DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register
 

DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Am I Really Charging Too Much?
Pages:  
Showing posts 1 - 25 of 69, (reverse)
AuthorThread
07/10/2007 07:48:04 PM · #1
I recently did my first family photojournalism session. My service included the following:

-talking with the family extensively before hand to discuss what they had in mind
-Travelled on site to a location and shot 150 photos
-Post processed 50 of the photos for them to choose from (4 hours of my time)
-Explored different printing options with them. Travelled to their house several times to show them print samples.
-They were REALLY in love with the photos and ended up purchasing 25 prints!

I made up an invoice and the total for all of this (photo session, editing, prints) came out to be $300. I sent this to them and got a reply back saying they feel like they're being ripped off. I know for a fact that some photographers charge upwards of $1000 for a package like this. I am still an art student and learning the business, so I felt it was only fair for me to charge less than a full blown professional. Is $300 still too much???

edit: to answer a few of your questions...
-of the 25 prints, there was one 11x14, twelve 8x10s, and twelve 5x7s.
- the breakdown came out to $100 for 25 prints and $200 for photo session/editing/travel time, etc.

update: she's still trying to back out. she's telling me that i should only charge her for the photo session (which would be only $40) and the prints but NOT the editing time. what the heck?

Message edited by author 2007-07-11 14:29:33.
07/10/2007 07:53:47 PM · #2
is that 300 for your time plus the price for prints? I'm not saying it's too much either way. I don't think it is I'm just unsure if that includes the prints. if it includes the prints your selling yourself short if it doesnt than I feel it's reasonable. although next time you should work out the pricing breakdown before you give them your services so they know what they are getting into.

Edit to add: I havent charged anyone a sitting fee or for my time or anything like that. etc...they just pay for prints. but I knwo that most people do, they should have expected you would.

Message edited by author 2007-07-10 19:55:20.
07/10/2007 07:54:48 PM · #3
First - you should always agree on pricing, sign a contract and get a deposit before you touch the camera.

Second - I think if you explain to them the shooting/editing/and travel time invested in number of hours, the $300 won't seem so big to them.


07/10/2007 07:57:37 PM · #4
They were probably expecting you to do it for expenses since you're a student. Do NOT back down. The only thing I can recommend is to discuss pricing before hand.

I have started bringing another photographer's price list with me, so my customers can see what I charge vs what another photographer would charge them. I usually come out at about half of what the other photographer charges. When you consider my time, processing, etc, I'm working for well below minimum wage. But, since I'm still trying to establish myself, that's okay with me. What I will NOT do is work for free, and I'm shocked at the number of people who want exactly that.

Idinic, what should the contract look like?

Message edited by author 2007-07-10 20:00:24.
07/10/2007 08:01:40 PM · #5
I read somewhere that a picture is worth a thousand dollars...

Anyway, if you explained your pricing to them before the shoot, they shouldn't be griping about the cost.

07/10/2007 08:05:12 PM · #6
Yeah, that's a tough one when you haven't already talked about the cost of everything.. I say, if they don't want to pay it, then fine, they can go to another photographer & see if they can get the quality you're showing them for less.. I charge $50 sitting fee & have package prices that range from $75 up to $245.. I also offer individual prices just in case they only want a few images..

I personally don't think that's much, but it also depends on a few other things.. Are you giving them 25-4 x 6's for that or did you have to buy a 11 x 14 plus 8 x 10 ect ect.. Just curious..

I still don't think that's too high.. Good luck and I hope you know that your time & talent IS what they're paying for.. Not just the prints.. Next time though, make out a price list & sign a contract prior to shooting.. It only saves headache in the long run...
07/10/2007 08:21:01 PM · #7
I'm charging a good friend of mine $250 to shoot his wedding.
the price will include 12 hours of wedding day photograpy, editing on the "good" pictures and a cd with everything on it.

If you don't include the editing, then I'm asking for $20 an hour.
I have a good camera that will yield files capable of producing "professional" quality prints.

