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Senior Portraits PRICING - help

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Jim Poor View Post
    BUT, and it's probably a moot point, it's just an example of the kind of poster the OP is/was.

    I can't speak for anyone else, but I at least tried to be nice and put a spoonful of sugar with the yucky medicine until the OP made it clear that they really didn't want advice.

    I'm more than happy to help anyone who wants it, but I'm really getting tired of figuring out who does/doesn't, so I may just go sit in the corner for a while.
    Editorial: I'm not singling out Jim here, just his post hatched the thought process below. Jim, from what I've seen and remember has always been helpful to whomever he has offered his advice to.

    I've lurked here since Dec 2010, give or take. Actual date can be checked.

    I've had TONS of questions that I never bothered to type out.
    I've done TONS of reading on this forum before putting fingers to keyboard because I've been a member of other forums and KNOW that somewhere contained within, the answer has been answered in every fashion known to human kind. Very rarely have I seen a "fresh" question asked.

    I can understand the frustration of the mainstays of the group for answering questions that if the OP spent their time typing in the search box their question they would have had an answer much sooner. Or at a very minimum, showing that an initiative was taken and they TRIED to gain an answer.

    But when I was a newbie, and reading through and still seeing the "harshness" (if you will) of the veterans, it's no wonder that people want to get off this forum. If the vets were to reread some of their past comments, say from greater than 1 year old, they might still agree with the content of the post, but probably not the tone of it.

    BUT, some of the moderators would be better to answer THIS question, how many new subscribers does DPS get on a monthly basis?

    The reason I pose this question is because while the veterans of this forum have been asked and have answered the same questions over and over again, for SOME it is the very first time they came across the question and they just don't know.

    A little tolerance, a, and a smidgen of humor would go along way.

    Before I sign off on this, I'm going to paraphrase Joe Dimaggio and Derek Jeter: "I run out every ground ball and hustle because there is someone here seeing me play for the very first time".

    Good day Ladies and Gents. Thanks for indulging me.

    Gary Altman
    Last edited by GTAltman; 04-17-2012, 05:52 PM.


    • #62
      This discussion is reminding me of an article I just read in PP mag.

      No one expects you to be a "master craftsman" but you should know your craft before calling yourself a professional - which is what someone who goes into business (which is anyone who charges money for services.)

      That being said, to the OP, I don't know how much of the craft you've learned - these people have obviously seen your work and asked for your services. So I agree with the PP who said, price based on what you feel your worth. How one person does things may not work for another. So "being free" may or may not be an option for you. You are young, so I'm guessing you aren't relying on it for income. In that case I'd start free or at cost (charge for prints). I started late in the game in my mid 20s with a family. But I also have a full time job so I could afford to not make any money right away from this venture.

      What have you shot? Have you done a senior session or other portraits before (I'm guessing no just based on your post, but that's simply an assumption). I'd do the first one (at the very least) for free or next to nothing and call it education and experience. Get your feet wet. Then upload the images to mpix and send them a link so they can order prints.

      Just a suggestion.
      Last edited by AmazingGrace0385; 04-17-2012, 06:00 PM.
      Canon Rebel t1i, Tamron 17-50mm f2.8, Canon 50mm f1.8, Tamron 70-200mm f2.8, Nissin df622 Mark II External Flash
      My Photography

      My Business
      My Equipment List


      • #63
        Originally posted by Jim Poor View Post
        I've been trying to figure out what a "word worker" is. Aussie for writer?

        Mods delete posts all the time, I'm confused, but don't really care all that much.
        hah... wood worker... (i'm clearly not a word worker!)

        Yeah, I can delete individual posts whenever, but to delete an account with the posts wont work... vBull didn't make it like that...

        And Randomdude... my job is actually to manage customer service for dPS...I'm paid to manage it and I do it daily, and even weekends.... I searched your email address and there's no communications to the dPS help desk - perhaps try again? (link in sig below)

        I've deleted your article - I'm sorry, it's not worth the headache.

