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Photography Question 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
 

How Much to Charge?


I've been asked to take pictures for a 50th Wedding Anniversary - first the church, then a hall for the party, with photos being taken at both places. About 200 people ... and the amount of hours would be around 6-7. I'm just not sure what to charge ... by the hour ...o r a flat rate for the whole evening, etc. Any suggestions??
Thanks.


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3/2/2005 7:16:38 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Charlene,
Prices usually are based on the market you are in, where you fit into that market based on your skills, the complexity of the assignment, and the amount of time the job takes. So, in a nutshell, that could be anywhere from $25 an hour up to $150.00. It depends on what your client is willing to pay and what you feel is a good rate for your services. That old saying is true: The value of your work depends on what someone is willing to pay for it.


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3/6/2005 7:35:18 PM

 
Charlene Bayerle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/9/2003
PictureThisbyChar.com
  Thanks so much Charlie.....I told them $100 an hour with a photo package, but they only bugeted for $250 for 7 hours at the affair and the work I'd have to do at home with the pictures. So, I won't be doing the shoot. but thanks for your input...greatly appreciated.
Charlene


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3/6/2005 8:24:22 PM

 
Sharon E. Lowe
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/7/2002
photosbysharon.com
  Char - their budget is very unrealistic if they expect you to be there the whole time and then do prints, etc. I can't imagine they will find anyone for that price. But, if you want to do something, how about offering to do a total of 2 hours and then you give them a CD of the images that they can print on their own. For that price, I wouldn't do anything other than shoot jpegs for them and I wouldn't process them in any way.


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3/8/2005 3:53:59 AM

 
Gregg    You should have charges a siting fee. (Perhaps $50) Next take separate oders, perhaps $12 for a 8x10 whhich would include shipping. You could of taken names/addresses on a sign up sheet. The idea is totally optional to purchase, the numbers look small, and there is no obligation. This works really well as you can get the large volume prints for about $1.50 plus about $2.00 for mailing. The response works well and orders keep coming in for months so I usually order a few more at the original order.


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3/8/2005 6:37:14 AM

 
Gregg    You should have charges a siting fee. (Perhaps $50) Next take separate oders, perhaps $12 for a 8x10 whhich would include shipping. You could of taken names/addresses on a sign up sheet. The idea is totally optional to purchase, the numbers look small, and there is no obligation. This works really well as you can get the large volume prints for about $1.50 plus about $2.00 for mailing. The response works well and orders keep coming in for months so I usually order a few more at the original order.


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3/8/2005 6:37:17 AM

 
Maria Melnyk   Hi, Charlene. I shudder whenever I see a question on how much to charge to photograph a wedding, anniversary, etc., because a question of this type usually comes from someone who's never photographed a wedding/anniversary before. If that's the case, then you should not charge anything above and beyond film and printing costs. The time you put in is part of your education, and should be considered as such. Until a photographer learns how to do portraits, to properly pose couples and groups, and to light, expose, and compose photographs, he or she is still in training. The first events I photographed, although small, were entirely at my cost, even for film and printing. I was a good landscape photographer and such, trained on lighting and exposure, and thus thought that I knew how to photograph weddings. Not true. It takes most photographers a minimum of 3 - 5 weddings plus off-the-job training before they can even be considered beginner-professionals. So go ahead and take the job for the $250, but be sure to get some training beforehand. 50th Anniversary photos are very important, and should be professionally done.
However, if and only if you are fully-trained and have photographed weddings and portraits before (properly), then Sharon's response is the way to go.


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3/8/2005 8:07:48 AM

 
Maria Melnyk   Hi, Charlene. I shudder whenever I see a question on how much to charge to photograph a wedding, anniversary, etc., because a question of this type usually comes from someone who's never photographed a wedding/anniversary before. If that's the case, then you should not charge anything above and beyond film and printing costs. The time you put in is part of your education, and should be considered as such. Until a photographer learns how to do portraits, to properly pose couples and groups, and to light, expose, and compose photographs, he or she is still in training. The first events I photographed, although small, were entirely at my cost, even for film and printing. I was a good landscape photographer and such, trained on lighting and exposure, and thus thought that I knew how to photograph weddings. Not true. It takes most photographers a minimum of 3 - 5 weddings plus off-the-job training before they can even be considered beginner-professionals. So go ahead and take the job for the $250, but be sure to get some training beforehand. 50th Anniversary photos are very important, and should be professionally done.
However, if and only if you are fully-trained and have photographed weddings and portraits before (properly), then Sharon's response is the way to go.