I don't think $20 an hour is that expensive?

How much does your work and pricing breakdown to per hour?
and ask yourself if your skill, knowledge, expertise and equipment usage is worth that amount?

Message edited by author 2007-07-10 20:29:59.
07/10/2007 08:36:32 PM · #8
All I can say is NO you are not charging too much!

150/4=$37.50 per hour (I know you have more time in it then that)
150/25=$6.00 a print

IS A BARGIN!

Yes you should have a contract and agree to terms before hand but still!

Good luck!

Message edited by author 2007-07-10 20:41:28.
07/10/2007 08:47:10 PM · #9
Its really good business to agree to prices before the work is done. Maybe they wouldn't have wanted them for $300. It should be their choice. I think you should explain all the work and try to come to what they think is a fair price. Next time lay out your charges more clearly.
07/10/2007 08:51:18 PM · #10
No way, you're not charging too much. If the pictures come out good many would charge more. I manage a portrait photography business and we charge way more. It depends on what size print but let me break it down briefly.

Sitting fee- 1-8ppl $125, more money for more people

Prints- 4x5- $28, 5x7- $38, 8x10- $55

Our cheapest package starts at $280 and includes 8 prints.

I won't get into our wall portraits but then you're talking about hundreds of dollars per print.

I'd be happy to email you a price list so you can show your clients and they can see how much cheaper you are.



07/10/2007 08:51:32 PM · #11
I charge $90 for the on-site session, including editing to the proof stage (about an hour). Not 100% finished and retouched, but close enough for projection proofing.
I charge $35 for an 8x10.
I think I am cheap, but only about 1/3 of the calls I get actually book. I started out trying to sell packages and had little luck - 'too expensive'.

I think I am not expensive enough - nice family portraiture is a luxury item most people don't want to spend the time and money on. I hear a lot of 'our church does that with the directory' - and then I hear how much better my images are then the church ones...

The two family photographers whose seminars I've attended get $5000-$8000 for a typical session/print deal. Yeah, that much. We're talking framed 24x36 prints on canvas as 'the' print.

I think the $200 family portrait market is Sears, Olan Mills/Church deals.

When you get a call for somthing like this it's best to say "The average family portrait with prints is $600 to 900. Is that what you had in mind?" If they say yes, then fine. If not, they'll know upfront and not waste your time.
07/11/2007 12:36:15 AM · #12
thank you all so much for your replies. i definitely realize that pricing should have been set in stone beforehand... however it was talked about and i gave them a rough estimate of what it would be for the sitting and then told them prints would be additional fee. i definitely have some experience of what to do and what not to do in the future now.

to answer a few of your questions...
-of the 25 prints, there was one 11x14, twelve 8x10s, and twelve 5x7s.
- the breakdown came out to $100 for 25 prints and $200 for photo session/editing/travel time, etc.

thanks for the reasurrance that I am being reasonable :)
07/11/2007 12:50:32 AM · #13
Have you made the prints yet? If you have, then what are you going to do with them if they continue to refuse to pay.
07/11/2007 01:05:52 AM · #14
Originally posted by ragamuffingirl:

Have you made the prints yet? If you have, then what are you going to do with them if they continue to refuse to pay.


i've sent them to costco but have not paid for them yet. the total printing costs at costco only came to $25, so it wouldn't be the end of the world. i think they will end up paying though. maybe not happily, like i would hope. but either way, this has been a really good learning experience.
07/11/2007 01:15:19 AM · #15
I think your $200 for sitting fee, editing time etc is very reasonable.

I think that for 1 11x14,12 8x 10"s and 12 4x6"s they are getting a steal for just $100. That should be much more like $40 min for the 11x14 and then $25 each for the 8x10's and $7 each for the 4x6's.

Unfotunately we live in a difficult time for photographers. When a client can pay the sitting fee, buy a 5x7 or something of the poses they want, then go to a photo center with a built in scanner and use the 5x7 to make a ton of really cheap prints..all after you have put your editing time in.

