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  1. #1
    madisonlaird Guest

    Exclamation Senior Portraits PRICING - help

    Hello All!

    So I've been into photography for about 4 years now and I'm 17 years old. I don't consider myself a professional. But people really like my work. Anyway, I knew this time would come someday and I should've been ready with an answer...but alas, I was not. SO, I just got asked if I do senior portraits and if so, how much do I charge. I don't have a clue how to charge for senior portraits! And I need to get back to this girl asap because she is asking on account of herself and two of her friends. That'd be three people! Anyway, since I'm not the best of the best...I don't want to charge outrageously...what would be a GOOD deal to charge? $100? Or how does it work. Like $60 for a one hour session and maybe $125 for a two hour session? I have no idea how it works. So please help me as soon as you can!

  2. #2
    Jim Poor's Avatar
    Jim Poor is offline Class Curmudgeon
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    Given that as recently as November you were asking beginner level questions about external flash coupled with your own statement:
    have no idea how it works. So please help me as soon as you can!
    the best advice I can give is "don't, until you do have an idea how it works."

    All that said, $100 for a session sounds low if your work is up to snuff. If it's not up to snuff, you don't have any business charging for it to begin with.

  3. #3
    KimberlyH's Avatar
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    Jim Poor, I really like you. Great response and well said!
    Canon 450D, Canon 50mm f/1.8, Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8, Canon Speedlite 430 EX II

  4. #4
    Scottie_the_Rebel is offline Amateur Photographer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Poor View Post
    All that said, $100 for a session sounds low if your work is up to snuff. If it's not up to snuff, you don't have any business charging for it to begin with.
    I am curious, at what point do you know your up to snuff?

    You think you have learned everything about photography? Or you have people looking at your work and think it is very good, enough to ask if you would shoot for them?
    Or you just say you are, and charge $800 for a Portrait session?

    I think there are a lot of new photographers that wonder about this.
    At what point am I up to snuff? when should I charge people that want me to take pictures for them? I am not asking this to be mean or rude, I think it is a good question.

    If your stuff is up to snuff, what would be a starting range to charge?

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    BigFuzzy's Avatar
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    +1 what Jim said..

    What I'd do is contact a local photographer (a good one of course) and say "hey, I have three potential clients, if I can get you these three can I be there while you work with them as I'm an aspiring photographer who wants to learn".. and see how it goes. You definitely need some experience before charging based on your comments here in the past.

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    BigFuzzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottie_the_Rebel View Post
    I am curious, at what point do you know your up to snuff?

    You think you have learned everything about photography? Or you have people looking at your work and think it is very good, enough to ask if you would shoot for them?
    Or you just say you are, and charge $800 for a Portrait session?

    I think there are a lot of new photographers that wonder about this.
    At what point am I up to snuff? when should I charge people that want me to take pictures for them? I am not asking this to be mean or rude, I think it is a good question.

    If your stuff is up to snuff, what would be a starting range to charge?
    One key marker (imho) is when you know how to use flash to the point that you can choose not to use it.

  7. #7
    Jim Poor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottie_the_Rebel View Post
    I am curious, at what point do you know your up to snuff?

    You think you have learned everything about photography? Or you have people looking at your work and think it is very good, enough to ask if you would shoot for them?
    Or you just say you are, and charge $800 for a Portrait session?

    I think there are a lot of new photographers that wonder about this.
    At what point am I up to snuff? when should I charge people that want me to take pictures for them? I am not asking this to be mean or rude, I think it is a good question.

    If your stuff is up to snuff, what would be a starting range to charge?

    Does anyone ever know for sure that they are up to snuff before they get started? Probably not, if we're honest. However, a lack of basic knowledge of foundational photography techniques is a pretty good indicator that it's not time.

  8. #8
    Dennismc is offline dPS Forum Member
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    If these are friends of yours, or close to it, do it as TFP. You dont charge them, but get the experience and the photos for your own portfolio and they get prints and or copies for themselves.

    Its a win/win that way.
    Let them know before hand you are just starting out and learning, That way the expectations are not very high, they can still have them done by a local pro and pay for them, but this way you also get some experience out of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scottie_the_Rebel View Post
    I am curious, at what point do you know your up to snuff?
    When you don't have to ask "how much should I charge?" on a forum.

    When you're ready to charge you should already have the confidence with your equipment and technique, and should have done enough reading and research to know how to implement a business plan.

  10. #10
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    I can't wait until I'm a pro so that I can be rude, arrogant and condescending. I've seen it daily on this forum and I am tired of seeing it. We come here to ask questions and bounce ideas and learn and if we aren't the end all be all of photography knowledge then we have no business receiving a dollar? BS.

    Why is the beginning wage of a new photographer always "free?"
    If you have a portfolio - and I know you do - they've obviously seen it. If you name your price, whether its free and charge for prints or $20 or $50 or $400 - charge what you feel your work is worth and if they like your portfolio and also feel you are worth that amount then they will hire you.

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