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  1. #11
    Ektagraphic's Avatar
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    My cost of developing the negs and having proofs made when color is $9.50. I do the black and white work myself so we could play it safe and say black and white is $4....
    Helping to save analog photography one exposure at a time

  2. #12
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    You will eventually get answers across the entire range of prices if you keep the question going long enough. Personally, I have found that at prices even vaguely like the ones you are considering, the amount of time-wasters you get is incredibly high because they have NO investment in what you're doing. When you don't value your own work, nobody else will either. I charge $250 and up for a sitting fee. I get a lot of "aw shucks" responses, but it ends there and the ones who respond positively are more likely to show up, on time, and pay in full. Then again, I'm shooting with an antique portrait camera on large format film and producing platinum prints.

  3. #13
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Patrick:

    Looking at it from the other side of the equation ...

    IIRC you are a student.

    What do you spend money on that costs you $125.00? Or $175.00?

    Is that worth more than a well prepared portrait?

    EDIT: when you are calculating costs, don't forget the costs of dealing with problem clients, including those that don't pay.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  4. #14

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    patrick

    will your clients be friends from school ?

    your fees are even a bit low for high school students ...
    even studios that cater to the " senior portrait " market
    charge a bit more than that ... but then again they are getting
    their 8x10s for about 1-3$ a pop ( light jet ) , so it is all gravy.

    what you might think about is do a lot of portraits for FREE for your friends
    neighbors and random people, give them prints for FREE and build up your
    experience / skill and rapport with your subject, AND use your BEST 20 images or so
    use in your PORTFOLIO.

    i still photograph people ( random people ) for FREE, and give them FREE prints ...
    just today i brought someone a 11x14 of her husband who passed away a few years ago
    ( i just learned of his passing ) ... signed it and gave it to her.

    i would not put a shingle out and say i am a portrait photographer and charge people for sitting + prints,
    without a bunch of experience under my belt ...

    a typical mark-up is 3x cost ( 1=cost, 1= overhead 1=profit )
    don't forget to charge for your TIME as ian referred to .. travel to sitting, from sitting, at sitting, to / from lab,
    general office busywork & C, even someone flipping burgers at mcD's makes 8-9$ / hour, why shouldn't you ?

    good luck
    john
    Last edited by jnanian; 08-18-2010 at 04:44 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #15
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ektagraphic View Post
    My cost of developing the negs and having proofs made when color is $9.50. I do the black and white work myself so we could play it safe and say black and white is $4....
    No you can't. You just GAVE AWAY your labor. And you're not factoring in your other costs like the time to go buy your chemistry and bring it back, mixing the chemistry, handling the spent chemistry, the cost of the sleeves for the film, the cost of the paper, and so on. If you are NOT doing volume processing and proofing like a pro lab, a realistic cost for yourself to develop and proof is at least 50% more if not double what the lab charges.

  6. #16
    lns
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ektagraphic View Post
    Hi Guys-
    I had a thread going before but it ended up being long and drawn out and I'll try to focus this more . I am getting into portraits and wondering what you would charge for a session with one roll of 120 in the 645 format with a set of color proofs. I am now thinking around $35-45 so I was looking for a little input. Thanks,


    Patrick
    While I think $35-$45 is way too low, I also think one roll of film is too little. You're essentially shooting on spec, and if I were doing that I'd want at least two rolls per sitter. Close-ups, medium range, different angles, different settings or lighting. It gets worse if you are shooting a family of kids, because you need at least one shot where they all look good, as well as individual shots.

    You also have to consider that some people won't pay anything for a sitting fee unless you are very established with a great set of sample prints and referrals.

    First, I'd figure out what market you're aiming at, and then set up your pricing to appeal to that market. If your aim is to sell prints, then set up your operation so the sitting is free, you take a lot of great pictures, and the prints make your money.

    It sounds like you might be a beginner at this? If so, can I suggest doing some free sittings, and offering the prints at cost, for the first few times. Keep the right to use the prints for your own marketing, of course. You will find out if you are cut out for it. Also, you will, if you pick the right folks, find that they will promote your good work themselves, by showing your work to their friends.

    -Laura

  7. #17
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ektagraphic View Post
    My cost of developing the negs and having proofs made when color is $9.50. I do the black and white work myself so we could play it safe and say black and white is $4....
    You've missed the crucial time factor.

    Either be serious or stop posting on your own thread here. Time spent on admin & processing is potential lost revenue.

    Ian

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ektagraphic View Post
    Hi Guys-
    I had a thread going before but it ended up being long and drawn out and I'll try to focus this more . I am getting into portraits and wondering what you would charge for a session with one roll of 120 in the 645 format with a set of color proofs. I am now thinking around $35-45 so I was looking for a little input. Thanks,


    Patrick
    Reverend Ike is quoted as saying: "It's just as easy to ask for a quarter as it is for a nickel."

    You are way under pricing your service @ $45. With what you propose you'll be lucky to make minimum wage based on the time you will invest. If this is a learning experience, a venture to grow on then I would suggest charging a $50 for a short while, say your first dozen or so customers or until you build an attractive portfolio to get jump started.

    I think you will also find most people aren't interested in proof sheets, I would recommend proof quality 5x7s. If you shoot B&W I would use Kodak B&W C-41 chromogenic film. I wouldn't even think about getting involved in processing and printing because you will loose your ass by doing so.

    My 2 cents,

    Don Bryant
    Last edited by donbga; 08-18-2010 at 04:34 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Spelling
    Don Bryant

  9. #19
    MattKing's Avatar
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    By the way Patrick, thanks for starting this very interesting thread.

    A few other things to consider.

    It is far easier to offer a reduction, based on someone's limited ability to pay, than it is to try to increase your price for those who can afford it.

    So it is better to go into this with a higher price, and consider things like student discounts or one-off reductions where necessary.

    If you see someone who you really want to try photographing, you can always offer to do a free portrait in return for using the result in your portfolio.

    If you are really confident, or really unsure, you could offer to do a few portraits on a "pay me what you feel the portrait is worth" basis. You might learn a very interesting lesson.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  10. #20

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    you could also visit some of the established portrait studios near you and see what they charge,
    granted they are not going on location for every job as you hope to do, just the same it would give you a
    good idea of what the local market looks like.

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