Holy smokes, I thought your were a senior. :D:D:D
OK, some folks were down on me only charging $60 for a sitting fee. Well, that is what I call a bit of money for them to monetize my hobby for me.
Last night one of the patrons came by to order prints, and I have a $140 order from her, and another client mailed me thier order the same day, and was for $190. I should be able to get these printed in about 5 hours, and enjoy the time spent doing the printing. The processor has had its water baths filled, and the paper is out of the freezer, so likely tomorrow evening I will get started.
Otherwise I would be studynig too much for an upcoming exam, or at work more than I should be. So this under cost work is a nice diversion for me.
From the point of view from someone who makes a living, or intends to make a living off portrait photography, that sort of return for the time invested would still not be viable. Congratulations on the print order... Have fun in the dark!
Right now I'm getting ready to display some prints at our local library, and maybe sell a few prints from the exposure. Most of the time I give some framed prints for charity, and price them at a reasonable amount so they sell(all procedes to the charity, nothing back to me), and I sell matted prints at the Chamber of Commerce (5x7 for $9.95 ea.)
I used to be a portrait photographer for Olan Mills, and am really reluctant to pose people, but I do it for nearly the same prices as you, and rely on reprints for the big money, and upcharge for custom matting and framing(tidy profit there). I have a small poratable studio set-up w/lights, backdrop, etc.
My advice to neophytes is to build the price of any needed equiptment into whatever job they undertake. If you cant afford to take a job because you dont have whats needed to make it work, you have to fit the price into the job. If you know you are going to have several portrait jobs coming, go out and buy(or lease) the proper gear, and split the costs between the jobs as past of the sitting fee. If you are going to make this a business, leasing gear is (IMO) the best route, and charge off 100% of the costs on your taxes.