        Best of luck t'ya.
        www | twitter | facebook

        If you're looking for customer service, please use this link, thank you!


        • #64
          For some reason, the email notification of this post just now came through my phone.

          Interesting that you should mention this, as I have lately been considering some independent consulting (management and leadership training) with a company that works both domestically and internationally.

          The President of the company (whom I met, approached and said "Hey, I'd like to work with you, I'm impressed)," is on my Facebook page, and his wife is on DPS (she's a fellow photographer).

          Has the thought ever crossed my mind "I wonder what they think of my posts?" You bet it has, and I've thought about it pretty carefully. I'm comfortable with what's "out there" from me. I trust that if the company uses FB or DPS to evaluate me in any way, that they have the intelligence to see both the "harsh" and the "gentle" and know that each post was made appropriately, (or at least most of them). Sometimes gentle doesn't work, sometimes harsh does. Other times, harsh is uncalled for. Have I ever gotten it wrong? Sure, I'm human.

          If I were to (shudder) pick up weddings, I would hope that my clients would want to hear the truth when they ask "would this make a good photo?" or "should we include THIS in our album?"

          Originally posted by Photoboothguy View Post
          As a former contributor and now lurker, maybe I can shed some light on that.`

          When you first start out in photography, you don't really think about your online reputation. You ask basic questions, you participate in conversations, and even get into the occasional argument that may turn ugly.

          This is fun and all, until one day you realize that your photography has made it to the next level, and you're making some decent cash on your hobby. Suddenly, your online reputation becomes important, and you start to evaluate everything you have online.

          It's not only about what you post, but WHO you are associated with. DPS has a lot of great members...and a lot of bad members too. The question I had to ask myself was "Does DPS positively or negatively impact my online presence? Do I want my name associated with this group?"

          I made that choice several months ago (this is my first post since then..still click through the forums occasionally for info and humor). Luckily, there were some lovely members that helped me with that decision, and made me see that my relationship with the site was a little one-sided.

          Unfortunately, deleting your account doesn't really disassociate you with a site, as your username and posts remain. It was a pain to delete all the links back to my work (you guys still won't delete my article, even though I broke all the links), any inflammatory posts, and searching for my username still brings up my flickr account. However, given enough time, I hope the association will fade away, and my re-branding takes hold. Personally, I regret ever contributing to these forums outside of the weekly assignments (and even that turned ugly on several occasions).

          So, to answer your question, the OP has probably become fairly successful and doesn't want her name associated with this site anymore.

          (and yes, I still lurk for the occasional nugget of good info and for the entertainment value in General Chit Chat...however, I have found Google+ to be way more educational and inspirational)
          Visit my website


          • #65
            Originally posted by Sime View Post

            I've deleted your article - I'm sorry, it's not worth the headache.

            Best of luck t'ya.
            That's all I wanted, thank you.


            • #66
              Originally posted by RandomDude View Post
              That's all I wanted, thank you.
              I'm sorry but I just had to post(and bring this back to the top unfortunately. Who was it that posted the link elsewhere and "made" me waste another half hour reading a very long thread?) Anyway, Randondude you made me smile because you've now linked your past name and your new name by posting(accidentally?) under your new account. Ho-hum back to the drawing board.....
              Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase. Percy W. Harris

              Blog- Two Go Tiki Touring


              • #67
                Will someone just answer the question?


                • #68
                  ... just answer the question
                  My first (few?) senior pictures were free.

                  I then did a couple of sessions for families that I knew for dinners (tasty alternative to cash).

                  I've since done sitting fees of $150, plus various "markup" fees based on location/lighting (for difficulty in hauling lights to some obscure location), retouching, and print packages. The total cost ranges from $150 to $400.
                  Some pictures... (500px)


                  • #69
                    For crying out loud. Charge what you think your time is worth spending time to and from location, behind the camera shooting the images and then downloading, editing and post processing and delivering the images to your client.