That is why I am considering going the route of shooting/editing/ making a photo show on dvd and a dvd of photos for a set price if I get back into wedding photos.
07/11/2007 01:22:55 AM · #16
Originally posted by basssman7:

...

That is why I am considering going the route of shooting/editing/ making a photo show on dvd and a dvd of photos for a set price if I get back into wedding photos.


yes. i was thinking that might be the way i will do it from here on out. just have one solid fee and not even have to deal with prints. the only draw back for that would be that i never get to see the real finished product. what might be cool though would be to make a folder/album of some sort to hand to them as the finished product, with one large print in the front and then the dvd, etc. inside.
07/11/2007 10:20:31 AM · #17
they will pay, especially once you show them the final prints. They will figure out they got a deal very quickly. Once they hang the prints up, people will ask about them and they will start their story with how "expensive" they were. Eventually some of their friends will clue them in that they got a huge deal.

Don't do the DVD method w/ portraits like this, you will loose money. Best part about having them buy prints is that they will buy more in the future. I love when people call me up to order more prints. All the work is done and its still making money. I have a birthday party I shot and every month or so, they call me and order another $50-$100 worth. That was last October, probably made around $1K in prints from that one event.

JM
07/11/2007 02:28:54 PM · #18
update: she's still trying to back out. she's telling me that i should only charge her for the photo session (which would be only $40) and the prints but NOT the editing time. what the heck?

she completely disregarded everything i said to her in my last email... and i was even really nice and professional about it. grrr!

Message edited by author 2007-07-11 14:31:02.
07/11/2007 02:31:30 PM · #19
so quadruple the prices of the prints and get your money that way!
07/11/2007 02:34:16 PM · #20
You could always have just the RAW files printed with no editing. :-)
07/11/2007 02:34:30 PM · #21
hahahaha! good idea! i'm just really irked by this. i would completely understand if she wasnt thrilled with the photos. but she absolutely loved them... her husband loved them... the kids loved them... the kids granparents loved them. ARG!
07/11/2007 02:35:17 PM · #22
Originally posted by Melethia:

You could always have just the RAW files printed with no editing. :-)


HAHAHAH! thats actually a really good idea. staight from the camera. let's see what they think of that!! hehe i like the way you think deb!

Message edited by author 2007-07-11 14:35:41.
07/11/2007 02:35:58 PM · #23
Originally posted by Melethia:

You could always have just the RAW files printed with no editing. :-)


Yeah I agree 100%. If she doesnt want to pay for editing than give them un edited shots but make them sign soemthing preventing them from crediting the shots to you. so that you don't get your repuatation ruined from unfinished work.
07/11/2007 02:38:04 PM · #24
I would say your price is reasonable. However, if price wasn't explicitly stated to begin with her expectations might be something different.

You are just starting out so you don't want to get a bad rep from the one and only person you've worked with. On the other hand, you don't want to undercut yourself and take away from the value of your work. There's a bit of dilemma. Maybe even a dichotomy. :)

What was she expecting to pay by the way? If its a small enough difference I would concede the point but indicate that you aren't charging for the editing time because of the misunderstanding but its something you would normally do.
07/11/2007 02:42:38 PM · #25
okay, so what do you think of this...

When I wrote up the invoice I charged her $10.00 for an 8x10 print and with each 8x10 i threw in a free 5x7. To make these prints it cost me a total of $2.50 it costco. So, I was making a $7.50 profit on each set of one 8x10 and one 5x7 print. That $7.50 is added on because it is my piece of artwork and I can charge what I feel my artwork is worth. Not to cover the editing time, correct?
Pages:  
Current Server Time: 04/08/2020 09:35:41 AM

Please log in or register to post to the forums.


Home - Challenges - Community - League - Photos - Cameras - Lenses - Learn - Prints! - Help - Terms of Use - Privacy - Top ^
DPChallenge, and website content and design, Copyright © 2001-2020 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
Proudly hosted by Sargasso Networks. Current Server Time: 04/08/2020 09:35:41 AM EDT.