Quote Originally Posted by ToddB View Post
If I can get a little returm from investment , I'll be happy. It's not like I need it to cover my mortgage.
You may not feed your family on your photography, but some of us do. I don't know how good your work is or isn't, but undercharging for it is a sure way to contribute to the decline of professional photographers. Digital has been far less detrimental to the trade than the mindset of talented photographers who are willing to work for peanuts.

Sorry, don't mean to be rude, but if you're going to work your butt off for someone and hand print beautiful portraits of their family, why the hell wouldn't you charge good money for that? Stick it in the college fund, or buy a new boat if you don't need it to pay the mortgage.

The other problem is that when you don't feel properly compensated, you begin to resent your clients. You're spending hours and hours of your life working for someone. Everybody else in the world gets paid when they do that. Why is it photographers have so little faith in themselves?

Simple exercise: keep a work sheet, and write down every single minute you are working for someone, every mile you drive and every expense you incur (film, paper, chemistry). At the end of the job, do the math and figure out your rate per hour. There are plenty of photographers who are making less than they could make at McDonald's, but hey, they are artists, and you know, artists are supposed to starve...