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What To Charge For Services


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#1 scarytallman

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 10:29 AM

Hello All,

 

I am starting to do family portraits and I am stumped on what is a fair price to charge. I travel to a sites we mutually choose, spend about an hour to an hour and a half shooting all sorts of different angles and poses. I then go home and spend another couple hours going through my picture picking out the good from the bad and then editing the god to make them better. I have  alot of time wrapped into it by the end. I currently do not provide prints, just files. I have just got into this more than just for fun so it hard for me to seperate it from that to put a value on it. I am not a stunning yet with my protraits but I am practicing and learning whole heartedly.

 

Thanks!

 

P.S. how many choices do you send them, I sent them 40 images last time which I think might be over kill.


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#2 Billy

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 12:22 PM

I'm mostly replying to this to subscribe and learn, as well, just because I find marketing and pricing discussions interesting in any context.  However, to try and contribute to the topic, my hypothetical approach if I were doing this would be to make a "price bridge".  Start with the average price for family portraits in your area and then use the factors you mention to "bridge" to a fair price for you to charge.  I.e.,

 

 $300 Average Portrait Session (I have no idea, just making it up, covers overheads + profit)

-$100 Your lack of experience / brand recognition relative to professionals in your area

-$100 Value you receive from the clients, i.e., practice opportunity, feedback on the photos

+$ 50 Client is receiving full-res digital copies instead of chosing prints, can print their own

 

= $150 fair price to charge.

 

This is merely illustrative of the technique - the values could be hogwash.  It's also a starting point.  If you don't book enough, then price is too high, if you're booking too much then price is too low.  Once you have enough experience in your backpocket, of course you'd relaunch with a brand and be charging full market price which you would have a very good idea of at that point.


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#3 scarytallman

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 12:36 PM

Thank this seems a logical approach. I wish I knew what the going rate near me was for the type of service I provide. (non-Studio, onsite portraits)

 

Anyone in the Mass Area?


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#4 Joe Baker

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 12:37 PM

Scarytallman (LOL), I went round and round with my pricing and decided where I want to be by looking at what clientele did I want to deal with.  I felt because I am learning that I could not charge the top notch pricing that other "seasoned" photographers will.  I also did not want to deal with the "Kmart Special" customers either.  So, I think I am hitting the middle of the road.  Here are my charges:

 

$125 for up to 3 people.  $10 for each additional person after that with a cap of $200.

I do not provide any downloads or prints.  However, I have two separate pricing structures: Friends and Family, Base Price List

I also provided a lot of images in the beginning, however, I am now stating on my website that it will be anywhere from 10 - 20 images.   I have the option of providing more at my discretion.

With LR, I have been able to decrease my editing time as well, so I think I will be able to start providing images faster with less time by me.

 

Hope this helps!  :) :) <Team Smiley Face>


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#5 scarytallman

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 12:42 PM

Scarytallman (LOL), I went round and round with my pricing and decided where I want to be by looking at what clientele did I want to deal with.  I felt because I am learning that I could not charge the top notch pricing that other "seasoned" photographers will.  I also did not want to deal with the "Kmart Special" customers either.  So, I think I am hitting the middle of the road.  Here are my charges:

 

$125 for up to 3 people.  $10 for each additional person after that with a cap of $200.

I do not provide any downloads or prints.  However, I have two separate pricing structures: Friends and Family, Base Price List

I also provided a lot of images in the beginning, however, I am now stating on my website that it will be anywhere from 10 - 20 images.   I have the option of providing more at my discretion.

With LR, I have been able to decrease my editing time as well, so I think I will be able to start providing images faster with less time by me.

 

Hope this helps!   :) :) <Team Smiley Face>

No downloads or prints? Are they paying to be in your presence? ;) Also a logical way of looking at it. Thanks



#6 Joe Baker

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 12:50 PM

No downloads or prints? Are they paying to be in your presence? ;) Also a logical way of looking at it. Thanks

LOL!  Yes, they have to pay for me to be there! haha!  No, I do not sell "packages," if they only want to download one picture, then they can do that.  I just want to make sure I get paid for my time, even though they do not purchase multiple downloads or prints.  


