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Photography Question 

First Paying Job

Hi everyone,

New to the neighborhood. I am a serious amateur from an experience standpoint. I am not looking to become a professional photographer on a full-time basis any time soon, but wouldn't be opposed to making a little extra money from the hobby if I can.

One of my coworkers has helped her son start a fine dining restaurant. She has been a fan of my photography since I have worked here. She has asked me to come in and take pictures of everything from the restaurant interior to the sign out front to a picture of each of their entrees and desserts to her son in action cooking. These would be for use on the website they are setting up and for a full color brochure.

I don't have a clue what to charge for this. Everything would be digital. There is no travel involved. I want to get an idea what a normal set of fees would be for this and then cut it significantly down because they are friends and it is my first paying job. I would do some photoshopping on the photos if they desired feathered edges or other edge effects.

So what is the normal approach on this? Do you charge a single "sitting" fee then charge per picture? Just charge the per picture charge? I feel like I will give them very good quality pics. Otherwise I wouldn't do the job. So I want to charge but not overcharge. Any pointers, suggestions or advice?

Love the website. Learning everyday from it. Hope to take some of the classes soon.



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4/17/2006 9:33:13 AM

Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  hey don,
a little underhanded thing you could do is call around to some local photographers and pretend your the other person wanting that service and ask what they would charge you for the service.don't know where you live or the market,and don't want to,but might give you an idea.a search on the subject might take a while.yeah.
who wants to pay for experience and knowledge eh.
or figure your time and cost and wear and tear on your equipment and computer work.paper,ink, photoshopping.and the mere fact that digital is so much more fullfilling.
oh do you want a release on the photos?
single use of the shoot and photos?
can you use the photos for your own personal gain?unlimited use of your photos by the buyer?got a backup camera in case yours takes a dump?
lab makes a mistake?
i only answered because no one else had.
charge by picture?take at least a thousand.i am so joking on that don.
seems pretty cut and dry to me don.
hope this helps,sam

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4/17/2006 8:31:12 PM

John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  I assume that your customer wants unlimited usage rights to the photos, i.e., they pay you once and they can do whatever they want with the photos.

If you were a good photographer with a reputation, you'd probably charge around $100 per hour plus expenses for this kind of work, and you'd keep the rights to the photos, licensing usage and reproduction (but not resale) rights to your customer.

Being as they're your friends, figure out how many hours this is realistically going to take you, including any post-processing time. Then, figure your expenses. Finally, figure out how much you want to make per hour off of them, and charge that plus your expenses.

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4/17/2006 10:49:11 PM


BetterPhoto Member
  Thanks for the input guys. I wasn't sure if it was typically a single overall charge or, like a portrait session, a sitting fee plus a per photo cost. Your answers help. I'm not looking to make a big profit off of these folks. Just make a little something for my time and help them in the process. I realize that isn't the right mindset if I were looking to strike out professionally. Thanks again for the input.


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4/18/2006 5:43:03 AM

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