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i have been asked to do a portfolio for an actor.
What is the usual rate for doing portfolios ?
Does anyone has an idea ?
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Depends on your professional capabilities and what you’re required to produce. The current day rate for working professionals is in the region of 250 a day. Prints and expenses are of course extra. Having done a few dance portfolio’s I charged 750 for a days shoot and 18 final prints (10x8), 6 from colour slide and 12 rich black and white (10x8). Looking at your portfolio I think you could easily justify more. I would say that in order not to over price you must first have a rough idea of what you are willing to work for, is this a friend of yours or an independent client?
A typical performance arts portfolio contains about 20 pictures in varying poses and situations. 20 decent prints alone will cost upwards of 150 if professionally done, your fee on top plus materials that must work out at a minimum of about 400.
Nice shots Serge
This is an independent client. Pb is won't a 400 charging scare away the potential client ?
Given that this is for an actor (ie a predominantly unemployed individual!), then the 400 price tag probably will scare them, but probably won't scare them away. Point out that although good photographers don't command the same level of fees as good actors, if they want top quality work like yours, they have to expect to pay the going rate.
Colleagues of mine recently paid just shy of the grand for 5 (very good) 10x10 family portraits; 3 were digitally printed on to a single 36x12" sheet and 2 were mounted individually.
I did some research on this last year when i was doing portrait work for actors for inclusion in Spotlight magazine (their directory) and even spoke to an agent about what her clients normally pay. The going rate for Spotlight portraits (which involves exposing 2 rolls of 35mm, contact sheets and up to 5 10 by 8 inch prints) seems to be about 120 to 150. The well known photographers can command more. Most actors prefer black and white glossy just as an aside
Follow-up : i do not have my own studio but i can hire a studio. Does that mean that i have to charge less that a photographer who has his own studio. What is acceptable and what is not. do you agree with me that i have to charge for my time spent, the studio price, the films, process, printing expenses, or is it too much ? Do i have to charge cheaper rates at the detriment of quality to get repeat repeat business(which i do not agree) ? i mean if i do not shoot photos which are at least the same quality as the pictures on my website, that is very bad business, don't you think ?
Bottom line is that 360 for a portfolio do really scare avay potential customer. (just to give you an idea, the studio rate only, for half a day its 150).
What is the right measure ?
Every time somebdy contact me for my rates and i give them to him, they do not contact me back. So obviously something is wrong..
What is acceptable depends alot upon how much you want to do the work - if you are trying to build a reputation in a specific area such as theatrical portfolio work, then maybe to begin with you should be prepared to do it at cost. If you are needing the money then unfortunately artistic integrity sometimes has to be foresaken - you can compromise on this by for example including fewer pictures in the set price and charging more for extra prints. Also consider whether you really need a studio - quite a lot of portrait work can be done outside with reflectors. Maybe this isn't the effect you want but is it what your sitter wants?
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