04-01-2011, 09:24 PM #1I'm new here!
- Join Date
- Oct 2010
- Southern IL
Hobby Photographer - Wanting to sell..
Hello. I've posted a couple of times on these forums some of the pictures I've taken last summer. Well, I've decided to try selling my work. I started a new FB page for my photography and set up a free website as the first step of getting some local advertising.
After some thought, I decided to offer 10 free sessions in order to expand my portfolio. My images right now mostly consist of a few sunset pictures and pictures of my children. I want to have a variety of pictures other than what I have. I have 8 people in line in about 3 days of advertising it. To be honest, it's a little bit higher than what I expected!!
So, now I'm in the position of deciding what to charge people after this free promotion. Last fall I put on my FB $50 for an unlimited session with a copyright free DVD of the images post edited. I got a couple nibbles but nothing concrete. Now that it's free everyone wants in. Which leads me to question my ability. Am I good enough for free pictures but not for paid pictures? ahh!!! Really, it's just racking my brain! I thought $50 was a steal... lol
Okay so where I'm at... I love photography. But, I am definately an amature. I want to learn how to make my photography better. I don't want cookie cutter images; I want those that just take your breath away. I know I'm not a $500 / print photographer. Heck, not even a $50 / print photographer. But, I am finding it very difficult deciding what is an appropriate amount to charge. I would also like to add that I work full time, go to school full time and have 3 children under the age of 4. So, I'm very busy. I would like to make money at this, but on the weekend for now. It's definately not steady enough for me to quit my day job so to speak. However, that would be really nice if I could get to that point!!
Where do I begin to even decide what to charge? I have no idea. . . I would gladly appreciate any input anyone might have.
You can visit my website at Wix.com Photography created by theresaknapp07 based on Photography 101 to see some of my images or look me up on facebook under Photography by Theresa Knapp
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Thanks even more if you leave me input!!! =)
04-01-2011, 09:31 PM #2
You won't make any money charging 50.00, after the session fee and editing, burning, you'll have hours invested and hours = $$$ and why give away your images/copyright??...thats not a good idea as I'm sure others will agree
04-01-2011, 10:45 PM #3maxharvard Guest
With all due respect (that always seems to come right before something nasty, huh?)... you really should start working on the "cookie cutter" images. People expect that, if you can produce more than that, then wonderful... but the "cookie cutter" stuff got that way for a reason... it works.
I looked through your portfolio and nothing screams "hire me". Sorry.
04-02-2011, 12:56 AM #4I'm new here!
- Join Date
- Oct 2010
- Southern IL
Thanks for the reply. The reason I give away the cd is because anymore people come to expect the images.
Eric, thanks for being honest. What is the reason that you would not hire me? Perhaps that this is because you're a professional photographer yourself? If you could please tell me exactly what you see flawed in the images? Where do you think I can improve? I would like to point out that I am in no way a professional photographer. I enjoy photography and would like to improve and possibly make a little money doing it. So, if you would tell me why you think that I'm not good instead of just saying that I'm bad. Thanks!
Last edited by tknapp84; 04-02-2011 at 01:22 AM.
04-02-2011, 12:59 AM #5
Sony now make a digital photoframe stuck on the back of a 6x4 printer. Also a D/frame that plays video and has an alarm. It's not in the consumers interest, or the companies or the markets. But people whinge that they want it. Sometimes, people need to be told what they want - otherwise you end up with shit like that. Consumers don't know how things work, they aren;t always the best people to listen to.
04-02-2011, 01:49 AM #6
It's wonderful that you have such a love for photography, but I do believe you're jumping the gun to start charging. Please don't take offense, you've got some creative ideas, but as far as exposure, lighting, white balance, etc. are concerned, a bit more learning and practice may be in order, as well as post processing skills. Business knowledge is also paramount, even more so than the "glamorous side" of shooting, lol.
Every single successful photographer I know (including myself, and even part-time, as I do) has started off by building their skills first. Once they could nail the technical stuff, they started portfolio building (using friends and family for free). As they built their portfolio, they educated themselves on the business aspects. Once they had a solid portfolio and solid business knowledge, they were able to start a business.
Please don't let undercharging and underserving bite you in the butt.
Last edited by SusanH1970; 04-02-2011 at 02:06 AM.
04-02-2011, 02:31 AM #7I'm new here!