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#7 scarytallman

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 12:52 PM

ah hah! lol I follow now. :)



#8 jbranchiv

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 12:24 PM

This is a great topic.

 

As far as payments are you guys taking the payment before the shoot or after the shoot. I'm sort of a tech nerd so does anyone use Paypal Here or Square for this?



#9 Tracy Waitkus

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 08:30 PM

I use ShootProof.com for my client proofing/purchasing galleries.  I also use it to charge part of the session fee up front.  It is connected to my business bank account.  Customers can pay by credit card, and the funds go into my bank account.  


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#10 Joe Baker

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 11:29 PM

This is a great topic.

 

As far as payments are you guys taking the payment before the shoot or after the shoot. I'm sort of a tech nerd so does anyone use Paypal Here or Square for this?

I use Paypal for the deposit and accept final payment (check or cash only) after the shoot has completed.  


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#11 scarytallman

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 09:59 AM

LOL I keep doing things for free because I love shooting. I really need to start charging. I want to take their pictures more than they want me to take their pictures!



#12 jbranchiv

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 06:31 PM

I use ShootProof.com for my client proofing/purchasing galleries.  I also use it to charge part of the session fee up front.  It is connected to my business bank account.  Customers can pay by credit card, and the funds go into my bank account.  

Awesome!!

 

Do you mind letting me know more about ShootProof, I just signed up for it but I'm not totally sure how it works as far as receiving payments and things.



#13 Tracy Waitkus

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 11:25 PM

There is a lot of helpful info on the ShootProof.com site.  Basically, you organize your photos into events.  I create separate events for different clients, and I password protect them.  I email the link and password to the client when the gallery is ready for them to view.  Clients can view and order products there, including prints, digital downloads, etc.  You also set up price sheets to set prices and products that you want to offer.  You can do your own print fullfilment, or choose one of ShootProof's lab partners.  I just recently switched from self-fulfilled prints to Bay Photo Lab, which is one of their partners.  Seems to work really well so far.  I've been using ShootProof for almost a year.  I have it set up so payments are sent to my business checking account. Does this answer your question jbranchiv?  If you have specific questions, I can try to answer them  :)


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#14 dpeters8

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 12:15 AM

I use Paypal for the deposit and accept final payment (check or cash only) after the shoot has completed.


Joe do use use Shootproof.com thru your website? I'm curious who you used to set up your website? Thx.

#15 Joe Baker

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 11:20 PM

Joe do use use Shootproof.com thru your website? I'm curious who you used to set up your website? Thx.

Nope, I use Zenfolio.  I absolutely love it.  They have tons of products and you have complete control over your pricing.  The templates could probably be a little better, but you can still do quite a lot of customization.  Let me know if you have any specific questions, as I love to share what I know about their service.  :)


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#16 Leslie Quirk

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 10:46 AM

would anyone be willing to post an "example" price sheet or generic one for us to get an idea?


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#17 Tracy Waitkus

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 09:14 PM

Here's what I have on my website:

 

http://www.tracywait...---pricing.html

 

I'm new (just about 1 year in business), so my prices are quite reasonable.  I make sure to have a good, healthy mark-up on what my actual costs are through my print lab (Bay Photo via ShootProof.com).  Hope this helps  ;)


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#18 Leslie Quirk

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 06:52 AM

Thanks Tracy! I really need to have a standard pricing sheet, two people over the last week have asked me to do a shoot with them and I told them im working on a pricing sheet :) I need to get that done.


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#19 adthomasiv

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 12:40 AM

after reading this thread i have found a lot of good information. i have one question and i am not sure if this is the right forum. what about contracts? does anyone use them or some sort of terms of use? i would like for people to know that they can get prints only and have a charge for digital and that they are my work for things like my portfolio and advertisement purposes. this is for family portraits and so on, any help would be great and any templates that anyone might have.



#20 Tracy Waitkus

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 08:08 PM

adthomasiv - I use a contract for all of my sessions. I created it myself using pieces from different sample contracts I found on the internet. I require a signed contract and a deposit in order to reserve a session date for the client. My contract covers the fees, what the client gets, a model release clause, my cancellation policy, etc. It also includes my terms of use (i.e., clients are not allowed to reproduce prints, I retain copyrights, etc.). Welcome to the boring part of a photography business!


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