The fact you have even suggested prices as low as this tells me you should get yourself on a short business course, or at the very least spend a solid year researching the portrait business before trying to enter it. Do some sessions for friends and family for free. When you become good enough to charge... then charge properly and with confidence that you are not undervaluing yourself and/or undermining the market for professional portraitists. I say this in the nicest, most constructive possible way.
On the rolls of film/number of shots front... you cannot charge like that. What if you slip focus on one, or blow the exposure on the next? If you monetize each frame, then each frame the client will want to see - so you loose the ability to edit or experiment.
Film costs and processing are minor compared to labour and other business expenses. Charge more than enough to cover them. Also, you can only sell what you actually shoot... 15 frames gives you NO flexibility to sell prints.
Patrick, the prices you are considering is what I used to charge in 1973. I think that with inflation and other factors, I wouldn't turn my lights on for double that.
Thanks for all who have responded so far...I'll have a look through these posts
How about making the sitting "absolutely free" with a minimum order of $250.00+? This will show the potential client that you are confident that they will love your work and be willing to pay generously for it. Remember that nothing ventured is nothing gained. The economy is dreadful at the moment and professional photographic services are among the most likely luxuries to skipped over in favor of things which are more practical. Let the quality of your work and free sitting fee be what sets you apart from the other studios in your area. Word will spread quickly. One caveat- this arrangement will require a "proof session" where you sit with them and choose which pictures will be printed. You will want to show them big beautiful images from which to make their selections- perhaps projected on a screen. You can make slides from medium format and larger negs for this purpose. Sending them an email with triscuit-sized jpgs. of the session aren't likely to generate much enthusiasm and could be misused without your permission. Think big! Sofa-sized prints on canvass are still popular in certain circles- Don't bother with the K-Mart crowd.
I see a point in charging per market, and covering time and material in business. I also see a point in not underselling yourself.
But, isn't this your first entry into being paid for your photographic services? You have no prior experience, right? By charging per market, you are essentially saying you can produce products as good as the "market." I'm not saying you are not as good as the next guy. Perhaps you are better.
But, if I were a potential customer and if I have to front the payment, I'd be very cautious in selecting someone totally new with no track record. Quite frankly, I'd go for someone with experience, reputation, and plenty of great looking and impressive samples.
How about working for someone part time and learn the business first? How about setting your price to just cover your actual cost, but not 100% of your time and consider this practical training/experience? When people pay money, expectation is made.
Most start-up businesses barely cover the cost and won't even break even. I see your enthusiasm, but I think, going head first into this and thinking of profit or breaking even every time may be premature. If I were to hang my name as a professional photographer and start collecting serious money, I'd be sure I know my skill, business, and market - not to mention knowing what to do when problems arise.
I do have a portfolio of work I have done working with people for free. Yes I am definatly new at this but I'm not dumb enough to try to get money the first few sessions.
Originally Posted by Ektagraphic
That $35 is close to my basic out of pocket cost after all is figured, so I'd say your price is wayyyyy tooooo lowwww.
I remember you asked about this same thing a little while back and you got good advice there.
So, do you want to make a profit?
If you really want to make money $100 for your one roll starter package would be a better choice.
One of the things about charging more up front is that you weed out prospective clients who won't or can't afford extra prints.
The people who actually put up $100 for a sitting will be more likely to buy more prints.
Since your not really approaching this as a entrepreneur, rather, as a person who wants to make a few bucks with their hobby, I would suggest finding 3 other Portrait studios and what they charge. Make sure they have been in business at least 3 years, average the 3, then charge 30% less.
Well I guess I am trying to approach this with keeping my prices very low so that I can even compete with all of the di*ital photographers in my area that charge peanuts. I guess I need to look this from a new point of view.
Price = Value
So what if the digital guys give it away.
This is an absolutely serious question; do you really want clients who can't or won't pay for good work?
If people see value in your work they will buy it.
If your clients are not semi-regularly complaining about your price, your price is to low.