- Join Date
- Mar 2011
I want to second the idea of knowing the business side. I have been in business for about 11 years and I would advise reading as much as you can about starting a business as well as requirements for any permits, licensing, insurance etc.. How are you going to setup the business (ie. S Corp, C Corp, Sole Proprietor, LLC) . You will quickly find that at $50.00/Session you have to do many sessions per day just to break even.Nikon D90, D300, Nikkor 50 F1.4, Nikkor 70-200 VR F2.8, Tokina 100 Macro F2.8, Tokina 11-16 F2.8, Nikkor 10.5 Fisheye, Nikkor 18-200 VR F3.5/5.6, Nikkor 80-400 F4.5/5.6, SB600, Manfrotto T-Pod
04-02-2011, 09:10 PM #8
I looked through your profile and to be honest there wasn't an image in there that made me want to hire you for your services. I think you can get there, but you need to practice, practice, practice and build your skills before you start charging people. I've been shooting with my current camera for almost 3 years and only did a shoot I was paid for about two weeks ago.Canon 450D
Canon 18-55mm | Canon 10-22mm | Canon 70-300mm | Canon 50mm
"A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words." - Ansel Adams
04-03-2011, 02:44 AM #9I'm new here!
- Join Date
- Apr 2010
As far as "why" someone may not hire you based on your online portfolio, let me share my personal opinion. This may differ from the others on here, but here's my two cents:
1. Almost every photo has some sort of special effect... vignetting, b&w with one element in color, sepia, border, text, collage... it comes across as though you NEED these special effects to bring your photos to life. I sometimes get carried away with special effects, but find my strongest pictures are the ones that can stand on their own - without edits beyond white balance tweaking, exposure fixes, levels...
If you don't feel confident about a picture without any of these effects, then it's time to take more pictures because something is lacking. Is there a distracting background (in one picture of a child, I noticed a car in the background in spite of the special effects and it's all I could focus on)? How is the angle of the shot? How does your subject relate to his or her surroundings? I see a lot of potential, so keep on keeping on until you are satisfied with non-doctored shots.
Lastly, the special effects that ARE used are basic, and sometimes come across less professional. Perhaps this is because we don't want special effects used for the sake of using them, but to enhance an image and increase its impact. If all we notice is the special effect and not the image itself, it isn't doing its job right. It is all in the subtleties. For example, I like an occasional vignette for a photo, but like it to just barely darken the corners for a subtle framing... not create a full oval around my image. Use these effects in moderation and only to create that WOW! factor (meaning not on every image, but only on particular images that really benefit from such an enhancement).
Don't ever be discouraged. This is your passion, so carry that with you as you find the willpower to continue to strengthen your abilities. As your skills improve, you'll find much less need for those effects as the images will speak volumes on their own.
Last edited by missclareski; 04-03-2011 at 02:47 AM.
04-03-2011, 03:49 AM #10I'm new here!
- Join Date
- Oct 2010
- Southern IL
I really appreciate all of you taking the time to reply to this thread.
Sometimes hearing the truth really packs a sting. Even a well intended constructive criticism hurts lol.
I know that I am only a newbie when it comes to photography. Although I've always had a camera in my hand, this is all pretty new to me. I've never taken a photography class. Everything I've learned, even editing, has been self taught. I've watched a lot of youtube videos and done a lot of online research. Apparently, I need ALOT more.
The problem I have is this; friends and family. I love them and they love me. They all tell me what wonderful job I do and how much they love my pictures. I hear how wonderful they are. When the truth is, nobody criticizes anything that I do. I too found that a bit suspicious. Everyone said I should charge. My gut told me, it's too soon. See there is an example of listen to your gut! Well, that's partly why I posted here too. So many of you are professional photographers who do this day in and day out. I've taken the time to look at the links that several of you have provided in your signatures of your work. I'm floored. That's where I want to be. I really admire you all.
And I look at the pictures and notice something, there's no vignette’s in every pictures of special effects. (Although I do still like some special effects). The ones that I love the most are the simplest ones. That's what I love.
So, for me it's about finding balance and doing more research on lighting and composition. I did a maternity shoot today and as I was reviewing my images I found a lot of things that I need to work on. Nobody had to point them out to me, I just see them. I suppose in a way that is why I do so much editing. I see imperfections with the way the shot was done and I try to correct it... um, overcorrect it. lol.
Anyway, someone mentioned a professional lab. What lab do you suggest? I have searched online and found one in particular, but I can't figure out their ROES system. It's called Nations Photo Lab - Professional Photo Printing and Digital Photo Finishing Services Online . What lab (s) do you use to print in? Thus far the pictures I've had printed were for myself and I just had them printed at Wal Mart. Eventually, when I get to the point of selling my work, I definitely do not want to use Wal Mart. They do not sell professional quality prints.