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3/8/2005 8:07:49 AM

 
Robert A. Simpson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/21/2004
  Charlene this is open market, dont let anyone know you are a beginner or a Professional. Just have confidence and get what pay you can for your time. Maybe at the first couple events charge a little lower Fee. If they like it you can raise the Price. Have confidence and you will be fine. Go For it. I did my first Group event last week and it went fine. If your shooting Digital just take hundreds of shots and bracket alot. Again go for it, you can do it......Ask for the People feedback and what they want, work with them....Good Luck....


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3/17/2005 7:43:00 PM

 
David J. Hartley   Hi Charlene, Maria is absolutely right on this one. If you are inexperienced and have shot nothing like this before then charge to cover your expenses plus a little extra. It is more important to get the gig than make a profit as without shots of these events you will not be able to book future clients as they will insist on seeing your previous work. If you do a good job then there may be more work that follows on from it, so it's not really a bad thing to work at cost to start with. I had to assist pro photographers for free before I was able to start charging and it was well worth the hard work and lack of pay, the experience was invaluable. I agree with Robert about taking the job but be very wary of going down the route of shooting thousands of pics in order to get a handfull of good ones. This will get you into bad shooting habits and is exhausting for both yourself and the clients. Concentrate on quality and getting the shot right and not quantity of shots. Hope this is of some use. One more thing, once you're proficient then hike your prices up, people will big bucks pay if your work is good. ;-)


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3/18/2005 7:18:01 PM

 
Julie M. Cwik
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/2/2005
  Alright, I work at a wedding photography studio, and we would charge $1450 for an all day shoot. If they only allowed $250 for the photographer then they are quite mistaken, your worth so much more, expecially if you consider yourself to be professional. If you sell yourself short then they will treat you like it. Do not be afraid to charge more, I would respect you more because you charge more, it would make me think, "He is charging me $600 and this other man is charging $250, I wonder what the quality difference is?" You must also remember that this is a 50th anniversary so their idea of money is so much different than ours, they probably don't realize the price of photography went up quite a bit over the past 50 years.


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3/18/2005 8:50:13 PM

 
Terry  R. Hatfield
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2003
  Hi Char!This Kinda Shoot Would Be Similiar To A Wedding!The Cheapest Wedding Package Is At Least 1500.00 You Get What You Pay For:-)I Know Your Ability And I Wouldnt Sell Myself Short, As Julie Said They Dont Realize The Prices Nowadays 250.00 Is Probally What They Paid For The Wedding Photos!LOL!!Have A Great Day Char:-)


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3/19/2005 7:54:05 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  All right, first of all - I looked at your gallery and I'd say that $250 should be your retainer fee. And I say retainer not deposit, because by law if the event doesn't happen you have to give the money back, but not a retainer. Tell them that for $250 they will most likely get low quality shots from a amutuer. Also, you could just give them a CD and tell them they can print as many as they want. Wait till they get the bill for that, then they'll know why you were so expensive.
You could sign up with pictage, take over 1000 pictures of everybody and let them know they can all order online. My smallest package is $1050 and I don't do it by the hour, cause then you'll have people asking for less hours.

They probably want you to throw in a free photo also right
Allright, they get free wallet size with a magnifying glass


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3/19/2005 10:48:35 AM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
Contact John
John's Gallery
  Shooting a wedding, or in this case a wedding anniversary, is hard work. Anyone who has shot one knows of which I speak.

If you "get the shots" you're a hero; if you miss some you're a goat.

Regardless, a friend [professional wedding photographer who uses film] offers a standard service: 4 36-exposure rolls, ~150 prints as proofs. He charges anywhere from $500 to $1,500, with extra costs associated with deviation from standard print packages.

The problem [for the photographer using digital]is that it's too easy to take too many pictures. Commenters above describe taking up to 1,000 pictures, very do-able but, perhaps, very foolish, as the amount of time involved in reviewing so many pictures would eat up any profit quickly. Then, of course, there's the time editing selected images, the cost of printing [paper and other expendables, etc.]


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3/24/2005 12:59:49 PM

 
Slim Brady 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/1/2006
  $600-$1000 just for your time


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6/28/2006 12:47:12 AM

 
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