                    What you don't want to do is charge a low price, so that this will become a minimum wage job. There's nothing worse busting your butt and making pennies.

                    When pricing you also have to take in account how much your camera, lenses, CF cards, card readers, computer and software cost, that's unless your parents provided everything free.

                    Most pros in the Seattle area charge $500.00 and above for senior portraits and packages.

                    I don't know where you live or what photographic experience or gear you own, but Jim Poor is right, you blow a portrait session or two and it'll pretty much ruin your reputation.

                    Start out at $100 or $125.00 and raise prices when you feel your work is worth doing so.
                    (1) EOS 1D MKIII (3) EOS 1D's, (3) EOS1D MKIIs', (1) EOS1Ds MKII, 14mmf2.8, 16-35mmf2.8, 28-70mmf2.8, 70-200mm f2.8, 300mm f2.8 and a 400mmf2.8, (4) 550 EX and 1 580E speedlite, and a Speed a tron studio flash system.


                    • #70
                      Originally posted by dasmith232 View Post
                      ... total cost ranges from $150 to $400.
                      And to clarify, that's for *this* market. I live in a small town that almost no one outside of Colorado has ever heard of, and many inside this state still haven't heard of it. The couple of jobs that I did on "barter" (dinner) is in line with how things happen when you're not in the "big city"!

                      Pros in more established areas (like what Jim described) will have a different price structure. Then again, Seattle is big and known even outside this country!
                      Some pictures... (500px)


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by bekskok View Post
                        Will someone just answer the question?
                        Not possible, at least not possible to give a specific dlr/pound/yen/euro figure because each and every photographer will have different costs to consider before they get to their final price.

                        I love it when old threads get resurrected.
                        If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?

                        Personal work


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by royey123 View Post
                          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.
                          I completely agree on this. And as a new photographer getting into the business, we shouldn't have to stay "free" until our photos are $100 or $400 worthy. Start out small and work your way up as you're experience grows. And don't forget that you're time is valuable!

                          You should always be confident in what you're charging. Do some research around your area and compare your photos to yours. If your costumers can get better photos done with another photographer that charges less or the same amount as you do, you're too high.

                          For example, I feel that I'll be ready to charge in 3 months and I'm charging $30 a session. My time is valuable (I'm a full time college student, a resident assistant, and work 2 part time jobs), but I'm still new, therefore my photos aren't as high in quality. I feel confident that I'm being fair to my customers and myself.


                          • #73
                            My advice is to research photographers in your area and see what they are charging. Find a photog who is near your ability level and price near their levels.

                            There are many photographers who "only" use natural light. Do learn how to use reflectors and flash as they will dramatically improve the quality of your portraits. Keep learning and don't be afraid to ask questions as we all had to start somewhere.
                            Last edited by MelSpring; 11-15-2012, 03:06 PM.


                            • #74
                              My opinion is to search out other photographers in your area and see what they are charging then set your prices from there, and how much you would like to earn in the venture. I did research, and there are a lot of photographers in my area that charge more than I do, and it looks like they take their pictures with a point a shoot. I have my own feelings which is why I charge less, I'm not making a living on it and only do it part time. I will say though, that I am close enough to the other photographers prices to not slap them in the face.
                              Canon Rebel T3, Canon 60D, 18-55mm, 25-75mm f2.8, 75-300mm, 200mm f2.8, 50mm f1.8
                              Sampson Images


                              • #75
                                So sorry people are being rude here. It's really not okay to judge like that just because you're young, without ever seeing your work.
                                I was able to find you on flickr and you are very good. The one problem is that your work lacks some expression. The subjects all kind of just stare enigmatically, which can get monotonous. Other than that, they are well-composed, focused, and over all and better than a lot of the most popular photographers in my area. Your work is worth 100$ a session definitely, but you might want to charge something more like 75 or 80 to get more work, and have more of an edge over other photographers.