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What do you charge for services?

  1. JoeA
    Hello group,

    I'm new to APUG and this group so please be gentle.

    My wife is insistant that I put to work the cameras I have and "my talent".
    While I'm not sure what kind of market there is for some one who sould shoot only in film, at some point I may actually get an assignment.
    Because I've done wedding photos for friends, see the one posted on the group page, as well portraits of the grand kids. I think this is probably where I'd possibly find "work" .
    The question, of course, is, I have no idea what to charge for my services.
    Would this be an hourly fee plus expenses, sell what you can later?
    How do you gauge this.

    Thanks in advance for any input.

  2. SteveR
    G'day Joe,

    I've just had a situation that has come up and I headed here for some advice and found your post.

    Generally for booked sittings I charge $100 for a two hour sitting (extra if significant travel is involved) which includes a proof sheet (often low res digital scans, or a proper contact proof sheet, depending on the format... I'm not going to sit there doing 16x20 proof sheets of 4x5's for the fun of it!) and an 8x10 of the picture I think is a 'winner'. Or, if I've emailed a digital contact sheet, then one they've chosen, otherwise I'll send the print with the cotact sheet. After that, I charge a general fee per print, lower the price if they order more etc. If sittings are longer than two hours, I'd charge between $60-$80 per hour extra, cost depending on the client, ie, if it's a nice family wanting to take one last family portrait before Gran goes into hospital, I'll lower it right down, or not even charge the extra hours...)

    For other work, I generally work at that rate of $60-$80 per hour, again depending on the client and the type of work.

    I hope that gives you a bit of an insight, I know I don't charge as much as some photgraphers, but I think that for me, I get as much enjoyment out of it as my clients do, and when it comes to family portraits, being flexable and affordable goes a long way to fostering a good working relationship, which I believe comes out in the end product.
  3. JoeA
    G'day as well Steve,

    In a conversation or two since the initial post the nuimber I came up with is just about what you've mentioned. But in a different sort of way.
    Where you are charging a per hour rate, I had thought of a flat fee, for weddings any way,
    Although for private settings your hourly rate seems more appropriate.

    What I'd come up with was simply $150.00 to shoot a wedding, that charge simply being for my time being there.
    Then, other conversations developed this, considering how people tend to want to do things themselves these days. Simply add a per roll charge, prints, negatives and a CD. Based, of course, on what the lab charges me for these items, plus a handling charge of some sort.
    This way, I perform my service, they get pic's for the album, and any other processing is up to them, I don't run around after a sale, I'm done.

    What do you think?


  4. SteveR
    G'day Joe,

    Sounds like you've got it sorted. Here's just a couple questions I'd ask, which may be food for thought, or may be "nup, got it sorted", you know, so this is just 'brain-storming', I'm always looking to streamline my practices and am always willing to learn, so talking about all this is helpful for me too.

    What I gathered from what you said was that at the end of a job you'd hand over all films, a CD of scanned images as well as any prints they ordered from you. After that, you're done and have nothing more to do with the client (unless they hire you again, of course). That makes sense, especially considering, as you said, peoples desire to DIY as far as their prints go these days. It sounds like a good practice and something that would work well for you. Here's how I would consider tackling it:

    -As part of your agreement with your clients, I'd state that they are going to get at least a print or two from you. Whether they have to order them on top of the rate, or, just as goodwill, you include it in your flat rate (this is what I do at the moment).

    -Provide your client with the CD of scanned images from film and the 'complimentary' (or paid for, depending how you do it) print.

    -State in your contract with them that yo are more than happy for them to make as many prints from the digitized images as they like. From my experience, shop scans on CD are okay, they'll keep the casual observer happy at 8x10 prints, which is probably the most common wedding etc reprint size (in my experience anyway, it's sor of the 'classic' size).

    -Also put in your contract that the actual films belong to you, as the photographer (one guy I have worked with has a statement saying he will release any negatives to the client after twenty years from the date of the event... last month he got his first phone call to get some negs back, he was very surprised... he said he had no idea how quickly 20 years can go by!). If your client wants to order further 'professional' prints (ie, from the negs) they can do so through you. That may never happen, they may be more than happy with printing their own from the CD, and you still have the originals to use for any future promotional work or advertising you need to do for yourself (if you've written that into your contract). However, if you have a more discerning client, they will see that their CD prints are okay for small snapshots and web use, but will see the difference in quality when compared to a proper print (Yes, there's a good reason to offer them a complimentary print, it serves as a reference point for their own prints). If it's colour work, a print from film through a pro lab will look really nice (hopefully you've got access to a good analogue lab? If not, a Fuji Frontier lab will probably still be quite good) next to the prints from their CD. If it's B&W they want prints of, and you're doing your own, you then have the advantage that these are hand made pieces of artwork, which they might like as something special to keep, even if they have printed the same pic from the CD.

    Anyway, I hope that came together alright, it's the end of a long day here and I'm in a rush to get out into the sunshine before the clouds roll in again! Would love to hear your thoughts, like I said, it sounds like you've pretty much got it sorted in your own head, what I've written here may very well come under the "Nah, good idea, but not where I'm wanting to go" banner, in which case, GREAT! You've just ruled out one more variable in your business workflow and gotten one step closer to knowing exactly what works best for you in your situation right now.

    All the best mate, hope yo ufind a workflow that works for you.
  5. JoeA
    Hi Steve,

    You make some good points. I hadn't thought about the intelectual property rights, for that matter not even a contract.

    I've got time to think more on this, no one is beating down my door for my services as yet.
    I still like the flat fee idea, your reference to a contract makes me want to look into that aspect, what will a client expect, what I expect, best get it in writing.

    Keeping the negatives is an issue. This endeavour is after all an old man's hobby that might make him a dollar or two. So starting a filing system at 57 years old, to keep records for years to come, all while keeping the grand children out of it, is a consideration. Which brings me back to giving them the negatives, take my due, and no more worries......

    As I've said, I'm still thinking, now if I could find a sample contract to modify.

    On the lighter side, I hope your enjoying your migration into summer. Here in the South East US (North Florida) we are enjoying our autumn the heat of the summer is past, we can open the windows at night and enjoy the cool breezes.. But in another month it will be too cold for that, until the Spring, so we enjoy while we can. And so shall you.


  6. theseasideartist
    anyone for discussing 2012/2013 rates for shooting a session with 3 rolls of film....120 or 35 mm-
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