maybe 10% of the time you'll actually be shooting. Hire an assistant, you back will thank you. Charge for these as well.

    Thirdly, explore the possibility of project based pay vs. hourly wage. Photography is great because you can spend an entire day shooting or get "the shot" in seconds. When you develop your skills, you will spend less time taking useless filler shots and focus on the money shots - in this case, project based pay is ideal. Furthermore, hourly based wage does not account for the billable hours you spend post-processing and editing the photos at home - these are additional services.

    Finally, with the above in mind, you are only worth as much as your client is willing to pay. If you can handle keeping your standards high and holding out for what you think you deserve - you'll get it from the right clients if your portfolio and service warrants it. The cheap clients will just go find another kid with a rebel and some spare time.

    Good luck -N
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2006
  6. redna

    redna New Member

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    ^ Wow, you saved me a lot of typing...

    I'd like to ad too that when a client asks what you charge you have to be confident about your value and portray that when you submit your offer. If they sense you dont believe you would pay yourself that much, why should they?
     
  7. weezerfan

    weezerfan New Member

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    great post, thanks :bigthumb:
     
  8. hash browns

    hash browns lolcathlon champion OT Supporter

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    be clear on what you are getting paid to do and what rights your clients are paying for.

    work-for-hire sucks unless the pay and benefits are really really really good
     
  9. Hua

    Hua AZN photographer crew

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    Don't sell yourself short. Otherwise you will be known as the "guy that charges really cheap."

    Then everyone will expect cheap prices, even once you do progress.
     
  10. Yardsale

    Yardsale OT Supporter

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    oh yeah and never ever ever ever ever fucking do TFP (Time for Proofs). I don't care what anyone says, good practice etc :mb: don't fucking do it.

    Learn by using your friends and family first if you're unsure about your skills, but don't give models free time.

    Time is money. good luck.
     
  11. redna

    redna New Member

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    What does it matter who he is using for his model? it's still time that he is investing into learning.

    I prefer TFP or TFCD because it makes me a ton of contacts and allows me to become better because i pressure myself to do my best. I'm more concerned as to what a model will think as opposed to my family who will brush off an error because of love. Strangers will be more critical of your work and thus give you better critique to improve apon. Loved ones will say they like everything not to mention they're not models so you get NO experience for what people in the industry are actually looking for.

    I could go on for days on this subject. it's all personal preference. I say try it atleast 3 times then decide if you like it or not.
     
  12. Crossett

    Crossett New Member

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    In my mind
    I dont think TFP's are a bad idea, especially if you are just getting started. You certainly shouldnt give away rights to the image, but I dont see anything wrong with handing out prints, sure beats cash in my book.
     

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