You left out the "free pizza and beer" vector!
Originally Posted by DesertNate
Thanks, everyone, for confirming the murkiness of this topic.
If you're speaking about the business in the commercial realm, cost of prints are just incidental. Commercial photographers mainly make their money off fees and markups on prints just cover the incidentals of producing the print like running to the lab and handling prints. Here's a link to a book on business practices by ASMP. http://asmp.org/articles/professiona...ices-book.html
I've given away prints for food and beer before actually haha. Maybe it's more of a trade but not implied. A sandwich shop by my work used to have two of my silver gelatin prints on the wall before they remodeled, got free beers for that one
I'm with the "it's completely free for friends at least once" brigade, after all what are friends for? Even with that approach, good people will often insist on paying something and I've received $100-200 on average for about 50% of my intended-to-be-free jobs. If they want to keep on having shoots and prints though, explain that they will have to pay cost-of-goods and be ruthless in adding everything to that cost that you will actually use (e.g. tell them it's petrol money plus $10/roll to shoot B&W plus $10 per delivered 8x10" (don't forget wastage, test strips & work-prints!); some simple price that covers your direct costs). Your labour cost is up to you; I still generally leave it at $0 for friends after charging them for materials but for more-distant acquaintances, I charge a nominal labour cost ($50/hour) that will scare off the time-wasters & riff-raff.
You need a written contract specifying price, terms of delivery and most importantly, that you retain copyright and laying out the license that you grant with the prints you supply. Doesn't matter if it's your mother or brother or whatever as customer, rights need to be nailed down (duration, resale, sublicensing, replicas/backups, display, etc) precisely even if you're ultimately generous in what you grant.
If they're strangers, you're competing with commercial studios so you have a responsibility to a) not kill your local businesses by undercutting them with free skilled labour and b) ensure you extract appropriate value from your commercial services, because you are at that point providing a commercial service. Such customers get the full billable rate ($100-150/hour; 30-40% of that will go to paying your overheads like building, vehicle, etc) and 100% markup on materials consumed. If they balk at the total quoted price, let them walk.
People expect photos to be free these days. You don't need to play that game unless you want to be a sucker and/or philanthropist.
Last edited by polyglot; 05-24-2012 at 01:15 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I think the price is fair as far as the capture and developing is concerned. I have some problems with "photographing her family". Do you go there? They come to you? Your studio? Do you provide a lighting setup with multiple flashes, background etc. or do you just go to their place and take pictures?
I have no idea how much time would it take to make a good print, but I think I would raise the price on prints.
I wouldn't do this for free for a coworker. A friend is a friend, a collegue is a collegue. If the work is well received, you might receive other requests from the same client, or from other clients - other coworkers, other persons to whom you were referred by this client.
So if I were you I wouldn't do it for a price for which you wouldn't do it many times. Price in a way that it might become a future activity for you (not necessarily your main one, but a pleasant second work).
Especially don't do it for free. You'll find out that if you do it for free, you'll have difficulties even in finding them at home when you go there. And in any case "no good deed goes unpunished".
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Think twice about providing a CD for free. You should charge for that if you provide it at all.
That CD has value. That CD took work to make. But, moreover, that CD contains all your pictures in digital format.
If you want to sell prints, the CD is going to work against you. Your client can now print off 1,000 copies on her inkjet printer, virtually for free. Why should she come back to you to get prints that cost $10 or $20 apiece?
Providing a CD is a good service but, as I said, charge for it. (Like $50!)
When you do provide it, make sure the images are SMALL. Like 300 pixels horizontally.
You want pictures that she can look at on her screen or post on Facebook but you don't want her to be able to print out full size images that she could be coming back to you for.
ALSO, put your name, address and copyright statement in the metadata! If she's going to post your pictures on Facebook (et. al.) you'll want your name attached to them. 99% of the people out there don't even know what metadata is, let alone how to strip your name out of it.
You could put a visible watermark in the pictures or use a steganographic method like DigiMark or similar. That's up to you.
Bottom line: Watch out when you provide a CD!
That happened to me once (4-hour Sweet-16 party for a very spoiled girl). It was nice that they offered payment rather than asking for a freebee. The $200 they gave me was $100 less than they promised... but I felt good helping them out and they still (4 or 5 years later) compliment me on both the kind act and the nice photos.
Originally Posted by polyglot
p.s. My friends even asked what film to provide, how much, and they did the processing themselves.
Whether I would do that again is really a matter of how good the friendship is... or how much beer-and-pizza was offere, or how big their TV screen is. As Fabrizio said, "I wouldn't do this for free for a coworker. A friend is a friend, a collegue is a collegue."
Originally Posted by BrianShaw
If I was providing the photographic service, I would maintain
ownership of the entire process. I would purchase the film,
provide the processing service, and keep the negatives in my
possession. I would never turn over the negatives, or an
" Unmarked CD " of images to someone.
Last edited by M.A.Longmore; 05-24-2012 at 12:37 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I thought about it, and did that once before in my lifetime... but value the friendship more than the rights to images I really couldn't ever use in the future. In my case it was their party, their daughter, and their memories. The value of "rights" to any of that is zero to me. The value of their friendship... and they express thanks for that and comment on how happy they were with the photos every time I see them... is invaluable. Oddly, I have never seen the photos myself.