How much to charge for a sitting

macmasseymacmassey AtlantaPosts: 58Registered Users Big grins
edited February 8, 2013 in Mind Your Own Business
How much should I charge to go over to someone's house to shoot photos of their pet or child? I am not a pro, more like an advanced amateur. I do not have any additional lighting gear other than my Canon 430 EXII Speedlite and my Canon 17-55mm 2.8 lens on my trusty Canon 40D. I've gotten some wonderful pet and people shots using that combination just by being careful how I use natural light. But bottom line is I am trying to figure out a fee schedule for someone at my level. Part 2 of my question is charging for prints. I was figuring on simply setting up a passworded gallery on my Smugmug Pro site where they can buy what ever they want. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Comments

  • macmasseymacmassey Atlanta Posts: 58Registered Users Big grins
    edited February 5, 2013
    I've looked at some of the other similar threads on this and I'm just basically looking for what to charge to drive over to someone's home for an hour or two and get photos of their new baby, etc. I guess a one time fee and then they can just order prints off my pro site.
  • sweet carolinesweet caroline Major grins Posts: 1,589Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 5, 2013
    Make sure you look at state laws regrading businesses and sales tax before you start charging. When I first started charging for portrait sessions, I charged a $75 session fee for an hour shoot. After a few months, I raised it to $125. Now it's significantly more. Your pricing will depend on regional rates and your business model.
  • macmasseymacmassey Atlanta Posts: 58Registered Users Big grins
    edited February 5, 2013
    Sounds reasonable. Thanks for the tip and I will check out the local sales tax info.
  • HackboneHackbone Always learning Posts: 3,978Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 5, 2013
    Your time is the most valuable asset you have and it is limited. Your could be doing something you really like or be home with your family so charge what the compensation would be for that. At your stated level and what equip you have it would not be less than $100 for an hour or more if your drive time is great. Most folks would be happy for $40 but think of the time you missed with family or time you can't recover.
  • Bryce WilsonBryce Wilson Wants More Glass Posts: 1,584Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 5, 2013
    Another way to go about it is to charge a small fee up front to cover your costs, but proof sell your prints after the fact. If you have confidence in your work and people like the results after they see it, have them buy prints directly from you and price them accordingly.

    If you don't have a following or people beating a path to your door, it may be a way to get business to start.
  • jarboedoggartjarboedoggart Major grins Posts: 270Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 5, 2013
    Another way to go about it is to charge a small fee up front to cover your costs, but proof sell your prints after the fact. If you have confidence in your work and people like the results after they see it, have them buy prints directly from you and price them accordingly.

    If you don't have a following or people beating a path to your door, it may be a way to get business to start.

    Personally, I always try to charge what I want to make up front in the session fee, then set prices low for prints and if I get some sales that is just a bonus. Whenever I depend on print sales, I seem to fall short. Would rather get upfront to be sure.

    However, I know plenty of photographers that are successful with upsales with products after the shoot. So which ever works better for you I guess?

    But most important thing is to figure out what your time is worth, and figure out a way to hit that. In my market I never want to be under $100/hr/photographer (there is two of us depending on job), but every market is different.
    -Nate
    Jarboe Doggart Photography - jarboedoggart.com
  • macmasseymacmassey Atlanta Posts: 58Registered Users Big grins
    edited February 5, 2013
    That's what I love about this forum. A lot of great ideas for me to think about. Thank you everyone for your input. I really appreciate it!
  • WirenWiren Wiren Posts: 704Registered Users Major grins
    edited February 8, 2013
    macmassey wrote: »
    How much should I charge to go over to someone's house to shoot photos of their pet or child? I am not a pro, more like an advanced amateur. I do not have any additional lighting gear other than my Canon 430 EXII Speedlite and my Canon 17-55mm 2.8 lens on my trusty Canon 40D. I've gotten some wonderful pet and people shots using that combination just by being careful how I use natural light. But bottom line is I am trying to figure out a fee schedule for someone at my level. Part 2 of my question is charging for prints. I was figuring on simply setting up a passworded gallery on my Smugmug Pro site where they can buy what ever they want. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

    I did a lot of extensive research of many brick & mortar photo establishments and others that I found online in my direct area. I found that out of a dozen businesses, the sitting fees averaged just over $100 (like $112 averaged over 12 businesses). Print Pricing was a little all over the map between all those business... some were "packages" only and others were by the print.

    After all my research and deliberation, I wanted to keep things less confusing for my customers, which means round, easy whole numbers.... here's what I do, your mileage may vary.

    Sitting fee: $100 Includes my travel in my tri-county area, with up to 2 location changes (senior shoots) with reasonable, local distances.

    Basic CD or Zip Drive: $150 - includes up to 50 shots at low resolution (print ok up to 5x7 in size)
    Large Print CD or Zip Drive: $300 - includes up to 50 shots at High resolution (Print ok up to 30 x 40)
    Gallery CD or Zip Drive: $450 - includes entire gallery at High resolution

    Images are available per print via website at the following prices

    4x6: $10
    5x7: $20
    8x10: 30
    11x14: 40 and so on .....

    These are prices for portraits and the like... fine art pricing is different of course, but for the consumer looking for pricing on a photo shoot, I felt that keeping it simple and the same (if not a tad lower than my competition) was a good way to go.

    Setting your prices can be quite difficult, it will really depend on your area and the usual charges your competition sets. Go online and google photography business in your area, look at as many reputable businesses as you can, check out their pricing and see where you should be for your geographical area. Don't undervalue or overvalue yourself. Think of a fancy restaurant... the wine/drink menu usually has an extremely high priced drink, a few in the middle and a couple really cheap ones.... they are aiming for clients to purchase the middle as they can't afford or don't want to pay top dollar, and the cheap stuff is just that - undesireable, the middle is where you should be aiming.

    Pareto's principle is a good thing to consider when setting up your fee structure. Good luck to you.

    Lee
    Lee Wiren
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